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Episteme

Abstract

The author here combines the insights of John Dupré and Jaeqwon Kim to supply a new answer to the big conundrum in the philosophy of mind: the mind/body problem. He begins with an overview of Dupré’s take on the classic modern take of causality and determinism, concluding that if Dupré is right and probabilistic catastrophism is true, this theory of probability has important consequences for the mind/body problem. Specifically, probabilistic catastrophism can address the question forced by Kim’s emergentism: how do irreducible mental properties interact with the closed causal nexus of the physical world? The paper concludes by considering what this new thesis means for the question over whether mentality can be multiply realized—if other things could behave like brains.

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