An Evaluation of Saul Kripke's Argument for Property Dualism




Chambers, Thomas H.

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This paper concerns Saul Kripke's argument against type physicalism and for property dualism. My objection to the argument is that it relies upon a premise for which Kripke does not provide adequate support. The unsupported premise is Kripke's claim that it is possible for pain to occur in the absence of C-fiber stimulation. This premise relies upon what Crispin Wright identifies as the Counter-Conceivability Principle – the notion that if we can clearly conceive a counterexample to a claim of necessity, that serves as evidence against the claim of necessity. This principle is, however, not useful because it does not provide any guidance for what counts as a clear conception. Additionally, providing precise theories of conceivability and imaginability does not lend the support that Kripke's argument needs. Thus, I conclude that this objection to Kripke's argument stands and type physicalism can be maintained.



Kripke, Saul, Property dualism, Type physicalism, Philosophy of language, Philosophy of mind, Modal epistemology


Chambers, T. H. (2013). <i>An evaluation of Saul Kripke's argument for property dualism</i> (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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