Consciousness and explanation

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This chapter begins with the subjective conception of consciousness that gives rise to the explanatory gap and the intractability of the 'why?' question. It then discusses the approach to the study of consciousness, an approach that rejects the subjective conception in favour of a broadly behaviourist one. Finally, it discusses the knowledge argument - an argument for the anti-physicalist claim that phenomenal properties of conscious mental states are not physical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrontiers of Consciousness
Subtitle of host publicationChichele Lectures
PublisherOxford University Press, USA
ISBN (Electronic)9780191696596
ISBN (Print)9780199233151
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Conscious mental states
  • Consciousness
  • Knowledge argument
  • Subjective conception

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