Do a Posteriori Physicalists Get Our Phenomenal Concepts Wrong?



A posteriori physicalism is the combination of two appealing views: physicalism (i.e. the view that all facts are either physical or entailed by the physical), and conceptual dualism (i.e. the view that phenomenal truths are not entailed a priori by physical truths). Recently, some philosophers such as Goff (2011), Levine (2007) and Nida-Rümelin (2007), among others, have suggested that a posteriori physicalism cannot explain how phenomenal concepts can reveal the nature of phenomenal properties. In this paper, I wish to defend a posteriori physicalism from this new and interesting challenge, by arguing that a posteriori physicalists have the resources to explain how phenomenal concepts can reveal at least something of what it would take for the corresponding phenomenal property to be instantiated.