Since ancient times, metaphysical theories have been shaped by the dialectical relations between metaphysical positions. The present book offers a new account of the role of controversies in the evolution of ideas in current metaphysics of mind. Part One develops a pragmatic theory of metaphysical controversies that combines Kantian themes and themes from current argumentation theory. The theory developed in this book underscores the role of a unique type of dialectical arguments which establish metaphysical positions as controversial relevant alternatives in the evolution of chains of debates in metaphysics. In Part Two and Part Three, this theory is applied to chains of debates in present day metaphysics of mind which address the problems of consciousness and personal identity. One of the contentions defended in this book is that the intellectual history of metaphysics is not a process in which positions are replaced by opposite positions, but rather, a history of their status as relevant alternatives. The book analyzes in detail and demonstrates how progress in contemporary metaphysics of mind consists in a dialectical process through which challenges to extant positions lead to innovative alternatives that are intrinsically relevant to advancing the understanding of the issues under discussion.
1. Acknowledgments; 2. Introduction; 3. Part one. Outline of a theory of metaphysical controversies; 4. Chapter 1. The Kantian framework; 5. Chapter 2. The idea of controversy and metaphysics; 6. Chapter 3. Intuitions, thought experiments, and controversies; 7. Part two. The knowledge argument; 8. Chapter 4. The polemical character of the knowledge arguments; 9. Chapter 5. The antinomies of consciousness and their resolutions: Phenomenal concepts, representationalism, and two-dimensional semantics; 10. Chapter 6. A priori knowledge and the explanatory gap; 11. Part three. Personal identity and revisionary metaphysics; 12. Chapter 7. Personal identity, self-consciousness, and bodily identity; 13. Chapter 8. From transcendental arguments to revisionary metaphysics; 14. Chapter 9. Neo-Lockeanism, reductionism, and animalism: The emergence of a new debate; 15. Conclusion; 16. References; 17. Index