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Bradford Saad
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
  1. A Causal Argument for Dualism.Bradford Saad - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2475-2506.
    Dualism holds that some mental events are fundamental and non-physical. I develop a prima facie plausible causal argument for dualism. The argument has several significant implications. First, it constitutes a new way of arguing for dualism. Second, it provides dualists with a parity response to causal arguments for physicalism. Third, it transforms the dialectical role of epiphenomenalism. Fourth, it refutes the view that causal considerations prima facie support physicalism but not dualism. After developing the causal argument for dualism and drawing (...)
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  2. How to Befriend Zombies: A Guide for Physicalists.Bradford Saad - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (9):2353-2375.
    Though not myself a physicalist, I develop a new argument against antiphysicalist positions that are motivated by zombie arguments. I first identify four general features of phenomenal states that are candidates for non-physical types; these are used to generate different types of zombie. I distinguish two antiphysicalist positions: strict dualism, which posits exactly one general non-physical type, and pluralism, which posits more than one such type. It turns out that zombie arguments threaten strict dualism and some pluralist positions as much (...)
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  3.  41
    Indeterministic Causation and Two Patches for the Pairing Argument.Bradford Saad - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):664-682.
    The pairing argument aims to demonstrate the impossibility of non-spatial objects (including minds) standing in causal relations. Its chief premises are (roughly) that causation requires pairing relations between causes and effects and that pairing relations require spatial relations. Critics have argued that the first claim suffers from counterexamples involving indeterministic causation. After briefly rehearsing the pairing argument and the objection from indeterministic causation, I offer two ways of revising the pairing argument to meet the objection from indeterministic causation.
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  4.  31
    A Teleological Strategy for Solving the Meta-Problem of Consciousness.Bradford Saad - 2019 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 26 (9-10):205-216.
    Following Chalmers, I take the most promising response to the meta-problem to be a realizationist one on which (roughly) consciousness plays a role in realizing the processes that explain why we think that there is a hard problem of consciousness. I favour an interactionist dualist version of realizationism on which experiences are non-physical states that non-redundantly cause problem judgments. This view is subject to the challenges of specifying laws that would enable experiences to cause problem judgments and of explaining why (...)
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  5.  65
    Interactionism, Haecceities, and the Pairing Argument.Bradford Saad - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (7):724-741.
    Interactionists hold that non-spatial objects causally interact with physical objects. Interactionists have traditionally grappled with the puzzle of how such interaction is possible. More recently, Jaegwon Kim has presented interactionists with a more daunting threat: the pairing argument, which purports to refute interactionism by showing that non-spatial objects cannot stand in causal relations. After reviewing that argument, I develop a challenge to it on behalf of the interactionist. The challenge poses a dilemma: roughly, either haecceities exist or they do not. (...)
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  6.  46
    Should Reductive Physicalists Reject the Causal Argument?Bradford Saad - 2017 - Dialectica 71 (2):263-279.
    Reductive physicalists typically accept the causal argument for their view. On this score, Tiehen parts ways with his fellow reductive physicalists. Heretically, he argues that reductive physicalists should reject the causal argument. After presenting Tiehen's challenge, I defend the orthodoxy. Although not myself a reductive physicalist, I show how reductive physicalists can resist this challenge to the causal argument. I conclude with a positive suggestion about how reductive physicalists should use the causal argument.
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  7.  25
    Permissiveness in Morality and Epistemology.Han Li & Bradford Saad - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Morality is intrapersonally permissive: cases abound in which an agent has more than one morally permitted option. In contrast, there is a dearth of cases in which an agent has more than one epistemically permitted response to her evidence. Given the structural parallels between morality and epistemology, why do sources of moral permissiveness fail to have parallel permissive effects in the epistemic domain? This asymmetry between morality and epistemology cries out for explanation. The paper's task is to offer an answer (...)
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    An Exclusion Problem for Epiphenomenalist Dualism.Bradford Saad - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (4):247-256.
    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 (...)
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  9.  22
    Spatial Experience, Spatial Reality, and Two Paths to Primitivism.Bradford Saad - forthcoming - Synthese:1-23.
    I explore two views about the relationship between spatial experience and spatial reality: spatial functionalism and spatial presentationalism. Roughly, spatial functionalism claims that the instantiated spatial properties are those playing a certain causal role in producing spatial experience while spatial presentationalism claims that the instantiated spatial properties include those presented in spatial experience. I argue that each view, in its own way, leads to an ontologically inflationary form of primitivism: whereas spatial functionalism leads to primitivism about phenomenal representation, spatial presentationalism (...)
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  10.  49
    Two Solutions to the Neural Discernment Problem.Bradford Saad - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):2837-2850.
    Interactionists hold that minds are non-physical objects that interact with brains. The neural discernment problem for interactionism is that of explaining how non-physical minds produce behavior and cognition by exercising different causal powers over physiologically similar neurons. This paper sharpens the neural discernment problem and proposes two interactionist models of mind-brain interaction that solve it. One model avoids overdetermination while the other respects the causal closure of the physical domain.
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