Personal and sub-personal: A defence of Dennett's early distinction

Philosophical Explorations 3 (1):6-24 (2000)
Since 1969, when Dennett introduced a distinction between personal and sub-personal levels of explanation, many philosophers have used 'sub-personal' very loosely, and Dennett himself has abandoned a view of the personal level as genuinely autonomous. I recommend a position in which Dennett's original distinction is crucial, by arguing that the phenomenon called mental causation is on view only at the properly personal level. If one retains the commit-' ments incurred by Dennett's early distinction, then one has a satisfactory anti-physicalistic, anti-dualist philosophy of mind. It neither interferes with the projects of sub-personal psychology, nor encourages ; instrumentalism at the personal level
Keywords Consciousness  Epistemology  Metaphysics  Personal  Sub-personal  Dennett, D
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DOI 10.1080/13869790008520978
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John McDowell (1994). Mind and World. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

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