Russellian Physicalism and Protophenomenal Properties

Torin Alter, Sam Coleman

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We consider an argument from Morris and Brown that there cannot be a genuinely physicalist version of Russellian monism, and rebut that argument. The rebuttal involves making a distinction between ways protophenomenal properties can be individuated: i). in terms of roles they play (e.g. grounding physical dispositions, constituting consciousness) and ii). in terms of their intrinsic nature. The Morris-Brown objection depends on individuating protophenomenal properties in way i), and can be sidestepped by individuating them in way ii, which, we argue, is anyway more in line with existing formulations of Russellian physicalism in the literature.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberanaa006
Pages (from-to)409-417
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Early online date18 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • Barbara Gail Montero
  • Christopher Devlin Brown
  • Kevin Morris
  • Russellian monism
  • inscrutables
  • onsciousness
  • panprotopsychism
  • physicalism
  • protophenomenal


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