Philosophical Papers 47 (2):299-311 (2018)

Eric Yang
Santa Clara University
A novel argument has recently been advanced against materialism—the view that human persons are identical to composite, material objects. The argument claims that pairs of people are not conscious and that the only viable explanation for why they are not is because pairs of people are not simple. The argument concludes that only a simple thing can be the subject of conscious states. In this paper, I offer an alternative explanation for why pairs of people are not conscious: pairs of people are not substances. I provide two characterizations of substantiality. The first proposal claims that substances have irreducible causal powers, and the second claims that substances cannot have other substances as proper parts. The alternative explanation based on these characterizations of substantiality shows that being conscious is compatible with materialism.
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DOI 10.1080/05568641.2018.1445551
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References found in this work BETA

Towards a Theory of Part.Kit Fine - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (11):559-589.
Modal Realism with Overlap.Kris McDaniel - 2004 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (1):137-152.
Giving Dualism its Due.William G. Lycan - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):551-563.
You Needn't Be Simple.Andrew M. Bailey - 2014 - Philosophical Papers 43 (2):145-160.
Structure-Making.Kris McDaniel - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (2):251-274.

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