Some Evidence for Physicalism about Sensations
Andrew Melnyk (University of Missouri, Columbia)

September 11, 2021, 6:30am - 8:00am

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National Research Institute for Science Policy (NRISP)

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I will address the hardest case for physicalism: perceptual and bodily sensations with distinctive phenomenal characters that we are aware of through introspection.  I will clarify that physicalism about sensations requires that sensations and their properties are one and the same as certain physical or functional state-types.  Then I will argue that some evidence for these type-identity claims exists: the fact, discovered from numerous imaging studies, that having a particular kind of sensation with a particular phenomenal character requires—never in fact occurs without—being in a particular brain state.  I will specify precisely how this fact supports physicalism over its dualist rivals.

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