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Humphrey's solution

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[opening paragraph]: It is easy to conceptualize a problem in a way that prevents a solution. If the conceptualization is entrenched in one's culture or profession, it may appear unalterable. But there is so much precedent for the discovery of fruitful reconceptualizations that in the case of most philosophical and scientific puzzles it is probably irrational ever to give up trying. The notion of qualia, understood as phenomenal properties of sensations that can exist as objects of experience for a conscious subject, is too recent in origin and too specialized in usage to warrant concluding that qualia cannot be understood in terms of physical processes. Humphrey (2000) offers an analysis of qualitative mental states that purportedly renders them commensurate with brain states, allowing them to be described in terms of the same dimensions. If his attempt is successful the conceptual gap between mind and body could be closed. Is it successful?

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: 15 Cedar Lane, Setauket, NY 11733, USA.

Publication date: April 1, 2000


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