Mental Compositional Properties

Derk Pereboom

in Consciousness and the Prospects of Physicalism

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199764037
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895243 | DOI:

Series: Philosophy of Mind Series

Mental Compositional Properties

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Chapter 8 develops a model of the mental that is not functional in the external-relations sense; that is, one in which the essences of types of mental properties do not consist in their causal relations to sensory inputs, behavioral outputs, and other mental states. Instead mental properties — and this includes phenomenal properties — are identical to broadly physical compositional properties, properties things have solely by virtue of intrinsic features of their parts, either proper or improper, and relations these parts have to one another. This model would secure the causal efficacy of the mental qua mental in a way that the most common sort of functionalism cannot. It preserves nonreductivism, since multiple realizability arguments indicate that mental compositional properties would not be essentially neural or microphysical. At the same time, given the identities that it affirms, in a significant respect the position espoused amounts to a compromise with the type-type reductionist views. I close by considering several objections that have been raised against nonreductive views generally, arguing that in each case the model yields an adequate response.

Keywords: nonreductive physicalism; reductionism; functionalism; compositional property; constitution; projectible; causal power; token identity; type identity; Jaegwon Kim

Chapter.  10949 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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