restricted access Chapter 5: From Mental/Physical Identity to Substance Dualism
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147 From Mental/Physical Identity to Substance Dualism Richard Swinburne 1. “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. “Mental properties and events supervene on physical properties and events,” and “mental substances supervene on physical substances”—says many another physicalist. Whether these claims are true depends first on what is meant by ‘substances,’ ‘properties,’ and ‘events,’ by ‘mental’ and ‘physical,’ and by ‘supervene,’ and then on what are the criteria for one property, event, or substance being the same as another . The first issues can be dealt with quickly and to some extent stipulatively. I understand by a property a monadic or relational universal ,1 and by an event the instantiation of a property in a substance or substances (or in properties or events) at times. Any definition of a substance tends to beg philosophical questions, but I’ll operate with 5 148  Richard Swinburne a definition which does not, I think, beg the questions at issue in this paper. A substance is a thing (other than an event) which can (it is logically possible) exist independently of all other things of that kind (viz., all other substances) other than its parts.2 Thus tables, planets, atoms, and humans are substances. Being square, weighing ten kilos, and being-taller-than are properties (the former two being monadic properties, the latter being a relational property which relates two substances). Events include my table being square now, or John being taller than James on March 30, 2001, at 10:00 a.m. There are different ways of making the mental/physical distinction , but I propose to make it in terms of the privilegedly accessible/ public.3 I believe that my way of making the distinction highlights the traditional worries about how the mental can be connected with the physical; but some other ways of making the distinction may do so as well, and similar results to mine are likely to follow from these other ways. So a mental property is one to whose instantiation the substance in whom it is instantiated necessarily has privileged access on all occasions of its instantiation, and a physical property is one to whose instantiation the substance necessarily has no privileged access on any occasion of its instantiation. Someone has privileged­ access to whether a property P is instantiated in him in the sense that whatever ways others have of finding this out, it is logically possible that he can use, but he has a further way (of experiencing it) which it is not logically possible that others can use. A pure mental property may then be defined as one whose instantiation does not entail the instantiation of a physical property. So ‘trying to raise one’s arm’ is a pure mental property, whereas ‘intentionally raising one’s arm’ is not; for the instantiation of the latter entails that my arm rises.4 My definitions have the consequence that there are some properties which are neither mental nor physical—let us call them ‘neutral properties.’ They include formal properties (e.g., ‘being a substance’) and disjunctive properties (‘being in pain or weighing ten stone’). A mental event is one to which the substance involved has privileged access; normally this will consist in the instantiation of a mental property, but sometimes it may involve the instantiation of a neutral property (as, for example, does the event of me being-in-pain-orweighing -ten-stone). A pure mental event is one which does not en- From Mental/Physical Identity to Substance Dualism   149 tail the occurrence of a physical event. A physical event is one to which the substance involved does not have privileged access. A mental substance is one to whose existence that substance necessarily has privileged access, and a physical substance is a substance to whose existence that substance necessarily has no privileged access, that is, a public substance. Since having privileged access to anything is itself a mental property, and someone who has any other mental property has that one, mental substances are just those for which some mental properties are essential. And we may define a pure mental substance as one for which only pure mental properties are essential (together with any properties entailed by the possession of pure mental properties). I understand the supervenience of one (kind of) property on another in a sense derived from Kim’s sense of ‘global supervenience.’5 A...