Organon F

Volume 28, November 2021, Issue 4, Pages 802–818

ISSN 2585-7150 (online) ISSN 1335-0668 (print)

Research Article

A Novel Reading of Thomas Nagel’s “Challenge” to Physicalism

Serdal Tümkaya


In passing remarks, some commentators have noted that for Nagel, physicalism is true. It has even been argued that Nagel seeks to find the best path to follow to achieve future physicalism. I advance these observations by adding that for Nagel, we should discuss the consciousness problem not in terms of physical and mental issues but in terms of our desire to include consciousness in an objective/scientific account, and we can achieve this only by revising our self-conception, i.e., folk psychology, to develop a more detached view of experience. Through the project of objective phenomenology, Nagel aims to achieve some sort of objective, detached, and scientific explanation of the subjective nature of experience. This project seeks to make the truth of physicalism intelligible and consciousness more amenable to scientific study, potentially raising an even broader concept than the one physicalism originally proposes.


Folk psychology; Nagel; objective phenomenology; physicalism; science of consciousness.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)


Serdal Tümkaya


Middle East Technical University and Ardahan University


Ardahan University Yenisey Kampüsü, Çamlıçatak, Ardahan Department of Philosophy, 75002 Ardahan, Turkey


About this article


12 June 2020


18 November 2020

Published online

29 December 2020


Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as


Tümkaya, S. (2021). A Novel Reading of Thomas Nagel’s “Challenge” to Physicalism". Organon F28(4), 802–818.


Tümkaya, Serdal. 2021. "A Novel Reading of Thomas Nagel’s “Challenge” to Physicalism"." Organon F 28 (4): 802–818.


Tümkaya, S. (2021). A Novel Reading of Thomas Nagel’s “Challenge” to Physicalism". Organon F, 28(4), pp. 802–818.

Copyright information

© Serdal Tümkaya

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