Single Idea 7877

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

Full Idea

Levine says the explanatory gap is peculiar to phenomenal states. Once water has been identified with H2O, or temperature with mean kinetic energy, we do not continue to ask why H2O yields water, or why mean kinetic energy yields temperature.

Gist of Idea

Only phenomenal states have an explanatory gap; water is fully explained by H2O


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.142

A Reaction

Everything is mysterious if you think about if for long enough. What about a representational gap? Why do those neurons represent that tree (if the neurons aren't tree-shaped)? To understand qualia, we must understand the whole brain, I suspect.