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    Hylomorphism and the mind-body relation

    Norris, Kevan (2019) Hylomorphism and the mind-body relation. Masters thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    In Structure and the Metaphysics of Mind Jaworski argues that “hylomorphism elegantly solves a number of philosophical problems in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind”. Relying on his hylomorphic account of structure, Jaworski develops a metaphysical theory of the mind-body relation whereby minded creatures like us are quantities of physical materials structured in appropriate ways. Our structured parts have powers. Further structuring activity coordinates the exercise of these powers, enabling us to walk, talk, think and feel. Jaworski claims to be able to rely on hylomorphic structure in this way to provide a theory of the mind-body relation that deserves to be taken at least as seriously as more familiar theories in the philosophy of mind. The dissertation considers this claim, concentrating on a comparison between Jaworski’s theory and the mind-body theories of his physicalist rivals. The dissertation first sets out the metaphysical context for assessing Jaworski’s claim by describing the compositional ontological framework that provides the background to the theories of both Jaworski and the physicalists. Having set out this metaphysical context the dissertation carries out an assessment of the competing theories. The first stage of the assessment considers the relative merits of Jaworski’s general hylomorphic metaphysics and the metaphysics of the physicalists, in particular, whether their metaphysics have the ontological resources to provide an acceptable principle of composition. The second stage compares their competing mind-body theories, in particular, their solutions to the problem of mental causation and the hard problem of consciousness. The dissertation concludes that Jaworski’s mind-body theory does deserve to be taken as seriously as the theories of his physicalist rivals but that, ultimately, the merits of Jaworski’s theory depends on whether he is able to dispel concerns over the realist claims that he makes in relation to his hylomorphic structures.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 13 May 2019 13:43
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 13:52


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