Review of Levine's 'Purple Haze'
Nagasawa (Yujin)
Source: Australasian Journal of Philosophy 80, pp. 245-247
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Introduction

  1. The aim of this book is to defend “explanatory gap”, Levine’s own influential notion in the philosophical studies of phenomenal consciousness.
  2. The entire book proves how clear and systematic are Levine’s arguments in dealing with even as highly intractable an issue as the mystery of consciousness.
  3. The mind-body problem in a contemporary guise is rooted in two prima facie plausible but incompatible propositions that philosophers have reached:
    1. Some form of materialism1 or physicalism2 is true.
    2. Phenomenal consciousness, raw feel, or qualia cannot be explained physicalistically3.
  4. The traditional strategy for solving the problem is simply to reject one or the other of these propositions. Thus some philosophers reject (i) and become dualists accordingly, and others reject (ii) and become materialists4 accordingly.
  5. Levine, however, ventures to accept both of them at the same time. That is, while he defends materialism5 he also believes that we can never make a priori derivations from physical facts to phenomenal facts.


Review of "Levine (Joseph) - Purple Haze: The Puzzle of Consciousness"; For Nagasawa, see Link (Defunct).

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