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Epiphenomenalism and Cross-Realization Induction

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Abstract:

In the first part of this paper I argue that epiphenomenalism does not pose a threat to nonreductive physicalism, if type-epiphenomenalism does not imply the redundancy of mental (or in general higher-level) typing of events and/or states. Furthermore, if justifiable induction over folk-psychological regularities is possible independently of the ways in which these regularities are realized, type-epiphenomenalism does not imply the redundancy ofmental typing. Inthe second part of this paper I explain how justifiable 'cross-realization induction' can be possible. This explanation does what none of the currently available ones can: combine the generally accepted ideas that (i) folk-psychology is a successful means of predicting, explaining, and understanding human behaviour and (ii) that mental states are multiply realized. Given these two steps, it is relatively safe to say that there is no epiphe-nomenalism-threat to nonreductive physicalism.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2003

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