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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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Conceptual Analysis and Reductive Explanation

Conceptual Analysis and Reductive Explanation

Chapter:
(p.207) 7 Conceptual Analysis and Reductive Explanation
Source:
The Character of Consciousness
Author(s):

David J. Chalmers (Contributor Webpage)

Frank Jackson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195311105.003.0007

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.

Keywords:   truth, consciousness, physics, water, life, type-B materialism

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