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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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Physicalism and the Appeal to Phenomenal Concepts

Physicalism and the Appeal to Phenomenal Concepts

(p.39) 3 Physicalism and the Appeal to Phenomenal Concepts
Consciousness Revisited

Michael Tye

The MIT Press

The purpose of this chapter is to outline the phenomenal-concept strategy and to show some serious difficulties that it encounters. Physicalists have thought that they were wedded to phenomenal concepts since without them, physicalism becomes a falsehood. In order to explain away the difficulties presented here, it must be accepted that there are no such things as phenomenal concepts. There is widespread agreement that consciousness is, and should be, a physical phenomenon, even if it is one that we do not yet understand and perhaps may never do so fully. There is also widespread agreement that the way to defend physicalism about consciousness against well-known objections is by an appeal to phenomenal concepts. The previous chapter has shown, however, that there is no agreement on the nature of phenomenal concepts. It is the goal of this and subsequent chapters to show that the view assuming a conjugal relationship between physicalism and phenomenal concepts is gravely mistaken.

Keywords:   phenomenal-concept strategy, phenomenal concepts, physicalists, physicalism, physical phenomenon, consciousness

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