Hypothetical identities: Explanatory problems for the explanatory argument

Philosophical Psychology 27 (4):571-582 (2014)
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Recently, several philosophers have defended an explanatory argument that supposedly provides novel empirical grounds for accepting the type identity theory of phenomenal consciousness. They claim that we are justified in believing that the type identity thesis is true because it provides the best explanation for the correlations between physical properties and phenomenal properties. In this paper, I examine the actual role identities play in science and point out crucial shortcomings in the explanatory argument. I show that the supporters of the argument have failed to show that the identity thesis provides a satisfactory explanation for the correlations between physical and phenomenal properties. Hence, the explanatory argument, as it stands, does not provide new grounds for accepting the type identity theory.

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Markus Eronen
University of Groningen

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Physicalism, or Something Near Enough.Jaegwon Kim - 2005 - Princeton University Press.
Materialism and qualia: The explanatory gap.Joseph Levine - 1983 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 64 (October):354-61.
Sensations: A Defense of Type Materialism.Christopher S. Hill - 1991 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Physicalism, or Something near Enough.Jaegwon Kim - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (223):306-310.

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