Joseph Levine draws together a series of essays in which he has developed his distinctive approach to philosophy of mind. He explores such topics as the “phenomenal concept strategy” to defend materialism from anti-materialist intuitions, the doctrine of representationalism about phenomenal character, the modal argument against materialism, the nature of demonstrative thought, and cognitive phenomenology. Levine argues that the phenomenal concept strategy cannot work and that representationalism has certain fatal flaws, at least if it is to be joined to a materialist metaphysics. On the other hand, he defends materialism from the modal argument, contending that it relies on a questionable conflation of semantic and metaphysical issues. Levine also provides a naturalistic theory of demonstrative thought, criticizing certain philosophical arguments involving that notion in the process. All of the essays in some way respond to various materialist attempts to close the “explanatory gap” as well as outline a different conception of conscious experience that would accommodate the gap. Levine connects his work with related themes in contemporary psychology and with such hot philosophical topics as cognitive phenomenology.
Quality and Content Essays on Consciousness, Representation, and Modality
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