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  1. Recent Work on Physicalism.Justin Tiehen - forthcoming - Analysis.
    A review of recent work on physicalism, focusing on what it means to say nothing exists over and above the physical, how "the physical" should be defined, and the causal argument for physicalism.
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  2. The Fundamentality of Physics: Completeness or Maximality.Alyssa Ney - 2021 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 12.
    There is a standard way of interpreting physicalism. This is as a completeness thesis of some kind. Completeness physicalists believe there is or in principle could be some future physics that provides a complete explanatory or ontological basis for our universe. And this provides a sense in which physics is special among the sciences, the sense in which it is fundamental. This paper contrasts this standard completeness physicalism with what is a more plausible maximality physicalism. Maximality physicalists believe physics is (...)
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  3. Dualism and Exclusion.Bram Vaassen - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (3):543-552.
    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 (...)
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  4. Can the Russellian Monist Escape the Epiphenomenalist’s Paradox?Lok-Chi Chan - 2020 - Topoi 39 (5):1093-1102.
    Russellian monism—an influential doctrine proposed by Russell (The analysis of matter, Routledge, London, 1927/1992)—is roughly the view that physics can only ever tell us about the causal, dispositional, and structural properties of physical entities and not their categorical (or intrinsic) properties, whereas our qualia are constituted by those categorical properties. In this paper, I will discuss the relation between Russellian monism and a seminal paradox facing epiphenomenalism, the paradox of phenomenal judgment: if epiphenomenalism is true—qualia are causally inefficacious—then any judgment (...)
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  5. Dualism: How Epistemic Issues Drive Debates About the Ontology of Consciousness.Brie Gertler - 2020 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
    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 (...)
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  6. Interactionism for the discerning mind?Derek Shiller - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (4):931-946.
    Jaegwon Kim has developed an argument that interactionist dualists cannot account for the causal relations between minds and brains. This paper develops a closely related argument that focuses instead on the causal relations between minds and neurons. While there are several promising responses to Kim’s argument, their plausibility relies on a relatively simple understanding of mind–brain relations. Once we shift our focus to neurons, these responses lose their appeal. The problem is that even if mind–brain causal pairing can be explained (...)
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  7. Causal Exclusion Without Causal Sufficiency.Bram Vaassen - 2020 - Synthese:1-13.
    Some non-reductionists claim that so-called ‘exclusion arguments’ against their position rely on a notion of causal sufficiency that is particularly problematic. I argue that such concerns about the role of causal sufficiency in exclusion arguments are relatively superficial since exclusionists can address them by reformulating exclusion arguments in terms of physical sufficiency. The resulting exclusion arguments still face familiar problems, but these are not related to the choice between causal sufficiency and physical sufficiency. The upshot is that objections to the (...)
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  8. Neural Synchrony and the Causal Efficacy of Consciousness.David Yates - 2020 - Topoi 39 (5):1057-1072.
    The purpose of this paper is to address a well-known dilemma for physicalism. If mental properties are type identical to physical properties, then their causal efficacy is secure, but at the cost of ruling out mentality in creatures very different to ourselves. On the other hand, if mental properties are multiply realizable, then all kinds of creatures can instantiate them, but then they seem to be causally redundant. The causal exclusion problem depends on the widely held principle that realized properties (...)
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  9. Anomalous Dualism: A New Approach to the Mind-Body Problem.David Bourget - 2019 - In William Seager (ed.), The Handbook of Panpsychism. Routledge.
    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 (...)
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  10. How Dualists Should (Not) Respond to the Objection From Energy Conservation.Alin C. Cucu & J. Brian Pitts - 2019 - Mind and Matter 17 (1):95-121.
    The principle of energy conservation is widely taken to be a se- rious difficulty for interactionist dualism (whether property or sub- stance). Interactionists often have therefore tried to make it satisfy energy conservation. This paper examines several such attempts, especially including E. J. Lowe’s varying constants proposal, show- ing how they all miss their goal due to lack of engagement with the physico-mathematical roots of energy conservation physics: the first Noether theorem (that symmetries imply conservation laws), its converse (that conservation (...)
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  11. The Metaphysics of Science and Aim-Oriented Empiricism: A Revolution for Science and Philosophy.Nicholas Maxwell - 2019 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature.
    This book gives an account of work that I have done over a period of decades that sets out to solve two fundamental problems of philosophy: the mind-body problem and the problem of induction. Remarkably, these revolutionary contributions to philosophy turn out to have dramatic implications for a wide range of issues outside philosophy itself, most notably for the capacity of humanity to resolve current grave global problems and make progress towards a better, wiser world. A key element of the (...)
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  12. Problems with the "Problems" with Psychophysical Causation.Noah McKay - 2019 - Stance 12 (1):33-43.
    In this essay, I defend a mind-body dualism, according to which human minds are immaterial substances that exercise non-redundant causal powers over bodies, against the notorious problem of psychophysical causation. I explicate and reply to three formulations of the problem: (i) the claim that, on dualism, psychophysical causation is inconsistent with physical causal closure, (ii) the claim that psychophysical causation on the dualist view is intolerably mysterious, and (iii) Jaegwon Kim’s claim that dualism fails to account for causal pairings. Ultimately, (...)
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  13. Phenomenal Knowledge Why: The Explanatory Knowledge Argument Against Physicalism.Hedda Hassel Mørch - 2019 - In Sam Coleman (ed.), The Knowledge Argument. Cambridge University Press.
    Phenomenal knowledge is knowledge of what it is like to be in conscious states, such as seeing red or being in pain. According to the knowledge argument (Jackson 1982, 1986), phenomenal knowledge is knowledge that, i.e., knowledge of phenomenal facts. According to the ability hypothesis (Nemirow 1979; Lewis 1983), phenomenal knowledge is mere practical knowledge how, i.e., the mere possession of abilities. However, some phenomenal knowledge also seems to be knowledge why, i.e., knowledge of explanatory facts. For example, someone who (...)
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  14. Quantum Theory and the Place of Mind in the Causal Order of Things.Paavo Pylkkänen - 2019 - In J. De Barros & Carlos Montemayor (eds.), Quanta and Mind: Essays on the Connection between Quantum Mechanics and the Consciousness. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Publishing Company. pp. 163-171.
    The received view in physicalist philosophy of mind assumes that causation can only take place at the physical domain and that the physical domain is causally closed. It is often thought that this leaves no room for mental states qua mental to have a causal influence upon the physical domain, leading to epiphenomenalism and the problem of mental causation. However, in recent philosophy of causation there has been growing interest in a line of thought that can be called causal antifundamentalism: (...)
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  15. Kim on Causation and Mental Causation.Panu Raatikainen - 2018 - E-Logos Electronic Journal for Philosophy 25 (2):22–47.
    Jaegwon Kim’s views on mental causation and the exclusion argument are evaluated systematically. Particular attention is paid to different theories of causation. It is argued that the exclusion argument and its premises do not cohere well with any systematic view of causation.
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  16. On a Loophole in Causal Closure.Johan Gamper - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (2):631-636.
    Standard definitions of causal closure focus on where the causes in question are. In this paper, the focus is changed to where they are not. Causal closure is linked to the principle that no cause of another universe causes an event in a particular universe. This view permits the one universe to be affected by the other via an interface. An interface between universes can be seen as a domain that violates the suggested account of causal closure, suggesting a view (...)
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  17. My Brain Made Me Do It: The Exclusion Argument Against Free Will, and What’s Wrong with It.Christian List & Peter Menzies - 2017 - In H. Beebee, C. Hitchcock & H. Price (eds.), Making a Difference: Essays on the Philosophy of Causation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    We offer a critical assessment of the “exclusion argument” against free will, which may be summarized by the slogan: “My brain made me do it, therefore I couldn't have been free”. While the exclusion argument has received much attention in debates about mental causation (“could my mental states ever cause my actions?”), it is seldom discussed in relation to free will. However, the argument informally underlies many neuroscientific discussions of free will, especially the claim that advances in neuroscience seriously challenge (...)
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  18. Is There Room in Quantum Ontology for a Genuine Causal Role for Consciousness?Paavo Pylkkänen - 2017 - In E. Haven & A. Khrennikov (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Quantum Models in Social Science: Applications and Grand Challenges. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 293-317.
    Western philosophy and science have a strongly dualistic tradition regarding the mental and physical aspects of reality, which makes it difficult to understand their possible causal relations. In recent debates in cognitive neuroscience it has been common to claim on the basis of neural experiments that conscious experiences are causally inefficacious. At the same time there is much evidence that consciousness does play an important role in guiding behavior. The author explores whether a new way of understanding the causal role (...)
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  19. Conservation Laws and Interactionist Dualism.Ben White - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (267):387–405.
    The Exclusion Argument for physicalism maintains that since (1) every physical effect has a sufficient physical cause, and (2) cases of causal overdetermination are rare, it follows that if (3) mental events cause physical events as frequently as they seem to, then (4) mental events must be physical in nature. In defence of (1), it is sometimes said that (1) is supported if not entailed by conservation laws. Against this, I argue that conservation laws do not lend sufficient support to (...)
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  20. Overdetermination Underdetermined.Sara Bernstein - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (1):17-40.
    Widespread causal overdetermination is often levied as an objection to nonreductive theories of minds and objects. In response, nonreductive metaphysicians have argued that the type of overdetermination generated by their theories is different from the sorts of coincidental cases involving multiple rock-throwers, and thus not problematic. This paper pushes back. I argue that attention to differences between types of overdetermination discharges very few explanatory burdens, and that overdetermination is a bigger problem for the nonreductive metaphysician than previously thought.
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  21. The Unplanned Obsolescence of Psychological Science and an Argument for its Revival.Stan Klein - 2016 - Pyshcology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice 3:357-379.
    I examine some of the key scientific pre-commitments of modern psychology, and argue that their adoption has the unintended consequence of rendering a purely psychological analysis of mind indistinguishable from a purely biological treatment. And, since these pre-commitments sanction an “authority of the biological”, explanation of phenomena traditionally considered the purview of psychological analysis is fully subsumed under the biological. I next evaluate the epistemic warrant of these pre-commitments and suggest there are good reasons to question their applicability to psychological (...)
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  22. Demystifying Emergence.David Yates - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3:809-841.
    Are the special sciences autonomous from physics? Those who say they are need to explain how dependent special science properties could feature in irreducible causal explanations, but that’s no easy task. The demands of a broadly physicalist worldview require that such properties are not only dependent on the physical, but also physically realized. Realized properties are derivative, so it’s natural to suppose that they have derivative causal powers. Correspondingly, philosophical orthodoxy has it that if we want special science properties to (...)
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  23. Explaining Causal Closure.Justin Tiehen - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2405-2425.
    The physical realm is causally closed, according to physicalists like me. But why is it causally closed, what metaphysically explains causal closure? I argue that reductive physicalists are committed to one explanation of causal closure to the exclusion of any independent explanation, and that as a result, they must give up on using a causal argument to attack mind–body dualism. Reductive physicalists should view dualism in much the way that we view the hypothesis that unicorns exist, or that the Kansas (...)
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  24. Grounding Causal Closure.Justin Tiehen - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (3):501-522.
    What does it mean to say that mind-body dualism is causally problematic in a way that other mind-body theories, such as the psychophysical type identity theory, are not? After considering and rejecting various proposals, I advance my own, which focuses on what grounds the causal closure of the physical realm. A metametaphysical implication of my proposal is that philosophers working without the notion of grounding in their toolkit are metaphysically impoverished. They cannot do justice to the thought, encountered in every (...)
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  25. Experimental Methods for Unraveling the Mind-Body Problem: The Phenomenal Judgment Approach.Victor Argonov - 2014 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 35 (1-2):51-70.
    A rigorous approach to the study of the mind–body problem is suggested. Since humans are able to talk about consciousness (produce phenomenal judgments), it is argued that the study of neural mechanisms of phenomenal judgments can solve the hard problem of consciousness. Particular methods are suggested for: (1) verification and falsification of materialism; (2) verification and falsification of interactionism; (3) falsification of epiphenomenalism and parallelism (verification is problematic); (4) verification of particular materialistic theories of consciousness; (5) a non-Turing test for (...)
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  26. Closing in on Causal Closure.Robert K. Garcia - 2014 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (1-2):96-109.
    I examine the meaning and merits of a premise in the Exclusion Argument, the causal closure principle that all physical effects have physical causes. I do so by addressing two questions. First, if we grant the other premises, exactly what kind of closure principle is required to make the Exclusion Argument valid? Second, what are the merits of the requisite closure principle? Concerning the first, I argue that the Exclusion Argument requires a strong, “stringently pure” version of closure. The latter (...)
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  27. Causal Overdetermination and Kim’s Exclusion Argument.Michael Roche - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (3):809-826.
    Jaegwon Kim’s influential exclusion argument attempts to demonstrate the inconsistency of nonreductive materialism in the philosophy of mind. Kim’s argument begins by showing that the three main theses of nonreductive materialism, plus two additional considerations, lead to a specific and familiar picture of mental causation. The exclusion argument can succeed only if, as Kim claims, this picture is not one of genuine causal overdetermination. Accordingly, one can resist Kim’s conclusion by denying this claim, maintaining instead that the effects of the (...)
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  28. Emerging From the Causal Drain.Richard Corry - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):29-47.
    For over 20 years, Jaegwon Kim’s Causal Exclusion Argument has stood as the major hurdle for non-reductive physicalism. If successful, Kim’s argument would show that the high-level properties posited by non-reductive physicalists must either be identical with lower-level physical properties, or else must be causally inert. The most prominent objection to the Causal Exclusion Argument—the so-called Overdetermination Objection—points out that there are some notions of causation that are left untouched by the argument. If causation is simply counterfactual dependence, for example, (...)
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  29. Einige Bemerkungen zum Prinzip der kausalen Abgeschlossenheit des Physischen.Andreas Hüttemann - 2013 - In Jan Michel & Gernot Münster (eds.), Die Suche nach dem Geist. mentis.
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  30. Dispositional Explanations in Dualism.Janko Nesic - 2013 - Filozofija I Društvo 24 (4):218-241.
    In order to defend mental explanations dualists may appeal to dispositions (powers). By accepting a powers theory of causation, a dualist can more plausibly defend mental explanations that are given independently of physical explanations. Accepting a power-based theory still comes with a price. Absences and double preventers are not causes in a powers theory, and solutions based on them can only defend their explanatory relevance in mental explanations. There is still a chance that such mental explanations can be causal explanations, (...)
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  31. Can The Mental Be Causally Efficacious?Panu Raatikainen - 2013 - In K. Talmont-Kaminski M. Milkowski (ed.), Regarding the Mind, Naturally: Naturalist Approaches to the Sciences of the Mental. Cambridge Scholars Press.
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  32. Pain is Mechanism.Simon van Rysewyk - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Tasmania
    What is the relationship between pain and the body? I claim that pain is best explained as a type of personal experience and the bodily response during pain is best explained in terms of a type of mechanical neurophysiologic operation. I apply the radical philosophy of identity theory from philosophy of mind to the relationship between the personal experience of pain and specific neurophysiologic mechanism and argue that the relationship between them is best explained as one of type identity. Specifically, (...)
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  33. Emergence and Downward Causation.Cynthia Macdonald & Graham Macdonald - 2010 - In Cynthia Macdonald & Graham Macdonald (eds.), Emergence in Mind. Oxford University Press.
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  34. Causation, Exclusion, and the Special Sciences.Panu Raatikainen - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (3):349-363.
    The issue of downward causation (and mental causation in particular), and the exclusion problem is discussed by taking into account some recent advances in the philosophy of science. The problem is viewed from the perspective of the new interventionist theory of causation developed by Woodward. It is argued that from this viewpoint, a higher-level (e.g., mental) state can sometimes truly be causally relevant, and moreover, that the underlying physical state which realizes it may fail to be such.
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  35. Emergence, Downwards Causation and the Completeness of Physics.David Yates - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (234):110-131.
    The 'completeness of physics' is the key premise in the causal argument for physicalism. Standard formulations of it fail to rule out emergent downwards causation. I argue that it must do this if it is tare in a valid causal argument for physicalism. Drawing on the notion of conferring causal power, I formulate a suitable principle, 'strong completeness'. I investigate the metaphysical implications of distinguishing this principle from emergent downwards causation, and I argue that categoricalist accounts of properties are better (...)
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  36. The Microstructure View of the Brain-Consciousness Relation.Michael Schmitz - 2008 - In Sven Walter & Helene Bohse (eds.), Selected Contributions to GAP. 6, Sixth International Conference of the Society for Analytical Philosophy. Berlin:
    How can consciousness, how can the mind be causally efficacious in a world which seems—in some sense—to be thoroughly governed by physical causality? Mental causation has been a nagging problem in philosophy since the beginning of the modern age, when, inspired by the rise of physics, a metaphysical picture became dominant according to which the manifest macrophysical world of rocks, trees, colors, sounds etc. could be eliminated in favor of, or identified with, the microconstituents of these entities and their basic (...)
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  37. Ontological Novelty, Emergence, and the Mind-Body Problem.Katalin Balog - 2006 - In Günter Abel (ed.), Kreativität. Hamburg, Germany: pp. 371-399.
    This paper is an exposition and comparison between two views concerning fundamental ontology in the context of the Mind-Body Problem: physicalism and emergent property dualism. I assess the pros and cons of each position and argue that physicalism provides an overall more plausible metaphysics.
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  38. On the Causal Completeness of Physics.Agustín Vicente - 2006 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 20 (2):149 – 171.
    According to an increasing number of authors, the best, if not the only, argument in favour of physicalism is the so-called 'overdetermination argument'. This argument, if sound, establishes that all the entities that enter into causal interactions with the physical world are physical. One key premise in the overdetermination argument is the principle of the causal closure of the physical world, said to be supported by contemporary physics. In this paper, I examine various ways in which physics may support the (...)
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  39. Some Evidence for Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - 2003 - In Sven Walter & Heinz-Dieter Heckmann (eds.), Physicalism and Mental Causation. Imprint Academic. pp. 155-172.
    This paper presents an irreducibly inductive argument for physicalism based on the causal closure of the physical (for which it argues), and defends it against various detractors.
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  40. Causal Closure Principles and Emergentism.E. J. Lowe - 2000 - Philosophy 75 (294):571-586.
    Causal closure arguments against interactionist dualism are currently popular amongst physicalists. Such an argument appeals to some principles of the causal closure of the physical, together with certain other premises, to conclude that at least some mental events are identical with physical events. However, it is crucial to the success of any such argument that the physical causal closure principle to which it appeals is neither too strong nor too weak by certain standards. In this paper, it is argued that (...)
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  41. Simple Mindedness: In Defense of Naive Naturalism in the Philosophy of Mind.≪/Article-Title≫≪ Cont. [REVIEW]Katalin Balog & Jennifer Hornsby - 1999 - Philosophical Review 108 (4):562-565.
    Hornsby is a defender of a position in the philosophy of mind she calls “naïve naturalism”. She argues that current discussions of the mind-body problem have been informed by an overly scientistic view of nature and a futile attempt by scientific naturalists to see mental processes as part of the physical universe. In her view, if naïve naturalism were adopted, the mind-body problem would disappear. I argue that her brand of anti-physicalist naturalism runs into difficulties with the problem of mental (...)
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  42. The Completeness of Physics.David Spurrett - 1999 - Dissertation, University of Natal, Durban
    The present work is focussed on the completeness of physics, or what is here called the Completeness Thesis: the claim that the domain of the physical is causally closed. Two major questions are tackled: How best is the Completeness Thesis to be formulated? What can be said in defence of the Completeness Thesis? My principal conclusions are that the Completeness Thesis can be coherently formulated, and that the evidence in favour if it significantly outweighs that against it. In opposition to (...)
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  43. Breaking the Grip of Materialism (Review of Unsnarling the World-Knot). [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 1998 - New Scientist (2137).
    David Ray Griffin does not fully come to terms with the fact that science has already abandoned the narrow materialist view of bits of matter pushing each other around. Even as early as Newton's law of gravitation, and most obviously with quantum physics, science has embraced the view that the world consists of relationships (often described as laws) between different types of processes and states.
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  44. The Mental Causation Debate.Tim Crane - 1995 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 69 (Supplementary):211-36.
    This paper is about a puzzle which lies at the heart of contemporary physicalist theories of mind. On the one hand, the original motivation for physicalism was the need to explain the place of mental causation in the physical world. On the other hand, physicalists have recently come to see the explanation of mental causation as one of their major problems. But how can this be? How can it be that physicalist theories still have a problem explaining something which their (...)
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  45. Understanding Sensations.Nicholas Maxwell - 1968 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):127-146.
    My aim in this paper is to defend a version of the brain process theory, or identity thesis, which differs in one important respect from the theory put forward by J.J.C. Smart. I shall argue that although the sensations which a person experiences are, as a matter of contingent fact, brain processes, nonetheless there are facts about sensations which cannot be described or understood in terms of any physical theory. These 'mental' facts cannot be described by physics for the simple (...)
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  46. Panpsychism and Real Mental Causation.Lorenzo Sleakes - manuscript
    The following paper is a panpsychist metaphysics and seeks to avoid any radical emergence of mentality. Science has progressed by stripping the world of all mental qualities but a complete understanding of the world must ultimately put these back. The two types of mental qualities that must be reinstated as fundamentals are the private worlds of individual subjects and phenomenal qualities like colors. I view these as separate aspects of mind although they have a history of being conflated. In this (...)
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