Date Thesis Awarded

4-2018

Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

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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