A Dualist Account of Phenomenal Concepts

In Andrea Lavazza & Howard Robinson (eds.), Contemporary Dualism. A Defense. 112-135. Routledge. pp. 112-135 (2014)
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Abstract
The phenomenal concept strategy is considered a powerful response to anti-physicalist arguments. This physicalist strategy aims to provide a satisfactory account of dualist intuitions without being committed to ontological dualist conclusions. In this paper I first argue that physicalist accounts of phenomenal concepts fail to explain their cognitive role. Second, I develop an encapsulation account of phenomenal concepts that best explains their particularities. Finally, I argue that the encapsulation account, which features self-representing experiences, implies non-physical referents. Therefore, the account of phenomenal concepts that has strong explanatory power does not explain away dualist intuitions—rather, it reinforces dualism.
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