Presentation on theme: "Metaphysics U. 1.. Metaphysics The Nature of Reality Consider firstly, an ‘ontological’ exercise: Real Unreal (place the following along this continuum)"— Presentation transcript:
Metaphysics The Nature of Reality Consider firstly, an ‘ontological’ exercise: Real Unreal (place the following along this continuum) PerfectionColoursTimeShadowsImagination GodMathsMoralityAirPain TreesMusicChoiceMindsThoughts AtomsUnicornsAliensDreamsSouls BodiesGermsElectricityDogsEvil
Metaphysics The Nature of Reality Can something be real but not exist, and vice versa? Can something be real if the senses cannot perceive it? Which items exist in perpetuity, and which do not? Are there different ‘modes’ of existence? Real Unreal What qualities, if any, do the similarly grouped items share?
Physical (assoc. w. body) Mental (assoc. w. mind) Both (body & mind) Neither Metaphysics Body Mind HairBrainDreamsEyesTeeth MemoriesPainTeethIdeasSenses BonesIdeasTasteFingernailsFear
Metaphysics Body Mind What constitutes ‘you’? Physical components Incorporeal components Blue eyes Values Brown hair Thoughts Bone & Sinew Feelings
Metaphysics Body Mind Ostensibly, we are composed of two parts: The Corporeal Me The Intangible Me Are the two actually separate in a meaningful sense?
Metaphysics Body Mind Dualism Monism 2 Approaches/Views
Metaphysics Body Mind Dualists argue there are two modes/levels of existence: A physical level, in which the corporeal body operates And an incorporeal level, where the mind resides. Dualists argue there are two modes/levels of existence: A physical level, in which the corporeal body operates And an incorporeal level, where the mind resides. Dualism
Metaphysics Body Mind Monists hold that there is only a single reality: An entirely physical reality where mind and body are corporeal. (Physicalism) OR An entirely mental/non- physical reality where matter does not exist. (Idealism) Monists hold that there is only a single reality: An entirely physical reality where mind and body are corporeal. (Physicalism) OR An entirely mental/non- physical reality where matter does not exist. (Idealism) Monism
The Case for Dualism – Texts for Analysis 1. 2.
Greek Mythology Greek Humanism 500 BCE An Intellectual Revolution
Rise of Dualism Against a Monist Mythology “Men find it very hard to believe. They think that after (the soul) has left the body it no longer exists anywhere, but that it is destroyed and dissolved on the day the man dies.” “No, by god, I haven't. Are you really in a position to assert that?” Cebe Glaucon “Haven't you realized that our soul is immortal and never destroyed?” A Monist attitude prevailed in ancient Greece:
The Phaedo - Platonic Dualism 1. Argument Concerning Indestructibility P1: There are two kinds of existence; seen and unseen; P2: The Seen is changeable and the Unseen is unchanging; P3: The soul is most alike and akin to the unseen; C: Therefore, the soul is most likely unchanging, and thus indissoluble
The Phaedo - Platonic Dualism 2. Argument Concerning Recollection P1: We cannot derive knowledge (of absolutes) from the material world; P2: We have knowledge (of absolutes); P3: This knowledge must be obtained prior to our physical life; C: Therefore, our soul must exist prior to our physical existence, and thus is separate from it. So true Socrates, gosh you’re so wise!
The Phaedo - Platonic Dualism 3. Argument Concerning Opposites P1: All things that have opposites are generated out of their opposites P2: Life is the opposite of Death, and vice versa P3: The dead are generated from the living, the living are generated from the dead C: Therefore, the souls of the dead must exist in some place out of which they come again
The Case for Dualism – Texts for Analysis 1. 2.
Metaphysics Body Mind C.17 th revival of Dualism ‘Cartesian Dualism’
Metaphysics Body Mind C.17 th Dualist Revival 1. Argument from Doubt 2. Argument from Indivisibility ‘Cartesian Dualism’
1. Argument from Doubt Cartesian Dualism P1: I can doubt my body (physical self) exists P2: I cannot doubt that I exist C: Therefore, I must be distinct (a different substance) from my body P1: I can doubt my body (physical self) exists P2: I cannot doubt that I exist C: Therefore, I must be distinct (a different substance) from my body
Some Responses to ‘The Cogito’ How, Monsieur Descartes, does the existence of ‘thinking’ extend to the existence of an ‘I’? Better had the conclusion been “it thinks”, as in “it is raining”. Descartes, you scoundrel, your cogito already pre-supposes the existence of "I“ (which is doubting), and therefore concluding with existence is logically trivial! Descartes, old boy, I agree with Nietzsche; your process allows you to claim simply that “thinking is occurring” – you cannot attribute that thinking to an entity.
2. Argument from Indivisibility P1: The body is divisible into parts. P2: The mind is not divisible into parts C: Therefore, the mind is of a different nature to the body. P1: The body is divisible into parts. P2: The mind is not divisible into parts C: Therefore, the mind is of a different nature to the body. Cartesian Dualism
Metaphysics Body Mind Even if we ‘suppose’ Dualism – problems arise: How does the incorporeal mind ‘control’ the physical body?
Dualist Theories Epiphenomenalism Interactionism Occasionalism Parallelism Consider the following theories regarding dualist mind-body interaction: How sufficiently do these theories account for the co-existence of a mental and physical realm/reality? Set this one to the side for now
Property Dualism The ONLY ‘substance’ The objective experience of ‘me’ The subjective experience of ‘me’
Property Dualism ‘Supervenience’ (pp.76-77 of Phelan) ‘Supervenience’ (pp.76-77 of Phelan)
The numerous cases of physical damage to the brain resulting in an alteration to personality and the function of the mind is a common refutation of dualism To view the mind as a thing which exists in addition to the body is a mistake in classification. - My football team won the game - The team is made up of 15 members - The team exists in addition to its members Is it justified to speak of the mind as an ‘entity’, a ‘thing’ which exists? Consider: Person Y did this for person X’s sake The ‘sake’ is not an entity in itself – just a term of reference Challenging Substance Dualism Genuine Article Category Error Scientific Evidence Meaningful Meaningless
Thirsty Physicalism P s Behaviourism Functionalism Unverifiable statements about interior mental life are senseless. For the behaviourist, ‘mental states’ are just descriptions of behaviour or dispositions to behave in certain ways PainWincing, shrieking, hopping around, clutching the wound Would be inclined to drink water if it were available Problems? - Pretence? - Paralysis? - Qualia? Problems? - Pretence? - Paralysis? - Qualia?
Physicalism P s Behaviourism Functionalism The role of the brain is purely functional: The brain responds to some stimuli (input) and processes a responses (output) Problems? - The Chinese Room - Zombies & Mutants - The Two Marys - Qualia (Phelan pp. 87-88) Problems? - The Chinese Room - Zombies & Mutants - The Two Marys - Qualia (Phelan pp. 87-88) Mary http://people.brandeis.edu/~teuber/philsyllabus2.html
Physicalism P s Using the Phelan textbook (pp.77 – 83) and internet resources… (internet encyclopaedia of philosophy & Stanford university philosophy website are good starting places) Write a brief explanation of the following Materialist theories: 1. Reductive Materialism 2. Eliminative Materialism 3. Biological Naturalism In addition to your ‘summary’ of the theories, make some notes about any problems with these theories.
Enjoyment of ice-cream Experience of ‘redness’ Love Thoughts about life 1. Reductive Materialism BUT: Correlations are not explanations
2. Eliminative Materialism Enjoyment of ice-cream Experience of ‘redness’ Love Thoughts about life C-fibres firing Stimulation of frontal lobe Neural transmitters firing Increase of dopamine Notions of thoughts and minds are old fashioned ‘hornswaggle’ BUT: ‘I am only what I can be proved to be through science’ = fallacy
3. Biological Naturalism MM MM MM MM ‘Dualism in sheep’s clothing’?
Idealism ‘It is indeed an opinion strangely prevailing amongst men, that houses, mountains, rivers, and in a word all sensible objects have an existence natural or real, distinct from their being perceived by the understanding. But with how great an assurance and acquiescence soever this principle may be entertained in the world; yet whoever shall find in his heart to call it in question, may, if I mistake not, perceive it to involve a manifest contradiction. ‘ P1 : We perceive ordinary objects (houses, mountains, etc.); P2 : We (are able to) perceive only ideas; C : Therefore, ordinary objects are ideas. M s
Idealism M s Berkeley does not deny the existence of ordinary objects such as stones, trees, books, and apples - he holds that only an immaterialist account of such objects can avoid scepticism about their existence and nature. What such objects turn out to be, on his account, are bundles or collections of ideas. Where is the texture of an apple? Where is the colour of the apple? Where is the ‘sweetness’ of an apple? Where does the sound of eating an apple exist?
Hierarchy of Ideas Substance Dualism Property Dualism Monism M s P s M p P s P p P s Interactionism Parallelism/ Occasionalism Epiphenomenalism No exp. of interaction necessary. M s OR &