Despite the fact that it continues to have followers, and that it can be said to have enjoyed something of a micro-revival in recent years, dualism either in the philosophy of mind or in the theory of personal identity persists in being more the object of ridicule than of serious rational engagement. It is held by the vast majority of philosophers to be anything from (and not mutually exclusively) false, mysterious, and bizarre, to obscurantist, unintelligible, and/or dangerous to morals. Its adherents are assumed to be biased, scientifically ill-informed, motivated by prior theological dogma, cursed by metaphysical anachronism, and/or to have taken leave of their senses. Dualists who otherwise appear relatively sane in their philosophical writings are often treated with a certain benign, quasi-parental indulgence.
The “dualism problem,” as one might call it—the problem of the odd place of dualism as no more than an intellectual curiosity in current debate, its adherents characterized as “swimming against the tide”—is complicated by the fact that when it comes to attempts to describe and then, predictably, refute dualism, it is almost without exception the Cartesian form that takes center stage. There is, true to say, a respectable place for property dualism, the theory that although the mind is material, mental properties such as consciousness are not reducible to material properties such as states of the brain; and event dualism has begun to attract attention, this being the view that the correct distinction is between mental and physical events, such as thoughts on the one hand, which are irreducible to brain processes on the other.
There are a number of ways in which a person can share the guilt of another's wrongdoing. He might advise it, command it or consent to it. He might provoke it, praise it, flatter the wrongdoer, or conceal the wrong. He might stay silent when there is a clear duty to denounce the wrong or its perpetrator; or he might positively defend the wrong done. Finally, he might actively participate or co-operate in the wrongdoing. These various activities, apart from co-operation, typically occur before or after the commission of the wrong itself, only provocation being essentially before the fact. As such they fall into the categories of seduction or comfort, seduction being essentially pre-commission and comfort post-commission. In seduction (mutatis mutandis for comfort), the seducer typically leads another into doing wrong who has not definitely made up his mind. He does not assist in the commission, but he leads to its occurring. If the principal (as I will call the one who commits the wrong) has made up his mind, actions which might otherwise amount to seduction are best characterized as amounting to scandal, since they do not lead to wrong but reinforce the principal in his wrongful intent or provide to third parties a bad example since they connote approval of the principal's action. Closely related to the concept of seduction is that of solicitation, though perhaps these are best thought of as two aspects of the same kind of activity.
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