Powers and the hard problem of consciousness: conceivability, possibility and powers

European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (2):1-33 (2022)
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Abstract

Do conceivability arguments work against physicalism if properties are causal powers? By considering three different ways of understanding causal powers and the modality associated with them, I will argue that most, if not all, physicalist powers theorists should not be concerned about the conceivability argument because its conclusion that physicalism is false does not hold in their favoured ontology. I also defend specific powers theories against some recent objections to this strategy, arguing that the conception of properties as powerful blocks conceivability arguments unless a rather implausible form of emergence is true.

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Sophie R. Allen
Keele University

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