Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

On the Conditional Analysis of Phenomenal Concepts

Torin Alter
Philosophical Studies: An International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition
Vol. 134, No. 2 (May, 2007), pp. 235-253
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40208716
Page Count: 19
  • Download ($43.95)
  • Cite this Item
On the Conditional Analysis of Phenomenal Concepts
Preview not available

Abstract

Zombies make trouble for physicalism. Intuitively, they seem conceivable, and many take this to support their metaphysical possibility - a result that, most agree, would refute physicalism. John Hawthorne (2002) [Philosophical Studies 109, 17-52] and David Braddon- Mitchell (2003) [The Journal of Philosophy 100, 111-135] have developed a novel response to this argument: phenomenal concepts have a conditional structure - they refer to non- physical states if such states exist and otherwise to physical states - and this explains the zombie intuition. I argue that this strategy fails. The considerations Hawthorne and Braddon- Mitchell adduce in support of their analysis in fact do no such thing. Further, their main argument for the analysis is self- defeating: exactly similar reasoning would undermine the view it is meant to establish. Finally, on closer inspection the conditional analysis is incompatible with the zombie intuition. Thus, not only is the analysis incapable of explaining the intuition: the intuition's plausibility indicates that the analysis is incorrect. I also suggest that the allure of the conditional-analysis strategy may derive from a questionable view about what explaining the intuition would require.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[235]
    [235]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
236
    236
  • Thumbnail: Page 
237
    237
  • Thumbnail: Page 
238
    238
  • Thumbnail: Page 
239
    239
  • Thumbnail: Page 
240
    240
  • Thumbnail: Page 
241
    241
  • Thumbnail: Page 
242
    242
  • Thumbnail: Page 
243
    243
  • Thumbnail: Page 
244
    244
  • Thumbnail: Page 
245
    245
  • Thumbnail: Page 
246
    246
  • Thumbnail: Page 
247
    247
  • Thumbnail: Page 
248
    248
  • Thumbnail: Page 
249
    249
  • Thumbnail: Page 
250
    250
  • Thumbnail: Page 
251
    251
  • Thumbnail: Page 
252
    252
  • Thumbnail: Page 
253
    253