, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 5–19

What Exactly is the Explanatory Gap?


DOI: 10.1007/s11406-010-9273-6

Cite this article as:
Papineau, D. Philosophia (2011) 39: 5. doi:10.1007/s11406-010-9273-6


It is widely agreed among contemporary philosophers of mind that science leaves us with an ‘explanatory gap’—that even after we know everything that science can tell us about the conscious mind and the brain, their relationship still remains mysterious. I argue that this agreed view is quite mistaken. The feeling of a ‘explanatory gap’ arises only because we cannot stop ourselves thinking about the mind–brain relation in a dualist way.


Explanatory gapDualist intuitionPhenomenal conceptsReductive explanatoryMind-brain identity

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyKing’s College LondonLondonUK