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Emergentism revisited

By Kristina Musholt


The “explanatory gap” is proposed to be the “hard problem” of\ud consciousness research and has generated a great deal of recent\ud debate.\ud Arguments brought forward to reveal this gap include the\ud conceivability of zombies or the “super-neuroscientist” Mary. These\ud are supposed to show that the facts of consciousness are not a priori\ud entailed by the microphysical facts.\ud Similar arguments were already proposed by emergence theories in\ud the context of the debate between mechanism and vitalism.\ud According to synchronic emergentism, the property of a system is\ud emergent, when it cannot - in principle - be deduced from a complete\ud description of the system’s components.\ud Here, I argue that apart from phenomenal properties there are many\ud other properties that, even though they are clearly physical, are not\ud reductively explainable either. The explanatory gap of consciousness\ud is therefore only a part of a much more general problem

Topics: Philosophy of Mind
Year: 2005
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