Halloween evening

It was one of the warmest Halloweens I can remember recently, and we’d put a carved and painted pumpkin outside, so I decided to sit outside to receive the trick-or-treaters. Although we got a lot of kids this year, they tended to come in gaggles, so I took a book out with me. I actually spent the time reading chapter 2 of Chalmers’ The Conscious Mind on Supervenience and Explanation. Supervenience is one of those cool logical/philosophical tools that leaves you wondering how you ever got by with fuzzy notions like “depends on”. Mind you, I am having difficulty working up a lot of sympathy for some of Chalmers’ ideas about consciousness – specifically, I can’t see why he finds phenomenal consciousness “surprising” and “troubling” – but as Dennett says, “explore before you deplore.”