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Purple Haze: The Puzzle of Consciousness (Philosophy of Mind) Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0195173086 ISBN-10: 0195173082

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Product Details

  • Series: Philosophy of Mind
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (January 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195173082
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195173086
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,876,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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"...a very rich work. It contains, as preliminaries, a nice contribution to the irritatingly nontrivial problem of characterizing materialism, a useful discussion of mental causation, and a critique of David Chalmers' well-known conceivability argument for mind-body dualism." -- Inquiry


"Purple Haze is a thought provoking, well-written and honest book. ...I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in the problem of consciousness."--Metapsychology Online Review


"The American philosopher Joseph Levine explores the 'explanatory gap' between physical sciences and consciousness: conscious phenomena cannot be explained in terms of material phenomena. Levine surveys a number of modern theories of consciousness and finds them inconclusive. In Levine's opinion, that gap will not be filled any time soon." -- Piero Scaruffi, Thymos.com


About the Author


Joseph Levine is Professor of Philosophy at The Ohio State University.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Joseph Levine is Professor of Philosophy at the Ohio State University. He wrote in the Introduction to this 2001 book, "Why is there a mind-body problem? This book is an attempt to answer that question. It is not my intention to present a solution to the problem. On the contrary, I hope to demonstrate that there really is a problem here, and that we are far short of the conceptual resources required for its solution... I will briefly, and without much argument, present my case... [then] I will try to convince you of its merit." (Pg. 3)

He states, "What I want to argue in this book is that the mind-body problem, at least with respect to the issue of conscious experience, presents us, in a way, with a Kantian antinomy. We have excellent reasons for thinking that mental phenomena, including conscious experience, must be a series of physical/natural phenomena. On the other hand, we also have excellent reasons for thinking conscious experience cannot be captured in physical/natural terms. The total physical/natural story seems to leave out conscious experience... I argue that the explanatory gap is primarily an epistemological problem, not necessarily a metaphysical one." (Pg. 9-10)

He says, "I claimed... that if materialism is true we have reason to expect that any phenomenon can be explained by reference to the physical laws and principles that govern nature as a whole... it follows that we should be able to show how a description of the phenomenon to be explained can be deduced from an ideal explanatory text ... Thus, what we should expect is bottom-up necessity, both metaphysically and epistemologically." (Pg. 76)

He suggests, "I've argued that there is an explanatory gap between the physical and the mental, at least with respect to conscious experience.
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