The explanatory gap - Essay Example

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The explanatory gap

John Levine introduced the explanatory gap for the difficulty that the mind theories of physicalists have in explaining the physical properties in giving rise to the way things experienced when they are felt. Levine in his 1983 article used the explanatory gap to point out that even though it might be applicable in a physiological sense, the explanatory gap does not aid our understanding of pain feeling. The explanatory gap has intrigued and vexed a number of researchers and philosophers in a similar way in the past decades and resulted into a considerable debate. Finding a fulfilling and gratifying mechanistic explanation to bridge the gap is a hard problem. This paper seeks to define the explanatory gap, and highlight whether or not the explanatory gap poses an obstacle to materialism with reference to the work of Levine. The explanatory gap infers that there is an existence of a gap of consistent and rational meaningful information that describe and account for characteristics and qualities of consciousness processes, content and states that it is explicable to a rational and logical level of mastery. That is to say, explanatory gap is in the human concept. The term explanatory gap does not illustrate a gap in nature, but rather a gap in our own understanding of nature (Levine 1983). ...Show more


The explanatory gap is a term used in the modern philosophy by Joseph Levine in his "Materialism and Qualia: The Explanatory Gap" published in Pacific Philosophical Quarterly in 1983. …
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