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Beyond ReductionPhilosophy of Mind and Post-Reductionist Philosophy of Science$
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Steven Horst

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195317114

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195317114.001.0001

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The Explanatory Gap and Dualism Reconsidered

The Explanatory Gap and Dualism Reconsidered

(p.83) 5 The Explanatory Gap and Dualism Reconsidered
Beyond Reduction

Steven Horst (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the implications of post‐reductionist philosophy of science for dualism and the status of the explanatory gaps. The primary argument for dualism is based on a Negative Explanation‐to‐Metaphysics Connection Principle (“Negative EMC”), to the effect that if A is not reducible to B, then B→A is not metaphysically necessary and A is not metaphysically supervenient upon B. But if other special sciences are not reducible to physics either, the dualist is faced with a dilemma. Either she must give up Negative EMC, and with it the principal argument for dualism, or she must draw similar conclusions with respect to other irreducible phenomena, the result being not a dualism but a pluralism of higher ordinality. Dualism can be reconciled with explanatory pluralism only by producing a reason to think that only the mind‐body gap implies a failure of supervenience.

Keywords:   dualism, Negative Explanation‐to‐Metaphysics Connection Principle, pluralism, irreducibility, explanatory gap

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