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Title: Constitutive Emergence: A Non-Reductive Solution to the Mind-Body Problem
Keywords: mind-body, non-reductive, physicalism, constitution, emergence, part-whole
Issue Date: 6-Oct-2007
Citation: WONG SOO LAM (2007-10-06). Constitutive Emergence: A Non-Reductive Solution to the Mind-Body Problem. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The mind-body problem (MBP) has two essential aspects a?? (a) the problem of mental causation and (b) the problem of consciousness. An adequate solution to the MBP must be able to address both aspects adequately. Dualism addresses (b) but not (a) adequately. Reductive physicalism addresses (a) but not (b) adequately. Non-reductive physicalism (NRP) aims to address both aspects adequately, but is criticised for its inherent instability for affirming both the mutually incompatible non-reductivism and physicalism theses. This introduces a dilemma in NRP, which leads to its eventual collapse into dualism or reductive physicalism. To avoid this collapse, I propose a version of NRP based on the notions of constitution and emergence. And I argue that this version, which I call constitutive emergence, is able to affirm both the non-reductivism and physicalism theses without collapsing into dualism or reductive physicalism, thereby offering an adequate solution to the MBP.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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