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In your own words, explain the following “Master Argument” for the incompatibility of physicalism and human agency (explaining to someone who is not already familiar with the argument). I am not asking you to defend each premise here—only to explain how the argument is supposed to go (eg. explaining any key terms and issues)
The argument goes as follows:
1. Human agency requires mental causation.
2. Physicalism comes in three (and only three) varieties: Eliminativism, Nonreductive Physicalism, and Reductive Physicalism (Identity Theory).
3. Eliminativism is inconsistent with mental causation because it entails that there are no mental states.
4. Nonreductivism Physicalism is inconsistent with mental causation because it entails epiphenomenalism.
5. Reductivism Physicalism is false.
6. No version of Physicalism is both true and compatible with human agency. (1-5)
Next, explain in more detail what Kim means by “nonreductive physicalism,” and why Kim thinks that nonreductive physicalism specifically is incompatible with mental causation, and therefore our self-conception as agents. Finally, give your own evaluation of a) Kim’s arguments against nonreductive physicalism, and b) the more general implications of this for the Master Argument.
This essay should be based on these two readings:
1. Kim, “Mental Causation and Consciousness: Our Two Mind-Body Problems” (in Chapter 1 of “Physicalism, or Something Near Enough”).
2. Kim, “The Supervenience Argument Motivated, Clarified and Defended” (in Chapter 2 of “Physicalism, or Something Near Enough”).
Use evidence (by quoting and paraphrasing) from the two readings throughout the essay to make your point and build your explanations. The entire book is attached but only look at the sections I just listed. Aside from this, I also attached notes from the professor and TA to help/for reference, which you can definitely use for the essay, but do not quote from those, only quote from the readings I mentioned that are in the book. Since all the evidence you will be using is by one author, no in-text citations are needed. Just remember to refer to the author, Jaegwon Kim.