Edit: This is to clarify the poll choices. 1. I'm a dualist. 2. I'm not a dualist. 3. I don't understand what dualism is. 4. I don't know if dualism is valid or not. The question is, “Are you a dualist?” By “dualist” I don’t mean to refer to the religious definition of the word (i.e.: there is a soul that is separate and distinct from the body). Dualism here will refer to the term as it is used regarding cognitive science (philosophy of mind) as explained for example, by Chalmers. In his book (Chalmers, ’96) “The Conscious Mind” (starting on pg. 123), he entitles the chapter, “Naturalistic Dualism”. Here, he asks whether or not consciousness itself is physical. Certainly, Chalmers is not alone in his acceptance of naturalistic dualism. Jaegwon Kim for example, has “come out of the closet” as a dualist. I mention Kim because his consistent distinction between mental and physical facts about the world helps tremendously to define what phenomena are involved when making the distinction between the physical world and mental phenomena. Before going into the issue of dualism, we just need to define what is meant by consciousness or mental phenomena. Actually, there are numerous references to these phenomena that authors are trying to pick out. But to cut through all that, I think it is enough to recognize that there are certain phenomena (i.e.: things that occur) that are being talked about. We can generalize these phenomena as “qualia”, or “phenomenal experiences”, which are subjectively experienced but as far as we know, are not objectively measurable. Take for example, an objectively measureable phenomenon such as wing flutter. Here’s a terrific video to help understand wing flutter and related phenomena. Just watch the first minute, the rest is superfluous! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpJBvQXQC2M&feature=fvw Wing flutter is a phenomenon that occurs. This phenomenon can be understood by understanding the comings and goings of material things. It is a physical phenomenon that can be described by describing what physically happens. There is no need to appeal to any description of the phenomenon that is not a description of what physically occurs. In addition, this phenomenon is calculable, and today is analyzed using multiphysics computer programs that combine both fluid dynamics and structural analysis. So in short, physical phenomena can be explained in physical terms and analyzed by calculating the comings and goings of material things. In comparison, dualism says that there are phenomena that occur that can NOT be explained by explaining the comings and goings of material things. No explanation of the physics involved will explain the essence of the phenomenon we seek to describe. So such things as the experience of the color red, what pain feels like, what a rose smells like, and many others, are examples phenomena that are not explained by explaining the physical state of the neurons that are involved with the experience. We can describe the physical state of the brain that produces these phenomena in as much detail as we wish, but dualism would have it that these descriptions are insufficient in providing an explanation of phenomenal consciousness. In his book, Chalmers points out that we can describe the world we live in exhaustively by explaining the physical facts about the world, but in the end, we will never be able to explain the facts about consciousness by explaining these physical facts. A “zombie” world is one in which conscious phenomena do not occur. Logically then, one can claim there are additional facts (i.e.: phenomenal facts) about the world that are not explained by explaining the physical facts about the world. One further note is that this form of dualism does accept that these phenomenal facts about the world supervene on the physical facts. That is, a change in the physical facts about the world will necessarily change the mental facts. Furthermore, any two identical physical states produce the same mental states. So dualism does not dispute that mental states are supervenient on (wholly dependent on) the physical states. It only suggests that there are additional facts about the physical states that can’t be explained by explaining those physical facts. So if you believe there are additional facts about the world that can’t be explained by explaining the physical facts, you are (probably) a dualist. If you feel there are no additional facts about the world that need explanation once you’ve explained the physical facts, you are (probably) NOT a dualist.