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Substance Dualism or Eliminativism


Perry Hendricks

Trinity Western University, CA
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Physicalism (P) entails minimal physicalism (MP), MP entails minimal supervenience (MS), and MS is the thesis that there is covariance between the supervenient and the subvenient stuff. Therefore, if the (alleged) supervenient and subvenient stuff do not covary, then MS is false, and if MS is false then MP is false, and if MP is false then P is false. Put differently: if MS is false then P is false—P stands and falls with MS. In this essay, I begin by showing what the minimal physicalist thesis is: MP is, essentially, MS. Next, I look at qualia and the trouble they pose to MS and hence MP: if it is possible that qualia can be inverted without a behavioral change, then it follows that MS, MP, and P are false. In other words, the possibility of inverted qualia show that P is false. Seeing that this possibility does not establish a very robust dualism, I turn to the issue of inverted selves: if inverted selves are possible, then full-blown substance dualism follows. I argue that inverted selves are possible.

How to Cite: Hendricks, P., 2016. Substance Dualism or Eliminativism. International Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, 8(2), pp.3 (12–21). DOI:
Published on 24 Jun 2016.
Peer Reviewed


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