Erkenntnis:1-20 (forthcoming)

Torin Alter
University of Alabama
Derk Pereboom
Cornell University
It is often claimed that Russellian monism carries a commitment to a structuralist conception of physics, on which physics describes the world only in terms of its spatiotemporal structure and dynamics. We argue that this claim is mistaken. On Russellian monism, there is more to consciousness, and to the rest of concrete reality, than spatiotemporal structure and dynamics. But the latter claim supports only a conditional claim about physics: if structuralism about physics is true, then there is more to consciousness and to the rest of concrete reality than physics describes. Given the fundamental nature of their position, Russellian monists can, we argue, deny the antecedent without inconsistency. We also draw out two significant consequences of that result. One is that it provides a response to some recent objections to Russellian monism, by Alyssa Ney and Eric Hiddleston. The other consequence concerns a line of reasoning known as the structure and dynamics argument—reasoning that is thought to motivate Russellian monism. In David J. Chalmers’s version, which is regarded as canonical, structuralism about physics is implied by a premise. If our main thesis is true, then that version is problematic, at least from the perspective of Russellian monists who take the argument to motivate their theory. However, we argue, the argument can be reformulated without relying on structuralism about physics.
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-021-00408-7
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References found in this work BETA

Consciousness and Fundamental Reality.Philip Goff - 2017 - New York, USA: Oup Usa.
The Character of Consciousness.David John Chalmers - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
Does Conceivability Entail Possibility.David Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.
Thinking About Consciousness.David Papineau - 2002 - Oxford University Press UK.

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