Department (Manual Entry)
This paper attempts to construct a novel argument against the theory of materialism in Philosophy of Mind. Specifically, I argue that materialism cannot be a sufficient answer to the mind-body problem. That is, in the attempt to provide a satisfactory answer as to how the mind is related to the body, the claim that the mind is identical to the brain, I contend, is untenable. First, I explicate the principle of the Indiscernibility of Identicals, then I use it to demonstrate the falsity of the claim: the mind = the brain. In doing so, I argue that the mind and the brain do not have the same properties in virtue of what I’ve deemed a “neo-Leibnizian” argument. This argument hinges on the fact that subjective experiences of the mind cannot be found in the physical brain via third-party observation, as Leibniz claimed. I then address some immediate materialist objections concerning denoting identicals. I finish with an argument that the physical must be third-personally observable. I conclude that this argument leaves the materialist in a position where she must either deny materialism outright and/or nullify her possibly scientific motivations for being a materialist.
Casey, David Kendall, "Mind-Body Dualism: A Neo-Leibnizian Argument" (2017). Honors Projects Overview. 133.
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