Naturalistic Dualism

Filosoofia teadvusekäsitlusi
Naturalistic dualism by David Chalmers (The Concious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory, 1996)
Audentese Ülikool
Triin Kaljuvee-O'Brock
PSM 13
1. 06.04


The idea of “naturalistic” dualism is to respect natural science entirely, denying nothing that is known, rejecting only the classical mechanistic 19th-century view according to which nothing fundamentally exists but individual subatomic particles and their dynamic and kinematic properties. According to the naturalistic dualist, the foregoing objections to Cartesian and property dualism are at least tacitly based on the classical view, and can be circumvented if we abandon that view.   Naturalistic dualism was inaugurated by W. Sellars in the 1950’s, although the idea did not catch on until thirty or forty years later. Sellars argued that the subjectively felt phenomenal qualities of sensations could not be identified with, otherwise reduced to, or even accommodated within the “punctiform” metaphysics afforded by classical particulate mechanics. He called such subjective qualitative properties “sensa”. But, rather than insisting that sensa are outside physical reality itself, Sellars contended that they will have a home within a suitably expanded physics, and so are part of nature after all.
David Chalmers also calls his theory of consciousness “naturalistic dualism". He writes:
"To capture the spirit of the view I advocate, I call it naturalistic dualism. It is naturalistic because it posits that everything is a consequence of a network of basic properties and laws, and because it is compatible with all the results of contemporary science. And as with naturalistic theories in other domains, this view allows that we can explain consciousness in terms of basic natural laws. . . . Some might find a certain irony in the name of the view, but what is most important is that it conveys the central message: to embrace dualism is not necessarily to embrace...