Anomalous monism and mental causality : on the debate of Donald Davidson’s philosophy of the mental

  • The English version of the first chapter of Erwin Rogler and Gerhard Preyer: Materialismus, anomaler Monismus und mentale Kausalität. Zur gegenwärtigen Philosophie des Mentalen bei Donald Davidson und David Lewis (2001) "Anomaler Monismus und Mentale Kausalität. Ein Beitrag zur Debatte über Donald Davidsons Philosophie des Mentalen" is a contribution to the current debates on the philosophy of the mental and mental causality initiated from Donald Davidson's philosophy with his article "Mental Events" (1970). It is the intent of the English version to give a response to the controversy among American, British and Australian philosophers in the context of a global exchange of ideas on problems understanding the mental. Contents 1. Preliminary Remarks 2. The Critique of Property-Epiphenomenalism and Counterarguments (a) The Enlargement of Nomological Reasoning (b) The Counterfactual Analysis (c) Supervenient Causality 3. Are Mental Properties real or unreal (fictive)? Abstract Things and events are fundamental entities in Davidson's ontology. Less distinct is the ontological status of properties, especially of mental types. Despite of some eliminative allusions there are weighty reasons to understand Davidson's philosophy of mind as including intentional realism. With it, the question of mental causality arises. There are two striking solutions to this problem: the epiphenomenalism of mental properties and the downward causation of mental events. Davidson cannot accept either. He claims to justify the mental as supervenient causality in order to thus integrate it into physicalism (his version of monism). But his argument at best proves the explanatory, not the causal relevance of mental properties. For this and for other reasons, Davidson fails the aspired synthesis of a sufficiently strong physicalism and the autonomy of the mental; a project whose realization is anyhow hard to achieve.

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Author:Erwin Rogler, Gerhard PreyerORCiDGND
Publisher:Humanities Online
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Document Type:Book
Year of Completion:2004
Year of first Publication:2004
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2007/06/14
Page Number:31
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Germany License.

Dieses Werk steht unter der Creative Commons Lizenz Namensnennung-NichtKommerziell-KeineBearbeitung 2.0 Deutschland.
Source:Frankfurt am Main : Humanities Online
Institutes:Gesellschaftswissenschaften / Gesellschaftswissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 10 Philosophie / 100 Philosophie und Psychologie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung, Nicht kommerziell, Keine Bearbeitung 2.0