The Crazyist Metaphysics of Mind

Eric Schwitzgebel

Abstract: Crazyism about X is the view that something that it would be crazy to believe must be among the core truths about X.  In this essay, I argue that crazyism is true of the metaphysics of mind.  A position is “crazy” in the intended sense if it is contrary to common sense and we are not epistemically compelled to believe it.  Crazyism can be treated as the conjunction of two sub-theses: (1.) that something contrary to common sense must be true and (2.) that whatever that true thing is, we are not epistemically compelled to believe it.  I defend the first thesis on grounds of the probable incoherence of folk metaphysics, from which follows that any fully fleshed-out metaphysics will inevitably conflict with some piece of that incoherent story.  I defend the second thesis on three grounds: peer disagreement, lack of a compelling method for resolving metaphysical disputes about the mind, and the dubiousness of the general cosmological claims with which metaphysical claims about the mind are entangled.

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