Might Overcoming the Explanatory Gap Be Like Overcoming Vitalism?

Joseph LaPorte

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/ths.2008.008


It seems to be a commonly held belief or hope, though one that is often left at a primitive state of articulation, that the vitalism-mechanism controversy is a success story whose complete telling would include an account of an initial problem very much like the mind-body problem that is still with us today. The appeal of the analogy is clear: if it is genuine, the analogy bodes well for the prospects of a conceptually satisfying physicalist resolution to the mind-body problem.


analogy; false analogy; Searle; explanatory gap; conscious states

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