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Consciousness and Realism

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Abstract:

There is a long and storied history of debates over 'realism' that has touched literally every academic discipline. Yet realism- antirealism debates play a relatively minor role in the contemporary study of consciousness. In this paper four basic varieties of realism and antirealism are explored (existential, epistemological, semantic, and ontological) and their potential impact on the study of consciousness is considered. Reasons are offered to explain why there is not more debate over these issues, including a discussion of the powerful influence of externalist versions of physicalist realism. Examples are given of approaches to consciousness studies that challenge contemporary versions of physicalist realism.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Illinois State University, Email: dlanders@ilstu.edu

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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