David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Review 108 (1):1-46 (1999)
The explanatory gap . Consciousness is a mystery. No one has ever given an account, even a highly speculative, hypothetical, and incomplete account of how a physical thing could have phenomenal states. (Nagel, 1974, Levine, 1983) Suppose that consciousness is identical to a property of the brain, say activity in the pyramidal cells of layer 5 of the cortex involving reverberatory circuits from cortical layer 6 to the thalamus and back to layers 4 and 6,as Crick and Koch have suggested for visual consciousness. (See Crick (1994).) Still, that identity itself calls out for explanation! Proponents of an explanatory gap disagree about whether the gap is permanent. Some (e.g. Nagel, 1974) say that we are like the scientifically naive person who is told that matter = energy, but does not have the concepts required to make sense of the idea. If we can acquire these concepts, the gap is closable. Others say the gap is uncloseable because of our cognitive limitations. (McGinn, 1991) Still others say that the gap is a consequence of the fundamental nature of consciousness.
|Keywords||Conceptual Analysis Dualism Epistemology Truth Chalmers, D Levine, J|
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Philip Goff (2010). Ghosts and Sparse Properties: Why Physicalists Have More to Fear From Ghosts Than Zombies. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (1):119-139.
Katalin Balog (2012). In Defense of the Phenomenal Concept Strategy1. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (1):1-23.
Murat Aydede & Guven Guzeldere (2005). Concepts, Introspection, and Phenomenal Consciousness: An Information-Theoretical Approach. Noûs 39 (2):197-255.
Karen Bennett (2003). Why the Exclusion Problem Seems Intractable and How, Just Maybe, to Tract It. Noûs 37 (3):471-97.
David Yates (2009). Emergence, Downwards Causation and the Completeness of Physics. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (234):110 - 131.
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