Dewey's Metaphysics of Mind

  • Wilson Mendonça


In Experience and Nature Dewey makes “an attempt to contribute to what has come to be called an ‘emergent’ theory of mind”. On a first approach, that doesn’t look very innovative to our contemporary materialist convictions. Indeed, Kim argues persuasively that a central claim of emergentism—concerning the irreducibility of emergent properties—is irremediably at odds with a view of mental causation that follows from some very plausible physicalist assumptions. This is “the problem of downward causation.” I intend to show that Dewey’s brand of emergentism actually allows an adequate reply to the very important worry formulated by Kim.