Dialectica 67 (4):545-560 (2013)

Authors
David Ludwig
Wageningen University and Research
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to develop a pluralist interpretation of the phenomenal concept strategy (PCS). My starting point is Horgan and Tienson's deconstructive argument according to which proponents of PCS face the following dilemma: either phenomenal concepts or physical concepts allow us to conceive phenomenal states as they are in themselves. If phenomenal concepts allow us to conceive phenomenal states as they are in themselves, then phenomenal states are non-physical states and physicalism is wrong. If physical concepts allow us to conceive phenomenal states as they are in themselves, then phenomenal concepts are derivative and PCS is wrong. While Horgan and Tienson assume that their argument shows that PCS leads to dualism, I argue that one can also adopt an ‘epistemic pluralism’ that rejects the idea of only one fundamental way of conceiving phenomenal states as they are in themselves. However, I also argue that epistemic pluralism eventually leads to a position that is compatible neither with dualism nor physicalism. Instead of justifying a non-reductive ‘new wave materialism’, PCS may therefore lead to a ‘new wave pluralism’ that is at odds with all mainstream positions in philosophy of mind
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DOI 10.1111/1746-8361.12045
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Reason, Truth and History.Hilary Putnam - 1981 - Cambridge University Press.
The Character of Consciousness.David John Chalmers - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
Material Beings.Peter VAN INWAGEN - 1990 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

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