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Response to Darragh Byrne's "Do Phenomenal Concepts Misrepresent?”




I begin by summarizing my view of the progression that occurred from the 1950s to the 1990s on the topic of physicalism and, in terms of this, present an overview of the reconciliation I was attempting in “Conceptualizing Physical Consciousness.” I then address Byrne’s two main arguments. In the case of the first, I show that his argument turns on a third-person conception of appearance which is not the one addressed in the debates in question, and argue that functionalism is not relevant to physicalism about consciousness in the manner Byrne thinks. In the case of the second, I argue that Byrne’s attempt to prize metaphysics apart from science shows a misunderstanding of the physicalist agenda. In conclusion I indicate how my views have moved on. My misrepresentation thesis, like any form of conventional physicalism, ultimately entails eliminativism; and I reject eliminativism.

Acceptance Date Aug 15, 2015
Publication Date Apr 15, 2016
Journal Philosophical Psychology
Print ISSN 0951-5089
Publisher Routledge
Pages 679-681
Keywords philosophy
Publisher URL


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