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Home arrow Education arrow Consciousness from a Broad Perspective: A Philosophical and Interdisciplinary Introduction

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Joseph Levine

2. Why is Levine skeptical about the possibilities of closing the explanatory gap? What reasons does he give? Are they convincing? Why, or why not?

Thomas Nagel

  • 1. Could you know what it is like to be a bat? Could you learn this through science? If not, does this show that science is incomplete?
  • 2. Nagel is a physicalist. Is it coherent for him to argue for mysterianism? How can Nagel hold both that reality is entirely physical and that we might never be able to understand consciousness?

Frank Jackson

  • 1. Can Mary the neuroscientist learn, through theories and facts, what red looks like? Could she come to know this before leaving her room?
  • 2. Jackson no longer believes that his thought experiment with Mary poses a challenge to physicalism. He now endorses strong representationalism—the idea that experiential features, such as seeing red, are representational features. Could Jackson be right? Could experiential features really be representational features? Why do you suppose Jackson adopted this position? Does he manage to save physicalism? Why, or why not?
 
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