Never mind the gap: the explanatory gap as an artefact of naive philosophical argument

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Abstract:

It is argued that the explanatory gap argument, according to which it is fundamentally impossible to explain qualitative mental states in a physicalist theory of mind, is unsound. The main argument in favour of the explanatory gap is presented, which argues that an identity statement of mind and brain has no explanatory force, in contrast to "normal" scientific identity statements. Then it is shown that "normal" scientific identity statements also do not conform to the demands set by the proponent of the explanatory gap. Rather than accept all such gaps, it is argued that we should deny the explanatory gap in a physicalist theory of mind.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0951508021000006120

Publication date: September 1, 2002

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