Jan Zbigniew Marczuk

Dennett’s Account of Mind versus Kim’s Supervenience Argument

16/2 - Fall 2011, pages 1–15
Date of online publication: 05 décembre 2011
Date of publication: 05 décembre 2011


This paper challenges Daniel Dennett’s attempt to reconcile the performance of mind and brain within a physicalist framework with Jaegwon Kim’s argument that a coherent physicalist framework entails the epiphenomenalism of mental events. Dennett offers a materialist explanation of consciousness and argues that his model of mind does not imply reductive physicalism. I argue that Dennett’s explanation of mind clashes with Jaegwon Kim’s mind-body supervenience argument. Kim contends that non-reductive physicalism either voids the causal powers of mental properties, or it violates physicalist framework. I conclude that Dennett’s account of mind does not escape or overcome Kim’s mind/body supervenience problem. If Kim’s argument does not prove Dennett’s explanation of mind to be either a form of reductive materialism, or a logically inconsistent view, it is due to the ambiguity of concepts involved in Dennett’s theory.


Cite this article

Marczuk, Zbigniew Jan. “Dennett’s Account of Mind versus Kim’s Supervenience Argument.” Forum Philosophicum 16, no. 2 (2011): 1–15. doi:10.5840/forphil20111621.


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