Naturalism and the First-Person Perspective
Baker (Lynne Rudder)
Source: Georg Gasser, Ed., How Successful is Naturalism? Publications of the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, pp. 203–26. Ontos-Verlag, Frankfurt, 2007
Paper - Abstract

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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.


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