Is Nagel Davidsonible?

Cristina Borgoni


Nagel (in “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?”, 1991) argues that while inner experiences
of organisms are always from their particular points of view, physical explanations
are beyond whatever standpoint. Departing from these assumptions Nagel concludes that
physical descriptions are always objective and, therefore, will never grasp the
subjective character of inner experiences. Or, in other words, physical explanations
will always leave out phenomenological factors. The legitimacy of this Nagelian view
depends on the rejection of two Davidsonian convictions. The first is the monism or
the idea that all that exists can be explained by physical laws. The second is the
idea that we cannot separate out empirical facts on the one side and conceptual
schemes on the other. The central aim of this paper is to investigate the possibility
of maintaining a phenomenology even after the Davidsonian criticisms.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; conscious experience; non-conceptual content; mind vs body; irreducibility of the mental; agency

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