Date Thesis Awarded

4-2018

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

Philosophy

Advisor

Matthew Haug

Committee Members

Joshua Gert

Robert Leventhal

Abstract

This thesis consists of two parts. In Part 1 I explain why we should endorse an interactionist version of dualism instead of other kinds of anti-physicalism. I argue that epiphenomenalism is false, and as versions of anti-physicalism, naturalistic dualism and Russellian panprotopsychism fail to find the middle ground between interactionist dualism and epiphenomenalism. John Perry (2001) and Andrew Bailey (2006) have accused Chalmers of presupposing epiphenomenalism. I develop their attack based on the causal closure problem and reply to Chalmers’ responses. In particular, I evaluate Chalmers’ defense of Russellian panprotopsychism and argue that this theory as well cannot avoid committing to either interactionist dualism or epiphenomenalism. In Part 2 I provide an interactionist argument against physicalism by constructing a possible world which is only partially physically identical to the actual world. I then give an account of what mental causation in the interactionist dualist picture might look like and address some objections against interactionist dualism and the interactionist argument.

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