Purple Haze: The Puzzle of Consciousness (Philosophy of Mind Series) / Edition 1

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Overview

Conscious experience presents a deep puzzle. On the one hand, a fairly robust materialism must be true in order to explain how it is that conscious events causally interact with non-conscious, physical events. On the other hand, we cannot explain how physical phenomena give rise to conscious experience.
In this wide-ranging study, Joseph Levine explores both sides of the mind-body dilemma, presenting the first book-length treatment of his highly influential ideas on the "explanatory gap," the fact that we can't explain the nature of phenomenal experience in terms of its physical realization. He presents a careful argument that there is such a gap, and, after providing intriguing analyses of virtually all existing theories of consciousness, shows that recent attempts to close it fall short of the mark. Levine concludes that in the foreseeable future consciousness will remain a mystery.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a very rich work. It contains, as preliminaries, a nice contribution to the irritatingly nontrivial problem of characterizing materialism, a useful discussion of mental causation, and a critique of David Chalmers' well-known conceivability argument for mind-body dualism." — Inquiry

"Purple Haze is a thought provoking, well-written and honest book. ...I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in the problem of consciousness."—Metapsychology Online Review

"The American philosopher Joseph Levine explores the 'explanatory gap' between physical sciences and consciousness: conscious phenomena cannot be explained in terms of material phenomena. Levine surveys a number of modern theories of consciousness and finds them inconclusive. In Levine's opinion, that gap will not be filled any time soon." — Piero Scaruffi, Thymos.com

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195173086
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 1/8/2004
  • Series: Philosophy of Mind Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 204
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Levine is Professor of Philosophy at The Ohio State University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 3
1. "All in My Brain" Materialism 11
2. "Lately Things Don't Seem the Same" The Conceivability Argument 39
3. "Actin' Funny, but I Don't Know Why" The Explanatory Gap 69
4. "Don't Know If I'm Comin' Up or Down" Reductive Strategies 93
5. "You've Got Me Blowin', Blowin' My Mind" Eliminativism 127
6. "Purple Haze, All Around" Consciousness and Cognition 151
Coda: "Is It Tomorrow, or Just the End of Time?" 175
Notes 179
References 195
Index 201
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