Unsolvable problems, visual imagery, and explanatory satisfaction

Journal of Mind and Behavior 16 (3):235-54 (1995)
Abstract
It has been suggested that certain problems may be unsolvable because of the mind's cognitive structure, but we may wonder what problems, and exactly why. The ultimate origin of the universe and the mind-body problem seem to be two such problems. As to why, Colin McGinn has argued that the mind-body problem is unsolvable because any theoretical concepts about the brain will be observation-based and unable to connect to unobservable subjective experience. McGinn's argument suggests a requirement of imagability -- an observation basis -- for physical causal explanation that cannot be met for either of these problems. Acausal descriptions may be possible but not the causal analyses that provide the greatest explanatory satisfaction, a psychological phenomenon that seems tied to the strength of the underlying observation basis but is affected by other factors as well.
Keywords Imagery  Metaphysics  Mind  Visual  Mcginn, C
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