Trope Theory on the Mental/Physical Divide

Abstract

In our everyday discourse, we distinguish without fail between minds and bodies or between the mental and the physical. Yet, in philosophy there is a tendency to get rid of this divide. Roughly, the naturalist wants to reduce or to identify the mental with the physical in order to provide a unified basis for scientific research. The idealist, in contrast, sticks to the mental as a precondition of grasping the physical. The physical then tends to turn into mere mental representations. These attempts to overcome the divide, however, are not very promising. While the first tries to assimilate the mental to the physical, the second takes the opposite approach with the result that either the mental or the physical goes by the board. Fortunately, there is a third option: the realist maintains that the mental exists along with the physical

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