[MaFLa] invitation to a philosophy talk on ‘Epiphenomenalism for Functionalists’by Helen Beebee - Tuesday, 10 February, 5.30 PM, Zrinyi 14, Room 412

Krisztina Biber biberk at ceu.hu
Wed Feb 4 07:32:17 CET 2015


    The CEU Department of Philosophy cordially invites you to a talk 
 (as part of its Departmental Colloquium series)
 by
 Helen Beebee (University of Manchester) on
 ‘Epiphenomenalism for Functionalists’
  
  
 Tuesday, 10 February 2015, 5.30 PM, Zrinyi 14, Room 412
  
  
 ABSTRACT
  
  
 This paper explores a less well-known cousin of the Exclusion Problem
for non-reductive physicalism (NRP): what I’ll call the Extrinsicality
Problem. Non-reductive physicalists hold that mental properties are
generally multiply realised by physical properties. The Exclusion
Problem is that if the physical properties are causally sufficient for a
given effect, there is no causal work left for the mental properties to
do; hence NRP entails the causal inefficacy of the mental. Various
promising counterfactual-based solutions are available to the Exclusion
Problem; however, a deeper problem remains. Mental properties are
thought to be multiply realised because they are functional properties:
properties individuated by their typical causes and effects. But
functional properties are extrinsic, and extrinsic properties are
ill-suited for having causal status. This is the Extrinsicality Problem.
I show how various proposed solutions to the Exclusion Problem are
subject to the Extrinsicality Problem, but argue that the natural
conclusion — epiphenomenalism with respect to the mental — is not as
unfortunate as it is commonly taken to be.
  
  

Krisztina Biber
Department of Philosophy 
Coordinator
------------------------------------------

Central European University
Nador u. 9. | 1051 Budapest, Hungary
Office: + 36.1.327.3806 | biberk at ceu.hu | www.ceu.hu 

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