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Ned J. Block
New York University (New York, NY 10012-1019)
How the Mind-Body Problem Can Be Empirical

This book argues that traditional approaches to the mind-body problem have hit a wall but that the problem may yield to empirical results. In previous work, I have distinguished between “phenomenal consciousness” and “access consciousness”. I argue that there can be evidence for phenomenal consciousness without access consciousness and that this would involve phenomenal consciousness without its normal functional role, thereby refuting functionalism in favor of physicalism. The following challenges are considered: (1) How could anything inaccessible count as a conscious state? (2) Given that our only direct evidence for consciousness is access, on what basis could we argue empirically for consciousness without access?

Project fields:
Philosophy, General

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2006 – 6/30/2007