Supervenience, Materialism, and Skepticism: Critiquing Some Key Epistemological Underpinnings of Chalmers" Dualistic Philosophy of Mind

Meeker, Kevin Supervenience, Materialism, and Skepticism: Critiquing Some Key Epistemological Underpinnings of Chalmers" Dualistic Philosophy of Mind. In: Pre-Proceedings of the 26th International Wittgenstein Symposium. Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, Kirchberg am Wechsel, pp. 224-226.

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Abstract

David Chalmers has recently received much attention for arguing against a materialistic theory of mind and for a type of property dualism (see Chalmers 1996). So what exactly is a materialistic theory? According to Chalmers, materialistic theories require, roughly speaking, that all facts, including macrolevel facts, either are microphysical facts or supervene logically on microphysical facts (Chalmers 1996, 41, 128). For instance, biological facts logically supervene on basic physical facts. But how does Chalmers understand supervenience? After explaining the basic idea and discussing some technical problems, he provides the following gloss: "[supervenience is] a thesis about our world (or more generally, about particular worlds)... According to ... [this] definition, B-properties are logically supervenient on A-properties if the B-properties in our world are logically determined by the A-properties in the following sense: in any possible world with the same Afacts, the same B-facts will hold" (Chalmers 1996, 39).1 Utilizing many creative examples invoking objects such as zombies, he contends that mental phenomena, and conscious experiences in particular, do not supervene on material states of affairs. Consciousness, then, is unlike just about every other natural phenomenon, which does supervene on materialistic states of affairs. Hence consciousness is special, different, and, in accord with his dualism, separate.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Supervenience; Materialism; Scepticism; Chalmers, D.
Subjects: Philosophie > Philosophische Journale, Kongresse, Vereinigungen > Wittgenstein Symposium Kirchberg, Pre-Proceedings > Kirchberg 2003
Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Sprachphilosophie
Depositing User: Stefan Köstenbauer
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2008 11:13
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2011 18:52
URI: http://sammelpunkt.philo.at/id/eprint/1656

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