Review of Levine's Purple Haze [Book Review]

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 80 (2):245-247 (2002)
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Abstract

ne ’ s a r gume nt s i n de a l i ng wi t h e ve n a s hi ghl y i nt r a c t a bl e an issue as the mystery of consciousness. The mind-body problem in a contemporary guise is rooted in two prima facie plausible but incompatible propositions that philosophers have reached: (1) Some form of materialism or physicalism is true. (2) Phenomenal consciousness, raw feel, or qualia cannot be explained physicalistically. The traditional strategy for solving the problem is simply to reject one or the other of these propositions. Thus some philosophers reject (1) and become dualists accordingly, and others reject (2) and become materialists accordingly. Levine, however, ventures to accept both of them at the same time. That is, while he defends materialism he also believes that we can never make a priori derivations from physical facts to phenomenal facts. Chapter 1 of the book is devoted to establishing (1). In order to define his materialism Levine reflects nested dilemmas that materialism in general confronts. The di l e mma s go a s f ol l ows..

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