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Consciousness RevisitedMaterialism without Phenomenal Concepts$
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Michael Tye

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262012737

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262012737.001.0001

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Why Consciousness Cannot Be Physical and Why It Must Be

Why Consciousness Cannot Be Physical and Why It Must Be

Chapter:
(p.25) 2 Why Consciousness Cannot Be Physical and Why It Must Be
Source:
Consciousness Revisited
Author(s):

Michael Tye

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262012737.003.0003

This chapter discusses the concept of physicalism and its strict thesis that no nonphysical components are necessary to account for anything in the actual world since the physical components alone suffice. Once the microphysical facts about the world are fixed, everything else in the world is automatically determined. The more familiar line of reasoning tells us that, according to modern science, we are biological organisms that belong to one species among many. We are material systems because biological organisms are a part of the natural world, and things in nature are made of matter. We differ from other things in nature because of a difference in the arrangement of our basic material parts and the complexity of the resultant material systems. Although not everything in the natural world is a material object, they have an entirely physical nature. This nature can be studied within the physical sciences alone, and ultimately this nature is microphysical.

Keywords:   physicalism, nonphysical components, physical components, microphysical facts, modern science, material systems, natural world, physical sciences

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