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The Case for Qualia$
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Edmond Wright

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262232661

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262232661.001.0001

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Subjective Physicalism

Subjective Physicalism

(p.125) 6 Subjective Physicalism
The Case for Qualia

Robert J. Howell

The MIT Press

This chapter presents four theses with which most philosophers agree, namely, that the world is a world of physical things, that the physical sciences tell the complete causal story about the world, that there is such a thing as conscious experience, and that the nature of consciousness is not fully captured by descriptions in the physical sciences. Ironically, the debates regarding qualia and consciousness are puzzling in part because the majority of philosophers agree about the majority of facts. After the four theses presented above, one might think that the only remaining issue regarding the truth or falsity of physicalism is merely terminological. The real question is whether the four theses can be acknowledged by a monistic metaphysics. A closer look at this notion reveals several places that could engender disagreement over the consistency of qualia with physicalism.

Keywords:   physical things, physical sciences, causal story, conscious experience, nature of consciousness, physicalism, monistic metaphysics

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