Explanation and the Explanatory Gap

Acta Analytica 31 (1):77-88 (2016)
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Abstract

“The Explanatory Gap” is a label for the idea that we cannot explain consciousness in terms of brain activity. There are many different formulations of the explanatory gap, but all discussion about it assumes that there is only one gap, which consists of the absence of a deductive explanation. This assumption is mistaken. In this paper, I show that the position that deductive explanation is privileged in this case is unmotivated. I argue that whether or not there is an explanatory gap depends on the kind of explanation in question, so there is no single, unified explanatory gap but only the absence and (perhaps) presence of different sorts of explanation.

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Elanor Taylor
Johns Hopkins University

Citations of this work

Backing Without Realism.Elanor Taylor - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (3):1295-1315.

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References found in this work

Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1973 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
What is it like to be a bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
Explaining the brain: mechanisms and the mosaic unity of neuroscience.Carl F. Craver - 2007 - New York : Oxford University Press,: Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press.

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