Materialism, Minimal Emergentism, and the Hard Problem of Consciousness

Terry Horgan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


This chapter formulates and motivates the current favored articulation of the metaphysical doctrine of materialism. It describes an alternative metaphysical position called minimal emergentism, which has two versions; and then contrasts it with stronger kinds of emergentism. Minimal emergentism posits certain inter-level necessitation relations - either nomically necessary connections, or metaphysically necessary connections - that are metaphysically brute. The chapter sets forth what it takes to be some very powerful challenges to materialism - challenges involving features of human consciousness. Finally, the chapter argues that in light of these challenges, minimal emergentism is a viable and theoretically appealing non-materialist metaphysic of mind.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Waning of Materialism
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191721014
ISBN (Print)9780199556182
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010


  • Brute necessary connections
  • Consciousness
  • Emergentism
  • Hard problem
  • Materialism
  • Minimal emergentism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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