Towards a Unitary Case for Russellian Panpsychism

Philosophia 2021:1-22 (2021)
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Abstract
One of the most pressing challenges that occupy the Russellian panpsychist’s agenda is to come up with a way to reconcile the traditional argument from categorical properties (Seager, 2006; Alter & Nagasawa, 2015) with H. H. Mørch’s dispositionalism-friendly argument from the experience of causation (2014, 2018, 2020) — on the way to a unitary, all-encompassing case for the view. In this regard, Mørch claims that, via the commitment to the Identity theory of properties, one can consistently hold both panpsychist arguments without contradiction (2020: 281) — I shall refer to such proposal as Reconciliation. In my paper, I shall argue that this is not the case. To this extent, I will first consider H. Taylor’s argument that the Identity theorists have the exact same resources as the dispositionalists (as, after careful enquiry, their views on the metaphysics of properties turn out to coincide (2018: 1438)), and thus contend that Reconciliation fails to obtain. Then, I will suggest that one can avoid the problem and reconcile the arguments by adopting a different version of the powerful qualities view, namely the Compound view — and thus advance a reformulated version of the claim, i.e. Reconciliation*. Finally, even though pursuing my proposed solution might expose Russellian panpsychism to the risk of epiphenomenalism, I shall conclude that such specific form of epiphenomenalism is a rather benign one, and thus that, via Reconciliation*, the constitution of a unitary case for panpsychism as a positive proposal (and not as a mere alternative to dualism and physicalism) can be achieved.
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Archival date: 2021-04-08
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