[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)
 Helen Beebee (University of Manchester) on
 ‘Epiphenomenalism for Functionalists’
 Tuesday, 10 February 2015, 5.30 PM, Zrinyi 14, Room 412
 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 

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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