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Idealization and Problem Intuitions: Why No Possible Agent is Indisputably Ideal

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This paper explores one way in which the meta-problem may shed light on existing debates about the hard problem (though not directly on the hard problem itself). I'll argue that the possibility of a suitable agent without problem intuitions would undercut the dialectical force of arguments against physicalism. Standard antiphysicalist arguments begin from intuitions about what's ideally conceivable, and argue from there to the falsity of physicalism. For these arguments to be dialectically effective, there must be a shared conception of what ideal conceivability consists in. Unfortunately, proposed accounts of ideal conceivability all make reference to an unexplained 'intuitive' notion of idealization. Consideration of the meta-problem reveals that, when it comes to the hard problem, intuitions about idealization are essentially theory-laden. There is no neutral basis for determining whether agents with or without problem intuitions are more rationally ideal.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2019

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