The Conceptual Link from Physical to Mental
How are truths about physical and mental states related? Physicalism entails that non-physical truths are redescriptions of a world specifiable in narrowly physical terms. In The Conceptual Link from Physical to Mental Robert Kirk argues that physicalists must therefore hold that the physical truth 'logico-conceptually' entails the mental truth: it is impossible for broadly logical and conceptual reasons that the former should have held without the latter. 'Redescriptive physicalism' is a fresh approach to the physical-to-mental connection that he bases on these ideas. Contrary to what might have been expected, this connection does not depend on analytic truths: there are holistic but non-analytic conceptual links, explicable by means of functionalism—which, he argues, physicalism entails. Redescriptive physicalism should not be confused with 'a priori physicalism': although physicalists must maintain that phenomenal truths are logico-conceptually entailed by physical truths, they must deny that they are also entailed a priori. Kripke-inspired 'a posteriori physicalism', on the other hand, is too weak for physicalism, and the psycho-physical identity thesis is not sufficient for it. Though non-reductive, redescriptive physicalism is an excellent basis for dealing with the problems that mental causation raises for other non-reductive views. 'Cartesian intuitions' of zombies and transposed qualia may seem to raise irresistible objections; Kirk shows that the intuitions are false. As to the 'explanatory gap', there is certainly an epistemic gap, but it has a physicalistically acceptable explanation which deals effectively with the problem of how the physical and functional facts fix particular phenomenal facts.
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2 Redescription and logicoconceptual entailment
3 Logicoconceptual entailment and other notions
5 Psychophysical identity and functionalism
6 A posteriori physicalismbut not as we know it
7 A priori versus redescriptive physicalism
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argued argument assume assumption base description behaviour C-fibres cat-image causal cause Chalmers and Jackson Chalmers’s chapter claim component conceivable consciousness depend doesn’t dualism ensure entails Q epiphenomenalism epistemic contact example experience explain explanatory gap functional facts functionalist functionally isomorphic given intuitions involved Kim’s l-c impossible l-c necessary l-c necessity l-c possible l-centailment thesis logical and conceptual logico-conceptual mental causation mental item mental properties metaphysical necessity metaphysically possible multiple realizability narrowly physical natural kinds nomological non-reductive notion objection phenomenal concepts phenomenal truths phenomenally conscious physical events physical facts physical items physical properties physical truths physicalism commits Pl-c possible world posteriori physicalism premiss priori entailment thesis priori physicalism property dualism psycho-physical identity thesis psychological pure redescription purely physical question quincunx reason redescriptive physicalism redescriptive physicalists reduction requires seems semantic rules sense statements suggest supervenience Suppose things true type-B world specified zombie worlds zombists