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Joshua Rasmussen's counting argument against reductive materialism

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  • Joshua Rasmussen's counting argument against reductive materialism

    Basically, the idea is that for every class (or plurality) of physical properties p, there is a mental property such as "thinking that the ps are physical". But since there are more classes of physical properties than physical properties themselves, it folows that mental properties cannot be physical properties. Here is the article:

    And here is a simple video presentation of the argument:

  • #2
    An objection by analogy:

    Rasmussen's argument is an appeal to the paradox of self-reference that eventually became known as Russell's paradox. A similar paradox, the Liar's paradox, effects the correspondence theory of truth. We don't however reject the correspondence theory on the basis of that paradox instead locating the problem in theories of self-reference themselves (ditto for specific theistic variants like Grimm's Divine Liar's paradox). With this in mind the physicalist might object that they are quite entitled to take Rasmussen's argument the same way - as illustrating problems with theories of self-reference.