Date of Award

4-1997

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Philosophy

Second Advisor

Timothy McGrew

Third Advisor

Arthur Falk

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

The overall goal of this paper is to offer an argument for dualism. To do this, I shall provide an argument which attempts to establish that the most plausible materialist theories are those which advocate what I shall call the essential view of matter. For extraneous reasons, I shall proceed as if eliminative materialism is the only materialist theory which belongs to this class. The argument sets out to demonstrate that the identity theory and property dualism advocate a conception of matter which attributes to it inessential and extraordinary characteristics and that this conception of matter is untenable since it raises numerous difficulties for the physical sciences. Based on my argument, I conclude that eliminative materialism is the most plausible materialist response to the mind-body problem.

Next, I provide an argument for substance dualism. I argue that if eliminative materialism, the most plausible materialist theory, is inadequate, then substance dualism is the most plausible response to the mind-body problem as long as there are no other reasons for rejecting it.

My conclusion is that since eliminative materialism is inadequate and since three objections against dualism are unsuccessful, the case for dualism looks very compelling.

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