David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Gilbert Ryle accused Descartes of advancing what he called the “paramechanical hypothesis,” according to which the structure and operations of the mind can be understood on the model of the structure and operations of a physical system. The body is a complex machine – “a bit of clockwork” – that operates according to laws governing the mechanical interactions of material things. The mind, on the other hand, according to Descartes (according to Ryle), is an immaterial machine that operates according to formally analogous laws governing the paramechanical interactions of immaterial things – “a bit of not-clockwork.” In other words, mental processes are the same as physical processes, only you don’t have the matter. I don’t know whether Descartes actually thought this. But, surely, if he did, he was making some kind of logical or conceptual error. Mental processes can’t be the same as physical processes, minus the matter, since the matter matters. The properties of physical systems have physical explanations, which are explanations in terms of physical properties and physical laws. But it is absurd – a category mistake – to suppose that mechanical explanations could apply to immaterial things with no physical properties, subject to no physical laws. (If matters of mind..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Tim Crane (1999). The Mind-Body Problem. In Rob Wilson & Frank Keil (eds.), The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences. MIT Press.
László E. Szabó (2003). Formal Systems as Physical Objects: A Physicalist Account of Mathematical Truth. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (2):117 – 125.
Jens Harbecke (2011). Mind in a Humean World. Metaphysica 12 (2):213-229.
La´Szlo´ E. Szabo´ (2003). Formal Systems as Physical Objects: A Physicalist Account of Mathematical Truth. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (2):117-125.
David Hodgson (2008). A Role for Consciousness. Philosophy Now 65:22-24.
Hong Yu Wong (2005). The Metaphysics of Emergence. Noûs 39 (4):658 - 678.
David Robb (1997). The Properties of Mental Causation. Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):178-94.
David M. Rosenthal (1998). Dualism. In E. Craig (ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Routledge.
Tyler Burge (1993). Mind-Body Causation and Explanatory Practice. In John Heil & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Mental Causation. Oxford University Press.
Manuel Liz (2001). New Physical Properties. In Tian Yu Cao (ed.), The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy. Philosophy Doc Ctr. 29-41.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads22 ( #92,244 of 1,692,519 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #57,596 of 1,692,519 )
How can I increase my downloads?