About this topic
Summary Anomalous Monism is a philosophical theory about the mind-body relationship, developed by Donald Davidson. The theory has two components. One is the claim that the domain of mental events is anomalous, meaning that mentalistic descriptions of events, unlike physicalistic ones, are not subsumable under strict, exceptionless laws. The other claim is that, nevertheless, mental events are identical to physical events. The resulting view is a form of predicate dualism combined with event monism, therefore, at least according to Davidson, a form of nonreductive physicalism, as it rejects the viability of type-type reductions, but asserts a monistic (physical) ontology. Davidson's argument for the view is that it resolves the apparent incompatibility of three plausible seeming claim: (1) the fact that there are both mental-to-physical causal relations and physical-to-mental ones, (2) the anomalousness of the mental, and (3) the nomological character of causality (i.e. that causal relations involve strict laws). Under mentalistic descriptions, mental events are anomalous, but under physicalistic ones, they are not; hence propositions (1) to (3) are no really incompatible, if Anomalous Monism is adopted. The main criticism levelled against the view is that it is not really physicalistic, in that it is in fact a form of aspect- or property-dualism. Another popular criticism asserts that Davidson's view actually renders mental events causally impotent, as causation is a relation among properties or aspects of events rather among events understood as primitive particulars.
Key works The theory is first formulated in Davidson 1970, reprinted in his Davidson 1980. Kim has dedicated several works to criticising the view along the lines explained above, for example in Kim 1989, Kim 1993, and Kim 1993. Davidson offers an answer to these worries in Davidson 1992. The literature on Anomalous Monism is considerable; collections of key papers are Lepore & McLaughlin 1985 and Heil & Mele 1993.
Introductions Gl¨uer 2011, Lepore & Ludwig 2013
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  1. added 2019-02-05
    Projecting the Trees but Ignoring the Forest: A Brief Critique of Alfredo Pereira Jr.'s Target Essay.Gregory Michael Nixon - 2018 - Trans/Form/Ação 41 (SPE):269-292.
    Pereira’s “The Projective Theory of Consciousness” is an experimental statement, drawing on many diverse sources, exploring how consciousness might be produced by a projective mechanism that results both in private selves and an experienced world. Unfortunately, pulling together so many unrelated sources and methods means none gets full attention. Furthermore, it seems to me that the uncomfortable breadth of this paper unnecessarily complicates his project; in fact it may hide what it seeks to reveal. If this conglomeration of diverse sources (...)
  2. added 2018-10-05
    Daydreams and Anarchy: A Defense of Anomalous Mental Causation.Nick Zangwill - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (2):253-289.
    Must mental properties figure in psychological causal laws if they are causally efficacious? And do those psychological causal laws give the essence of mental properties? Contrary to the prevailing consensus, I argue that, on the usual conception of laws that is in play in these debates, there are in fact lawless causally efficacious properties both in and out of the philosophy of mind. I argue that this makes a great difference to the philosophical relevance of empirical psychology. I begin by (...)
  3. added 2018-06-29
    Davidson, Skepticism and the Pragmatics of Justification.Henry Jackman - manuscript
    This paper is concerned with Davidson's argument that very general properties of the theory of interpretation make the skeptical claim that most of our beliefs could turn out to be false insupportable. Conceived as a 'straight' answer to the skeptic Davidson's argument is not especially convincing. In particular, Davidson's answer to the skeptic presupposes a framework that allows for a new and seemingly more radical skepticism according to which we might not even have beliefs at all. Nevertheless, there is a (...)
  4. added 2018-03-15
    Daniel Dennett. Reconciling Science and Our Self-Conception. By Matthew. [REVIEW]David Bain - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 55 (219):369-371.
    Over 35 years, Daniel Dennett has articulated a rich and expansive philosophical outlook. There have been elaborations, refinements, and changes of mind, exposi- tory and substantive. This makes him hard to pin down. Does he, for example, think intentional states are real? In places, he sounds distinctly instrumentalist; elsewhere, he avows realism, ‘sort of’. What is needed is a map, charting developments and tracing dialectical threads through his extensive writings and the different regions of his thought. This is what Matthew (...)
  5. added 2018-03-13
    Monismo anômalo: uma reconstrução e revisão da literatura.Marcelo Fischborn - 2014 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 18 (1):53-66.
    Este artigo reconstrói os argumentos de Donald Davidson (1970) em favor de sua teoria do monismo anômalo e revisa as principais críticas que recebeu. Essa teoria é amplamente rejeitada atualmente e, dadas as inúmeras críticas recebidas, é razoável concluir que qualquer tentativa de reabilitação tem um longo caminho pela frente. A diversidade dessas críticas sugere que não há consenso sobre por que exatamente o monismo anômalo fracassa, embora as dificuldades pareçam convergir sobre a justificação e possibilidade da tese monista, e (...)
  6. added 2018-02-18
    Actions and Events: Perspectives on the Philosophy of Donald Davidson.Ernest Lepore & Brian P. McLaughlin (eds.) - 1985 - Blackwell.
  7. added 2018-02-17
    Davidson and Kim on Psychophysical Laws.Noa Latham - 1999 - Synthese 118 (2):121-143.
    Nearly 30 years have passed since Donald Davidson first presented his ar- gument against the possibility of psychophysical laws in “Mental Events”. The argument applies to intentional rather than phenomenal properties, so whenever I refer to mental properties and to psychophysical laws it should be understood that I mean intentional properties and laws relating them to physical properties. No consensus has emerged over what the argument actually is, and the subsequent versions of it presented by Davidson show significant differences. But (...)
  8. added 2018-02-17
    Rationality and the Argument for Anomalous Monism.Steven Yalowitz - 1997 - Philosophical Studies 87 (3):235-258.
  9. added 2017-05-17
    Anomalous Dualism: A New Approach to the Mind-Body Problem.David Bourget - 2019 - In William Seager (ed.), The Handbook of Panpsychism. Routledge.
    We can classify theories of consciousness along two dimensions. First, a theory might be physicalist or dualist. Second, a theory might endorse any of these three views regarding causal relations between phenomenal properties (properties that characterize states of our consciousness) and physical properties: nomism (the two kinds of property interact through deterministic laws), acausalism (they do not causally interact), and anomalism (they interact but not through deterministic laws). In this paper, I explore anomalous dualism, a combination of views that has (...)
  10. added 2017-02-15
    Psychophysical Method Exercises. [REVIEW]Anton Kootte - 1984 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 5 (3).
  11. added 2017-02-14
    Finding a Better K: A Psychophysical Investigation of Clustering.Joshua M. Lewis - 2009 - In N. A. Taatgen & H. van Rijn (eds.), Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. pp. 315--320.
  12. added 2017-02-14
    Psychophysical Evidence.Raul Kompass - 2004 - In Christian Kaernbach, Erich Schroger & Hermann Müller (eds.), Psychophysics Beyond Sensation: Laws and Invariants of Human Cognition. Psychology Press. pp. 451.
  13. added 2017-02-14
    Psychophysical Scaling.Lawrence E. Marks & George A. Gescheider - 2002 - In J. Wixted & H. Pashler (eds.), Stevens' Handbook of Experimental Psychology. Wiley.
  14. added 2017-02-13
    Productive Disorientations: The Anomalous Volume 7 of Tristram Shandy.Dawn Morgan - 2011 - Lumen: Selected Proceedings From the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies 30:61.
  15. added 2017-02-13
    Psychophysical Scaling of the Prism Diopter Unit.Joseph N. Trachtman & Robert F. Dippner - 1975 - Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 6 (2):140-142.
  16. added 2017-02-13
    Psychophysical Scaling.R. Duncan Luce & Eugene Galanter - 1963 - In D. Luce (ed.), Handbook of Mathematical Psychology. John Wiley & Sons.. pp. 1--245.
  17. added 2017-02-11
    Effects of Matrix Elements on Steropsis and Anomalous Contour.R. B. Lawson & R. J. Pandina - 1969 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 81 (2):322.
  18. added 2017-02-11
    A Psychophysical Study of Hunger in the Rat.Robert C. Bolles - 1962 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 63 (4):387.
  19. added 2017-02-11
    Judgment Times of Different Psychophysical Categories.S. W. Fernberger, E. Glass, I. Hoffman & M. Willig - 1934 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 17 (2):286.
  20. added 2017-02-08
    Psychophysical Laws and Theories of Mind.Jaegwon Kim - 1967 - Theoria 33 (3):198-210.
  21. added 2017-02-07
    Token Monism, Event Dualism and Overdetermination.Hagit Benbaji - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (1):pp. 63-81.
  22. added 2017-01-31
    Different Approaches for the Detection of SSH Anomalous Connections.S. González, Á Herrero, J. Sedano, Urko Zurutuza & E. Corchado - 2016 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 24 (1).
  23. added 2017-01-31
    Anomalous Mechanical Characteristics of Au/Cu Nanocomposite Processed by Cu Electroplating.Masataka Hakamada, Motohiro Yuasa & Mamoru Mabuchi - 2015 - Philosophical Magazine 95 (14):1499-1510.
  24. added 2017-01-31
    Does There Exist an Anomalous Sound Dispersion in Supercooled Water?A. Taschin, R. Cucini, P. Bartolini & R. Torre - 2011 - Philosophical Magazine 91 (13-15):1796-1800.
  25. added 2017-01-29
    Anomalous Monism and the Autonomy of Psychology.Jeffrey Philip Spike - 1987 - Dissertation, The Johns Hopkins University
    My goal is to clarify the relation of propositional attitudes to the physical state of a person. I argue for a version of property dualism and event dualism which does justice to the autonomy of psychology, that is, the intuition that psychological descriptions of people provide true and irreplacable explanations of behavior. My approach to the topic is through Donald Davidson's anomalous monism, which I analyze into three components. Davidson's argument for the anomaly of the mental is often considered fragmentary (...)
  26. added 2017-01-28
    Anomalous Monism and the Causal Efficacy of the Mental.Amy Scammell - 1993 - Dissertation, Brown University
    Donald Davidson's theory of the relationship between the mental and physical, anomalous monism, , has recently come under attack by a number of philosophers who have argued that the theory fails to allow adequate causal power to the mental. The mental, they say, has causal power only in virtue of its relationship to the physical; true causal power remains only with the physical properties of things on AM. I argue, contrary to these critics, that AM does allow adequate causal power (...)
  27. added 2017-01-26
    The Epiphenomenalism Charge as an External Objection to Anomalous Monism.Katarzyna Paprzycka - 2011 - Filozofia Nauki 19 (2):135.
  28. added 2017-01-25
    Explanation in Psychology: Functional Support for Anomalous Monism.Jim Edwards - 1990 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 27:45-64.
  29. added 2017-01-24
    Supervenience and Anomalous Monism.J. Brakel - 1999 - Dialectica 53 (1):3-24.
    SummaryIn this paper I argue that the intuitions which made Davidson and Hare use the word “supervenience,” were not the same as those which underlie current supervenience discussions. There are crucial differences between, on the one hand, the concerns of Davidson and Hare, as I interpret them, and “received” theories of supervenience on the other. I suggest the use of the term by Davidson and Hare lends support to turning the concept upside down by giving priority to the Manifest Image (...)
  30. added 2017-01-23
    On the Distinction Between Law Schemata and Causal Laws.Jens Harbecke - 2013 - Acta Analytica 28 (4):423-434.
    The paper argues against the widely accepted assumption that the causal laws of (completed) physics, in contrast to those of the special sciences, are essentially strict. This claim played an important role already in debates about the anomalousness of the mental, and it currently experiences a renaissance in various discussions about mental causation, projectability of special science laws, and the nature of physical laws. By illustrating the distinction with some paradigmatic physical laws, the paper demonstrates that only law schemata are (...)
  31. added 2017-01-22
    Evaluation of Program on Anomalous Mental Phenomena.Ray Hyman - unknown
    Professor Jessica Utts and I were given the task of evaluating the program on "Anomalous Mental Phenomena" carried out at SRI International (formerly the Stanford Research Institute) from 1973 through 1989 and continued at SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation) from 1992 through 1994. We were asked to evaluate this research in terms of its scientific value. We were also asked to comment on its potential utility for intelligence applications.
  32. added 2017-01-22
    A Phenomenological Reading of Anomalous Monism.Andrea Zhok - 2011 - Husserl Studies 27 (3):227-256.
    The essay discusses Donald Davidson’s concept of anomalous monism in the framework of Husserlian phenomenology. It develops in four stages. Section 1 is devoted to a critical presentation of the argument for anomalous monism. Section 2 succinctly examines those Husserlian notions that best provide the ground for a discussion parallel to Davidson’s. In Sect. 3, the aporetic status of “mental causation” is analyzed by providing a genetic-phenomenological account of efficient causation. Section 4 draws some general conclusions concerning the kind of (...)
  33. added 2017-01-22
    Anomalous Monism: Oscillating Between Dogmas.M. De Pinedo - 2006 - Synthese 148 (1):79 - 97.
    Davidson's anomalous monism, his argument for the identity between mental and physical event tokens, has been frequently attacked, usually demanding a higher degree of physicalist commitment. My objection runs in the opposite direction: the identities inferred by Davidson from mental causation, the nomological character of causality and the anomaly of the mental are philosophically problematic and, more dramatically, incompatible with his famous argument against the third dogma of empiricism, the separation of content from conceptual scheme. Given the anomaly of the (...)
  34. added 2017-01-22
    Psychical Monism.Edmund Montgomery - 1891 - The Monist 2 (3):338-356.
  35. added 2017-01-21
    Summary of the Argument for Mental Monism.Peter B. Lloyd - unknown
    1.1 All mental terms are defined by private ostensive definition. 1.1.1 For example, the word "red" used to denote the conscious colour experience of red, as opposed to red light or red paint, is defined by attending to a red sensation and designating it "red".
  36. added 2017-01-21
    The Philosophical Significance of Triangulation: Locating Davidson's Non-Reductive Naturalism.Robert Sinclair - 2005 - Metaphilosophy 36 (5):708-728.
  37. added 2017-01-19
    Stereokinetic Anomalous Contours: Demonstrations. [REVIEW]Mario Zanforlin - 2003 - Axiomathes 13 (3-4):389-398.
    Collinearity or correspondence between the contours of the inducing figure to allow `contour continuation' or `figure completion' were, according to G. Kanizsa, the necessary conditions for producing anomalous surfaces or contours. Since Kanizsa's early work various hypotheses have been advanced to explain the phenomenon, but very few examples of anomalous contours that do not satisfy the above conditions have been reported. When two small white discs (1 cm in diameter) are set on a larger black disc in slow rotation, the (...)
  38. added 2017-01-19
    Normativité Et Irréductibilité du Mental.Martin Montminy - 2002 - Dialectica 56 (4):315–333.
    Donald Davidson holds that intentional concepts are not reducible to physical or dispositional ones. This is due, he claims, to the constitutive role of normativity in the principles that govern the application of intentional concepts. According to Davidson, the specific way in which norms of rationality and coherence are mobilised by our interpretative principles sets mental concepts off from those of the natural sciences. I agree with Davidson on the irreducibility of the mental. However, I show that irreducibility is due (...)
  39. added 2017-01-19
    Davidson and Social Scientific Laws.Lee McIntyre - 1999 - Synthese 120 (3):375-394.
    This article critically examines Donald Davidson's argument against social scientific laws. Set within the context of his larger thesis of anomalous monism, this piece identifies three main flaws in Davidson's alleged refutation of the possibility of psychological laws, and suggests a collateral flaw within his account of anomalous monism as well.
  40. added 2017-01-19
    The Anomalous Nature of Literature.Richard Shusterman - 1978 - British Journal of Aesthetics 18 (4):317-329.
  41. added 2017-01-18
    Idealism and the Philosophy of Mind.Giuseppina D'Oro - 2005 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 48 (5):395-412.
    This paper defends an idealist form of non-reductivism in the philosophy of mind. I refer to it as a kind of conceptual dualism without substance dualism. I contrast this idealist alternative with the two most widespread forms of non-reductivism: multiple realisability functionalism and anomalous monism. I argue first, that functionalism fails to challenge seriously the claim for methodological unity since it is quite comfortable with the idea that it is possible to articulate a descriptive theory of the mind. Second, that (...)
  42. added 2017-01-17
    Belief, Rationality, and Psychophysical Laws.Henry Jackman - 2000 - The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 9:47-54.
    Davidson has argued that the connection between belief and the “constitutive ideal of rationality” precludes the possibility of their being any type-type identities between mental and physical events. However, there are radically different ways to understand both the nature and the content of this “constitutive ideal,” and the plausibility of Davidson’s argument depends on blurring the distinction between two of these ways. Indeed, it will be argued here that no consistent understandingthe constitutive ideal will allow it to play the dialectical (...)
  43. added 2017-01-16
    Quantitative Understanding of Anomalous Slip in Mo.J. B. Yang, Z. J. Zhang & Z. F. Zhang - 2015 - Philosophical Magazine 95 (19):2026-2045.
  44. added 2017-01-16
    Dielectric Anomalous Response of Water at 60 °C.Juan C. del Valle, Enrique Camarillo, Laura Martinez Maestro, Julio A. Gonzalo, Carmen Aragó, Manuel Marqués, Daniel Jaque, Ginés Lifante, José García Solé, Karla Santacruz-Gómez, Roberto C. Carrillo-Torres & Francisco Jaque - 2015 - Philosophical Magazine 95 (7):683-690.
  45. added 2017-01-16
    What is the Pairing Glue in the Cuprates? Insights From Normal and Anomalous Propagators.T. Bzdušek & R. Hlubina - 2015 - Philosophical Magazine 95 (5-6):609-621.
  46. added 2017-01-16
    Nucleation Behaviour and Anomalous Eutectic Formation in Highly Undercooled Fe2O3-La2O3eutectic Melts.Mingjun Li, Kosuke Nagashio & Kazuhiko Kuribayashi - 2003 - Philosophical Magazine 83 (9):1095-1109.
  47. added 2017-01-16
    What's Wrong with Anomalous Monism?Norman Melchert - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 83 (5):265.
  48. added 2017-01-16
    Anomalous Slip in Mo-5 At.% Nb and Mo-5 At.% Re Alloy Single Crystals.P. J. Jeffcoat, B. L. Mordike & K. D. Rogausch - 1976 - Philosophical Magazine 34 (4):583-592.
  49. added 2017-01-16
    HVEMin-Situobservation of Anomalous Slip in Molybdenum.H. Saka, K. Noda, T. Imura, H. Matsui & H. Kimura - 1976 - Philosophical Magazine 34 (1):33-48.
  50. added 2017-01-16
    Anomalous Slip in High-Purity Vanadium Crystals.G. Taylor, R. Bajaj & O. N. Carlson - 1973 - Philosophical Magazine 28 (5):1035-1042.
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