David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 46 (4):559-589 (1979)
Many philosophers, both past and present, object to materialism not from any romantic anti-scientific bent, but from sheer inability to understand the thesis. It seems utterly inconceivable to some that qualia should exist in a world which is entirely material. This paper investigates the grain objection, a much neglected argument which purports to prove that sensations could not be brain events. Three versions are examined in great detail. The plausibility of the first version is shown to depend crucially on whether one holds a direct or non-direct theory of perception. Only on the latter is this version plausible. An analysis of the second "semantic" version concludes that a materialist description and explanation of the world should not be expected to transparently convey all that would be of interest or importance to human beings. The final version explicitly makes use of Grover Maxwell's non-direct perceptual theory of structural realism. Although a confusion is charged to Maxwell between phenomenal and objective properties, the critical difficulty for the grain objection is its failure to characterize "structure" from a non-percipient point of view. As the grain objection is ultimately found wanting, the real difficulty for materialism crystallizes as its irreconciliability with the mere existence of sentience, which seems to force some sort of emergence upon us
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Joseph Margolis (1981). Mental Ascriptions and Mental Unity: Molar Subjects, Brains, and Homunculi. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4 (1):110.
Robert M. Anderson & Joseph F. Gonsalves (1981). Sensory Suppression and the Unity of Consciousness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4 (1):99.
Roland Puccetti (1981). The Case for Mental Duality: Evidence From Split-Brain Data and Other Considerations. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4 (1):93-123.
Joseph E. Bogen (1981). Mental Numerosity: Is One Head Better Than Two? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4 (1):100.
John L. Bradshaw (1981). In Two Minds. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4 (1):101.
Similar books and articles
Brad J. Kallenberg (2004). The Strange New World in the Church: A Review Essay of "With the Grain of the Universe" by Stanley Hauerwas. [REVIEW] Journal of Religious Ethics 32 (1):197 - 217.
Edmund Henden (2007). Restrictive Consequentialism and Real Friendship. Ratio 20 (2):179–193.
Zanja Yudell (2010). Melia and Saatsi on Structural Realism. Synthese 175 (2):241-253.
Andrew Shorten (2010). Cultural Diversity and Civic Education: Two Versions of the Fragmentation Objection. Educational Philosophy and Theory 42 (1):57-72.
Neil Campbell (2012). Reply to Nagasawa on the Inconsistency Objection to the Knowledge Argument. Erkenntnis 76 (1):137-145.
Yujin Nagasawa (2010). The Knowledge Argument and Epiphenomenalism. Erkenntnis 72 (1):37 - 56.
Robert M. Anderson (1974). The Illusions of Experience. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1974:549 - 561.
David Sobel (2007). The Impotence of the Demandingness Objection. Philosophers' Imprint 7 (8):1-17.
John A. Humphrey (1993). Some Objections to Putnam's “Consistency Objection”. Journal of Philosophical Research 18:127-141.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads3 ( #223,982 of 1,088,400 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?