Tim Maudlin on Mind-Body Problem

Quotes from Tim Maudlin, The Metaphysics Within Physics

p. 106 “I admit that the evident existence of subjective mental states is neither obviously part of, nor reducible to, physical state and physical law. But I do not think that all ontological analysis need be held hostage to this conundrum. In particular, investigation of the physical ontology can proceed so long as the physical world contains plausible de facto correlates of subjective mental states, such as the notorious firing of C-fibers for pain.”

p. 106 “In actual practice, the Newtonian need only derive from the theoretical apparatus states that correspond to what we take to be manifest observable structure of the world: a Newtonian derivation of a parabolic trajectory for a thrown rock can be tested in obvious ways in the lab with no notice of conscious states at all. But a more fastidious Newtonian could, for example, trace a set of interactions between the rock and the firing of neurons in the brains of experimenters that would suffice to underwrite the reliability of the laboratory investigation.”


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