Does Dispositionalism Entail Panpsychism?

Topoi:1-16 (2018)
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According to recent arguments for panpsychism, all (or most) physical properties are dispositional, dispositions require categorical grounds, and the only categorical properties we know are phenomenal properties. Therefore, phenomenal properties can be posited as the categorical grounds of all (or most) physical properties – in order to solve the mind–body problem and/or in order avoid noumenalism about the grounds of the physical world. One challenge to this case comes from dispositionalism, which agrees that all physical properties are dispositional, but denies that dispositions require categorical grounds. In this paper, I propose that this challenge can be countered by the claim that the only (fundamentally) dispositional properties we know are phenomenal properties, in particular, phenomenal properties associated with agency, intention and/or motivation. Claims of this sort have been common in the history of philosophy, and have also been supported by a number of contemporary dispositionalists. I will defend a new and updated version of this claim, based on what I call the phenomenal powers view. Combined with other premises from the original case for panpsychism – which are not affected by the challenge from dispositionalism – it forms an argument that dispositionalism entails panpsychism.
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First archival date: 2018-03-02
Latest version: 3 (2018-10-23)
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