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Brute Facts$
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Elly Vintiadis and Constantinos Mekios

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198758600

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198758600.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 August 2021

Are There Brute Facts about Consciousness?

Are There Brute Facts about Consciousness?

(p.130) 8 Are There Brute Facts about Consciousness?
Brute Facts

Torin Alter

Oxford University Press

Anti-materialist arguments such as the knowledge argument, the conceivability argument, and the explanatory gap argument do not establish the existence of brute phenomenal facts about consciousness. First, those arguments work by exploiting specific features of the physical, which some nonphenomenal entities might lack. Even if the arguments establish an ontological gap between the physical and the phenomenal, they do not establish a gap between the nonphenomenal and the phenomenal. But they would have to establish such a gap to show that there are brute phenomenal facts. Second, the arguments do not rule out certain views on which there are no such facts. The chapter’s conclusion leaves open the possibility that combining the anti-materialist arguments with other considerations would establish the existence of brute phenomenal facts. However, whether that strategy can succeed is unclear. That and other considerations are used to support agnosticism about the existence of brute phenomenal facts.

Keywords:   brute facts, David Chalmers, consciousness, Philip Goff, Frank Jackson, knowledge argument, materialism, physicalism, Russellian monism, Galen Strawson

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