Crane (Tim)
Source: Crane - Elements of Mind - An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind, 2001, Chapter 2
Paper - Abstract

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  1. Interaction Between Mind and Body – 34
  2. Substance, Property, Event – 35
  3. The ‘Intelligibility’ Of Mental Causation1 – 40
  4. Physics And Physicalism – 43
  5. The Problem Of Mental Causation2 For Dualists – 48
  6. The Identity Theory – 51
  7. Reductionism – 54
  8. Against The Identity Theory : Anti-Reductionism – 55
  9. The Problem Of Mental Causation3 For Non-Reductive Physicalism – 59
  10. Emergence – 62
  11. Physicalism As The Source Of The Mind-Body Problem – 66
  12. What Does A Solution Of The Mind-Body Problem Tell Us About The Mind? – 68

Section Summaries
  1. Note4 – Interaction between mind and body: Descartes's view that he is not lodged in his body like a pilot in a ship endorsed; the mind and the body do interact causally; this is taken as a starting point for debate, not something which is in need of defence.
  2. Note5 – Substance, property, event: Some basic metaphysical categories introduced; substance distinguished from attribute or property; a state is a thing having a property at a time; states are distinguished from events on the grounds that events are particulars with temporal parts; mental phenomena comprise both mental states and mental events (or 'acts').
  3. Note6 – The 'intelligibility' of mental causation7: Mental-physical causation8 may be considered problematic because of something about causation9 or something about the mental, or something about the physical; the first two of these dismissed; the problem of mental causation10 is a result of 'physicalist' assumptions about the physical world.
  4. Note11 – Physics and physicalism: Physicalism distinguished from monism in general and from materialism; physicalism gives a special role to physics; the 'generality of physics' distinguished from the 'completeness of physics' and the 'explanatory adequacy of physics'.
  5. Note12 – The problem of mental causation13 for dualists: The problem arises from the apparent conflict between mental causation14 and the completeness of physics; overdetermination of mental and physical causes ruled out.
  6. Note15 – The identity theory: The identity theory solves the problem of mental causation16 by identifying mental and physical causes; which version of the identity theory is accepted depends on what the relata of causation17 are (events or properties).
  7. Note18 – Reductionism: The identity theory is an ontologically reductionist theory; ontological reduction distinguished from explanatory reduction, a relation between theories; the two types of reduction are independent.
  8. Note19 – Against the identity theory; anti-reductionism: The identity theory is implausible because of Putnam's variable or multiple realization argument; ontological reduction should therefore be rejected.
  9. Note20 – The problem of mental causation21 for non-reductive physicalism: If ontological reduction is denied, then the problem of mental causation22 returns for non-reductive physicalism; the non-reductive physicalist response is to hold that the mental is necessarily determined by the physical; the difficulties with this view discussed.
  10. Note23 – Emergence: An alternative non-physicalist position introduced: mental properties are 'emergent' properties with their own causal powers; this position denies the completeness of physics.
  11. Note24 – Physicalism as the source of the mind-body problem: Some see physicalism as the source of the mind-body problem, not its solution; the problem here is how to explain the place of consciousness in the physical world; the contemporary mind-body problem as a dilemma: if the mind is not physical, then how can it have physical effects? But if the mind is physical, how can we understand consciousness?
  12. Note25 – What does a solution to the mind-body problem tell us about the mind?: Whether the identity theory, non-reductive physicalism, or emergentism are true does not tell us much of interest about the nature of mental properties themselves.


For a précis and analysis of the whole Book, see this Note26.

Write-up27 (as at 12/02/2015 16:48:00): Crane - Interaction Between Mind and Body

This is a review of Section 9 of "Crane (Tim) - Body", from "Crane (Tim) - Elements of Mind - An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind". For the previous Section (the last Section of Chapter 1 – "Crane (Tim) - Mind"), see this Note28.

Crane’s Abstract
    Descartes's view that he is not lodged in his body like a pilot in a ship endorsed; the mind and the body do interact causally; this is taken as a starting point for debate, not something which is in need of defence.

My Notes
  • Few things are more obvious than that we are embodied beings. Crane quotes29 "Descartes (Rene) - Sixth Meditation", to the effect that the mind is not like a pilot of a ship, intellectually noticing problems, but is intermingled with the body.
  • Our relationship with our bodies is immediate and intimate. We have faculties of proprioception and kinesthesia so that we can sense our body’s position and changes in motion without having to look, though brain damage can cause these faculties to be lost.
  • Despite Descartes’ insight about the intimate connection between mind and body, he is more famous for espousing dualism; that minds and bodies are separate entities that causally interact. This tension shows up in his thought – I am joined to my body, mind and body are mingled, yet mind and body form a single whole. The dualism denies the relationship that the phenomenological insight of bodily awareness asserts.
  • How do mind and body interact? The first answer is “causally”, ie. mental states and events cause physical states and events in the brain, body and external world30. This gives a problem for dualism, though to understand the problem we need to understand better what dualism is.
  • Descartes’ dualism was substance dualism. A substance is distinct from its properties, of which it is the bearer. Additionally, a substance is capable of independent existence31.
The Note for the next Section is here32.

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 27:
  • This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (12/02/2015 16:48:00).
  • Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
Footnote 29: Add to cross-reference list, and review Descartes.

Footnote 30: And, similarly, physical events cause mental events.

Footnote 31: Independent of what?

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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