Single Idea 7012

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 5. Causal Argument]

Full Idea

If we regard a Volvo car as a higher-level entity with its own independent reality, something distinct from its constituents (arranged in particular ways and variously connected to other things), we render mysterious how Volvos could do anything at all.

Gist of Idea

If a car is a higher-level entity, distinct from its parts, how could it ever do anything?


John Heil (From an Ontological Point of View [2003], 02.3)

Book Reference

Heil,John: 'From an Ontological Point of View' [OUP 2005], p.20

A Reaction

This seems to me perhaps the key reason why we have to be reductionists. The so-called 'bridge laws' from mind to brain are not just needed to explain the mind, they are also essential to show how a mind would cause behaviour.