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A moment of human agency: a Meadian response to Jaegwon Kim’s reductive physicalism

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(Thesis) M.A.
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The reductive physicalism of Jaegwon Kim (2005) states that the world can be explained in terms of particles of matter and aggregates of particles of matter conforming with the laws of physics. This thesis contends that reductive physicalism cannot explain the agentic activity of people engaging within a world of social processes. This thesis employs concepts of emergence and perspectival engagement developed by George Herbert Mead (1925, 1932, 1934, 1938) and extended by Jack Martin (2006, 2007) as well as incorporating aspects of Heidegger's (1962, 1995) philosophy of world to describe and analyze a moment of human agency. The thesis also outlines some of the enabling conditions for that moment in microgenesis, ontogenesis, and phylogenesis. Human agency emerged within emergent processes that have a determining influence on the basal constituents of the physical world. The enabling conditions for a moment of human agency are inherent in an emergent world.
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