Can the Russellian monist escape the epiphenomenalist’s paradox?

Topoi (forthcoming)
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Abstract
Russellian monism – an influential doctrine proposed by Russell (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 concerning qualia, including epiphenomenalism itself, cannot be caused by qualia. For many writers, including Hawthorne (2001), Smart (2004), and Braddon-Mitchell and Jackson (2007), Russellian monism faces the same paradox as epiphenomenalism does. I will assess Chalmers’s (1996) and Seager’s (2009) defences of Russellian monism against the paradox, and will put forward a novel argument against those defences.
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Archival date: 2018-06-13
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Ramseyan Humility.Lewis, David

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