The Online Consciousness Conference is now in its second week (It lasts until March 4th so there is still time to be involved). One thing that has come out in the discussion is the differences between Russellian Monism and epiphenomenalism. RM is the view that the dispositional properties talked about by physics have as their categorical base phenomenal or protophenomenal properties. Although it is not obvious it can be argued that RM is not a kind of epiphenomenalism (see the linked post above). This got me to thinking…what arguments are there against RM? The standard ones usually bandied about against property dualism don’t seem to work against RM, so are there any?
Right off the bat I think that the shombie argument fares well here. It is at least ideally negatively conceivable that the properties talked about by physics entail that there are phenomenal properties either without any fundamental inscrutable properties or with fundamental categorical bases that are not phenomenal. The latter possibility was defended by Barbara Montero at the first online consciousness conference. That view is a kind of monism, physicalism even, not property dualism so shouldn’t be called RM.