Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

Department of Religion and Philosophy

Abstract

Kant’s Critical philosophy solves Descartes’ mind-body problem, replacing the dualism of the “physical influx” theory he defended in his early career. Kant’s solution, like all Critical theories, is “perspectival,” acknowledging deep truth in both opposing extremes. Minds are not separate from bodies, but a manifestation of them, each viewed from a different perspective. Kant’s transcendental conditions of knowledge portray the mind not as creating the physical world, but as necessarily structuring our knowledge of objects with a set of unconscious assumptions; yet our pre-conscious (pre-mental) encounter with an assumed spatio-temporal, causal nexus is entirely physical. Hence, today’s “eliminative materialism” and “folk psychology” are both ways of considering this age-old issue, neither being an exclusive explanation. A Kantian solution to this version of the mind-body problem is: eliminative materialism is good science; but only folk psychologists can consistently be eliminative materialists. Indeed, the mind-body problem exemplifies a feature of all cultural situations: dialogue between opposing perspectives is required for understanding as such to arise.

Publication Year

2016

Journal Title

Culture and Dialogue

Volume number

4

Issue number

3

Publisher

Brill

First Page (page number)

194

Last Page (page number)

213

Referreed

1

DOI

10.1163/24683949-12340010

ISSN (print)

22223282

Link to Publisher’s Edition

http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/24683949-12340010

Keywords

mind-body problem, neurophilosophy, eliminative materialism, Immanuel Kant, perspectives

Available for download on Wednesday, August 01, 2018

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