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Jaegwon, Kim. The myth of non-reductive materialism
2003, Proceedings and Adresses of the American Philosophical Association 63(3): 31:47.
Added by: Laura Jimenez

Summary: This article explores the idea that we can assuage our physicalist qualms by embracing “ontological physicalism”, the claim that all that exists in space-time is physical, but, at the same time, accept “property dualism”, a dualism about psychological and physical attributes, insisting that psychological concepts or properties form an irreducible, autonomous domain. The issue the author explores is whether or not a robust physicalist can, consistently and plausibly, swear off reductionism – that is, whether or not a substantial form of physicalism can be combined with the rejection of psycho-physical reduction. The author argues that a middle-of-the road position of the sort just described is not available. More specifically, he claim that a physicalist has only two genuine options, eliminativism and reductionism.

Comment: This is a very important paper for both philosophy of mind and philosophy of science. Previous knowledge of key concepts such supervenience, physicalism or reductionism is needed to fully understand the paper. It is then more suitable for postgraduate students.

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