Nagasawa vs. Nagel: Omnipotence, pseudo-tasks, and a recent discussion of Nagel's doubts about physicalism

Inquiry 48 (5):436 – 447 (2005)
In his recent "Thomas vs. Thomas: A New Approach to Nagel's Bat Argument", Yujin Nagasawa interprets Thomas Nagel as making a certain argument against physicalism and objects that this argument transgresses a principle, laid down by Thomas Aquinas, according to which inability to perform a pseudo-task does not count against an omnipotence claim. Taking Nagasawa's interpretation of Nagel for granted, I distinguish different kinds of omnipotence claims and different kinds of pseudo-tasks, and on that basis show that Nagasawa's criticism of Nagel is unsuccessful. I also show how his reflections do nonetheless point to a limitation of the approach he means to criticize.
Keywords Nagel's Bat Argument  Pseudo-Tasks  Omnipotence
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    References found in this work BETA
    Torin Alter (2002). Nagel on Imagination and Physicalism. Journal of Philosophical Research 27:143-58.
    Thomas Nagel (1974). What is It Like to Be a Bat? Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
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