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How can Searle avoid property dualism?: epistemic-ontological inference and autoepistemic limitation

Northoff, Georg and Musholt, Kristina (2006) How can Searle avoid property dualism?: epistemic-ontological inference and autoepistemic limitation. Philosophical Psychology, 19 (5). pp. 589-605. ISSN 0951-5089

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Identification Number: 10.1080/09515080600901889

Abstract

Searle suggests biological naturalism as a solution to the mind-brain problem that escapes traditional terminology with its seductive pull towards either dualism or materialism. We reconstruct Searle's argument and demonstrate that it needs additional support to represent a position truly located between dualism and materialism. The aim of our paper is to provide such an additional argument. We introduce the concept of “autoepistemic limitation” that describes our principal inability to directly experience our own brain as a brain from the first-person perspective. The neglect of the autoepistemic limitation leads to inferences from epistemic properties to ontological features—we call this “epistemic-ontological inference.” Searle attempts to avoid such epistemic-ontological inference but does not provide a sufficient argument. Once the autoepistemic limitation is considered, epistemic-ontological inference can be avoided. As a consequence, one can escape traditional terminology with its seductive pull towards either dualism or materialism.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09515080600901889
Additional Information: © 2006 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Sets: Departments > Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2013 13:18
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 03:26
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/49700

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