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Yonko wrote...

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10/4/2015 6:13:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Well I am under the impression that physicalism fails for the single, simple reason that it cannot explain first-person experience. I'd be interested in being proven wrong on this, though. I am very confused as to how so many intelligent people are able to ignore this and remain physicalists. Perhaps I am missing something, but it seems to me that the belief is just based in an ill-warranted faith that science will eventually find the answer.

I agree with much of that... but as a physicalist I obviously do not think physicalism is 'unwarranted'. Put it this way - my inability to prove the mental reduces to the physical does not logically force me to accept that the mental cannot be reduced to the physical. I may not know the capital city of Chad, but I do not conclude from my ignorance that Chad doesn't have a capital city.

The problem of rejecting physicalism is there is no postive alternative other than rejecting any rational explantion for mentality. One is left with choosing between believing there is a physical explanation of the mental (admited one it is yet to be found), or that the mental has no satisfactory explaination at all.

I am very happy to concede that explaining mental phenomena are a huge problem for physicalism but I take that as a challenge to find the solution (which I am sure exists). I think many physicalists do tend to sweep the porblem under the carpet - which is a pity because the first step in 'physicalising the mental' is to recognise that it is a problem needing a answer. Yonko - if I understand him correctly - rightly points out we physicalists can't get away with dogmatic assertions forever, nor with exuses that the answer will be found one day.

So, is there a physicalist explaination of mental phenomena already? If not, when can we expect one?