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The scientific evidence for materialism about pains

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Abstract

This paper argues in unprecedented empirical and philosophical detail that, given only what science has discovered about pain, we should prefer the materialist hypothesis that pains are purely material over the dualist hypothesis that they are immaterial. The empirical findings cited provide strong evidence for the thesis of empirical supervenience: that to every sort of introspectible change over time in pains, or variation among pains at a time, there corresponds in fact a certain sort of simultaneous neural change over time, or variation at a time. The empirical supervenience of pain on the neural is shown to be best explained by the hypothesis that pains are, in a sense that is made precise, purely material.

References

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