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Conscious experience, reduction and identity: many explanatory gaps, one solution

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Abstract:

This paper considers the so-called explanatory gap between brain activity and conscious experience. A number of different, though closely related, explanatory gaps are distinguished and a monistic account of conscious experience, a version of Herbert Feigl's "dual-access theory," is advocated as a solution to the problems they are taken to pose for physicalist accounts of mind. Although dual-access theory is a version of the mind-body identity thesis, it in no way "eliminates" conscious experience; rather, it provides a parsimonious and explanatorily fruitful theory of the consciousness-body relation which faithfully preserves the nature of conscious experience while going quite far in "bridging" the various explanatory gaps distinguished below.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0951508042000239057

Publication date: 2004-06-01

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