Neo-Thomistic Hylomorphism Applied to Mental Causation & Neural Correlates of Consciousness

Dissertation, University of Birmingham (2018)
Matthew Owen
Gonzaga University
The aim of this work is to defend substance dualism by defeating two of its paramount potential defeaters. I will argue that a substance dualist position, neo-Thomistic hylomorphism, provides a solution to the causal pairing problem and a good explanation of neural correlates of consciousness. After an introductory first chapter, I'll explicate dualism's dominant potential defeaters in the next three chapters. Chapter 2 will clarify what neural correlates of consciousness are and the objection to dualism based on neural correlates. The following two chapters will distinguish and elucidate dualism's principal problem regarding mental causation, which I'll argue is the causal pairing problem. The fifth chapter will introduce and explain neo-Thomistic hylomorphism. Chapter 6 will apply neo-Thomistic hylomorphism to the causal pairing problem, providing a solution that appeals to a fundamental tenet of neo-Thomistic hylomorphism. In Chapter 7 I'll apply the view and an Aristotelian powers ontology to construct a model of neural correlates of consciousness that's intended to explain such correlations. The final chapter will offer a conclusion and briefly discuss relevant future research.
Keywords hylomorphism  mental causation  neural correlates of consciousness  causal pairing  consciousness  dualism  physical causal closure  Thomas Aquinas  Aristotle
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