Conceptual Analysis and Reductive Explanation
This chapter addresses a related form of opposition to the anti-materialist arguments. Some type-B materialists allow that a unique epistemic gap exists between physics and consciousness: truths about consciousness are not deducible from physical truths, but truths about water, life, and other high-level phenomena are deducible from physical truths. Others argue that these epistemic gaps arise in many high-level domains. It is argued that there are in fact a priori entailments from a nearly physical base to truths about water, life, and so on. The base needs to be expanded a little to allow indexicals, a “that's all” truth, and of course truths about consciousness. But from this base, other ordinary macroscopic truths can be deduced by a priori reasoning. The argument here turns on some general observations about concepts and conceptual analysis. One of the key points is that there can be a priori entailments even in the absence of definitions or explicit analyses.
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