An Argument in Favor of Mental Realism



This paper proposes a philosophical defense of the reality of mental states. In the first section it will be tested two very important contemporary accounts regarding mental realism, respectively, the theory of anomalous monism and the non-reductive physicalism. The test has to show us whether their upholding of irreducibility of intentionalist explanation (called also mentalist or psychological explanation) bears any significant consequence on the reality of mental states. The conclusion will be, unfortunately, that from their accounts as such it does not follow that the mental states are real. In section 2 we try to develop a realist argument which, accepting that the argument given by anomalous monism and non-reductive physicalism in favor of irreducibility is valid, asserts that this irreducibility really needs real items in order to work. Such an argument takes the shape of a transcendental argument. In section 3 it will be shown that mental causation, though real, doesn't imply Cartesianism.


mental realism; non-reductive physicalism; anomalous monism; mental causation

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