Physicalism, Or Something Near Enough

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Princeton University Press, 2005 - Philosophy - 186 pages
7 Reviews

Contemporary discussions in philosophy of mind have largely been shaped by physicalism, the doctrine that all phenomena are ultimately physical. Here, Jaegwon Kim presents the most comprehensive and systematic presentation yet of his influential ideas on the mind-body problem. He seeks to determine, after half a century of debate: What kind of (or "how much") physicalism can we lay claim to? He begins by laying out mental causation and consciousness as the two principal challenges to contemporary physicalism. How can minds exercise their causal powers in a physical world? Is a physicalist account of consciousness possible?

The book's starting point is the "supervenience" argument (sometimes called the "exclusion" argument), which Kim reformulates in an extended defense. This argument shows that the contemporary physicalist faces a stark choice between reductionism (the idea that mental phenomena are physically reducible) and epiphenomenalism (the view that mental phenomena are causally impotent). Along the way, Kim presents a novel argument showing that Cartesian substance dualism offers no help with mental causation.

Mind-body reduction, therefore, is required to save mental causation. But are minds physically reducible? Kim argues that all but one type of mental phenomena are reducible, including intentional mental phenomena, such as beliefs and desires. The apparent exceptions are the intrinsic, felt qualities of conscious experiences ("qualia"). Kim argues, however, that certain relational properties of qualia, in particular their similarities and differences, are behaviorally manifest and hence in principle reducible, and that it is these relational properties of qualia that are central to their cognitive roles. The causal efficacy of qualia, therefore, is not entirely lost.

According to Kim, then, while physicalism is not the whole truth, it is the truth near enough.


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Review: Physicalism, or Something Near Enough

User Review  - Danny - Goodreads

Kim is always a great writer. The "or something near enough" in the title is due to Kim's conclusion that phenomenal states (qualia) are irreducible, epiphenomenal states, which form the "mental ... Read full review

Review: Physicalism, or Something Near Enough

User Review  - José Manuel Guevara - Goodreads

This book is great, and quite funny. A good insight about the content could be the explanation of 'Ontology of the world': "...the content of the world is wholly exhausted by matter. Material things ... Read full review

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Synopsis of the Arguments
Mental Causation and Consciousness Our Two MindBody Problems
Mental Causation and Consciousness
The SupervenienceExclusion Argument
Can We Reduce Qualia?
The Two WorldKnots
The Supervenience Argument Motivated Clarified and Defended
Nonreductive Physicalism
BridgeLaw Reduction and Functional Reduction
Explanatory Ascent and Constraint R
Functional Reduction and Reductive Explanation
Kripkean Identities and Reductive Explanation
Remarks about Block and Stalnakers Proposal
Explanatory Arguments for Type Physicalism and Why They Dont Work
Are There Positive Arguments for Type Physicalism?
Hills and McLaughlins Explanatory Argument

The Fundamental Idea
The Supervenience Argument Refined and Clarified
Is Overdetermination an Option?
The Generalization Argument
Blocks Causal Drainage Argument
The Rejection of Immaterial Minds A Causal Argument
Cartesian Dualism and Mental Causation
Causation and the Pairing Problem
Causality and Space
Why Not Locate Souls in Space?
Concluding Remarks
Reduction Reductive Explanation and Closing the Gap
Reduction and Reductive Explanation
Do Psychoneural Identities Explain Psychonerual Correlations?
Block and Stalnakers Explanatory Argument
Another Way of Looking at the Two Explanatory Arguments
Physicalism or Something Near Enough
Taking Stock
Physicalism at a Crossroads
Reducing Minds
Living with the Mental Residue
Where We Are at Last with the MindBody Problem

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Physicalism, or Something Near Enough
Physicalism, or Something Near Enough. , by Jaegwon Kim. Princeton:. Princeton University Press, 2005. Pp. xiii + 186. H/b £17.50. ... cgi/ reprint/ 115/ 460/ 1136.pdf

Jaegwon Kim - Physicalism, Or Something Near Enough - Reviewed by ...
Jaegwon Kim, Physicalism, Or Something Near Enough, Princeton University Press, 2005, 200pp, $26.95 (hbk), ISBN 0691113750. Reviewed by Andrew Melnyk, ... review.cfm?id=3321

Blackwell Synergy - Dialectica, Volume 60 Issue 4 Page 508-512 ...
Physicalism, or Something Near Enough – Jaegwon Kim. Christian Sachse†† University of Lausanne, Switzerland. † University of Lausanne, Switzerland ... doi/ abs/ 10.1111/ j.1746-8361.2006.01074.x

Sample Chapter for Kim, J.: Physicalism, or Something Near Enough.
Sample Chapter for Physicalism, or Something Near Enough by Kim, J., published by Princeton University Press. chapters/ s7971.html

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In Physicalism, Or Something Near Enough, Kim reiterates the exclusion. argument, but he also addresses the other mind-body problem, which is roughly how ... staff/ Kallestrup/ kimreview.pdf

Jagwon Kim's 'Physicalism, or someting near enough': almost a virgin.
David Chalmers recently commented that Jaegwon Kim's new book 'Physicalism, or something near enough' showed how old-fashioned materialism was slipping in ... kim.htm

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Physicalism, or Something Near Enough - Jaegwon Kim. Author: Sachse, Christian1. Source: dialectica, Volume 60, Number 4, December 2006 , pp. 508-512(5) ... content/ bpl/ dltc/ 2006/ 00000060/ 00000004/ art00013;jsessionid=m3i0ttaev1ip.alice?format=print

Type Physicalism, Functional Reductionism, and Property Instance ...
Jaegwon Kim’s recent book Physicalism, or Something Near Enough. 1. has surprised many. philosophers who have understood Kim as a tireless advocate of ... docs/ pdfs/ type_physicalism.pdf

British Library Direct: Jaegwon Kim, Physicalism, or Something ...
Jaegwon Kim, Physicalism, or Something Near Enough. Author. Platchias, D. Journal title. JOURNAL OF CONSCIOUSNESS STUDIES ... research/ 0E/ 21/ RN178601797.html

Graduate Seminar: Physicalism Spring 2007 Professor Karen Bennett ...
Kim, Physicalism or Something Near Enough (2005), chapter 3. Bennett, “Mental Causation” (2007), §§ 1, 2, 3, 5. Optional: ... pages/ kb383/ 2007mindsemsyllabus.pdf

About the author (2005)

Jaegwon Kim is William Herbert Perry Faunce Professor of Philosophy at Brown University. His previous books include "Mind in a Physical World, Philosophy of Mind," and "Supervenience and Mind".

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