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Non-Reductive Materialism vs. Substance Dualism

e., the mind and the body). This particular approach reduces in fact to property dualism which encompasses the awareness of the categories of knowledge or action in which materialism becomes what Searle (296) calls "the finest flower of dualism."

Kim (242) describes nonreductive materialism as emerging from the fact that reductionism in the mind-body problem has been out of fashion since the 1960s and a desire to achieve true physicalist explanation without being a reductionist. It is Kim's (244) view that Searle's attempt at nonreductive materialism is not valid in part because it is impossible to establish laws for mental events because they make no causal difference. Essentially, this seems to invalidate Descartes' proposition that "I think, therefore I am," which directly claims that thinking is a precondition or even a cause of being.

Kim's (254) argument against nonreductive materialism is largely based on the causal closure of the physical which says that any physical event must have a physical cause and is based on the assumption of the conservation of mass and energy. Kim (257) holds ultimately that some form of dualism (if not Cartesian dualism) is the only rational alternative to nonreductive materialism.

Nagel (63) argued that "true intentionality cannot occur in a being incapable of consciousness." Consciousness therefore appears in this philosopher's view to be associated wi


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Non-Reductive Materialism vs. Substance Dualism. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 07:20, October 24, 2014, from
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