PHI101_71013_Lecture10_Oct01

PHI101_71013_Lecture10_Oct01 - Paul Churchland: Critique of...

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Paul Churchland: “Critique of Dualism” October 1, 2009
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Varieties of Dualism 1. Substance dualism 2. Cartesian dualism 3. Popular dualism 4. Property dualism
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Substance dualism Each mind is a distinct nonmaterial thing; an individual ‘package’ of nonmaterial substance. a Mental states are states of this non- material substance. a How to give a positive characterization of the mind?
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Cartesian dualism Attempts to give a positive account of the mind, i.e. Matter is a kind of substance that is extended in space. Mind is a kind of substance that lacks extension; its essential feature is thinking . a There is systematic causal interaction between the mind and the body.
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Problems with Cartesian  dualism How to make the mind-body interactions even intelligible, especially in the light of the conservation laws of physics? One cannot get bodily movement (momentum) out of nothing. How is the nonmaterial mind to affect the physical? If there has to be a material cause to bodily movement, what is the role of the mental?
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Popular dualism A person is “a ghost in a machine” a The machine is the human body; the ‘ghost’ is a spiritual substance that is embodied. a May fare better with conservation laws. (Think Einstein’s E = mc 2 .) a Seems to leave open the possibility of life after death. a But is there any evidence for this view?
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Property dualism There is no mental substance in addition to the material. a The physical brain has special properties that are non-material. a These cannot be reduced to physical concepts, but they require their own special science. a Variations: Epiphenomenalism Interactionist (emergent) property dualism Elemental-property dualism
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Problems with property dualism Although epiphenomenalism has plausibility, it seems to demote mental properties. a Can mental properties be emergent, i.e. they do not appear before life forms have achieved sufficient evolutionary complexity? But if so, aren’t the properties physical in their origin? a Can the properties be fundamental or elemental, i.e. properties that have been around since the universe began?
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Given all the problems with each version of dualism, why would one be a dualist?
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The case for dualism Argument from religion a Argument from introspection a Argument from irreducibilty a Argument from parapsychology a Although collectively compelling, how strong are these individually?
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Argument from religion Most religions are committed to a notion of immortal soul; this could be fleshed out by substance dualism
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PHI101_71013_Lecture10_Oct01 - Paul Churchland: Critique of...

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