Mind Stuffed with Red Herrings: Why William James’ Critique of the Mind-Stuff Theory Does not Substantiate a Combination Problem for Panpsychism [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Acta Analytica 25 (4):413-434 (2010)
There is a famous passage in chapter six of James’ Principles of Psychology whose import, many believe, deals a devastating blow to the explanatory aspirations of panpsychism. In the present paper I take a close look at James’ argument, as well as at the claim that it underlies a powerful critique of panpsychism. Apart from the fact that the argument was never aimed at panpsychism as such, I show that it rests on highly problematic assumptions which, if followed to their logical consequences, are just as inedible to contemporary critics of panpsychism as they are to its present-day supporters. Hence, a naïve employment of the argument, as a critique leveled by physicalists against panpsychism, is counterproductive and even self-defeating. After examining the metaphysical shortcomings undermining James’ position , I conclude with some reflections on what needs to be done in order to obtain a better perspective regarding the explanatory prospects of panpsychism as an alternative approach to mainstream physicalism in the study of conscious phenomena
|Keywords||Philosophy Philosophy of Mind Epistemology Metaphysics Logic Philosophy|
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References found in this work BETA
William James (1890/1981). The Principles of Psychology. Dover Publications.
Stuart A. Kauffman (2000). Investigations. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
David J. Chalmers (1995). Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3):200-19.
Francisco J. Varela (1979). Principles of Biological Autonomy. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
Stuart A. Kauffman (1995). At Home in the Universe the Search for Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
Citations of this work BETA
Sam Coleman (2012). Mental Chemistry: Combination for Panpsychists. Dialectica 66 (1):137-166.
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