Phenomenal experience and the measure of information

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    This paper defends the hypothesis that phenomenal experiences may be very complex information states. This can explain some of our most perplexing anti-physicalist intuitions about phenomenal experience. The approach is to describe some basic facts about information in such a way as to make clear the essential oversight involved, by way illustrating how various intuitive arguments against physicalism (such as Frank Jackson’s Knowledge Argument, and Thomas Nagel’s Bat Argument) can be interpreted to show that phenomenal information is not different in kind from physical information, but rather is just more information than we typically attribute to our understanding of a physical theory. I clarify how this hypothesis is distinct from Nagel’s claim that the theory of consciousness may be inconceivable, and then in conclusion briefly describe how these results might suggest a positive and conservative physicalist account of phenomenal experience.