Cover

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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright Page, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xiii

I offer here no startlingly new views about the mind-body problem beyond what can be found in my earlier book Mind in a Physical World (MIT Press, 1998). Apart from some new material, on topics like substance dualism, the idea of reductive explanation, and the explanatory arguments for type physicalism, what the book does offer, I hope, is better focused and motivated arguments...

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Synopsis of the Arguments

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pp. 1-6

A strong physicalist outlook has shaped contemporary discussions of the mind-body problem. The aim of this book is to assess, after half a century of debate, just what kind of physicalism, or “how much” physicalism, we can lay claim to. My conclusion is that although we cannot have physicalism tout court, we can have something...

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1: Mental Causation and Consciousness: Our Two Mind-Body Problems

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pp. 7-31

SCHOPENHAUER famously called the mind-body problem a “Weltknoten,” or “world-knot,” and he was surely right. The problem, however, is not really a single problem; it is a cluster of connected problems about the relationship between mind and matter. What these problems are depends on a broader framework of philosophical and scientific assumptions and presumptions within which the questions are posed and possible answers formulated...

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2: The Supervenience Argument Motivated, Clarified, and Defended

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pp. 32-69

An argument was presented in the preceding chapter to show that, on an influential position on the mind-body problem, mental properties turn out to be without causal efficacy. This is what I have called the supervenience argument, also called the exclusion argument in the literature. The argument has drawn comments, criticisms, and objections from a wide range of philosophers, but..

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3: The Rejection of Immaterial Minds: A Causal Argument

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pp. 70-92

The deep difficulties that beset contemporary nonreductive physicalism might prompt some of us to explore nonphysicalist alternatives; in fact, the nonreductivist’s predicament seems to have injected new vigor into the dualist projects of philosophers with antecedent antiphysicalist sympathies.1 For the upshot of our considerations on mental causation was that, for the physicalist, there..

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4: Reduction, Reductive Explanation, and Closing the “Gap”

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pp. 93-120

It is not a matter of dispute that mental phenomena are intimately correlated with physical events, and, so far as we know, neural events in the brain are the physical correlates of mental events. Often one speaks of the neural “substrates” of mental states, suggesting that there is here a dependency relationship between the mental...

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5: Explanatory Arguments for Type Physicalism and Why They Don’t Work

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pp. 121-148

One notable development in the debates over the mind-body problem during the last dozen or so years so is the revival of type physicalism, the view that mental properties and kinds are identical with physical properties and kinds. This was the original form of the mind-body identity theory advanced by Herbert Feigl and J.J.C. Smart in the late 1950s, a position that began losing favor with philosophers by the late...

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6: Physicalism, or Something Near Enough

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pp. 149-174

As reflective and self-aware creatures, we want to know what kind of being we are, what our nature is. We also want to know how we fit into the world we live in, what our place is in this world. But what kind of place is this world, to begin with? For detailed knowledge of the world, we must defer to the deliverances of the sciences. Only science can tell us about the origin of life on earth, the...

References

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pp. 175-180

Index

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pp. 181-186