A Review of Principles of Donald Davidson's Anomalous Monism

Document Type : Research Paper


Associate professor of department of philosophy, Tehran Central Islamic Azad University


Davidson’s anomalous monism is one of the physicalistic explanations of mind, mental traits and states. According to this view, all events are existentially physical phenomena with physical and mental descriptions. Mental states, however, are not reduced to physical states. Mental states have physical characteristics, so they have causal relationship with physical states, which is not systematic for intentional mental states. The relationship between mental and physical states is explained according to the theory of supervenience.The present paper, first, explains the principles of anomalous monism such as causal interaction, regularity of causality, irregularity of mental affairs, and supervenience . Then it reviews and criticizes the theory of supervenience by posing some problems such as the necessity of real truthfulness of laws, impossibility of multilateral determination of the effects of mental and physical causes, sufficiency of a systematic order in explaining the relationship between phenomena, explaining causality on the basis of counterfactual conditionals and incompatibility of the lack of bridging laws to relate mental and physical domains.


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