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The Waning of Materialism

Robert C. Koons and George Bealer, eds. (Oxford University Press: May 2010), 440 pages.

Twenty-three philosophers examine the doctrine of materialism and find it wanting. Their case against materialism comprises arguments from conscious experience, from the unity and identity of the person, from intentionality, mental causation, and knowledge. The contributors include leaders in the fields of philosophy of mind, metaphysics, ontology, and epistemology, who respond ably to the most recent versions and defenses of materialism. The modal arguments of Kripke and Chalmers, Jackson’s knowledge argument, Kim’s exclusion problem, and Burge’s anti-individualism all play a part in the building of a powerful cumulative case against the materialist research program. Several papers address the implications of contemporary brain and cognitive research (the psychophysics of color perception, blindsight, and the effects of commissurotomies), adding a posteriori arguments to the classical a priori critique of reductionism. All of the current versions of materialism — reductive and non-reductive, functionalist, eliminativist, and new wave materialism — come under sustained and trenchant attack. In addition, a wide variety of alternatives to the materialist conception of the person receive new and illuminating attention, including anti-materialist versions of naturalism, property dualism, Aristotelian and Thomistic hylomorphism, and non-Cartesian accounts of substance dualism. ~ Synopsis

Table of Contents

  • I. Arguments from Consciousness
    • 1. Against Materialism, Laurence BonJour, (University of Washington)
    • 2. Consciousness: A Simple Approach, Adam Pautz, (University of Texas at Austin)
    • 3. Saving Appearances: A Dilemma For Physicalists, Charles Siewert, (University of California, Riverside)
    • 4. The Property Dualism Argument, Stephen L. White, (Tufts University)
    • 5. Kripke’s Argument against Materialism, Eli Hirsch, (Brandeis University)
    • 6. The Self-Consciousness Argument: Functionalism and the Corruption of Intentional Content, George Bealer, (Yale University)
  • II. Arguments from Unity and Identity
    • 7. On the Significance of Some Intuitions about the Mind, David Barnett, (University of Colorado)
    • 8. Persons and the Unity of Consciousness, William Hasker, (Huntington University)
    • 9. An Argument from Transtemporal Identity for Subject-Body Dualism, Martine Nida-Rümelin, (University of Fribourg)
  • III. Intentionality, Mental Causation and Knowledge
    • 10. Burge’s Dualism, Bernard W. Kobes, (Arizona State University)
    • 11. Modest Dualism, Tyler Burge, (UCLA)
    • 12. Descartes’ Revenge Part II: The Supervenience Argument Strikes Back, Neal Judisch, (University of Oklahoma)
    • 13. Nonreductive Materialism or Emergent Dualism? The Argument from Mental Causation, Timothy O’Connor, (Indiana University) and John Ross Churchill
    • 14. Epistemological Objections to Materialism, Robert C. Koons, (University of Texas)
  • IV. Alternatives to Materialism
    • 15. Materialism, Minimal Emergentism, and the Hard Problem of Consciousness, Terry Horgan, (University of Arizona)
    • 16. Dualizing Materialism, Michael Jubien, (University of Florida)
    • 17. Dualistic Materialism, Joseph Almog, (UCLA)
    • 18. Varieties of Naturalism, Mario De Caro, (Tufts University)
    • 19. Against Methodological Materialism, Angus J. L. Menuge, (Concordia University, Wisconsin)
    • 20. Soul, Mind and Brain, Brian Leftow, (University of Oxford)
    • 21. Materialism Does Not Save the Phenomena — and the Alternative Which Does, Uwe Meixner, (University of Regensburg)
    • 22. Substance Dualism: A Non-Cartesian Approach, E. J. Lowe, (Durham University)
  • Bibliography Index