Interactionism, haecceities, and the pairing argument

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (7):724-741 (2017)
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Interactionists hold that non-spatial objects causally interact with physical objects. Interactionists have traditionally grappled with the puzzle of how such interaction is possible. More recently, Jaegwon Kim has presented interactionists with a more daunting threat: the pairing argument, which purports to refute interactionism by showing that non-spatial objects cannot stand in causal relations. After reviewing that argument, I develop a challenge to it on behalf of the interactionist. The challenge poses a dilemma: roughly, either haecceities exist or they do not. I argue that the pairing argument fails in either case. While the challenge does not explain exactly how the pairing argument goes wrong, it shows that the argument fails. The challenge also explains the difficulty in pinpointing the pairing argument’s failure: exactly how the pairing argument fails depends on difficult issues concerning the nature of objects.



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Bradford Saad
Utrecht University

Citations of this work

Indeterministic Causation and Two Patches for the Pairing Argument.Bradford Saad - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):664-682.
Interactionism for the discerning mind?Derek Shiller - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (4):931-946.
Two solutions to the neural discernment problem.Bradford Saad - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):2837-2850.

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References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
Physicalism, or Something Near Enough.Jaegwon Kim - 2005 - Princeton University Press.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
Physicalism, or Something near Enough.Jaegwon Kim - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (223):306-310.

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