Single Idea 7876

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 7. Anti-Physicalism / d. Explanatory gap]

Full Idea

Materialists identify pain with the firing of nociceptive-specific neurons in the parietal cortex. Even so, Levine argues, we will still lack any explanation of why nociceptive-specific neurons yield pain.

Gist of Idea

Even if we identify pain with neural events, we can't explain why those neurons cause that feeling


report of Joseph Levine (Purple Haze [2001]) by David Papineau - Thinking about Consciousness 5.1

Book Reference

Papineau,David: 'Thinking about Consciousness' [OUP 2004], p.141

A Reaction

[Proposed by Levine in 1983] I don't think we need to instantly go dualist when faced with this, but we may all eventually have to concede a bit of mysterianism. The explanation may be holistic (and hence hopelessly complex).