The Rise and Fall of the Mind-Body Problem

In Corine Besson, Anandi Hattiangadi & Romina Padro (eds.), Meaning, Modality and Mind: Essays Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Naming and Necessity. Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
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In this paper, I examine the relationship between physicalism and property dualism in the light of the dialectic between anti-physicalist arguments and physicalist responses. Upon rehearsing the moves of each side, it is hard not to notice that there is a puzzling symmetry between dualist attacks on physicalism and physicalist replies. Each position can be developed in a way to defend itself from attacks from the other position, and it seems that there are neither a priori nor a posteriori grounds to choose between the two. I suggest that the reason for the intractability of the disagreement, perhaps surprisingly, is they are both true: physicalism and dualism are formulated in terms of different conceptual schemes, each involving basic metaphysical concepts such as possibility, necessity, law and property. My proposal is that this means that there is no real disagreement in fact; both schemes get at the same reality, in different ways.



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Katalin Balog
Rutgers University - Newark

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Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Does conceivability entail possibility.David J. Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.
New work for a theory of universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.

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