A Crisis of the Weimar Republic: A Study of the German by Franklin C. West

By Franklin C. West

Publication by means of West, Franklin C.

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Additional resources for A Crisis of the Weimar Republic: A Study of the German Referendum of 20 June 1926 (Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society)

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We gain knowledge, say, of the similarity and difference relations that hold among the colors. For instance, I know that red is more similar to orange than it is to blue. This relation is an intelligible relation (sec. 1): given the natures of red, orange, and blue, it is intelligible that they should be related in this way, and therefore reason can discover this relation by reflecting on their natures. Red is more similar to orange than it is to blue in virtue of the sensory natures of red, orange, and blue.

Consider the arguments for nonreductionism to be found in the contemporary literature. The premises of all these arguments cite various modal features of mental properties. They make various claims about ways it is possible for mental properties to exist or fail to exist in relation to reductive physical properties, or ways it is possible for our knowledge of mental properties to relate to our knowledge of reductive physical properties. From these premises about modal features of mental properties, we are supposed to reach a conclusion about an actual feature of mental properties—that they are actually not identical to reductive physical properties.

Observable properties can intelligibly explain phenomenal properties in virtue of their similarity. But given that observable properties and phenomenal properties are also so different from each other, it is unclear how observable properties can explain the nature of their corresponding phenomenal properties. Given that red is not a what-it-is-like property, and phenomenal red is a what-it-is-like property, how can red intelligibly explain the nature of phenomenal red? Presumably observable properties only partly explain the nature of their corresponding phenomenal properties.

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