Orthodox Property Dualism+The Linguistic Theory of Vagueness=Panpsychism

  • Philip GoffEmail author
Part of the Studies in Brain and Mind book series (SIBM, volume 6)


This paper attempts to show that orthodox property dualists, if they are committed to the linguistic theory of vagueness, are obliged to hold that it can never be vague whether or not a given thing is conscious. Together with the commonsense assumption that some but not all macroscopic objects are conscious, this entails that the psycho-physical laws governing the emergence of consciousness are utterly precise such that a slight adjustment to a fundamental particle can make the difference between a macroscopic object having or lacking consciousness. I argue that this is a deeply implausible consequence, and hence that the orthodox property dualist who accepts the linguistic theory of vagueness must reject the commonsense assumption that some but not all macroscopic objects are conscious. Given her realism about consciousness, the property dualist is obliged to hold that all macroscopic objects are conscious.


Linguistic Theory Phenomenal Property Phenomenal Concept Macroscopic Object Vague Predicate 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

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