This book is intended as a comprehensive defense of psycho-physical dualism. It gives answers to the question of what dualism may consist in, and inquires into the broadly cultural motivation behind accepting dualism or its opponent physicalism. Arguments for dualism, among them strengthened versions of the famous classical arguments, are presented and defended against objections. Moreover, the various general objections to dualism are criticized in detail, for example, the allegation that dualism is of an anti-scientific nature. The book issues into (...) developing the outlines of a dualistic theory of consciousness and agency. The theory outlined is not only compatible with science but actually connects with it. It offers a unified perspective on the phenomenon of conscious life and may serve as a basis for a general ethics regarding all conscious living beings. (shrink)
The paper provides new perspectives for a dualistic conception of mental causation by putting causation that originates in a nonphysical self into an evolutionary perspective. Nonphysical causation of this type - free agency -, together with nonphysical consciousness, is regarded as being not only compatible with physics, but also as having a natural place in nature. It is described how free agency can work, on the basis of the brain, and how it can be compatible with the result of the (...) Libet-experiment. The necessary condition for the existence of free agency is that the physical macro-world is indeterministic to a degree that is relevant for living beings, that is, for their survival and well-being. From an evolutionary point of view, and on the basis of the facts of consciousness, it is more likely than not that this condition is in fact fulfilled. (shrink)
The phenomenological approach to the philosophy of mind, as worked out by Husserl, has been severely criticized by philosophers within the Wittgensteinian tradition and, implicitly, by Wittgenstein himself. This book examines this criticism in detail, looking at the writings of Wittgenstein, Ryle, Hacker, Dennett, and others. In defending Husserl against his critics, it offers a comprehensive fresh view of phenomenology as a philosophy of mind.
In the first part, the paper describes in detail the classical conception of intentionality which was expounded in its most sophisticated form by Edmund Husserl. This conception is today largely eclipsed in the philosophy of mind by the functionalist and by the representationalist account of intentionality, the former adopted by Daniel Dennett and David Chalmers, the latter by John Searle and Fred Dretske. The very considerable differences between the classical and the modern conceptions are pointed out, and it is argued (...) that the classical conception is more satisfactory than the two modern ones, not only regarding phenomenal adequacy, but also on the grounds of epistemological considerations. In the second part, the paper argues that classical intentionality is not naturalizable, that is, physicalizable. Since classical intentionality exists (in the experiences that display it), the non-naturalizability of classical intentionality implies psychophysical dualism. (shrink)
Until quite recently, mind-body dualism has been regarded with deep suspicion by both philosophers and scientists. This has largely been due to the widespread identification of dualism in general with one particular version of it: the interactionist substance dualism of Réné Descartes. This traditional form of dualism has, ever since its first formulation in the seventeenth century, attracted numerous philosophical objections and is now almost universally rejected in scientific circles as empirically inadequate. During the last few years, however, renewed attention (...) has begun to be paid to the dualistic point of view, as a result of increasing discontent with the prevailing materialism and reductionism of contemporary scientific and philosophical thought. Awareness has grown that dualism need not be restricted to its traditional form and that other varieties of dualism are not subject to the difficulties commonly raised against Descartes' own version of it. -/- Interest in these alternative versions of dualism is growing fast today, because it seems that they are capable of capturing deep-seated philosophical intuitions, while also being fully consistent with the methodological assumptions and empirical findings of modern scientific work on the human mind and brain. The object of this book is to provide philosophers, scientists, their students, and the wider general public with an up-to-date overview of current developments in dualistic conceptions of the mind in contemporary philosophy and science. (shrink)
This chapter offers a version of Cartesian dualism that draws on the resources of a Husserlian account of intentionality. For example, it argues that 'I can locate myself at the point in space from which I am looking at the world (my 'center of perspective')'. It relies on empirical phenomenology to show that this location that does not correspond to my body or any part of it. Phantom sensations provide confirming evidence. Next, the chapter uses the example of blurred (versus (...) sharp) vision to provide evidence of qualitative properties that cannot be instantiated within the physical world. Finally, it argues that the self's endurance through calls for explanation in terms of patterns of psychophysical causation or interaction. (shrink)
Axiomatic Formal Ontology is a fairly comprehensive systematic treatise on general metaphysics. The axiomatic method is applied throughout the book. Its main theme is the construction of a general non-set-theoretical theory of intensional entities. Other important matters discussed are the metaphysics of modality, the nature of actual existence, mereology and the taxonomy of entities.
This book presents a comprehensive, non-model-theoretic theory of ontic necessity and possibility within a formal (and formalised) ontology consisting of states of affairs, properties, and individuals.
I argue (1) that it is not philosophically significant whether causation is linguistically represented by a predicate or by a sentence connective; (2) that there is no philosophically significant distinction between event- and states-of-affairs-causation; (3) that there is indeed a philosophically significant distinction between agent- and event-causation, and that event-causation must be regarded as an analog of agent-causation. Developing this point, I argue that event-causation's being in the image of agent-causation requires, mainly, (a) that the cause is temporally prior to (...) the effect, (b) that the cause necessitates (is sufficient with necessity) for the effect. Causal necessity is explained as a derivative of nomological necessity, and finally, via a definition of the causal sentence connective, the logic of event-causation is shown to be a part of temporal modal logic. (shrink)
The paper presents a new version of the "Cosmological Argument" – considered to be an ontological argument, since it exclusively uses ontological concepts and principles. It employs famous results of modern physics, and distinguishes between event-causation and agent-causation. Due to these features, the argument manages to avoid the objection of infinite regress. It remains true, however, that the conclusion of the argument is too unspecific to be unambiguously considered an argument for the existence of God.
One of the perennial questions of philosophy concerns the simple statements which say that an object is so and so or that such and such objects are so and so related: simple predicative statements. Do such statements have an ontological basis, and if so, what is that basis? The answer to this question determinesâor in any case, is expressive ofâa specific fundamental outlook on the world. In the course of the history of Western philosophy, various philosophers have given various answers (...) to the question of predication. This essay presents the main, crucial answers: the paradigms and theories of predication of the Sophists (and of all later radical relativists), of Plato, of Aristotle, of the Aristotelian-minded non-nominalists, of Leibniz, and of Frege. In addition, the essay follows (to some extent) the most influentialâthe Aristotelian or mereologicalâparadigm of predication in its continuity and modification through the many centuries of its reign. However, the essay is not content to adopt the merely historical point of view; it also poses the question of adequacy. Prior to Frege, there was no philosophically adequate theory of predication, and the essay points out the shortcomings (besides aspects that can be viewed as advantages) of each pre-Fregean predication theory considered in it. Frege, in the nineteenth century, brought the philosophy of predication on the right track, but his own theory of predication has its own deficits. The essay ends with the presentation of a theory of predication that the author himself considers adequate. (shrink)
With the emergence of modern physics a conflict became apparent between the Principle of Sufficient Cause and the Principle of Physical Causal Closure. Though these principles are not logically incompatible, they could no longer be considered to be both true; one of them had to be false. The present paper makes use of this seldom noticed conflict to argue on the basis of considerations of comparative rationality for the truth of causal statements that have at least some degree of philosophico-theological (...) relevance and can be taken to indicate ( not prove) the existence of God. The paper’s comparatively modest aim is to establish belief in the existence of God as a rational metaphysical option, not as a rational obligation. In its final section, enriched causal considerations lead to an indication ( not proof) of God as that which guarantees the unified continuance of the physical world. (shrink)
How might one tackle the subject of causation with the least amount of preformed conceptions – and arrive by a series of well-motivated conceptual decisions at a concept of causation that captures the “heart of the matter”? This essay is a sustained attempt to answer this question. On the way, causal predicates of various degrees of importance are defined and causal principles of various degrees of plausibility discussed, all of this in the service of approaching, step by step, “the heart (...) of the matter.”. (shrink)
The paper analyzes the concept of a first cause, both for event causation and for agent causation. It turns out that one is rather ready to believe in the existence of first causes that are events, but not in the existence of first causes that are agents. The paper, however, develops and defends a complex argument to the conclusion that there is a first agent-cause. one version of that argument proves -- not necessarily the existence of God -- but still (...) the existence of a godlike agent. Finally, the notion of a first agent-cause is employed for an analysis of freely willed human action. (shrink)
In fact, Godel gave an important model of pure predication, where he showed that restricted comprehension without parameters is valid, but where restricted comprehension with parameters is not (although this invalidity was not established until Cohen). This is the model based on ordinal definability in set theory.
In Plato's Parmenides we find on the one hand that the One is denied every property , and on the other hand that the One is attributed every property . In the course of the history of Platonism , these assertions - probably meant by Plato as ontological statements of an entirely formal nature - were repeatedly made the starting points of metaphysical speculations. In the Mystical Theology of the Pseudo-Dionysius they became principles of Christian mysticism and negative theology. I (...) shall show that the two assertions can each be interpreted within the ontological framework of ancient and medieval logic in such a manner that it becomes true, and I shall make plausible that they were understood, with regard to their logical core, by pagan and Christian Platonic metaphysicians just as is indicated by that interpretation. The mentioned ontological framework is basically the Boolean algebra of first-order properties. The main points of the interpretation are on the one hand the identification of the One with the maximal element of the algebra of properties, and on the other hand two alternative intuitively prominent mereological definitions of ontic predication. (shrink)
The semantical framework is fundamentally intensional: neither possible worlds nor sets as basic entities, but rather, besides individuals, propositions, properties and relations (in intension). Logical truth is defined in terms of logical form (without mentioning this notion) without employing sets of models and the concept of truth in a model. Truth itself is explicitly defined (without recursion); the truth-conditions for the logical constants of the object-language become theorems derivable from the axioms for "to intend"--the basic semantical relation.
This paper presents a set-theoretical conceptual framework for theorizing about (possible) events , and states some analytical and synthetical principles which describe the way in which the concept of reality (or actuality ) applies to them. The conceptual framework has few primitives, but is nevertheless of great definitional power; the demonstration of this will fill the first part of the paper.
Uwe Meixners Essay stellt in gedrängter Form die Hauptgedanken seines 1997 publizierten großen systematischen Entwurfes “Ereignis und Substanz” vor, der neben einer Ontologie im engeren Sinn auch eine Bewusstseinstheorie, eine philosophische Gotteslehre und eine Theodizee beinhaltet. Im vorliegenden Beitrag erläutert er seinen Begriff von Substanz, der eng mit seiner Sicht von Kausalität zusammenhängt und vertritt dabei den radikalen Standpunkt, dass Ereigniskausalität auf Agenskausalität, die von transzendenten Substanzen als Realisationssubjekten getragen werde, reduziert werden könne. Dieser monadische Ansatz wird dann zu einem (...) “eingeschränkten metaphysischen Pluralismus” weiterentwickelt, dessen zentrale These darin besteht, dass das Wirklichmachen – in Meixners Worten die “Realitätsmitteilung an die Welt” – bei einer einzigen Zentralsubstanz liege. Eine Idee, die vor allem aus der Perspektive der modernen japanischen und der chinesischen Philosophie auf Interesse gestoßen ist. (shrink)
In addition to delineating a creative and non-deterministic notion of conceptual analysis, the paper defends two theses, one conceptual, the other historical: Although philosophical activity can certainly not be conceptually reduced to conceptual analysis, conceptual analysis is nevertheless central to it and encompasses what can be most properly called "philosophical" about it. The history of philosophy, particularly of ancient philosophy, confirms a posteriori the adequacy of thesis.
This article provides an explication of the concept "imputation". On the one hand, this explication takes account of the common meaning of the concept and its generally intended range of application. On the other hand, it also provides a definition of the meaning of "y is to be imputed to x", which is precise and fruitful . The adequacy of this definition of "imputation" is justified in detail, in the light of the standards for explications. Since the concept "imputation" is (...) a highly complex notion, its explication in turn involves an explication, an analysis, or at least a clarification of each of the many concepts that constitute it: event, event causality, agent , realization, action, agent causality, personhood, knowledge of what one is doing, etc. Competing interpretations of some of these concepts are considered and they are evaluated in comparison to the interpretation here preferred. To the extent possible, a justification is given for the use of the two concepts most central to imputation - causal necessity and realization - since they clearly cannot be understood as "empirical" concepts. The role freedom and volition play for imputation is also explained. Differentiations are drawn between imputation in a general and legal sense, between purely causal imputation and imputation in its full sense, between participatory and non-participatory imputation, and between simple imputation and imputation to a certain extent or degree. Dieser Aufsatz enthält eine Explikation des Zurechnungsbegriffes, d.h. eine einerseits die vorfindliche Bedeutung und die intendierte Anwendung respektierende, aber andererseits auch präzise , fruchtbare Bedeutungsneufestlegung für "y ist x zuzurechnen". Ihre Adäquatheit im Hinblick auf die eben angesprochenen Explikationesziele und - leitlinien wird ausführlich gerechtfertigt. Da es sich beim Zurechnungsbegriff um einen höchst komplexen Begriff handelt, involviert seine Explikation die Explikation, die Analyse oder wenigstens die Klarstellung jedes der vielen Begriffe, die in seine Konstitution eingehen: des Begriffes des Ereignisses, der Ereigniskausalität, des Agens, des Realmachens, der Handlung, der Agenskausalität, der Person, des Wissens um das, was man tut etc. Für einige dieser Begriffe gibt es konkurrierende Interpretationen, die gegen die favorisierte Interpretation abgewogen werden. Die zwei für Zurechnung zentralsten Begriffe - die der kausalen Notwendigkeit und der des Realmachens - erhalten - soweit wie möglich - eine Rechtfertigung ihres Gebrauchs, da sie sich gewiß nicht als "empirische" Begriffe auffassen lassen. Welche Rolle Freiheit und Willentlichkeit für Zurechnung spielen, wird abgeklärt. Es wird unterschieden zwischen rechtlicher und eigentlicher Zurechnung, rein kausaler Zurechnung und Zurechnung im vollen Sinn, partizipatorischer und nichtpartizipatorischer Zurechnung, außerdem zwischen einfacher Zurechnung und Zurechnung in einem gewissen Grade. (shrink)
The paper expounds the sense in which Husserl was not a psychophysical dualist – but also the sense in which he was a psychophysical dualist after all. On the one hand, it takes into account Husserl’s critical statements regarding “dualism,” on the other hand it closely considers Husserl’s understanding of the intentionality of phenomenal experiences. It is shown that Husserl’s writings contain several argumentations that can be interpreted as arguments for psychophysical dualism . It is argued that Husserl’s dualism – (...) the result of phenomenological insights, though not called “dualism” by Husserl himself – is to a high degree defensible and can hold its own in the confrontation with physicalism. (shrink)
The paper expounds the sense in which Husserl was not a psychophysical dualist – but also the sense in which he was a psychophysical dualist after all. On the one hand, it takes into account Husserl’s critical statements regarding “dualism,” on the other hand it closely considers Husserl’s understanding of the intentionality of phenomenal experiences. It is shown that Husserl’s writings contain several argumentations that can be interpreted as arguments for psychophysical dualism. It is argued that Husserl’s dualism – the (...) result of phenomenological insights, though not called “dualism” by Husserl himself – is to a high degree defensible and can hold its own in the confrontation with physicalism. (shrink)