Conceptual analysis, dualism, and the explanatory gap

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. 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. .) Still, that identity itself calls out for explanation! Proponents of an explanatory gap disagree about whether the gap is permanent. Some 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. 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
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/2998259
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,411
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Kelly Trogdon (2013). Grounding: Necessary or Contingent? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (4):465-485.
Katalin Balog (2012). In Defense of the Phenomenal Concept Strategy1. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (1):1-23.
Matthew S. Bedke (2012). Against Normative Naturalism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (1):111 - 129.

View all 109 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Tobias Schlicht (2007). Erkenntnistheoretischer Dualismus. Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 10:113-136.
P. Kügler (2013). Non-Dualism Versus Conceptual Relativism. Constructivist Foundations 8 (2):247-252.
Wolfram Hinzen (2006). Dualism and the Atoms of Thought. Journal of Consciousness Studies 13 (9):25-55.
E. Diaz-Leon (2009). How Many Explanatory Gaps Are There? APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers 8 (2):33-35.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

1,137 ( #407 of 1,924,718 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

74 ( #3,505 of 1,924,718 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.