Substance Dualism Is A Philosophical Position Essay

1112 Words Aug 17th, 2015 null Page
Substance dualism is a philosophical position that claims that two kinds of substances constitute reality: mental substances (for example, minds) and physical substances (for example, tables). Philosophers use the word “substance” to denote a fundamental aspect of reality that cannot be broken down further. In other words, substance dualism claims there are two fundamental aspects of reality that are irreducible. Philosophers have argued for the truth of substance dualism in several ways. One type of argument claims that there is a gap between understanding the mind and the brain; these are called explanatory gap arguments. Explanatory gap arguments have three features. First, they start by identifying a property of mind that has yet to be explained in physical terms. We will call this “mental property X.” Second, they make a prediction about the future. They argue that it is difficult to see how “mental property X” could ever be explained in physical terms. Finally, a conclusion is drawn. If an aspect of the mind cannot be explained in terms of physical substances, then it must be because the mind is composed of a mental substance. One criticism of explanatory gap arguments focuses on the arguments second feature, its predictive element. Opponents of explanatory gap arguments claim that although it is difficult to currently explain the mind in terms of physical substances, there will be some future date in which we will have such an explanation. Opponents cite past…

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