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Physicalism and consciousness

Norton, Jonathan Lee Gareth; (1998) Physicalism and consciousness. Masters thesis (M.Phil), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Physicalism is the philosophical theory that identifies mental states with physical states of the brain. Recently it has come under attack, both from critics who claim that it cannot account for the nature of our conscious experience, and from others who claim that it is a vacuous doctrine. In this thesis I elaborate and defend a version of physicalism against both charges. In the course of this I will make an extensive study of recent work in the philosophy and psychology of perception. I argue that we may accept the critics' claim that we need to acknowledge a special category of experiential fact ('qualia'), but physicalism can accommodate this. The implications of accepting qualia are metaphysical, and I will argue further that the consequences are that we should accept anti-realism.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Qualification: M.Phil
Title: Physicalism and consciousness
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Philosophy, religion and theology; Anti-realism; Physicalism
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10106255
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