Difficulty 3 - Difficulty 3: An Unjustifiably Strong...

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Difficulty 3: An Unjustifiably Strong Hypothesis The fundamental objection to the inference to the best explanation approach, if it is employed to support the claim that there are private states of consciousness that are not one's own, is that the hypothesis one is using to explain the behavior of other organisms is unnecessarily strong. There are more modest hypotheses that have the same explanatory power with respect to the behavior of organisms. Perhaps the simplest way of bringing this out is by comparing dualism and emergent materialism. Both positions contend that states of consciousness involve the having of emergent properties. They disagree about whether the emergent properties are physical. The question then is this. If what one is interested in is explaining the behavior of organisms, what difference does it make whether one postulates physical properties or nonphysical properties? All that matters is the causal interrelations among the postulated properties, and their causal relations to behavior. The upshot is that the claim that the properties are nonphysical properties has no explanatory power. The theory in question will explain behavior just as well when it is stripped of the
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course PHI PHI2010 taught by Professor Jorgerigol during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.

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Difficulty 3 - Difficulty 3: An Unjustifiably Strong...

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