phi101 2011 03 21 Notes

Posted in phi101 by bnmng on 2011 03/21

Dual Aspect: [definition]

Descartes: His position is Dualism. Dualistic metaphysics preserved a place for religion, as well as an independent sphere for science. IAW Descartes: Reality is two substances. Matter and Mind, Matter: extended substance, which is stuff located in space, and Mind: thinking substance.

The Mind-Body problem: One of the problems with the dual-realities is that if they’re completely different, how do they interact? That they interact seems obvious but is it true? How does a non extended substance, such as a thought, create an effect in an extended substance such as the brain.

Descartes: seems to have confused the endurance of thought with the endurance of consciousness.

Descartes: First “Modern” philosophers. First to be working after the beginning of the scientific revolution.

Descartes: Developed Analytic Geometry (Cartesian plane). Also helped develop calculus. Wanted to start with a foundation of certainty.

Descartes Critically Examined all of this beliefs. Separated believes that could be doubted from few basic believes he can be certain about. Thought: I can’t doubt doubting. I can’t doubt the thinking that lead to doubting. Believed that he proved. The existence of mind is foundational and certain.

Descartes: Systematic doubt to eliminate every believe that could be doubted, and was left with nothing that could not be doubted but doubting itself. Led to “I think, therefore I am”.

Descartes: Since all he could know is mind, he has no reliable bridge to the real world. Made the connection between mind and world through the existence of an infinite and perfect being. Thought “God, being perfect, would not deceive me”.

Metaphysical Materialism: The claim that the only thing that is fundementally real is matter and the interactions (Not Descartes).

Metaphysical Materialism: Only reality is that which can be observed by the third person. No independent reality to mind. Mental experience is merely a property of brain activity.

Physical brain events and mental events are coordinated. One always happens with the other.

Hume: Never found a “Mind”. Only found “Thinking”, “Feeling”, etc. Mind is just a flow of mental events.

Gilbert Ryle: Ghost in the Machine: A machine doesn’t need a “ghost” inside to make it work; neither do humans. Influenced by 20th Century Psychological Behavioralism. Like Hume, denied Cartesian dualism. IAW Ryle. Mind is behaviors.

Eliminative Materialism overcomes the mind-body problem by denying the mind, or defining the mind as nothing but brain states.


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