Consciousness in Western Philosophy

Authored by: Larry M. Jorgensen

The Routledge Handbook Of Consciousness

Print publication date:  March  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138936218
eBook ISBN: 9781315676982
Adobe ISBN:


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A fully naturalized philosophy of mind is often held up as a gold standard. As one person has noted, “a casual observer of recent philosophy of mind would likely come to the conclusion that, amidst all of the disagreements between specialists in this field, there is at least one thing that stands as more or less a consensus view: the commitment to a naturalistic philosophy of mind” (Horst 2009: 219). In this pursuit of a naturalized philosophy of mind, consciousness often receives concentrated attention, in part because the phenomena of consciousness seem particularly recalcitrant, difficult to explain in the terms of the physical and biological sciences. There is an expectation that consciousness will turn out to be compatible with the natural sciences, but for now just how remains a mystery. One version of this expectation is that consciousness is compatible with a fully physicalist metaphysics. If consciousness is explicable in terms of purely physical interactions, then it seems easily explicable in terms of the natural sciences.

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