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The Review of Metaphysics

Volume 71, Issue 1, September 2017

W. J. Mander
Pages 3-24

Idealism, Narrative, and the Mind–Brain Relation

Contra common belief, idealists need to account for the relationship between the mind and the brain every bit as much as do physicalists and dualists. However, they must conceive of that relationship in a very different way to either of their metaphysical rivals. This paper presents an appropriate idiom in which idealists may describe that connection. But the gain is not simply one of language, for it is argued that this idiom rules out understanding mind-brain correlation either a relationship of causation or as one of identity. Exploiting literary parallels, it is further suggested that this lexicon for understanding how mind and brain stand one to another highlights the subsidiary status of physical reality, turning the mind-brain correlation from an apparent refutation of idealism into something that in fact vindicates it.