Research on the folk psychology of free will suggests that people believe free will is incompatible with determinism and that human decision-making cannot be exhaustively characterized by physical processes. Some suggest that certain elements of Western cultural history, especially Christianity, have helped to entrench these beliefs in the folk conceptual economy. Thus, on the basis of this explanation, one should expect to find three things: (1) a significant correlation between belief in dualism and belief in free will, (2) that (...) people with predominantly incompatibilist commitments are likely to exhibit stronger dualist beliefs than people with predominantly compatibilist commitments, and (3) people who self-identify as Christians are more likely to be dualists and incompatibilists than people who do not self-identify as Christians. We present the results of two studies (n = 378) that challenge two of these expectations. While we do find a significant correlation between belief in dualism and belief in free will, we found no significant difference in dualist tendencies between compatibilists and incompatibilists. Moreover, we found that self-identifying as Christian did not significantly predict preference for a particular metaphysical conception of free will. This calls into question assumptions about the relationship between beliefs about free will, dualism, and Christianity. (shrink)
The phenomenal concept strategy is considered a powerful response to anti-physicalist arguments. This physicalist strategy aims to provide a satisfactory account of dualist intuitions without being committed to ontological dualist conclusions. In this paper I first argue that physicalist accounts of phenomenal concepts fail to explain their cognitive role. Second, I develop an encapsulation account of phenomenal concepts that best explains their particularities. Finally, I argue that the encapsulation account, which features self-representing experiences, implies non-physical referents. Therefore, the account of (...) phenomenal concepts that has strong explanatory power does not explain away dualist intuitions—rather, it reinforces dualism. (shrink)
This article aims to review the standard objections to dualism and to argue that will either fail to convince someone committed to dualism or are flawed on independent grounds. I begin by presenting the taxonomy of metaphysical positions on concrete particulars as they relate to the dispute between materialists and dualists, and in particular substance dualism is defined. In the first section, several kinds of substance dualism are distinguished and the relevant varieties of this kind of (...)dualism are selected. The remaining sections are analyses of the standard objections to substance dualism : It is uninformative, has troubles accounting for soul individuation, causal pairing and interaction, violates laws of physics, is made implausible by the development of neuroscience and it postulates entities beyond necessity. I conclude that none of these objections is successful. (shrink)
Belief-credence dualism is the view that we have both beliefs and credences and neither attitude is reducible to the other. Pragmatic encroachment is the view that stakes alone can affect the epistemic rationality of states like knowledge or justified belief. In this paper, I argue that dualism offers a unique explanation of pragmatic encroachment cases. First, I explain pragmatic encroachment and what motivates it. Then, I explain dualism and outline a particular argument for dualism. Finally, I (...) show how dualism can explain the intuitions that underlie pragmatic encroachment. My basic proposal is that in high-stake cases, it is not that one cannot rationally believe that p; instead, one ought not to rely on one's belief that p. One should rather rely on one's credence in p. I conclude that we need not commit ourselves to pragmatic encroachment in order to explain the intuitiveness of the cases that motivate it. (shrink)
There are few philosophers who have been so influential in their lifetime and had so much influence, only to be subsequently ignored, as Henri Bergson (1859-1941). When in April 1922, Bergson debated Einstein on the nature of time, it was Bergson who was far better known and respected. Now Einstein’s achievements are known to everyone, but very few people outside philosophy departments have even heard of Bergson. Following Friedrich Schelling and those he influenced, Bergson targeted the Cartesian dualism which (...) permeates the culture of modernity. In doing so, he challenged deep assumptions rooted in and cemented in place by Descartes’ philosophy. It this article I will argue that Bergson made considerable progress in this attack on Cartesian dualism, and diverse philosophers subsequently built on his ideas. However, failure to appreciate the source of these ideas has weakened their force, scattered among different disciplines by diverse philosophers and scientists and their disciples who drew upon Bergson’s work while forgetting details of his philosophy. This article is an effort to rectify this situation. (shrink)
The paper argues that dualism can explain mental causation and solve the exclusion problem. If dualism is combined with the assumption that the psychophysical laws have a special status, it follows that some physical events counterfactually depend on, and are therefore caused by, mental events. Proponents of this account of mental causation can solve the exclusion problem in either of two ways: they can deny that it follows that the physical effect of a mental event is overdetermined by (...) its mental and physical causes, or they can accept that the physical effect is overdetermined but claim that this is unproblematic because the case is sufficiently dissimilar to prototypical cases of overdetermination. (shrink)
Elisabeth was the first of Descartes' interlocutors to press concerns about mind-body union and interaction, and the only one to receive a detailed reply, unsatisfactory though she found it. Descartes took her tentative proposal `to concede matter and extension to the soul' for a confused version of his own view: `that is nothing but to conceive it united to the body. Contemporary commentators take Elisabeth for a materialist or at least a critic of dualism. I read her instead as (...) a dualist of a different variety from Descartes: a forerunner of twenty-first century naturalistic dualism which calls for empirical investigation of the psychological and its posits to be taken just as seriously as physics and its posits. -/- I argue that Elisabeth, a keen scholar of mechanistic physics, objected not to substance dualism per se but to the residual Scholasticism of Descartes' account of mind-body causality and his dogmatism about principal attributes. She queried Descartes' categorisation of the `action' of thought as mind's principal attribute, and his identification of it with the merely negative property of immateriality, holding instead that further philosophical and empirical investigation into the nature of the mind is necessary. I problematise the materialist interpretation of Elisabeth with reference to later letters where she dismissed the materialist Objections of Hobbes and Gassendi and continued to urge further clarifications to Cartesian dualism. I explore Elisabeth's contrasting of statements of mechanistic physics with statements about thought, and her call for further investigation into the properties of the mind, and argue they mark her out as a forerunner of contemporary naturalistic dualism which proposes substance dualism as a best interpretation of recent psychology and of the difference in logical form between current physics and current psychology. (shrink)
Dualism argues that the mind is more than just the brain. It holds that there exists two very different realms, one mental and the other physical. Both are fundamental and one cannot be reduced to the other - there are minds and there is a physical world. This book examines and defends the most famous dualist account of the mind, the cartesian, which attributes the immaterial contents of the mind to an immaterial self. John Foster's new book exposes the (...) inadequacies of the dominant materialist and reductionist accounts of the mind. In doing so he is in radical conflict with the current philosophical establishment. Ambitious and controversial, _The Immaterial Self_ is the most powerful and effective defence of Cartesian dualism since Descartes' own. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore anomalous dualism about consciousness, a view that has not previously been explored in any detail. We can classify theories of consciousness along two dimensions: first, a theory might be physicalist or dualist; second, a theory might endorse any of the three following views regarding causal relations between phenomenal properties (properties that characterize states of our consciousness) and physical properties: nomism (the two kinds of property interact through deterministic laws), acausalism (they do not causally interact), (...) and anomalism (they interact but not through deterministic laws). I suggest that a kind of anomalous dualism, nonreductive anomalous panpsychism, promises to offer the best overall answer to two pressing issues for dualist views, the problem of mental causation and the mapping problem (the problem of predicting mind-body associations). (shrink)
The exclusion argument is widely thought to put considerable pressure on dualism if not to refute it outright. We argue to the contrary that, whether or not their position is ultimately true, dualists have a plausible response. The response focuses on the notion of ‘distinctness’ as it occurs in the argument: if 'distinctness' is understood one way, the exclusion principle on which the argument is founded can be denied by the dualist; if it is understood another way, the argument (...) is not persuasive. (shrink)
I defend belief-credence dualism, the view that we have both beliefs and credences and both attitudes are equally fundamental. First, I explain belief, credence, and three views on their relationship. Then, I argue for dualism. I do so first by painting a picture of the mind on which belief and credence are two cognitive tools that we use for different purposes. Finally, I respond to two objections to dualism. I conclude that dualism is a promising view, (...) and one that both epistemologists and philosophers of mind should take seriously. (shrink)
_René Descartes proposed an interactive dualism that posits an interaction between the_ _mind of a human being and some of the matter located in his or her brain. Isaac Newton_ _subsequently formulated a physical theory based exclusively on the material/physical_ _part of Descartes’ ontology. Newton’s theory enforced the principle of the causal closure_ _of the physical, and the classical physics that grew out of it enforces this same principle._ _This classical theory purports to give, in principle, a complete deterministic (...) account of the_ _physically described properties of nature, expressed exclusively in terms of these_ _physically described properties themselves. Orthodox contemporary physical theory_ _violates this principle in two separate ways. First, it injects random elements into the_ _dynamics. Second, it allows, and also requires, abrupt probing actions that disrupt the_ _mechanistically described evolution of the physically described systems. These probing_ _actions are called Process 1 interventions by von Neumann. They are psycho-physical_ _events. Neither the content nor the timing of these events is determined either by any_ _known law, or by the afore-mentioned random elements. Orthodox quantum mechanics_ _considers these events to be instigated by choices made by conscious agents. In von_ _Neumann’s formulation of quantum theory each such intervention acts upon the state of_ _the brain of some conscious agent. Thus orthodox von Neumann contemporary physics_ _posits an interactive dualism similar to that of Descartes. But in this quantum version the_ _effects of the conscious choices upon our brains are controlled, in part, by the known_ _basic rules of quantum physics. This theoretically specified mind-brain connection allows_ _many basic psychological and neuropsychological findings associated with the apparent_ _physical effectiveness of our conscious volitional efforts to be explained in a causal and_ _practically useful way.. (shrink)
Non-Cartesian substance dualism maintains that persons or selves are distinct from their organic physical bodies and any parts of those bodies. It regards persons as ‘substances’ in their own right, but does not maintain that persons are necessarily separable from their bodies, in the sense of being capable of disembodied existence. In this paper, it is urged that NCSD is better equipped than either Cartesian dualism or standard forms of physicalism to explain the possibility of mental causation. A (...) model of mental causation adopting the NCSD perspective is proposed which, it is argued, is consistent with all that is currently known about the operations of the human central nervous system, including the brain. Physicalism, by contrast, seems ill-equipped to explain the distinctively intentional or teleological character of mental causation, because it effectively reduces all such causation to ‘blind’ physical causation at a neurological level. (shrink)
It is widely thought that mind–body substance dualism is implausible at best, though mere “property” dualism is defensible and even flourishing. This paper argues that substance dualism is no less plausible than property dualism and even has two advantages over it.
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 causal exclusion problem. What emerges is an overlooked, empirically-motivated challenge to epiphenomenalist dualism. (shrink)
I critically examine the view that Descartes’s independence conception (IC) of substance plays a crucial role in his “separability argument” for substance dualism. I argue that IC is a poisoned chalice. I do so by considering how an IC-based separability argument fares on two different ways of thinking about principal attributes. On the one hand, if we take principal attributes to be universals, then a separability argument that deploys IC establishes a version of dualism that is unacceptably strong. (...) On the other hand, if we take principal attributes to be tropes, then IC introduces challenges which undermine the argument. This is partly because the assumption of tropes makes it possible to distinguish several versions of substance dualism, versions which differ with respect to their degree of generality. I argue that taking principal attributes to be tropes makes it challenging to establish any of these versions by way of an IC-based separability argument. I conclude the paper by suggesting a way forward for the proponent of the separability argument. (shrink)
This paper explores the possibility that Hobbesian jurisprudence is best understood as a ‘third way’ in legal theory, irreducible to classical natural law or legal positivism. I sketch two potential ‘third theories’ of law -- legal pragmatism and legal dualism -- and argue that, when considered in its broadest sense, Leviathan is best viewed as an example of legal pragmatism. I consider whether this legal pragmatist interpretation can be sustained in the examination of Leviathan’s treatment of civil law, and (...) argue that the pragmatic interpretation can only be successful if we can resolve two textual issues in that chapter. First, while Hobbes argues that law entails the existence of public (sharable) reasons, he does not adequately defend the view that the sovereign is the unique authority over such reasons in all cases, especially as far as they concern known collective emergencies. Second, Hobbes both affirms and denies that a sovereign can fail to do justice, which is paradoxical. Both problems are best resolved by legal pragmatism, though the second problem resists a fully satisfying resolution. The upshot is that, although Leviathan ought to be regarded as an episode of legal pragmatism, there are trade-offs on every reading. (shrink)
Many philosophers argue that exclusion arguments cannot exclude non-reductionist physicalist mental properties from being causes without excluding properties that are patently causal as well. List and Stoljar (2017) recently argued that a similar response to exclusion arguments is also available to dualists, thereby challenging the predominant view that exclusion arguments undermine dualist theories of mind. In particular, List and Stoljar maintain that exclusion arguments against dualism require a premise that states that, if a property is metaphysically distinct from the (...) sufficient cause of an effect, this property cannot be a cause of that effect. I argue that this premise is indeed likely to exclude patently causal properties, but that exclusion arguments against dualism do not require this premise. The relation that enables metaphysically distinct properties to cause the same effect in the relevant way turns out to be tighter than the relation typically posited between dualist conscious properties and their underlying physical properties. It is therefore still plausible that the latter causally exclude the former and that compelling exclusion arguments against dualism can be formulated by using a weaker exclusion premise. I conclude by proposing such a formulation. (shrink)
This paper evaluates an argument according to which many anthropologists commit themselves to Cartesian dualism, when they talk about meanings. This kind of dualism, it is argued, makes it impossible for anthropologists to adequately attend to material artefacts. The argument is very original, but it is also vulnerable to a range of objections.
Was Descartes a Cartesian Dualist? In this controversial study, Gordon Baker and Katherine J. Morris argue that, despite the general consensus within philosophy, Descartes was neither a proponent of dualism nor guilty of the many crimes of which he has been accused by twentieth century philosophers. In lively and engaging prose, Baker and Morris present a radical revision of the ways in which Descartes' work has been interpreted. Descartes emerges with both his historical importance assured and his philosophical importance (...) redeemed. (shrink)
René Descartes proposed an interactive dualism that posits an interaction between the mind of a human being and some of the matter located in his or her brain. Isaac Newton subsequently formulated a physical theory based exclusively on the material/physical part of Descartes’ ontology. Newton’s theory enforced the principle of the causal closure of the physical, and the classical physics that grew out of it enforces this same principle. This classical theory purports to give, in principle, a complete deterministic (...) account of the physically described properties of nature, expressed exclusively in terms of these physically described properties themselves. Orthodox contemporary physical theory violates this principle in two separate ways. First, it injects random elements into the dynamics. Second, it allows, and also requires, abrupt probing actions that disrupt the mechanistically described evolution of the physically described systems. These probing actions are called Process 1 interventions by von Neumann. They are psycho-physical events. Neither the content nor the timing of these events is determined either by any known law, or by the afore-mentioned random elements. Orthodox quantum mechanics considers these events to be instigated by choices made by conscious agents. In von Neumann’s formulation of quantum theory each such intervention acts upon the state of the brain of some conscious agent. Thus orthodox von Neumann contemporary physics posits an interactive dualism similar to that of Descartes. But in this quantum version the effects of the conscious choices upon our brains are controlled, in part, by the known basic rules of quantum physics. This theoretically specified mind-brain connection allows many basic psychological and neuropsychological findings associated with the apparent physical effectiveness of our conscious volitional efforts to be explained in a causal and practically useful way.. (shrink)
Unger has recently argued that if you are the only thinking and experiencing subject in your chair, then you are not a material object. This leads Unger to endorse a version of Substance Dualism according to which we are immaterial souls. This paper argues that this is an overreaction. We argue that the specifically Dualist elements of Unger’s view play no role in his response to the problem; only the view’s structure is required, and that is available to Unger’s (...) opponents. We outline one such non-Dualist view, suggest how to resolve the dispute, respond to some objections, and argue that ours is but one of many views that survive Unger’s challenge. All these views are incompatible with microphysicalism. So Unger’s discussion does contain an insight: if you are the only conscious subject in your chair, then microphsyicalism is false. Unger’s mistake was to infer Substance Dualism from this; for microphysicalism is not the only alternative to Dualism. (shrink)
A post-Newtonian understanding of matter includes immaterial forces; thus, the concept of ‘physical’ has lost what usefulness it previously had and Cartesian dualism has, consequently, ceased to support a divide between the mental and the physical. A contemporary scientific understanding of mind that goes back at least as far as Priestley in the 18th century, not only includes immaterial components but identifies brain parts in which these components correlate with neural activity. What are we left with? The challenge is (...) no longer to figure out how a physical brain interacts with a nonphysical mind, but to try to unify theories of mind and theories of brain that to date do not share a single property. The challenge is enormous, but at least we can be quite clear about what its nature is, as there is no reason to be distracted by the idea of two distinct substances. In the present volume, many historical perspectives on the mind-body problem are discussed. In what follows, we follow major currents of thought regarding the mind-body problem so that it can be seen how we arrived at the modern conception that it makes sense only to talk about theory unification. (shrink)
In the standard thought experiments, dualism strikes many philosophers as true, including many non-dualists. This ‘striking’ generates prima facie justification: in the absence of defeaters, we ought to believe that things are as they seem to be, i.e. we ought to be dualists. In this paper, I examine several proposed undercutting defeaters for our dualist intuitions. I argue that each proposal fails, since each rests on a false assumption, or requires empirical evidence that it lacks, or overgenerates defeaters. By (...) the end, our prima facie justification for dualism remains undefeated. I close with one objection concerning the dialectical role of rebutting defeaters, and I argue that the prospects for a successful rebutting defeater for our dualist intuitions are dim. Since dualism emerges undefeated, we ought to believe it. (shrink)
The explanatory gap . Consciousness is a mystery. No one has ever given an account, even a highly speculative, hypothetical, and incomplete account of how a physical thing could have phenomenal states. Suppose that consciousness is identical to a property of the brain, say activity in the pyramidal cells of layer 5 of the cortex involving reverberatory circuits from cortical layer 6 to the thalamus and back to layers 4 and 6,as Crick and Koch have suggested for visual consciousness. .) (...) Still, that identity itself calls out for explanation! Proponents of an explanatory gap disagree about whether the gap is permanent. Some say that we are like the scientifically naive person who is told that matter = energy, but does not have the concepts required to make sense of the idea. If we can acquire these concepts, the gap is closable. Others say the gap is uncloseable because of our cognitive limitations. Still others say that the gap is a consequence of the fundamental nature of consciousness. (shrink)
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)
To the extent that dualism is even taken to be a serious option in contemporary discussions of personal identity and the philosophy of mind, it is almost exclusively either Cartesian dualism or property dualism that is considered. The more traditional dualism defended by Aristotelians and Thomists, what I call hylemorphic dualism, has only received scattered attention. In this essay I set out the main lines of the hylemorphic dualist position, with particular reference to personal identity. (...) First I argue that overemphasis of the problem of consciousness has had an unhealthy effect on recent debate, claiming instead that we should emphasize the concept of form. Then I bring in the concept of identity by means of the notion of substantial form. I continue by analyzing the relation between form and matter, defending the traditional theses of prime matter and of the unicity of substantial form. I then argue for the immateriality of the substantial form of the human person, viz. the soul, from an account of the human intellect. From this follows the soul's essential independence of matter. Finally, although the soul is the immaterial bearer of personal identity, that identity is still the identity of an essentially embodied being. I explain how these ideas are to be reconciled. Footnotesa I am grateful to Stephen Braude, John Cottingham, John Haldane, David Jehle, Joel Katzav, Eduardo Ortiz, and Fred Sommers for helpful comments and discussion of a draft of this essay. I would also like to thank Ellen Paul, whose suggestions have helped greatly to improve the essay's style and content. (shrink)
In The Conscious Mind, D. Chalmers appeals to his semantic framework in order to show that conceivability, as employed in his "zombie" argument for dualism , is sufficient for genuine possibility. I criticize this attempt.
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. (shrink)
According to the Christian doctrine of bodily resurrection, human persons will have an embodied existence in eternity. Many Christian materialists, especially Lynne Rudder Baker, Trenton Merricks, and Kevin Corcoran, argue that the doctrine of bodily resurrection creates serious problems for substance dualism (dualism). These critiques argued that bodily resurrection is made trivial by dualism, that dualism makes it difficult if not impossible to explain why we need to be embodied, or that dualism should be rejected (...) as bodily resurrection is better accounted for by a materialist view. As of yet, there has been no systematic analysis of these arguments in the literature. This paper fills that gap and argues that each of these objections to dualism fail. In making these arguments I make use of neo-Aristotelian metaphysics to provide a theory of embodiment for substance dualism. Accordingly, the body is a complex structural mode of the soul. The essence of the soul is the internal efficient cause and teleological guide of the functions and structure of the body. As such, the body is an ensouled physical structure, not a mere physical machine, but has both physical and non-physical aspects. (shrink)
Dualism can be contrasted with monism, and also with physicalism. It is argued here that what is essential to physicalism is not just its denial of dualism , but the epistemological and ontological authority it gives to physical science. A physicalist view of the mind must be reductive in one or both of the following senses: it must identify mental phenomena with physical phenomena or it must give an explanation of mental phenomena in physical terms . There is (...) little reason to call a view which is not reductive in either of these senses “physicalism”. If reduction is rejected, then a non-physicalist form of monism is still available, which may be called “emergentism”. (shrink)
This essay will canvass recent philosophical accounts of human agency that deploy a notion of “self” (or “agent”) causation. Some of these accounts try to explicate this notion, whereas others only hint at its nature in contrast with the causality exhibited by impersonal physical systems. In these latter theories, the authors’ main argumentative burden is that the apparent fundamental differences between persona and impersonal causal activity strongly suggest mind-body dualism. I begin by noting two distinct, yet not commonly distinguished, (...) philosophical motivations for pursuing an agent-causal account of human agency. In the course of discussing the account developed by some philosophers in response to these consideration, I reconsider both the linkage of agent causation with mind-body dualism and its sharp cleavage from impersonal (or “event”) causation. (shrink)
A primary goal of this chapter is to highlight neglected epistemic parallels between dualism and physicalism. Both dualist and physicalist arguments employ a combination of empirical data and armchair reflection; both rely on considerations stemming from how we conceptualize certain phenomena; and both aim to establish views that are compatible with scientific results but go well beyond the deliverances of empirical science. -/- I begin the chapter by fleshing out the distinctive commitments of dualism, in a way that (...) illuminates the interplay of epistemic and metaphysical elements within the dualist position. Section 2 outlines two influential arguments for dualism and explains how dualists defend those arguments from key criticisms. Sections 3 and 4 examine the most powerful objections to dualism: that it is inferior to physicalism as regards the theoretical virtue of simplicity, and that it cannot explain mental causation. I show that each of these objections to dualism depends on substantial assumptions that cannot be empirically justified. And the objection from mental causation rests on an ambitious assumption about how we conceptualize physical phenomena. Section 5 briefly reviews how epistemic considerations inform arguments on both sides of this debate. (shrink)
The essay presents Saul Kripke's argument for mind/body-dualism and makes the suppositions explicit on which it rests. My claim, inspired by Richard Boyd, is that even if one of Kripke’s central suppositions - the principle of necessity of identities using rigid designators - is shared by the non-traditional identity theorist, it is still possible for her to rebut Kripke’s dualism.
After drawing a distinction between two kinds of dualism—numerical dualism and modal dualism —we argue that Descartes is a numericaldualist, but not a modal dualist. Since most contemporary dualists advocate modal dualism, the relation of Descartes’ views to the contemporary philosophy of mind are more complex than is commonly assumed.
We present the first large-scale, quantitative examination of mind and body concepts in a set of historical sources by measuring the predictions of folk mind–body dualism against the surviving textual corpus of pre-Qin (pre-221 BCE) China. Our textual analysis found clear patterns in the historically evolving reference of the word xin (heart/heart–mind): It alone of the organs was regularly contrasted with the physical body, and during the Warring States period it became less associated with emotions and increasingly portrayed as (...) the unique locus of “higher” cognitive abilities. We interpret this as a semantic shift toward a shared cognitive bias in response to a vast and rapid expansion of literacy. Our study helps test the proposed universality of folk dualism, adds a new quantitative approach to the methods used in the humanities, and opens up a new and valuable data source for cognitive scientists: the record of dead minds. (shrink)
In “The Argument for Subject Body Dualism from Transtemporal Identity Defended” (PPR 2013), Martine Nida-Rümelin (NR) responded to my (PPR 2013) criticism of her (2010) argument for subject-body dualism. The crucial premise of her (2010) argument was that there is a factual difference between the claims that in a fission case the original person is identical with one, or the other, of the successors. I argued that, on the three most plausible interpretations of ‘factual difference’, the argument fails. (...) NR responds that I missed the intended, fourth interpretation, and that, in any case, with an additional assumption, the argument on the third interpretation goes through. I argue that the fourth interpretation, while insufficient as stated, reveals an assumption that provides an independent argument, namely, that in first person thought about future properties we have a positive conception of the self that rules out having empirical criteria of transtemporal identity. I argue that the considerations offered for this thesis fail to establish it, and that we do not bring ourselves under any positive conception in first person thought. I argue also that on the third interpretation, the first premise of the argument is inconsistent with the necessity of identity. (shrink)
The exclusion argument is widely thought to put considerable pressure on dualism, if not to refute it outright. We argue to the contrary that, whether or not their position is ultimately true, dualists have a plausible response. The response focuses on the notion of ‘distinctness’ that is employed to distinguish between mental and physical properties: if ‘distinctness’ is understood in one way, the exclusion principle on which the argument rests can be denied by the dualist; if it is understood (...) in another way, the argument is not persuasive. (shrink)
This is a companion to an earlier essay, "An Argument for Dualism from the Lived Experience of Time," in which I argue that our lived experience of being in space is best accounted for on a substance dualist ontology of the experiencing subject and a 3-dimensionalist account of time. Such an account excludes the metaphysical possibility of 4-dimensionalism as a literal, descriptive account of noumenal time inasmuch as it is incompatible with facts we know with greater certainty than any (...) scientific theory. (shrink)
This paper evaluates a form of dualism, which is referred to here as the dualism of conceptual scheme and undifferentiated reality. According to this dualism, although reality appears to be divided into distinct things from the perspective of our system of concepts, it is actually not. I justify the view that this dualism is incoherent.
It is commonly accepted that thewestern view of humanity's place in nature isdominated by a dualistic opposition between nature andculture. Historically this has arisen fromexternalization of nature in both productive andcognitive practices; instances of such externalizationhave become generalized. I think the dualism can bedecomposed by identifying dominant elements in eachparticular instantiation and showing that their strictseparation evaporates under close scrutiny. The philosophical challenge this perspective presents isto substitute concrete socioecological analysis forfoundational metaphysics. A review of majorinterpretations of the history (...) of the dualism inWestern thought indicates that the legacy is moremultistranded than is usually admitted. Modern scienceis often assumed to lie squarely within the dualism,but this is unfounded. In contrast, science providestools for contextual analysis on how human activitiesand natural processes merge. The dualism thusevaporates in actual research practice. Nevertheless,the foundational metaphysics needs to be challenged,primarily because of its paralyzing effect onenvironmental philosophy. (shrink)
b>: Replacing faulty nineteenth century physics by its orthodox quantum successor converts the earlier materialist conception of nature to a structure that does not enforce the principle of the causal closure of the physical. The quantum laws possess causal gaps, and these gaps are filled in actual scientific practice by inputs from our streams of consciousness. The form of the quantum laws permits and suggests the existence of an underlying reality that is built not on substances, but on psychophysical events, (...) and on objective tendencies for these events to occur. These events constitute intrinsic mind-brain connections. They are fundamental links between brain processes described in physical terms and events in our streams of consciousness. This quantum ontology confers upon our conscious intentions the causal efficacy assigned to them in actual scientific practice, and creates a substance- free interactive dualism. This putative quantum ontology has previously been shown to have impressive explanatory power in both psychology and neuroscience. Here it is used to reconcile the existence of physically efficacious conscious free will with causal anomalies of both the Libet and Einstein-Rosen-Podolsky types. (shrink)
Anne Conway disagrees with substance dualism, the thesis that minds and bodies differ in nature or essence. Instead, she holds that “the distinction between spirit and body is only modal and incremental, not essential and substantial”. Yet several of her arguments against dualism have little force against the Cartesian, since they rely on premises no Cartesian would accept. In this paper, I show that Conway does have at least one powerful objection to substance dualism, drawn from premises (...) that Descartes seems bound to accept. She argues that two substances differ in nature only if they differ in their “original and peculiar” cause ; yet all created substances have the same original and peculiar cause; so, all created substances have the same nature. As I argue, the Cartesian is under a surprising amount of pressure to accept Conway’s argument, since its key premise is motivated by a conception of substance similar to one endorsed by Descartes in his Principles of Philosophy. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore various views on which mind-body dualism is true, but the soul is located in the body. I argue that this sort of dualism (which I call 'somatic dualism') once was a not-uncommon view in the philosophy of mind. I also argue that it has the resources to reply to some of the problems thought to affect Cartesian dualism.
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)
I argue (1) that Searle's reductive stance about mental causation is unwarranted on evolutionary, logical, and neuroscientific grounds; and (2) that his theory of weak emergence, called biological naturalism, fails to provide a satisfactory account of objectual unity and subject unity. Finally I propose a stronger variety of emergence called emergent subject dualism (ESD) to fill the gaps in Searle's account, and support ESD on grounds of recent evidence in neuroscience. Hence I show how it is possible, if not (...) also theoretically preferable, to go from Searle's biological naturalism to emergent subject dualism. (shrink)
Resumo Os Qualia, ou são “entidades espaciais” – ou seja, estão localizados no espaço como os objectos físicos –, ou não são “entidades espaciais”. Então, o dualismo deve alegar que ou os qualia não-físicos são entidades espaciais, ou que eles não o são. Contudo, qualquer resposta é problemática. Se os qualia não-físicos não são entidades espaciais, então, é difícil de conceber como podem ser atribuídos a cérebros particulares, individualizados uns dos outros, e assim por diante. Mas se os qualia não-físicos (...) são entidades espaciais, então, surgem outros problemas, por exemplo, torna-se difícil perceber como poderíamos ter então um acesso privilegiado a eles. Dada uma ou outra opção, o dualismo é problemático. Portanto, o dualismo é problemático. Palavras-chave : argumento do conhecimento, consciência, dualismo, fisicalismo, problema mente-corpo, qualiaQualia are either “spatial entities” – i.e., they are located in space like physical objects – or they are not. So, dualism must claim that either non-physical qualia are spatial entities or they are not. But either answer is problematic. If non-physical qualia are not spatial entities, then it is difficult to see how they can be attributed to particular brains, individuated from one another, and so on. But if non-physical qualia are spatial entities, then other problems arise, e.g., it is difficult to see how we could have privileged access to them. Given either option, dualism is problematic. Therefore, dualism is problematic. Keywords : consciousness, dualism, knowledge argument, mind-body problem, Physicalism, Qualia. (shrink)
In a sequel to the author's argument for dualism from the lived experience of time, this paper continues the line of though initiated by in that study a bit further by considering the implications of our experience of being in space for dualism. I conclude that four-dimensionalism cannot accommodate the facts of our experience of ourselves as being in time - localized in space but not located there after the manner of a material thing. Substance dualism, however, (...) makes perfect sense of all these facts, which helps confirm the natural presumption in favor of that view. (shrink)