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Philosophy of Mind Dualism: in addition to the physical/material body, there is an immaterial mind Dualism: in addition to the physical/material body,

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Presentation on theme: "Philosophy of Mind Dualism: in addition to the physical/material body, there is an immaterial mind Dualism: in addition to the physical/material body,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Philosophy of Mind Dualism: in addition to the physical/material body, there is an immaterial mind Dualism: in addition to the physical/material body, there is an immaterial mind Physicalism: mind and body are both entirely physical Physicalism: mind and body are both entirely physical

2 Dualism Substance dualism: Substance dualism: The mind is an immaterial substance, i.e., a thing that can (logically possibly) exist by itself The mind is an immaterial substance, i.e., a thing that can (logically possibly) exist by itself Property dualism: Property dualism: certain mental phenomena (states, events, etc.) are immaterial properties of some material thing (e.g., brain, body) certain mental phenomena (states, events, etc.) are immaterial properties of some material thing (e.g., brain, body)

3 Brie Gertler In Defense of Mind-Body Dualism

4 Disembodiment Argument 1. I can conceive of experiencing this pain while disembodied 2. What is conceivable is possible 3. It’s possible that this pain exists in immaterial being (1, 2) 4. If this pain were a physical state or event, it couldn’t exist in immaterial being 5. So, this pain is not identical to any physical state (3, 4) 6. So physicalism is false (5)

5 Disembodiment Argument 1. I can conceive of experiencing this pain while disembodied 2. What is conceivable is possible 3. It’s possible that this pain exists in immaterial being (1, 2) 4. If this pain were a physical state or event, it couldn’t exist in immaterial being 5. So, this pain is not identical to any physical state (3, 4) 6. So physicalism is false (5)

6 Disembodiment Argument 1. I can conceive of experiencing this pain while disembodied 2. What is conceivable is possible 3. It’s possible that this pain exists in immaterial being (1, 2) 4. If this pain were a physical state or event, it couldn’t exist in immaterial being 5. So, this pain is not identical to any physical state (3, 4) 6. So physicalism is false (5)

7 Disembodiment Argument 1. I can conceive of experiencing this pain while disembodied 2. What is conceivable is possible 3. It’s possible that this pain exists in immaterial being (1, 2) 4. If this pain were a physical state or event, it couldn’t exist in immaterial being 5. So, this pain is not identical to any physical state (3, 4) 6. So physicalism is false (5)

8 Disembodiment Argument 1. I can conceive of experiencing this pain while disembodied 2. What is conceivable is possible 3. It’s possible that this pain exists in immaterial being (1, 2) 4. If this pain were a physical state or event, it couldn’t exist in immaterial being 5. So, this pain is not identical to any physical state (3, 4) 6. So physicalism is false (5)

9 Disembodiment Argument 1. I can conceive of experiencing this pain while disembodied 2. What is conceivable is possible 3. It’s possible that this pain exists in immaterial being (1, 2) 4. If this pain were a physical state or event, it couldn’t exist in immaterial being 5. So, this pain is not identical to any physical state (3, 4) 6. So physicalism is false (5)

10 Who cares? pain : C-fiber firing : : water : H 2 O pain : C-fiber firing : : water : H 2 O Pain is either necessarily physical or not physical at all Pain is either necessarily physical or not physical at all Analogously for other mental phenomena Analogously for other mental phenomena Since mental events are not necessarily physical, they aren’t physical Since mental events are not necessarily physical, they aren’t physical So we are not entirely physical So we are not entirely physical

11 Physicalism Behaviorism: Behaviorism: What we call mentality is really just proneness to behave in certain ways What we call mentality is really just proneness to behave in certain ways ‘x is in pain’ means: ‘x is disposed to cry out, wince, etc.’ ‘x is in pain’ means: ‘x is disposed to cry out, wince, etc.’ Functionalism: Functionalism: Mental states are functional states of a complex system Mental states are functional states of a complex system Pain is any state that plays a certain causal role: e.g., is produced by kicks and shocks, leads to fear, aversion, pain behavior, etc. Pain is any state that plays a certain causal role: e.g., is produced by kicks and shocks, leads to fear, aversion, pain behavior, etc. Identity theory: the mind is the brain Identity theory: the mind is the brain Pain is (but doesn’t mean) C-fiber firing, or brain state #71325, or whatever we discover it to be Pain is (but doesn’t mean) C-fiber firing, or brain state #71325, or whatever we discover it to be Like ‘water is HO’ or ‘lightning is electrical discharge’, a scientific discovery, not a fact about meaning Like ‘water is H 2 O’ or ‘lightning is electrical discharge’, a scientific discovery, not a fact about meaning

12 Peter Carruthers The Mind is the Brain

13 Causal Argument Some mental events cause physical events Every (caused) physical event is wholly caused by some physical event Therefore, some mental events are physical events Plausibly, if they’re physical events, they’re brain events, and if some are, all are

14 Causal Argument Some mental events cause physical events Every (caused) physical event is wholly caused by some physical event Therefore, some mental events are physical events Plausibly, if they’re physical events, they’re brain events, and if some are, all are

15 Arguments for Premise 2: Conservation laws of physical sciences Conservation laws of physical sciences Metaphysical principle of the ‘causal closure of the physical’ Metaphysical principle of the ‘causal closure of the physical’ Neuroscientific induction Neuroscientific induction

16 Objections to Physicalism: Certainty Leibniz’s Law: if a is numerically identical with b, then a cannot have any properties that b lacks 1. I am absolutely certain of having certain conscious states 2. I am not absolutely certain of having certain brain states 3. Therefore, these conscious states are not identical with these brain states (by Leibniz’s Law)

17 Response: Leibniz’s Law does not hold in “intentional contexts” Leibniz’s Law does not hold in “intentional contexts” “intentional”: having to do with meaning “intentional”: having to do with meaning ‘Jocasta is pretty’ implies ‘Oedipus’s mother is pretty’ ‘Jocasta is pretty’ implies ‘Oedipus’s mother is pretty’ ‘O said that Jocasta is pretty’ does not imply ‘O said that O’s mom is pretty’ ‘O said that Jocasta is pretty’ does not imply ‘O said that O’s mom is pretty’ ‘O thought that J was pretty’ does not imply ‘O thought that O’s mom was pretty’ ‘O thought that J was pretty’ does not imply ‘O thought that O’s mom was pretty’ ‘I can tell I’m in pain’ does not imply ‘I can tell I’m in brain state #714390’, even if pain is brain state # ‘I can tell I’m in pain’ does not imply ‘I can tell I’m in brain state #714390’, even if pain is brain state #714390

18 Objections to Physicalism: Color, etc. 1. An afterimage may be green (a taste sensation may be sweet, etc.) 2. Brain events aren’t green (or sweet, etc.) 3. Therefore, afterimages (etc.) are not brain events

19 Response: Note first how this applies to dualism as well: the immaterial soul isn’t green either…. Note first how this applies to dualism as well: the immaterial soul isn’t green either…. The afterimage isn’t green in the sense that grass is; it’s an experience of green, not a green experience. The afterimage isn’t green in the sense that grass is; it’s an experience of green, not a green experience.

20 Objections to Physicalism: Spatial properties 1. Brain events are spatially located 2. Mental events are not spatially located 3. Therefore, mental events are not brain events

21 Response It is unusual to attribute precise locations to specific thoughts (e.g., ‘two inches behind her left eye’), but that doesn’t make it senseless It is unusual to attribute precise locations to specific thoughts (e.g., ‘two inches behind her left eye’), but that doesn’t make it senseless The question is where the event is occurring in virtue of which Mary is thinking about her mother The question is where the event is occurring in virtue of which Mary is thinking about her mother And that event is occurring two inches behind her left eye And that event is occurring two inches behind her left eye


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