A Proof of ‘1st/3rd Person Relativism’ and its Consequences to the Mind-Body Problem

Abstract

The suggestion of something akin to a ‘relativist solution to the Mind-Body problem’ has recently been held by some scientists and philosophers; either explicitly (Galadí, 2023; Lahav & Neemeh, 2022; Ludwig, 2015) or in more implicit terms (Solms, 2018; Velmans, 2002, 2008). In this paper I provide an argument in favor of a relativist approach to the Mind-Body problem, more specifically, an argument for ‘1st/3rd person relativism’, the claim that ‘The truth value of some sentences or propositions is relative to 1st and 3rd person perspectives’. The argument for 1st/3rd person relativism is close to a forma proof. It is shown that, just by assuming the 1st/3rd person distinction itself and using first order logic and set theory, ‘1st/3rd person relativism’ follows as a theorem. Some consequences of ‘1st/3rd person relativism’ to the Mind-Body Problem are evaluated. It is shown that ‘1st/3rd person relativism’ predicts the existence of an (apparent) Explanatory Gap; explains why the Explanatory Gap is just apparent (and the origins of such illusion); dissolves the Hard-Problem; provides a possible solution the problem of Mental Causation; explains why Mental Causation looks like a problem in the first place and accurately predicts the actual empirically found correlation and covariation between conscious experiences and brain states. This explanatory power of ‘1st/3rd person relativism’ is particularly impressive since it was not designed as a possible solution to the Mind-Body problem in the first place.

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João Fonseca
Universidade Nova de Lisboa

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2024-04-02

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