Non‐Reductive Materialism

Lynne Rudder Baker

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780199262618
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Non‐Reductive Materialism

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The expression ‘non-reductive materialism’ refers to a variety of positions whose roots lie in attempts to solve the mind–body problem. Proponents of non-reductive materialism hold that the mental is ontologically part of the material world; yet mental properties are causally efficacious without being reducible to physical properties. After setting out a minimal schema for non-reductive materialism (NRM) as an ontological position, this article canvasses some classical arguments in favour of NRM. Then it discusses the major challenge facing any construal of NRM: the problem of mental causation, pressed by Jaegwon Kim. Finally, it offers a new solution to the problem of mental causation.

Keywords: non-reductive materialism; material world; mental properties; ontology; mental causation; Jaegwon Kim

Article.  9175 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind ; Philosophy of Science

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