Single Idea 3529

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 1. Reductionism critique]

Full Idea

Davidson rejects ontological reduction of mental to physical because propositional attitudes are holistic; there must be extensive coherence among someone's attitudes to treat them as a rational person, and this has no counterpart in physical theory.

Gist of Idea

Reduction is impossible because mind is holistic and brain isn't


report of Donald Davidson (Mental Events [1970]) by Keith T. Maslin - Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind 7.5

Book Reference

Maslin,Keith: 'An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind' [Polity 2001], p.202

A Reaction

I don't find this view persuasive. We treat the weather in simple terms, even though it is almost infinitely complex. Davidson has a Kantian overconfidence in our rationality. A coherence among the parts is needed to be a tree.