I was reading Dilley's critique on the emergent dualism view, and it seems to me that the biggest reason to reject Hasker's view is because Hasker assumes that the mind is both spatial and contains energy. He makes the analogy that the mind is a field. However, with these assumptions comes a myriad of problems.

Can the mind be viewed as a non-physical and non-spatial entity in Hasker's emergent dualism? As in, the same way it is for cartesian dualism?

  • "biggest reason to reject this view"--- to reject Dilley's view or Hasker's view? Nov 8, 2018 at 16:21
  • This seems a very sensible reason for rejecting it. I wonder why he thinks mind is extended. Presumably it just suits his theory. . .
    – user20253
    Nov 8, 2018 at 17:52
  • @elliotsvensson Hasker's view
    – Noah
    Nov 8, 2018 at 19:57

2 Answers 2


...it is natural to conclude that the emergent consciousness is itself a spatial entity. If so, it would seem that emergent dualism is well placed in relation to Kim's "pairing problem."

William Hasker, "The Emergent Self" p. 192

Hasker is selling his concept partially on its power to solve a perennial issue with dualism, in which we wonder "why is my mind associated with my body and not another body?" Hasker's solution is that the mind is spatial and thus couldn't be in another body because that's somewhere else. If we take this away from Hasker's account, then Hasker would need a different solution.

  • Is there any other reason he assumes this, or is it only to solve the perennial issue?
    – Noah
    Nov 8, 2018 at 19:58
  • @Noah, I don't know. I had a limited view of the book... I believe that he feels strongly about it, though, because he sees the spatial quality of the emergent mind as the natural consequence of other things he posits. Nov 8, 2018 at 20:01
  • In principle, could Hasker's emergent dualism be compatible with a non-spatial mind?
    – Noah
    Nov 8, 2018 at 22:32
  • I found the text on why he assumes it. It's the first sentence of the second paragraph on page 192, the sentence before the one you cited in your answer.
    – Noah
    Nov 8, 2018 at 22:38

Dilly is critiquing Hasker because he considers Hasker's view to undercut most of the rationale for dualism. Hasker is implicitly accepting a weak version of Identity Theory -- in that an emergent mind will appear whenever a physical structure that can generate its emergence exists. This basically makes mind "identical" with is substrate, initially. Hasker contradictorily assumes that mind can then be causally independent of its substrate -- breaking his initial "identity" assumption is essential for minds to have libertarian freedom, and radical unity.

I think the problem that Dilley is concerned about is that Hasker's argument can be used without his causal independence, to simply argue for straightforward Identity Theory. And as his radical version of causal independence is the most problematic part of his model, ditching it is what all materialists would advocate.

Hasker assumes that Kim's pairing problem is an actual problem, and that conservation of energy of the entire physical universe is proven -- and is trying to come up with a solution to both. However, since Newton, causation is not assumed to require "same types" of things, and interactive dualists have come up with multiple answers to the conservation of energy "problem". Hasker is trying to address non-issues.

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