By Jaegwon Kim
This article, according to Jaegwon Kim's 1996 Townsend Lectures, provides the philosopher's late-1990s perspectives on a number of matters within the metaphysics of the brain - specifically, the mind-bady challenge, psychological causation, and reductionism. Kim construes the mind-body challenge as that of discovering a spot for the brain in a global that's essentially actual. between different issues, he redefines the jobs of supervenience and emergence within the dialogue of the mind-body challenge. Arguing that numerous modern debts of psychological causation are insufficient, he deals his personal partly reductionist resolution at the foundation of a version of aid. The booklet keeps the casual tone of the lecture structure.
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Extra info for Mind in a Physical World: An Essay on the Mind-Body Problem and Mental Causation
We can agree with Block that , unlike in the paradigmatic casesof causal overdetermination (say, two bullets hitting a person in the heart simultaneously ), the cape's having the two properties , redness and provocativeness, is not a case of coincidence (for presumably its provocativeness depends on its being red ). But it is not clear why Block thinks that this diffuses the problem . Perhaps, Block's reasoning is that The Many Problemsof Mental Causation 53 in cases of standard overdetermination , the overdetermining causesare independentevents - two or more independent causal chains, each causally sufficient , converge upon a single effect.
The Supervenience Argument, or Descartess Revenge In my first lecture I argued that mind -body supervenience could usefully be thought of as defining minimal physicalism that it is the minimal commitment that anyone who calls herself a physicalist should be willing to accept. We saw also that mind body supervenience is entailed by physical realizationism , the thesis that mental properties are instantiated in virtue of being realized by physical properties in physical systems. Moreover emergentism, too , is arguably committed to mind body super venience: if two systems are wholly alike physically , we should expect the same mental properties to emerge, or fail to emerge, in each.
The simplest and most obvious reason for the physicalist to accept (ii ) lies, I think , in her commitment to the causalclosure of the physical domain, an idea that has already made a brief appearance above. One way of stating the principle of physical causal closure is this : If you pick any physical event and trace out its causal ancestry or posterity , that will never take you outside the physical domain . That is, no causal chain will ever cross the boundary between the physical and the nonphysical .