My previous post about Tomas Bogardus' paper, "Undefeated Dualism", reminded me of this brilliant and flawed, but underappreciated book by Gregg Rosenerg, "A Place for Consciousness: Probing the Deep Structure of the Natural World" (Oxford University Press, 2004). If memory serves me correct, Rosenberg was a disciple of David Chalmers' at Indiana, but he has since left academia (not sure why). Anyway, what sets Rosenberg's book apart is that he gives a very different argument for dualism: one based on causation.
Rosenberg's book is actually broken into two parts. The first part is on consciousness, and the second part causation. By my lights, the first part (on consciousness) is rather unsuccessful. Rosenberg claims to give a new argument against physicalism about consciousness -- but I don't think his argument is all that new or compelling. The second part on the other hand (the part on causation) is new and groundbreaking as far as I am concerned (though I am still unsure of how successful I think it is). In a nutshell, Rosenberg argues that physicalism cannot even account for causation, and that the problems physicalism runs into with causation are exactly the problems it runs into with consciousness.
What I think is so great about this is that if he is right, Rosenberg has given a second, independent class of philosophical grounds (causation, not consciousness) for thinking that physicalism is false and dualism true (and, even if he's not right, he's given some pretty darn cool arguments!). This is in large part why I am a dualist. I not only think there are probably these two grounds (consciousness and causality) for dualism, but a third as well: quantum physics, which (or so I argue in a working paper) is itself fundamentally dualistic (feel free to look up the "measurement problem" for the Copenhagen interpretation for a start).
Anyway, if all this is right, then three different areas of philosophy and physics -- consciousness, causation, and quantum measurement -- all converge on the same, startling conclusion: the proposition that dualism is in fact true! Oh no, I have said too much...[bad REM lyrical pun;]
Here's an excerpt from a review on Amazon that I actually agree with:
If Rosenberg is right, he should get a Nobel prize. If he is wrong, his is still an Important Book, because it actually pounds a stake in the ground and lays out a theory, or at least a template of a future theory. No one else does this. Even in this fringey branch of philosophy, people are much too conservative, and Rosenberg has boldly gone where no one has gone before. But he has done so rigorously, level headedly, admitting where he is being speculative, but arguing why the circumstantial evidence supports his speculations.