Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement


The Road to Substance Dualism

Geoffrey Madella1

a1 University of Edinburgh


The common materialist view that a functional account of intentionality will eventually be produced is rejected, as is the notion that intentional states are multiply realisable. It is argued also that, contrary to what many materialists have held, the causation of behaviour by intentional states rules out the possibility of a complete explanation of human behaviour in physical terms, and that this points to substance dualism. Kant's criticism of the Cartesian self as a substance, endorsed by P. F. Strawson, rests on a misinterpretation of Descartes. The so-called ‘causal pairing problem’, which Kim sees to be the crucial objection to substance dualism, is examined, and Kim's arguments are rejected.


Geoffrey Madell was Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Edinburgh University. He is the author of The Identity of the Self (1981), Mind and Materialism (1988) and Philosophy, Music and Emotion (2002). He has published numerous articles on the philosophy of mind, particularly on the issues of personal identity and the mind-body problem.