Review of Joseph Levine's purple haze: The puzzle of consciousness [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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The aim of this book is to defend ‘explanatory gap’, Levine’s own influential notion in the philosophical studies of phenomenal consciousness. The entire book proves how clear and systematic are Levine’s arguments in dealing with even as highly intractable an issue as the mystery of consciousness. The mind-body problem in a contemporary guise is rooted in two prima facie plausible but incompatible propositions that philosophers have reached: (1) Some form of materialism or physicalism is true. (2) Phenomenal consciousness, raw feel, or qualia cannot be explained physicalistically. The traditional strategy for solving the problem is simply to reject one or the other of these propositions. Thus some philosophers reject (1) and become dualists accordingly, and others reject (2) and become materialists accordingly. Levine, however, ventures to accept both of them at the same time. That is, while he defends materialism he also believes that we can never make a priori derivations from physical facts to phenomenal facts.
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