[MaFLa] reminder: invitation to a talk by Aaron Lambert on`What are the prospects for a science-friendly mind-body dualism? `-21 February, 5.30 PM

Krisztina Biber Biberk at ceu.hu
Mon Feb 20 09:39:13 CET 2012

The CEU Department of Philosophy cordially invites you to a talk 
(as part of its Departmental Colloquium series)
Aaron Lambert (University of Chicago)
`What are the prospects for a science-friendly mind-body dualism? `
Tuesday, 21 February, 2012, 5.30 PM, Zrinyi 14, Room 412
The causal completeness of the physical domain has usually been seen as a tough nut for the interactionist dualist to crack.  If every physical event or state has a sufficient physical cause, i.e., if the physical domain is what I call 'minimally complete,' then the dualist is faced with what looks to be an unacceptable dilemma.  Either mental events never cause any physical events at all, so interactionism is false, or mental events overdetermine the physical events they cause, so interactionism, if not exactly false, is not respectable.  The dualist's usual response is to beat a retreat and reject the completeness of the physical domain.  The prospects for a science-friendly dualism look dim.
In this presentation I argue, first, that though completeness seems to threaten mental efficacy, denying completeness doesn't lead anywhere useful for the dualist.  The solution to the problem of mental causation lies elsewhere.  Second, minimal completeness is an important principle whose rejection is not be taken lightly.  And third, dualists are misguided to think they need to beat a retreat in the first place, for dualists can have their cake and eat it too.  Physical completeness can be left standing alongside the principle that mental events are genuine causes of physical events. There is a way of putting physical completeness and mental efficacy together that leads neither to an unsustainable tension between mental and physical causation, nor to the temptation to regard mental events as causally redundant because physical events 'already do all the work'.  The prospects for a science-friendly dualism do not look so bad after all.
 Kriszta Biber
Department Coordinator
Philosophy Department
Tel: 36-1-327-3806
Fax: 36-1-327-3072
E-mail: biberk at ceu.hu
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