Caribbean Journal of Philosophy, Vol 11, No 1 (2019)

Neurofunctionalism, Neuroessentialism and the Explanatory Gap Argument

Gbenga Fasiku


Mental states made the task of explaining the nature of the mind really difficult. The claim that they are ontologically separable from the brain states, which consists of neural entities, properties, interactions and processes in some particular regions of the brain, strengthens the dualist position that the physicalist denies. This paper examines the plausibility of neurofunctionalism and neuroessentialism as physicalist explanatory hypotheses to bridge the explanatory gap between mental states and brain states. If these hypotheses are sufficiently advanced, physicalism is further strengthened and threatens dualism. To achieve this, the first part of the paper restates the explanatory gap argument. The second develops neurofuctionalism and neuroessentialism as physicalist explanatory hypotheses. On the account of these hypotheses, the third part argues that the gap between mental state and brain state could be bridged. The conclusion reaffirms the plausibility of the physicalist hypotheses.

Full Text: PDF