An Evaluation of Saul Kripke's Argument for Property Dualism
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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.