Physicalism, or Something Near Enough
By (author) Jaegwon Kim
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Physicalism, or Something Near Enough by Jaegwon Kim
Book DescriptionContemporary discussions in philosophy of mind have largely been shaped by physicalism, the doctrine that all phenomena are ultimately physical. Here, Jaegwon Kim presents the most comprehensive and systematic presentation yet of his influential ideas on the mind-body problem. He seeks to determine, after half a century of debate: What kind of (or "how much") physicalism can we lay claim to? He begins by laying out mental causation and consciousness as the two principal challenges to contemporary physicalism. How can minds exercise their causal powers in a physical world? Is a physicalist account of consciousness possible? The book's starting point is the "supervenience" argument (sometimes called the "exclusion" argument), which Kim reformulates in an extended defense. This argument shows that the contemporary physicalist faces a stark choice between reductionism (the idea that mental phenomena are physically reducible) and epiphenomenalism (the view that mental phenomena are causally impotent). Along the way, Kim presents a novel argument showing that Cartesian substance dualism offers no help with mental causation. Mind-body reduction, therefore, is required to save mental causation. But are minds physically reducible? Kim argues that all but one type of mental phenomena are reducible, including intentional mental phenomena, such as beliefs and desires. The apparent exceptions are the intrinsic, felt qualities of conscious experiences ("qualia"). Kim argues, however, that certain relational properties of qualia, in particular their similarities and differences, are behaviorally manifest and hence in principle reducible, and that it is these relational properties of qualia that are central to their cognitive roles. The causal efficacy of qualia, therefore, is not entirely lost. According to Kim, then, while physicalism is not the whole truth, it is the truth near enough.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691133850
(216mm x 140mm x 15mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 3-Dec-2007
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Jaegwon Kim
Metaphysics, Hardback (August 2011)
Thoroughly updated, the second edition of this highly successful textbook continues to represent the most comprehensive and authoritative collection of canonical readings in metaphysics. In addition to updated material from the first edition, it presents entirely new sections on ontology and the metaphysics of material objects.
Essays in the Metaphysics of Mind, Paperback (October 2010)
Jaegwon Kim presents a selection of his essays from the last two decades, on a set of related topics for which he has played a leading role in shaping philosophical debate, such as emergence, explanation, reduction, and mental causation. The volume will be compelling reading for anyone interested in philosophical work on mind, action, and science.
Companion to Metaphysics, Hardback (March 2009)
Includes revisions to existing encyclopedic entries Features more than 30 all-new "A to Z" entries Offers a section of in-depth, essays from renowned metaphysicians Provides the most complete and up-to-date reference guide for students and professionals alike. .
Epistemology, Hardback (February 2008)» View all books by Jaegwon Kim
New and thoroughly updated, Epistemology: An Anthology continues to represent the most comprehensive and authoritative collection of canonical readings in the theory of knowledge.
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Author Biography - Jaegwon Kim
Jaegwon Kim is William Herbert Perry Faunce Professor of Philosophy at Brown University. His previous books include "Mind in a Physical World, Philosophy of Mind," and "Supervenience and Mind".
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