As longtime readers of this blog know, I'm sympathetic to Russellian monism. Torin Alter and Yujin Nagasawa provide a clear explication and partial defense of the view in "What is Russellian Monism?", Journal of Consciousness Studies 19, pp. 67-95. Here's the abstract:
Russellian monism offers a distinctive perspective on the relationship
between the physical and the phenomenal. For example, on one version of the view,
phenomenal properties are the categorical bases of fundamental physical properties,
such as mass and charge, which are dispositional. Russellian monism has prominent
supporters, such as Bertrand Russell, Grover Maxwell, Michael Lockwood, and David
Chalmers. But its strengths and shortcomings are often misunderstood. In this paper
we try to eliminate confusions about the view and defend it from criticisms. We
present its core and distinguish different versions of it. We then compare these
versions with traditional theories, such as physicalism, dualism, and idealism. We also
argue that the knowledge argument and the conceivability argument are consistent
with Russellian monism and that existing arguments against the view, such as the
argument from weirdness, are not decisive. We conclude that Russellian monism is an
attractive view that deserves serious consideration.
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