Dissolving type‐b physicalism

Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):469-498 (2017)
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Abstract

The majority of physicalists are type-B physicalists – believing that the phenomenal-physical truths are only knowable a posteriori. This paper aims to show why this view is misguided. The strategy is to design an agent who (1) has full general physical knowledge, (2) has phenomenal concepts, and yet (3) is wired such that she would be in a position to immediately work out the phenomenal-physical truths. I argue that this derivation yields a priori knowledge. The possibility of such a creature entails that – contrary to type-B physicalism – there is not an ideal epistemic gap between the phenomenal and the physical truths. Out of this argument against type-B physicalism emerges a positive result: a new and compelling version of type-A physicalism, roughly a type-A phenomenal concept strategy.

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Author's Profile

Helen Yetter-Chappell
University of Miami

References found in this work

Does conceivability entail possibility.David J. Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
Consciousness and its place in nature.David Chalmers - 2003 - In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell. pp. 102--142.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - Critica 17 (49):69-71.

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