An exclusion problem for epiphenomenalist dualism

Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (4):247-256 (2020)
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Abstract

The chief motivation for epiphenomenalist dualism is its promise to solve dualism’s causal exclusion problem without inducing causal overdetermination or violations of the causal closure of the physical. This paper argues that epiphenomenalist dualism is itself susceptible to an exclusion problem. The problem exploits symmetries of determination and influence generated by a wide class of physical theories. Further, I argue that there is an interference effect between solving epiphenomenalist dualism's exclusion problem and using epiphenomenalist dualism as a solution to the causal exclusion problem. What emerges is an overlooked, empirically-motivated challenge to epiphenomenalist dualism.

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Bradford Saad
University of Oxford

Citations of this work

Harmony in a panpsychist world.Bradford Saad - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1-24.

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Epiphenomenal qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):127-136.
Causation.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
Mental causation.Stephen Yablo - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (2):245-280.
Physicalism, or Something near Enough.Jaegwon Kim - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (223):306-310.
What price spacetime substantivalism? The hole story.John Earman & John Norton - 1987 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (4):515-525.

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