Nonreductive Materialism
Baker (Lynne Rudder)
Source: Brian McLaughlin and Ansgar Beckermann, Eds., The Oxford Handbook for the Philosophy of Mind, pages 109–120. OUP, Oxford, 2009
Paper - Abstract

Paper StatisticsColour-ConventionsDisclaimer

Author’s Introduction

  1. The expression ‘nonreductive materialism’ refers to a variety of positions whose roots lie in attempts to solve the mind-body problem. Proponents of nonreductive materialism hold that the mental is ontologically part of the material world; yet, mental properties are causally efficacious without being reducible to physical properties.
    1. After setting out a minimal schema for nonreductive materialism (NRM) as an ontological position, I’ll canvass some classical arguments in favor of (NRM).
    2. Then, I’ll discuss the major challenge facing any construal of (NRM): the problem of mental causation1, pressed by Jaegwon Kim.
    3. Finally, I’ll offer a new solution to the problem of mental causation2.
  2. First, a word about terminology. Unfortunately, nonreductive materialists do not share a standard terminology; indeed, they often use the same words (e.g., ‘realized by’) for different relations. I shall speak of mental properties and their instances (or instantiations). Following Kim’s construal of events as states of affairs at a time, I take mental states (or events) to be mental properties instantiated at a time. Mental events/states may be thought of as instantiations or instances of mental properties. As I am using these terms, mental events are to mental properties as tokens are to types.


See Link.

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

© Theo Todman, June 2007 - May 2020. Please address any comments on this page to File output:
Website Maintenance Dashboard
Return to Top of this Page Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page Return to Theo Todman's Home Page