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After Physicalism

Benedikt Paul Gocke

Publication Year: 2012

Although physicalism has been the dominant position in recent work in the philosophy of mind, this dominance has not prevented a small but growing number of philosophers from arguing that physicalism is untenable for several reasons: both ontologically and epistemologically it cannot reduce mentality to the realm of the physical, and its attempts to reduce subjectivity to objectivity have thoroughly failed. The contributors to After Physicalism provide powerful alternatives to the physicalist account of the human mind from a dualistic point of view and argue that the reductive and naturalistic paradigm in philosophy has lost its force.

The essays in this collection all firmly engage in a priori metaphysics. Those by Uwe Meixner, E. J. Lowe, John Foster, Alvin Plantinga, and Richard Swinburne are concerned with ways to establish the truth of dualism. Essays by William Hasker, A. D. Smith, and Howard Robinson deal with the relation between physicalism and dualism. Benedikt Paul Göcke argues that the “I” is not a particular and Stephen Priest that “I have to understand myself not as a thing but as no-thing-ness.” In the final essay, Thomas Schärtl argues that there are limits to dualism as indicated by the concept of resurrection. By including two classical essays by Plantinga and Swinburne, the volume conveniently brings together some of the best and the newest thinking in making the philosophical case for dualism.
"Seven of these essays are by eminent philosophers: Lowe, Foster, Plantinga, Swinburne, Hasker, Smith, and Robinson, each recapitulating his well-known position in the debate. To have these seven essayists together under one cover constitutes a remarkable book, which can be used as a textbook in philosophy of mind as well as in philosophy of religion courses, and which also opens up the debate in an original way among colleagues at an advanced level." —Fergus Kerr, University of Edinburgh

Published by: University of Notre Dame Press

Title Page, Copyright

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p. ix-ix

All but two essays in this book are new essays on dualism and physicalism. Richard Swinburne’s essay “From Mental/Physical Identity to Substance Dualism” appeared in Persons: Human and Divine, edited . . .

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Introduction: After Physicalism

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pp. 1-24

What am I? Who, if those questions are supposed to be different, am I? Understanding these questions is understanding what philosophy of mind, or rational psychology, as it used to be called, is about. . .

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Chapter 1: The Naturalness of Dualism

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pp. 25-47

In his famous biography of Samuel Johnson, James Boswell recounts the following anecdote (see, for example, Boswell . .

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Chapter 2: Non-Cartesian Substance Dualism

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pp. 48-71

Non-Cartesian substance dualism is a position in the philosophy of mind concerning the nature of the mind-body relation—or, more exactly, the person-body relation. It maintains that this is a relationship . . .

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Chapter 3: Subjects of Mentality

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pp. 72-103

There are two kinds of entity that feature in the mental realm. On the one hand, there are items of mentality (mental items). These are such things as sense experiences, beliefs, emotions, and decisions, . . .

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Chapter 4: Against Materialism

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pp. 104-146

I propose to give two arguments against materialism—or, if you think that’s too negative, two arguments for substantial dualism. ‘Substantial’ is to be taken in two senses: first, the dualism in . . .

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Chapter 5: From Mental/Physical Identity to Substance Dualism

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pp. 147-179

“Mental properties are the same as physical properties,” “mental events are the same as physical events,” “mental substances are the same as physical substances”—says many a physicalist. . . .

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Chapter 6: Is Materialism Equivalent to Dualism?

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pp. 180-199

Is materialism equivalent to dualism? Clearly not, if the question is taken in its most natural sense, as referring to the entire families of philosophical views known respectively as dualism and materialism. . . .

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Chapter 7: Benign Physicalism

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pp. 200-230

This essay may seem an odd one to be included in the present collection, since in it I argue that a certain form of physicalism may be true. I always used to think that physicalism, in any form, could not . . .

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Chapter 8: Qualia, Qualities, and Our Conception of the Physical World

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pp. 231-263

The dialectical situation in which the knowledge argument (KA) for property dualism is usually taken to be located is the following.1 It is taken as agreed that physicalism gives an adequate account of . . .

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Chapter 9: Groundwork for a Dualism of Indistinction

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pp. 263-294

Although “most contemporary analytic philosophers [endorse] a physicalist picture of the world” (Newen et al. 2007: 147), it is unclear what exactly the physicalist thesis states. I briefly argue that . . .

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Chapter 10: The Unconditioned Soul

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pp. 295-334

There is a distinction to be drawn between conditioned and unconditioned philosophy. Unconditioned philosophy entails ultimate explanation of how philosophical problems may be formulated. Conditioned . . .

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Chapter 11: Beyond Dualism? : The Track-Switch Model of Resurrection

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pp. 335-368

It is not impossible to be a materialist and to believe in the resurrection of the dead. As Hudson pointed out, in a number of publications, 1 a materialist still has some tools in his bag of tricks to reconcile . . .


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pp. 369-371


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pp. 372-374

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780268080686
E-ISBN-10: 0268080682
Print-ISBN-13: 9780268030001
Print-ISBN-10: 0268030006

Page Count: 376
Illustrations: NA
Publication Year: 2012