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The Waning of Materialism$
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Robert C. Koons and George Bealer

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199556182

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199556182.001.0001

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Dualizing Materialism

Dualizing Materialism

(p.331) 16 Dualizing Materialism
The Waning of Materialism

Michael Jubien

Oxford University Press

This chapter suggests that if we take materialism simply to be the doctrine that human beings are entirely material entities, then a certain version of ‘property dualism’ is fully compatible with materialism and is indeed the most plausible account of the mental available. The latter claim is supported in part by an argument exploiting Jaegwon Kim's well-known conception of events as objects having properties at times. The argument concludes that ‘token-token’ identity theories are actually committed to ‘type-type’ identities. It is then argued from the perspective of conceptual analysis and linguistic competence that the relevant type identities are straightforwardly false. This argument is contrasted with familiar arguments from intentionality and conceivability and is held to be more fundamental. Arguments from obscurity and from mental causation against property dualism are addressed. Finally, it is suggested (following Russell) that causation is essentially a ‘folk’ concept playing no real role in the hard sciences, whose fundamental goal is instead the discovery of law-like connections between properties of material objects. When intuitively ‘mental’ properties are ultimately connected in law-like ways with intuitively ‘physical’ properties, the upshot will be a broadening of our conception of physical properties so that they will include those we may now consider intuitively to be mental in a sense incompatible with being physical. Thus, the dualism of property dualism would merely amount to a difference between types of physical properties.

Keywords:   property dualism, materialism, Jaegwon Kim, type identity, intentionality, mental causation, mental property

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