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Human Action, Consciousness, and Problems of Representation$
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Geeta Ramana

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198097266

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198097266.001.0001

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Overcoming the ‘Explanatory Gap’ and the ‘Phenomenal’ Resistance

Overcoming the ‘Explanatory Gap’ and the ‘Phenomenal’ Resistance

(p.221) 9 Overcoming the ‘Explanatory Gap’ and the ‘Phenomenal’ Resistance
Human Action, Consciousness, and Problems of Representation

Geeta Ramana

Oxford University Press

The explanatory gap with respect to the problem of consciousness has had many responses and some of them are examined in this chapter. This is important since it helps in grappling with the nature of the irreducible phenomenal experience. Any study of the mind needs to account for the conceptual element in one’s experience. It is this that plays the role of making us aware of something and helps bare the structure of representation. The chapter explores the idea that any interpretation of a given is in the context of rules and normative practices. Representations one is confronted with have symbolic intentional values which do help to convey meaning and that things by themselves do not mean anything at all. The chapter provides an analysis of how concepts mediate between mind and world and how experience itself must contain conceptual elements in order to be represented in an individual’s consciousness. The question that is raised is that though ‘awareness’ in relation to its object can be conceptually understood, is ‘awareness’ itself a concept?

Keywords:   explanatory-gap, phenomenal experience, physicalism, Qualia, representational, awareness, self

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