Precis of /Out of This World: Logical Mentalism and the Philosophy of Mind

March 8, 2023
Master of Philosophy (MAP, Universitá della Svizzera Italiana

Room SI-003 Black Building
Via Buffi 13
Lugano 6900

This event is available both online and in-person


  • The SNF funded project, Quantum Indeterminacy


University of Toronto at Scarborough


Università Della Svizzera Italiana

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Abstract: This talk gives an overview of my forthcoming book (OUP, to appear).

What are the points of logical space? According to 'logical realism' (LR), metaphysically possible worlds -- metaphysical possibilities for *the actual world*; according to 'logical mentalism' (LM), phenomenologically possible stances -- phenomenological possibilities for *my present stance*. LM faces a 'formalization challenge': could it replace LR as a foundation for theory of logic-adjacent phenomena (content, consequence, meaning, modality)? LM is defended by building out this foundational role. In regard to the available logical and modal behaviors, LM is seen to be more liberal, LR more stringent: predictive consequences of this contrast are used to impeach LR.

How does reasoning about the mind relate to reasoning about the world? According to 'metapsychological redundantism' (MR) -- paradigmatically, functionalism -- minds are just another subject-matter; according to 'metapsychological autonomism' (MA) -- paradigmatically, simulationism -- reasoning about the mind is irreducible. LR seems to require MR; conversely, MA partners naturally with LM. Simulationism (thus MA, thus LM) is predictively superior to functionalism (thus MR, thus LR).

LM+MA has consequences for the nature of the 'mind-body problem'. LM+MA takes mentality 'out of this world', eliminating any distinctively 'hard' problem of intertheoretic reduction. But in replacing *the actual world* with *my present stance*, LM+MA locates this latter beyond explanation and beyond investigation: if there is a problem here, it frustratingly eludes articulation -- making it a 'weird' problem.

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