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The Character of Consciousness$
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David J. Chalmers

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195311105

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195311105.001.0001

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Phenomenal Concepts and the Explanatory Gap

Phenomenal Concepts and the Explanatory Gap

(p.305) 10 Phenomenal Concepts and the Explanatory Gap
The Character of Consciousness

David J. Chalmers (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Confronted with the apparent explanatory gap between physical processes and consciousness, philosophers have reacted in many different ways. Some deny that any explanatory gap exists at all. Some hold that there is an explanatory gap for now but that it will eventually be closed. Some hold that the explanatory gap corresponds to an ontological gap in nature. This chapter explores another reaction to the explanatory gap. Those who react in this way agree that there is an explanatory gap, but they hold that it stems from the way we think about consciousness. In particular, this view locates the gap in the relationship between our concepts of physical processes and our concepts of consciousness, rather than in the relationship between physical processes and consciousness themselves.

Keywords:   physical processes, consciousness, explanatory gap, phenomenal concepts

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