Davidson's identity crisis

Dialectica 52 (1):45-61 (1998)
Professor Davidson's anomalous monism has been subject to the criticism that, despite advertisements to the contrary, if it were true mental properties would be epiphenomenal. To this Davidson has replied that his critics have misunderstood his views concerning the extensional nature of causal relations and the intensional character of causal explanations. I call this his 'extension reply'. This paper argues that there are two ways to read Davidson's 'extension reply'; one weaker and one stronger. But the dilemma is that: (i) the weak extension reply on its own isn't sufficient to support the principle of the nomological character of causality, (ii) anything strong enough to support that principle under the weak extension reply would be strong enough to warrant the strong extension reply; but (iii) the strong extension reply threatens the very stability of anomalous monism by threatening the causal potency and reality of the mental. For these reasons, I claim that either version of the 'extension reply' is bad news for anomalous monism. I conclude by suggesting that a form of absolute idealism circumvents the very assumptions that generate these kinds of difficulty for committed monists
Keywords Identity  Metaphysics  Monism  Physics  Science  Davidson, D
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    5 ( #178,805 of 1,089,047 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,722 of 1,089,047 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.