says that psychological or mentalistic predicates are (a) essential for a full description of the world and (b) are not reducible to physicalistic predicates
no true reduction is possible because, unlike water being reducible to H 2 O, psychological states are irreducible
such is the case because these states are functional terms rather than natural kind terms; that is, they are described more in terms of what they do rather than in terms of their composition or structure
think if attempting to describe a hurricane in purely chemical or physical terms
there is more than one type of property in the world
suggests that the ontology of a pure materialism is insufficient for an accurate description
holds that when matter is organized in a certain kind of way that new properties arise
may be thought of as a kind of emergent materialism; though may be grounded in the material, there is nothing in physics to explain for the emergent properties of things like beliefs, phenomenal experiences, or consciousness itself
the view that mind and body causally influence one another
there seems to be a great deal of intuitive force behind this position
it certainly seems to be the case that hitting my thumb causes the feeling of pain, and that causes me to cry out and withdraw my hand
it also seems that my experience of pain is not located in the brain state but is something different; that is, suggesting that there is nothing going on other than the firing of c-fibers in my head seems to leave out something vitally important, namely the feeling of the pain
one might be inclined to wonder where such interaction could occur. certainly, descartes was concerned with such.
there does not appear to be any central location of the mind in the world
if the mental is not locatable, then it seems strange to talk about where there interaction with anything else takes place
the dualist generally takes it as a given that the mental affects the physical in the brain, but why must this be the case? if we are prepared to posit some mysterious means of interaction, why can we not also posit that such interaction occurs somewhere other than the brain? why not the heart? if we are relying on some sort of reasoning towards the best explanation, some sort of occam’s razor answer, then we might be inclined to abandon dualism altogether
this is one of the most powerful arguments against interactionism
how can something that is not in any way material affect something that is?
what do we even mean by “cause” here? don’t our laws of causation only refer to material objects? don’t they exist only in light of physical theory? how can we make sense of something immaterial “causing” a change in the material?
the big issue is that there doesn’t seem any way for the mental to get any friction with the material