Davidson Anomalous Monism Essay

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Supporting a non-reductive physicalism: Anomalous monism According to Davidson “Anomalous monism resembles materialism in its claim that all events are physical, but rejects the thesis, usually considered essential to materialism, that mental phenomena can be given purely physical explanations” (Davidson, 1970/2002, p. 119) In other words, only the physical may be described by causal laws, but if a physical event is described as a mental event there is no causal law, and there are no psychophysical laws that connect the mental with the physical . Davidson, may defend a view of identity theory, but it is clear that it is not possible to reduce the mental states to a physical explanation. In Davidson’s words: Suppose m, a mental event, caused p, a physical event; then, under some description m and p instantiate a strict law. This law can only be physical... But if m falls under a physical law, it has a physical description; which is to say it is a physical event. An analogous argument works when a physical event causes a mental event. (Davidson, 1970/2002, p. 124) For instance, if I am thirsty, and somebody else is thirsty, the physical state may be different even if the same kind of thirsty is experienced by two individuals or the same thirsty in the future may be produced by a different…show more content…
70). In other words, how can be known that a robot or computer or other creature under a functionalist view is full of mental activity? As a result, some argument has been developed that show that qualia does not have a functional role, one of the arguments is the ‘absent qualia’, for instance, Block suggested the idea with the “Chinese nation” mental experiment to support the lack of phenomenal qualities in the functional sates (Block, 2007, pp. 70-73)
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