The material constitution of phenomenal consciousness

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In this article I set out in concise form the physicalist account of the mental I develop in Consciousness and the Prospects of Physicalism (Pereboom, 2011). I first set out a response to the knowledge and conceivability arguments against physicalism, one that features the open possibility that introspection represents phenomenal states as having qualitative features they actually lack. I then propose an alternative Russellian Monist answer to these arguments, according to which currently unknown absolutely intrinsic physical properties provide categorical bases for known microphysical properties and also yield an account of phenomenal consciousness. Lastly, I defend a nonreductive physicalist account of the mental, in which the fundamental relation between the mental and the microphysical is material constitution and not identity.


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