Quality and Content: Essays on Consciousness, Representation, and Modality

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Oxford University Press, Mar 9, 2018 - Philosophy - 256 pages
Joseph Levine draws together a series of essays in which he has developed his distinctive approach to philosophy of mind. He explores such topics as the "phenomenal concept strategy" to defend materialism from anti-materialist intuitions, the doctrine of representationalism about phenomenal character, the modal argument against materialism, the nature of demonstrative thought, and cognitive phenomenology. Levine argues that the phenomenal concept strategy cannot work and that representationalism has certain fatal flaws, at least if it is to be joined to a materialist metaphysics. On the other hand, he defends materialism from the modal argument, contending that it relies on a questionable conflation of semantic and metaphysical issues. Levine also provides a naturalistic theory of demonstrative thought, criticizing certain philosophical arguments involving that notion in the process. All of the essays in some way respond to various materialist attempts to close the "explanatory gap" as well as outline a different conception of conscious experience that would accommodate the gap. Levine connects his work with related themes in contemporary psychology and with such hot philosophical topics as cognitive phenomenology.

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Architectural Issues
On Consciousness as Representation
Modal and Semantic Issues

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About the author (2018)

Joseph Levine is originally from Los Angeles, California, and received his BA in philosophy from UCLA in 1975. He then did his graduate work in philosophy at Harvard University, receiving his Ph.D. in 1981. He has held positions at Boston University, Bates College, North Carolina State University, and The Ohio State University before moving to the University of Massachusetts in 2006. Professor Levine works primarily in philosophy of mind and psychology, but also works on topics in metaphysics and social/political philosophy.

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