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The Epistemic/Ontic Divide

Barbara Montero
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
Vol. 66, No. 2 (Mar., 2003), pp. 404-418
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20140543
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Epistemic/Ontic Divide
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Abstract

A number of philosophers think that, while we cannot explain how the mind is physical, we can know that it is physical, nonetheless. That is, they accept both the explanatory gap between the mental and the physical and ontological physicalism. I argue that this position is unstable. Among other things, I argue that once one accepts the explanatory gap, the main argument for ontological physicalism, the argument from causation, looses its force. For if one takes physical/nonphysical causation and ontological physicalism to be equally mysterious, as physicalists who accept the explanatory gap are inclined to do, there is little justification for accepting ontological physicalism rather than rejecting the causal closure of the physical.

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