Institut Jean Nicod

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The Crazyst Metaphysics of Mind

Eric Schwitzgebel (University of California Riverside) parlera dans le cadre du Colloquium de l’Institut Jean-Nicod le vendredi 12 octobre de 11h à 13h (29 rue d’Ulm, 75005 Paris, Pavillon-Jardin, salle de réunion au rez-de-chaussée).

Le titre de son exposé est "The Crazyst Metaphysics of Mind"

Texte disponible ici : eschwitz/SchwitzAbs/CrazyMind.htm


Crazyism about X is the view that something that it would be crazy to believe must be among the core truths about X. In this essay, I argue that crazyism is true of the metaphysics of mind. A position is “crazy” in the intended sense if it is contrary to common sense and we are not epistemically compelled to believe it. Views crazy in the intended sense include, for example, that there is no mind-independent material world, that the United States has a stream of conscious experience distinct from the experiences of the individuals composing it, that chimps or hypothetical intelligent-seeming aliens of science fiction fantasy entirely lack conscious experience, that mental events are causally inefficacious. Well developed metaphysical theories will inevitably violate common sense, I argue, because common sense is incoherent in matters of metaphysics. No coherent and detailed view could respect it all. Common sense is thus impaired as a ground of choice. Nor can scientific evidence or abstract theoretical virtue compellingly favor any one metaphysical approach over all competitors. Something bizarre must be true about the mind, but which bizarre propositions are the true ones, we are in no good position to know.