Synthese 195 (4):1779-1798 (2018)

Authors
Ben White
Colby College
Abstract
A popular response to the Exclusion Argument for physicalism maintains that mental events depend on their physical bases in such a way that the causation of a physical effect by a mental event and its physical base needn’t generate any problematic form of causal overdetermination, even if mental events are numerically distinct from and irreducible to their physical bases. This paper presents and defends a form of dualism that implements this response by using a dispositional essentialist view of properties to argue that the psychophysical laws linking mental events to their physical bases are metaphysically necessary. I show the advantages of such a position over an alternative form of dualism that merely places more “modal weight” on psychophysical laws than on physical laws. The position is then defended against the objection that it is inconsistent with dualism. Lastly, some suggestions are made as to how dualists might clarify the contribution that mental causes make to their physical effects.
Keywords Exclusion Argument  mental causation  dualism  dispositional essentialism
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-016-1308-5
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References found in this work BETA

Nature’s Metaphysics.Alexander Bird - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Objects and Persons.Trenton Merricks - 2001 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1981 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.

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Citations of this work BETA

Two Solutions to the Neural Discernment Problem.Bradford Saad - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):2837-2850.
The Realization of Qualia, Persons, and Artifacts.Ben White - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (S1):182-204.

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