Erkenntnis:1-23 (forthcoming)

Russellian physicalism is a view on the nature of consciousness which promises to satisfy the demands of both traditional physicalists and non-physicalists. It does so by identifying subjective experience with physically acceptable categorical properties underlying structural and dispositional properties described by science. Though promising, the view faces at least two serious challenges: it has been argued that science deals in both categorical and non-categorical properties, which would undercut the motivation behind Russellian physicalism, and it has been argued that only nonphysicalist Russellian views—like panpsychism—are useful when it comes to explaining consciousness. I address these criticisms, arguing that there is no viable reason for maintaining that science deals in categorical properties of the sort which a Russellian physicalist is interested in, and that features of fully-physical categorical properties can be described which provide useful explanations for various essential features of subjective experience. These projects are connected: it turns out that when the explanatory relevance of Russellian physicalism is explained in detail, constraints are put the sort of categorical properties that Russellian physicalists can say are left out of science. Specifically, Russellian physicalists are forced to subscribe to the view that science leaves out any categorical properties whatsoever, as opposed to the view that some scientifically scrutable properties are categorical, but not the ones which Russellian physicalists are interested in. I hope that by addressing these criticisms of Russellian physicalism, and drawing logical connections between the responses, further appeal is added to a promising, but so far relatively unexplored, view.
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-020-00359-5
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Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness.David Chalmers - 1995 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3):200-19.
The Character of Consciousness.David John Chalmers - 2010 - Oxford University Press.

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