Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hasker on how not to be a reductivist

This is Hasker's critique of Chalmers.

Abstract—Some current positions in the philosophy of mind, while ostensibly non-reductive, are in fact reductivist in ways that are seriously problematic. An example is found in the “naturalistic dualism” of David Chalmers: by maintaining the causal closure of the physical domain, Chalmers makes the rationality of conscious experience inexplicable. This can only be remedied by abandoning causal closure and acknowledging that micro processes in the brain go differently in the presence of conscious experience than they would without it. But this move has startling consequences: once it has been made, major objections to mind-body dualism disappear, and determinism is seen to be a theory that is completely lacking in empirical support. Thomas Nagel and John Searle are cited as examples of philosophers who make a serious effort to face up to the consequences of not being reductivists.

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