May Report – In Defense of Property Dualism

So far I have been correspond with my advisor and decided what to do first. I have already started with Saul Kripke’s famous book Naming and Necessity. This is one of the most important philosophy works in the 20th century and develops an influential version of essentialism, that things are necessarily made of what they are made of. That is to say, the table in front of me is made of this particular chunk of wood, and it is impossible for this table to be made of a different chunk of wood.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the argument for property dualism has two premises: 1) that philosophical zombies are conceivable, and 2) that whatever is conceivable is also possible. Many use Kripke’s conclusion to refute property dualism. People argue that we can conceive, say,  that water is not composed of H2O but Kripke’s conclusion shows us that it is impossible for water not to be composed of H2O. Therefore, property dualism should be wrong. One of my focus on reading Naming and Necessity is to consider how to refute the conclusion Kripke makes here.

Apart from that, I will also read articles by other authors like Katalin Balog, Brian Loar and Ned Block, who discuss in length about whether Kripke’s conclusion really provides a counterexample to premise 2. Three Grades of Modal Involvement, a classical by Quine, is also in my plan. By reading this I can better understand modality and what necessity means when we (and Kripke) use it.

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