Philosophical Studies

, Volume 154, Issue 3, pp 349–360

No pairing problem


    • University of Notre Dame
  • Joshua Rasmussen
    • University of Notre Dame
  • Luke Van Horn
    • University of Notre Dame

DOI: 10.1007/s11098-010-9555-7

Cite this article as:
Bailey, A.M., Rasmussen, J. & Van Horn, L. Philos Stud (2011) 154: 349. doi:10.1007/s11098-010-9555-7


Many have thought that there is a problem with causal commerce between immaterial souls and material bodies. In Physicalism or Something Near Enough, Jaegwon Kim attempts to spell out that problem. Rather than merely posing a question or raising a mystery for defenders of substance dualism to answer or address, he offers a compelling argument for the conclusion that immaterial souls cannot causally interact with material bodies. We offer a reconstruction of that argument that hinges on two premises: Kim’s Dictum and the Nowhere Man principle. Kim’s Dictum says that causation requires a spatial relation. Nowhere Man says that souls can’t be in space. By our lights, both premises can be called into question. We’ll begin our evaluation of the argument by pointing out some consequences of Kim’s Dictum. For some, these will be costs. We will then present two defeaters for Kim’s Dictum and a critical analysis of Kim’s case for Nowhere Man. The upshot is that Kim’s argument against substance dualism fails.


Jaegwon KimPairing problemSubstance dualismPhysicalism

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010