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The Waning of Materialism$
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Robert C. Koons and George Bealer

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199556182

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199556182.001.0001

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Substance Dualism: A Non‐Cartesian Approach

Substance Dualism: A Non‐Cartesian Approach

(p.439) 22 Substance Dualism: A Non‐Cartesian Approach
The Waning of Materialism

E. J. Lowe (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Substance dualism in the philosophy of mind is, naturally enough, commonly thought of on a Cartesian model, according to which it is a dualism of two radically different kinds of substance, one (the ‘body’ purely material and the other (the ‘mind’ wholly immaterial in nature. This view is subject to many familiar difficulties. However, the almost universal rejection of Cartesian substance dualism has blinded many philosophers to the possibility of formulating other and more plausible versions of substance dualism. Non-Cartesian substance dualism (NCSD), as it may most perspicuously be called, is a dualism not of minds and bodies, but of persons — or, more generally, of subjects of experience — and their ‘organized’ bodies. This is an ontological distinction that is chiefly motivated not by some fanciful notion that there could be disembodied persons — although NCSD does not rule out that possibility — but by much more solid considerations which require us to distinguish between the identity-conditions of persons and their bodies. Much of the intuitive appeal of Cartesian dualism is retained and explained by NCSD, without any of the former's counterintuitive features and metaphysical difficulties. NCSD is, however, still a non-materialist position, because it is incompatible even with very weak forms of non-reductive physicalism.

Keywords:   substance dualism, identity conditions, non-reductive physicalism, Cartesian dualism

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