Non-Cartesian Substance Dualism and the Problem of Mental Causation
Lowe (E.J.)
Source: Erkenntnis Vol. 65, No. 1, Prospects for Dualism: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (2006), pp. 5-23
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. Non-Cartesian substance dualism (NCSD) maintains that persons or selves are distinct from their organic physical bodies and any parts of those bodies. It regards persons as 'substances' in their own right, but does not maintain that persons are necessarily separable from their bodies, in the sense of being capable of disembodied existence1.
  2. In this paper, it is urged that NCSD is better equipped than either Cartesian dualism or standard forms of physicalism to explain the possibility of mental causation2.
  3. A model of mental causation3 adopting the NCSD perspective is proposed which, it is argued, is consistent with all that is currently known about the operations of the human central nervous system, including the brain.
  4. Physicalism, by contrast, seems ill-equipped to explain the distinctively intentional or teleological character of mental causation4, because it effectively reduces all such causation5 to 'blind' physical causation6 at a neurological level.

Comment:

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