Simone Gozzano

Scientific Essentialism and the Mental

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The main objection for including mental properties, and laws, within the domain of dispositional essentialism concerns phenomenal properties, and such an objection is often raised via the intuition that zombies are conceivable. However, if these properties can be individuated in terms of roles and establish nomological relations, zombies are not possible because they would be nomologically identical to us but property different, an independence that dispositionalism denies. If there are not nomological relations, the dispositional list denies that there are phenomenal properties, and we are zombie. But it seems there are phenomenal properties, so this option too should be discarded. The only option left is that phenomenal properties are categorical properties. However, I argue that this option is not viable and that these properties are better construed as dispositions, which gives physicalism a better chance to be defensible.


  • Dispositional Properties
  • Categorical Properties
  • Essen- tialism
  • Mental Causation


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