Building thoughts from dust: a Cantorian puzzle

Synthese 192 (2):393-404 (2015)

Joshua Rasmussen
Azusa Pacific University
I bring to light a set-theoretic reason to think that there are more mental properties than shapes, sizes, masses, and other characteristically “physical” properties. I make use of a couple counting principles. One principle, backed by a Cantorian-style argument, is that pluralities outnumber particulars: that is, there is a distinct plurality of particulars for each particular, but not vice versa. The other is a principle by which we may coherently identify distinct mental properties in terms of arbitrary pluralities of physical properties. I motivate these principles and explain how they together imply that there are more mental properties than physical properties. I then argue that certain parody arguments fail for various instructive reasons. The purpose of my argument is to identify an unforeseen “counting” cost of a certain reductive materialist view of the mind
Keywords Type-identity theory  Reductive physicalism  Counting argument  Cantor’s theorem
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-014-0575-2
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References found in this work BETA

Mind: A Brief Introduction.John R. Searle - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
Art, Mind and Religion.Hilary Putnam, W. H. Captain & D. D. Merrill - 1967 - In William H. Capitan & Daniel Davy Merrill (eds.), Art, Mind, and Religion. University of Pittsburgh Press.
Against Materialism.Alvin Plantinga - 2006 - Faith and Philosophy 23 (1):3-32.

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