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Tropes and Mind: In Defense of the Trope Solution to the Problem of Mental Causation

Jansson, Erik LU (2013) FTEK01 20131
Theoretical Philosophy
Abstract
The trope solution to the problem of mental causation combines a trope monism, i.e. that properties are tropes and all tropes are physical, with a type dualism, i.e. that although all tropes are of a physical type, there are subsets of tropes that are also of a mental type. It does so in order to reconcile three individually plausible yet seemingly incompatible principles that together would ensure the efficacy of mental properties in a physicalist framework: (i) That mental properties are at least sometimes relevant to physical events [relevance]; (ii) that every physical event has in its causal history only physical events and properties [closure]; and (iii) that mental properties are not physical properties [distinctness]. Two major... (More)
The trope solution to the problem of mental causation combines a trope monism, i.e. that properties are tropes and all tropes are physical, with a type dualism, i.e. that although all tropes are of a physical type, there are subsets of tropes that are also of a mental type. It does so in order to reconcile three individually plausible yet seemingly incompatible principles that together would ensure the efficacy of mental properties in a physicalist framework: (i) That mental properties are at least sometimes relevant to physical events [relevance]; (ii) that every physical event has in its causal history only physical events and properties [closure]; and (iii) that mental properties are not physical properties [distinctness]. Two major objections to the trope solution are addressed: the first claims that the trope solution merely replaces one problem at the level of events with another at the level of tropes and types; the second claims that trope monism is incompatible with type dualism. The first objection is shown to be based on a flawed conception of the trope solution, but it nevertheless forces a concession that opens up for the second objection. In defense of the trope solution it is argued that what the second objection claims to be a denial of the multiple realizability argument – which is what leads to the incompatibility – might actually be a valid response to it. (Less)
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author
Jansson, Erik LU
supervisor
organization
course
FTEK01 20131
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
mental causation, properties, trope monism, multiple realizability
language
English
id
3812342
date added to LUP
2013-06-27 11:27:17
date last changed
2013-06-27 11:27:17
@misc{3812342,
  abstract     = {The trope solution to the problem of mental causation combines a trope monism, i.e. that properties are tropes and all tropes are physical, with a type dualism, i.e. that although all tropes are of a physical type, there are subsets of tropes that are also of a mental type. It does so in order to reconcile three individually plausible yet seemingly incompatible principles that together would ensure the efficacy of mental properties in a physicalist framework: (i) That mental properties are at least sometimes relevant to physical events [relevance]; (ii) that every physical event has in its causal history only physical events and properties [closure]; and (iii) that mental properties are not physical properties [distinctness]. Two major objections to the trope solution are addressed: the first claims that the trope solution merely replaces one problem at the level of events with another at the level of tropes and types; the second claims that trope monism is incompatible with type dualism. The first objection is shown to be based on a flawed conception of the trope solution, but it nevertheless forces a concession that opens up for the second objection. In defense of the trope solution it is argued that what the second objection claims to be a denial of the multiple realizability argument – which is what leads to the incompatibility – might actually be a valid response to it.},
  author       = {Jansson, Erik},
  keyword      = {mental causation,properties,trope monism,multiple realizability},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Tropes and Mind: In Defense of the Trope Solution to the Problem of Mental Causation},
  year         = {2013},
}