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Conceptual Analysis and Philosophical Naturalism$
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David Braddon-Mitchell and Robert Nola

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262012560

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262012560.001.0001

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A Priori Biconditionals and Metaphysics

A Priori Biconditionals and Metaphysics

(p.99) 4 A Priori Biconditionals and Metaphysics
Conceptual Analysis and Philosophical Naturalism

Frank Jackson

The MIT Press

This chapter shows that in advancing physicalist views of mind, Jack Smart, David Lewis, and David Armstrong were working within a tradition. It then asks, “What is the rationale for this tradition?” The answer to this question is divided into five parts: one part is a thesis about properties and similarity, one part is a thesis about similarity and logical space, one part is a thesis about certain claims in fundamental metaphysics, one part is a thesis about similarities between aggregations, and one part is a certain optimism about our ability to capture similarities and patterns in words. With that many considerations, there is ample scope for dissent somewhere along the way, but the aim here is to make the argument path as clear as possible so it will not overwhelm with the detail of various considerations along the way.

Keywords:   physicalist views of mind, Jack Smart, David Lewis, David Armstrong, tradition, properties, similarity, logical space, patterns, aggregations

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