Introduction to Philosophy (Fall '09) - class#18

Introduction to Philosophy (Fall '09) - class#18 -...

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Unformatted text preview: Organizational Information The second assignment will be posted The It will be due in Discussion Section on It on the class website a week from today. on Friday Dec. 4th Friday It will have the exact same structure as the It first writing assignment. first The final exam has been scheduled for The 12/17 at 8:00. 12/17 Review of Philosophy of Mind Descartes was a dualist. Descartes dualist A dualist is someone who thinks there are two distinct dualist kinds of substances in the world: physical and nonkinds physical (i.e., mental) substances. Many philosophers are not dualists, but, Many rather, monists. monists A monist is someone who thinks that there is monist only kind of substance in the world. only Idealists - only mental things Physicalists - only physical things Physicalists only Behaviorism Problems for behaviorism Review of Philosophy of Mind Armstrong’s argument for Physicalism Many physicalists think that mental states are Many identical with brain states. identical Nagel doubts whether physicalism can be Nagel true because he doubts whether a physical reduction of mental states can account for consciousness. consciousness. That is, he doubts whether a physical account can That be given of the subjective or phenomenological character of conscious experiences character Review of Philosophy of Mind At first it seems that Nagel is arguing that physicalism must be false: Trying to reduce consciousness to something physical is an attempt to give an objective account of consciousness. An objective account necessarily moves away from the subjective point of view. But the subjective point of view is essential to consciousness. However, in the end, he shies away from that conclusion. He rests with the thought that our conceptual resources He are so limited that we can’t see how physicalism could be true. true. But, perhaps, were we to enrich our conceptual repertoire, we might But, see how it could be true. see Review of Philosophy of Mind Frank Jackson presents an argument for Frank the conclusion that physicalism is false. the The story of Mary the Scientist The Knowledge Argument 1. If physicalism is true, then there are no facts about the If world that Mary doesn’t know when she is in the blackworld and-white. 2. It is not the case that there are no facts about the world It that Mary doesn’t know when she is in the black-andthat white room. 3. Therefore, it is not the case that physicalism is true. 1,2 MT Review of Philosophy of Mind Justification for premise 1: In the black-and-white room Mary has learned all of the In physical facts about the world. physical Physicalism is the doctrine that the only facts there are are Physicalism the physical facts. the So if physicalism is true, since Mary knows all the physical So facts about the world when she is in the black-and-white room, then there are no facts about the world that Mary doesn’t know when she is in the black-and-white room. doesn’t When Mary leaves the black-and-white room she learns When learns something. something. Justification for premise 2: In particular, she learns what the color peach looks like. But if she learns something, then it must be that there was But some fact that she didn’t know when she was in the blacksome and-white room. Review of Philosophy of Mind Replying to the Knowledge Argument? 1. Deny the first premise: Claim that in the b/w room Mary doesn’t know all the Claim physical facts physical But why doesn’t she? 1. Deny the second premise: Grant that Mary learns something when she leaves Grant the black-and-white room, but deny that what she learns is a new fact about the world. learns 1. 2. Say instead that she has learned a new ability, or Say ability Say instead that she has learned a new way Say grasping a fact she already knew. grasping Is Physicalism true? The Problem of Free Will There are two pairs of fundamental questions There in the traditional free will debate: in Pair #1 Question 1a: Is free will compatible with Question determinism? determinism? Question 1b: Do we have free will? Pair #2 Question 2a: Is moral responsibility compatible Question with determinism? with Question 2b: Are we ever morally responsible for Question what we do? what The Problem of Free Will In our discussion we are going to In be focusing on questions 1a and 2a. 2a. Is free will compatible with Is determinism? determinism? Is moral responsibility compatible with Is determinism? determinism? But what do we mean by “free will” But and “determinism”? and The Problem of Free Will Free Will X has free will at a time, t =def. at t, X can perform has can some action and X can also perform some other action. action. In other words, X has free will at a time just in In case X has a choice about what to do at that time. case And, in yet other words, X had free will at a time And, just in case X could have done otherwise than X actually did at that time. actually At most times in our lives we take At ourselves to have free will. ourselves The Problem of Free Will Determinism The world is deterministic =def. the complete initial The deterministic state of the world and the laws of nature determine the exact state of the world at every subsequent point in time. point If determinism is true there is but one If physically possible way that the world could unfold from the beginning of time to the end of time. The Problem of Free Will If determinism is true, then everything that If has happened, is happening, and ever will happen--including everything every person has done, is doing, and will ever do--was determined by the laws of nature and the state of the world at the time of the Big Bang. Bang. If determinism is true, at the time of the Big If Bang, one could have predicted, using the laws of nature, everything that will happen in the world till the end of time. the The Problem of Free Will Is determinism in fact true? According to many contemporary According physicists, determinism is actually false. false. Many physicists maintain that Many quantum mechanics is not deterministic. deterministic. According to quantum mechanics, the state of According the universe at each moment in time is not completely determined by the laws of nature and the complete state of the universe prior to it. it. The Problem of Free Will But even if determinism is not But If determinism were true would If true, there is still this interesting question: question: anyone ever have free will? anyone That is, if determinism were true That would anyone ever be able to do otherwise than they in fact do? otherwise The Problem of Free Will Free Will Incompatibilists say no! Free Will Incompatibilism (FWI) is the thesis that if determinism is true, then no one can do otherwise than she in fact does. she Free Will Compatibilists reject FWI. Free FWI Free Will Compatibilism (FWC) is is the thesis that it is not the case that if determinism is true, then no one can do otherwise than she in fact does. do The Problem of Free Will Here is a line of reasoning that Here many Free Will Incompatibilists think shows that FWI is true: FWI “If determinism is true, then our acts are If the consequences of the laws of nature and events in the remote past. But it is not up to us what went on before we were born, and neither is it up to us what the laws of nature are. Therefore, the consequences of these things (including our present acts) are not up to us.” (Peter van Inwagen An Essay on Free Will, 56) An The Problem of Free Will But why do we care either whether But free will is compatible with determinism or whether we have free will? free will is necessary for moral responsibility. responsibility. Because, many people think, free Because, The Problem of Free Will But what is moral responsibility? X is morally responsible for doing is morally something =def. X is either morally something blameworthy or morally praiseworthy for doing it. praiseworthy The Problem of Free Will If one thinks that FWI is true and one If FWI thinks that free will is necessary for moral responsibility, then one is committed to the incompatibility of determinism and moral responsibility. determinism the thesis that if determinism is true, then no one is morally responsible for anything. anything. Responsibility Incompatibilism (RI) is is The Problem of Free Will In addition to modus ponens and In modus tollens, there is another form of argument that is valid. argument Transitivity 1. If p, then q. If then 2. If q, then r. If then 3. Therefore, if p, then r. Therefore, then 1,2T The Problem of Free Will Master Argument for RI Master RI If determinism is true, then no one can If do otherwise than she in fact does. do 2. If no one can do otherwise than she in If fact does, then no one is morally responsible for anything. responsible 3. Therefore, if determinism is true, then Therefore, no one is morally responsible for anything. anything. 1,2T 1. The Problem of Free Will Justification for premise 1: Premise 1 is just FWI. Premise FWI The justification for that is the line of The reasoning I mentioned before: reasoning “If determinism is true, then our acts are the If consequences of the laws of nature and events in the remote past. But it is not up to us what went on before we were born, and neither is it up to us what the laws of nature are. Therefore, the consequences of these things (including our present acts) are not up to us.” (including The Problem of Free Will Justification for premise 2: People accept the second premise People because they endorse: because The Principle of Alternative Possibilities Principle (PAP): A person, S, iis morally responsible for s ): doing something only if S could have done otherwise than do it. ...
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This note was uploaded on 10/12/2010 for the course PHIL 100 taught by Professor Jeremy during the Spring '08 term at UMass (Amherst).

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