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CULT Speaker Series: Erhan Demircioğlu (University of Pittsburgh)

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FACULTY OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES


CULTURAL STUDIES PROGRAM


 Erhan Demircioğlu

   Ph.D. Candidate

             Department of Philosophy        
                                       
       University of Pittsburgh 

   

At the Gates of Consciousness: Physicalism and Phenomenal Concepts

Abstract:

Frank Jackson’s famous Knowledge Argument moves from the premise that
complete physical knowledge is not complete knowledge about experiences to
the falsity of physicalism. In recent years, a consensus has emerged that
the credibility of this and other well-known anti-physicalist arguments
can be undermined by allowing that we possess a special category of
concepts of experiences, phenomenal concepts, which are conceptually
independent from physical/functional concepts. It is held by a large
number of philosophers that since the conceptual independence of
phenomenal concepts does not imply the metaphysical independence of
phenomenal properties, physicalism is safe. This paper distinguishes
between two versions of this novel physicalist strategy –Phenomenal
Concept Strategy (PCS) – depending on how it cashes out “conceptual
independence,” and argues that neither helps the physicalist cause. A
dilemma for PCS arises: cashing out “conceptual independence” in a way
compatible with physicalism requires abandoning some manifest
phenomenological intuitions, and cashing it out in a way compatible with
those intuitions requires dropping physicalism. The upshot is that contra
Brian Loar and others, one cannot “have it both ways.”
 

 December 29, 2010, Wednesday
15:30-16:30
FASS 2034