Materialism and the First Person
Madell (Geoffrey)
Source: O'Hear - Minds and Persons
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

    Materialists attempt to explain the privacy of phenomenal states in terms of the perspectival nature of phenomenal concepts and the nature of self-monitoring and self-reference. This approach fails to bridge the 'explanatory gap' between the physical and the phenomenal. The key failure is that of not acknowledging that the indexical fact that some point of view is mine has to be accepted as 'primitive'. The same failure undermines materialist attempts to understand emotion, the grasp of which again rests on first-personal understanding. The notion of a zombie in incoherent, and the principle of causal closure must be questioned.

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