The Explanatory Gap Argument and Phenomenal States: A Defense of Physicalism

Gbenga, Fasiku
December 2011
KRITIKE: An Online Journal of Philosophy;Dec2011, Vol. 5 Issue 2, p96
Academic Journal
This paper critically examines the explanatory gap argument. It argues that the argument, contrary to its aim, fails to undermine physicalism because there is, in reality, no gap in the world. The paper supports the physicalists' response to the explanatory gap argument. It submits that the gap that exists in the explanations of consciousness is a conception, about and not an ontological feature, of consciousness (by extension, the mind). Hence, even if the explanatory gap is sustained, it proves no point against physicalism and the physicalists' account of the nature of consciousness in the world. The paper is divided into two sections. The first section carefully articulates the explanatory gap argument. The second section argues that the explanatory gap argument fails to support the reality of a property of consciousness that is not amenable to scientific investigation and theories.


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