Physicalism, dualism, and metaphysical gridlock

In this paper I survey the landscape of anti-physicalist arguments and physicalist responses to them. The anti-physicalist arguments I discuss start from a premise about a conceptual, epistemic, or explanatory gap between physical and phenomenal descriptions and conclude from this – on a priori grounds – that physicalism is false. My primary aim is to develop a master argument to counter these arguments. With this master argument in place, it is apparent that there is a puzzling symmetry between dualist attacks on physicalism and physicalist replies. Each position can be developed in a way to defend itself from attacks from the other position. Therefore the debate comes down to which metaphysical framework provides the better overall explanatory/theoretical framework.
Keywords Consciousness  Conceivability  Mind-body problem  Dualism  Physicalism  Conceivability arguments  Explanatory gap  Hard Problem of Consciousness
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