The Mind-Body Problem and Metaphysics : An Argument from Consciousness to Mental Substance PDF
Part of the Routledge Studies in Contemporary Philosophy series
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This book evaluates the widespread preference in philosophy of mind for varieties of property dualism over other alternatives to physicalism. It takes the standard motivations for property dualism as a starting point and argues that these lead directly to nonphysical substances resembling the soul of traditional metaphysics.
In the first half of the book, the author clarifies what is at issue in the choice between theories that posit nonphysical properties only and those that posit nonphysical substances. The crucial question, he argues, is whether one posits nonphysical things that satisfy an Aristotelian-Cartesian independence definition of substance: nonphysical things that could exist in the absence of anything else. In the second half, the author argues that standard and Russellian monist forms of property dualism are far less plausible than we usually suppose. Most significantly, the presuppositions of one of the leading arguments for property dualism, the conceivability argument, lead by parity of reasoning to the view that conscious subjects are nonphysical substances. He concludes that if you posit nonphysical properties in response to the mind-body problem, then you should be prepared to posit nonphysical substances as well. Mainstream philosophy of mind must take nonphysical substances far more seriously than it has done for the best part of a century.
The Mind-Body Problem and Metaphysics will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working in philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and the history of philosophy.
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