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How Dualists Should (Not) Respond to the Objection from Energy Conservation

Cucu, Alin C. and Pitts, J. Brian (2019) How Dualists Should (Not) Respond to the Objection from Energy Conservation. Mind & Matter, 17 (1). pp. 95-121.

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Abstract

The principle of energy conservation is widely taken to be a serious difficulty for interactionist dualism (whether property or substance). Interactionists often have therefore tried to make it satisfy energy conservation. This paper examines several such attempts, especially including E. J. Lowe's varying constants proposal, showing how they all miss their goal due to lack of engagement with the physico-mathematical roots of energy conservation physics: the first Noether theorem (that symmetries imply conservation laws), its converse (that conservation laws imply symmetries), and the locality of continuum physics. Thus the "conditionality response", which sees conservation as (bi)conditional upon symmetries and simply accepts energy non-conservation as an aspect of interactionist dualism, is seen to be, perhaps surprisingly, the one most in accord with contemporary physics (apart from quantum mechanics) by not conflicting with mathematical theorems basic to physics. A decent objection to interactionism should be a posteriori,
based on empirically studying the brain.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Cucu, Alin C.acucu@iap.li
Pitts, J. Brianjbp25@cam.ac.uk0000-0002-7299-5137
Keywords: philosophy of mind, mental causation, interactionism, dualism, symmetries, conservation laws, Noether's theorem
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Psychology
General Issues > Rhetoric of Science
General Issues > Science and Religion
General Issues > Science Education
Depositing User: Dr. Dr. J. Brian Pitts
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2019 03:07
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2019 03:07
Item ID: 16239
Journal or Publication Title: Mind & Matter
Publisher: Imprint Academic
Official URL: http://www.mindmatter.de/resources/pdf/pittswww.pd...
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Psychology
General Issues > Rhetoric of Science
General Issues > Science and Religion
General Issues > Science Education
Date: July 2019
Page Range: pp. 95-121
Volume: 17
Number: 1
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16239

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