Groundwork for an Emergentist Account of the Mental
by Timothy O'Connor
Abstract—As striking as conscious experience, thought, and deliberate action are, their irreducibility to physical processes within their subjects is hotly debated. I shall ignore these debates entirely, as my purpose in this essay is constructive. Assuming that these mental qualities and processes are indeed irreducible to impersonal, non-purposive physical phenomena, I want to propose the very general form a non-reductive explanatory account of their underpinnings and dynamics should take. A suggestive label for my proposal is ontological emergence.
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