Hempel’s Dilemma: Not Only for Physicalism

International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 34 (2):101-129 (2021)
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According to the so-called Hempel’s Dilemma, the thesis of physicalism is either false or empty. Our intention in this paper is not to propose a solution to the Dilemma, but rather to argue as follows: to the extent that Hempel’s Dilemma applies to physicalism it equally applies to any theory that gives a deep-structure and changeable account of our experience or of high-level theories. In particular, we will show that it also applies to mind-body dualistic theories. The scope of Hempel’s Dilemma turns out to be very wide: it is a special case of a general sceptical argument against changeable deep-structure theories in and outside science.

Author Profiles

Meir Hemmo
University of Haifa
Orly Shenker
Hebrew University of Jerusalem


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