The purpose of this yet-another version of this note is to make another attempt to show how an 'AB-series' interpretation of time, given in a companion paper, leads, surprisingly, apparently, to the signature of the physicists' important AdS^5 geometry. This is not a theory of 2 time dimensions. Rather, it is a theory of 1 time dimension that has both A-series and B-series characteristics.
În acest eseu evidențiez principalele aspecte psihologice și filosofice desprinse din filmul Solaris regizat de Andrei Tarkovski, precum și tehnicile cinematografice utilizate de regizor pentru a-și transmite mesajele spectatorului. În ”Introducere” prezint pe scurt elementele relevante din biografia lui Tarkovski și o prezentare generală a romanului Solaris a lui Stanislav Lem și filmul Solaris în regia lui Andrei Tarkovsky. În ”Tehnica cinematografică” vorbesc despre ritmul specific al scenelor, mișcarea radicală declanșată de Tarkovsky în cinematografia modernă, rolul elementelor simbolice și iconice, (...) , și afinitățile cu zona fantastică a literaturii ruse. În ”Aspecte psihologice” analizez problema comunicării într-o societate umană a viitorului considerată de Tarkovsky ca rigidă, obsesia casei, și evoluția personală a lui Kris, Hari, și a relațiilor dintre ei. În ”Aspecte filosofice” se analizează filmul prin prisma filosofiei minții (dualismul cartezian, reducționismul și funcționalismul), a problemei identității personale, a teoriei spațiilor heterotopice dezvoltată de Michel Foucault, și interpretările semantice care se pot deduce din film. De asemenea, se analizează problema identității personale prin prisma filosofiei lui Locke. ”Concluziile” expun ideile generale rezultate din acest eseu, respectiv că Tentativele omului de a clasifica și de a păstra forme de interacțiune cu entități necunoscute vor fi întotdeauna condamnate la eșec și vor reflecta o greșeală majoră în lumea panoptică în care trăim. În acest cadru de analiză a filosofiei minții, funcționalismul pare a fi cel mai intuitiv. Solaris este, totuși, un film care începe ca o căutare a răspunsurilor și ajunge să ofere aceste răspunsuri împreună cu o serie de întrebări cu totul diferite. (shrink)
Materialists about human persons say that we are, and must be, wholly material beings. Substance dualists say that we are, and must be, wholly immaterial. In this paper, I take issue with the “and must be” bits. Both materialists and substance dualists would do well to reject modal extensions of their views and instead opt for contingent doctrines, or doctrines that are silent about those modal extensions. Or so I argue.
We examine Sophie Gibb’s emergent property-dualist theory of mental causation as double-prevention. Her account builds on a commitment to a version of causal realism based on a powers metaphysic. We consider three objections to her account. We show, by drawing out the implications of the ontological commitments of Gibb’s theory of mental causation, that the first two objections fail. But, we argue, owing to worries about cases where there is no double-preventive role to be played by mental properties, her account, (...) which solely affords mental properties a double-preventive role, is incomplete and vulnerable to a causal exclusion objection. We propose a friendly modification to her theory of mental causation that is consistent with her theory’s ontological commitments. Specifically, we sketch an account on which mental properties have a more pronounced causal-structuring role that is not exhausted by the role Gibb assigns them as double-preventers. The result is a novel emergentist theory of mental causation. (shrink)
Many central creedal statements in Christianity presuppose the existence of a substantial self, even though Christian tradition has not always explicitly used this terminology. However, in contemporary philosophy, the traditional Christian view has been charged with empirical inadequacy, an objection often motivated by neuroscientific considerations. In this paper, I examine the empirical adequacy of the traditional Christian view from a phenomenological perspective and from emerging contemporary cognitive scientific perspectives that downplay or de-emphasize the brain’s role in cognition. I argue that (...) neither perspective supports fatal objections to the traditional view and I explain how the traditional Christian view of the self can be synthesized with some novel philosophical developments that suggest the continued relevance of the view. (shrink)
In De Trinitate 10, Augustine offers an argument that seemingly proceeds from certain premises about self-knowledge to the conclusion that the mind is incorporeal. Although the argument has sometimes been compared to later Cartesian arguments, it has received relatively little philosophical attention. In this paper, I offer a detailed analysis and original interpretation of Augustine's argument and argue that it is not vulnerable to some of the main objections which have been raised against it. I go on to argue that (...) while an important part of Augustine's argument does face several hitherto neglected objections, Augustine's ultimate case for the incorporeality of the mind is somewhat different and more successful than one might initially think. (shrink)
Epiphenomenalist dualists hold that certain physical states give rise to non-physical conscious experiences, but that these non-physical experiences are themselves causally inefficacious. Among the most pressing challenges facing epiphenomenalists is the so-called “paradox of phenomenal judgment”, which challenges epiphenomenalism’s ability to account for our knowledge of our own conscious experiences. According to this objection, we lack knowledge of the very thing that epiphenomenalists take physicalists to be unable to explain. By developing an epiphenomenalist theory of subjects and mental states, this (...) paper argues that there is nothing paradoxical or problematic about the epiphenomenalist’s understanding of phenomenal judgments or phenomenal self-knowledge. The appearance of paradox emerges from inconsistently combining (epiphenomenalist) dualism about qualia with a physicalistic conception of subjects of experience. The lesson we should take from this is not that there is anything wrong with epiphenomenalism, but that epiphenomenalist dualists should be “dualists all the way down”—embracing a picture of mind that gives phenomenology a central place, in its understanding of both subjects and their knowledge of their own minds. Epiphenomenalist-friendly accounts of reference and memory are also developed, showing that neither of these issues creates a paradox for the epiphenomenalist. (shrink)
This article deals with an argument reported by Razi (d. 1210) that attempted to undermine the immaterialist position about human nature. After some introductory remarks and explanation of the conceptual background, the article analyses the structure of the argument, with special attention to the idea of soul-switching.’ Some comparisons are made between the argument reported by Razi and a number of arguments from modern and contemporary eras of philosophy. One section is devoted to the critique of the argument and its (...) conceptual basis. This article shows that the argument reported by Razi is a methodological antecedent of a family of contemporary epistemological arguments against substance dualism. It is also shown that discussion of the argument could be useful to highlight a weakness in some, but not all, versions of immaterialism about human nature. (shrink)
We have to go all the way back to Euclid, and, actually, before, to figure out the basis for representation, and therefore, interpretation. Which is, pure and simple, the conservation of a circle. As articulated by Foucault, Deleuze, and Nietzsche. 'Pi' (in mathematics) is the background state for everything (a.k.a. 'mind').Providing the explanation for (and the current popularity, and, thus, the 'genius' behind) NFT (non fungible tokens). 'Reality' has, finally, caught up with the 'truth.'.
This paper examines an insoluble Cartesian problem for classical AI, namely, how linguistic understanding involves knowledge and awareness of u’s meaning, a cognitive process that is irreducible to algorithms. As analyzed, Descartes’ view about reason and intelligence has paradoxically encouraged certain classical AI researchers to suppose that linguistic understanding suffices for machine intelligence. Several advocates of the Turing Test, for example, assume that linguistic understanding only comprises computational processes which can be recursively decomposed into algorithmic mechanisms. Against this background, in (...) the first section, I explain Descartes’ view about language and mind. To show that Turing bites the bullet with his imitation game, in the second section I analyze this method to assess intelligence. Then, in the third section, I elaborate on Schank and Abelsons’ Script Applier Mechanism (SAM, hereby), which supposedly casts doubt on Descartes’ denial that machines can think. Finally, in the fourth section, I explore a challenge that any algorithmic decomposition of linguistic understanding faces. This challenge, I argue, is the core of the Cartesian problem: knowledge and awareness of meaning require a first-person viewpoint which is irreducible to the decomposition of algorithmic mechanisms. (shrink)
The principle of energy conservation is widely taken to be a se- rious difficulty for interactionist dualism (whether property or sub- stance). Interactionists often have therefore tried to make it satisfy energy conservation. This paper examines several such attempts, especially including E. J. Lowe’s varying constants proposal, show- ing how they all miss their goal due to lack of engagement with the physico-mathematical roots of energy conservation physics: the first Noether theorem (that symmetries imply conservation laws), its converse (that conservation (...) laws imply symmetries), and the locality of continuum/field physics. Thus the “conditionality re- sponse”, which sees conservation as (bi)conditional upon symme- tries and simply accepts energy non-conservation as an aspect of interactionist dualism, is seen to be, perhaps surprisingly, the one most in accord with contemporary physics (apart from quantum mechanics) by not conflicting with mathematical theorems basic to physics. A decent objection to interactionism should be a posteri- ori, based on empirically studying the brain. (shrink)
In this essay, I defend a mind-body dualism, according to which human minds are immaterial substances that exercise non-redundant causal powers over bodies, against the notorious problem of psychophysical causation. I explicate and reply to three formulations of the problem: (i) the claim that, on dualism, psychophysical causation is inconsistent with physical causal closure, (ii) the claim that psychophysical causation on the dualist view is intolerably mysterious, and (iii) Jaegwon Kim’s claim that dualism fails to account for causal pairings. Ultimately, (...) I conclude that these objections fail and that dualist interactionism is no more problematic or mysterious than physical causation. (shrink)
In this paper, I propose to analyse two objections raised by Turner Jr in his paper “On Two Reasons Christian Theologians Should Reject The Intermediate State” in order to show that the intermediate state is an incoherent theory. As we shall see, the two untoward consequences that he mentions do not imply a metaphysical or logical contradiction. Consequently, I shall defend an Intermediate State and I shall propose briefly one metaphysical conception of the human being able to reply to Turner (...) Jr’s objections. (shrink)
The concept of mechanistic philosophy dates back to the beginning of the early modern period. Among the commonalities that some of the conceptions of the main contemporary representatives share with those of the leading early modern exponents is their ontological classification: as regards their basic concepts, both contemporary and early modern versions of mechanism can be divided into monist and dualist types. Christiaan Huygens’ early modern mechanistic explanation of non- material forces and Stuart S. Glennan’s contemporary conception of mechanism will (...) serve as examples of monism. As examples of dualism, I will discuss Isaac Newton’s early modern mechanistic philosophy of nature and the contemporary conception of mechanism proposed by Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden, and Carl F. Craver. With the ontological commonalities are associated further characteristic features of the respective types that concern, among other things, the respective understandings of fundamental theories and evaluations of scientific practice. The ontological continuity Of the types does not play any role in contemporary discussions of the history of mechanistic philosophy. On my assessment the distinction between monism and dualism remains an unsolved problem and its persistence is an indication that this distinction is a fundamental one. (shrink)
According to Nicole Oresme (c. 1320–1382), human beings, unlike all other animals, consist of two substances: a thinking substance and a sensing substance. This paper presents and explores the arguments Oresme uses to arrive at this position, which is unusual in medieval philosophical psychology and which at least superficially – though their methods are completely different – resembles what Descartes concluded about the nature of the human soul and body two and a half centuries later. The paper also considers some (...) moments of ambivalence in Oresme’s presentation, as well as unresolved difficulties, several of which have theological as well as philosophical implications. (shrink)
Elisabeth was the first of Descartes' interlocutors to press concerns about mind-body union and interaction, and the only one to receive a detailed reply, unsatisfactory though she found it. Descartes took her tentative proposal `to concede matter and extension to the soul' for a confused version of his own view: `that is nothing but to conceive it united to the body. Contemporary commentators take Elisabeth for a materialist or at least a critic of dualism. I read her instead as a (...) dualist of a different variety from Descartes: a forerunner of twenty-first century naturalistic dualism which calls for empirical investigation of the psychological and its posits to be taken just as seriously as physics and its posits. -/- I argue that Elisabeth, a keen scholar of mechanistic physics, objected not to substance dualism per se but to the residual Scholasticism of Descartes' account of mind-body causality and his dogmatism about principal attributes. She queried Descartes' categorisation of the `action' of thought as mind's principal attribute, and his identification of it with the merely negative property of immateriality, holding instead that further philosophical and empirical investigation into the nature of the mind is necessary. I problematise the materialist interpretation of Elisabeth with reference to later letters where she dismissed the materialist Objections of Hobbes and Gassendi and continued to urge further clarifications to Cartesian dualism. I explore Elisabeth's contrasting of statements of mechanistic physics with statements about thought, and her call for further investigation into the properties of the mind, and argue they mark her out as a forerunner of contemporary naturalistic dualism which proposes substance dualism as a best interpretation of recent psychology and of the difference in logical form between current physics and current psychology. (shrink)
> Context • The alleged dichotomy between mind and matter is pervasive. Therefore, the attempt to explain mat- ter in terms of mind (idealism) is often considered a mirror image of that of explaining mind in terms of mat- ter (mainstream physicalism), in the sense of being structurally equivalent despite being reversely arranged. > Problem • I argue that this is an error arising from language artifacts, for dichotomies must reside in the same level of abstraction. > Method • I (...) show that, because matter outside mind is not an empirical observation but rather an explanatory model, the epistemic symmetry between the two is broken. Consequently, matter and mind cannot reside in the same level of abstraction. > Results • It then becomes clear that attempting to explain mind in terms of matter is epistemically more costly than attempting to explain matter in terms of mind. > Implications • The qualities of experience are suggested to be not only epistemically, but also ontologically primary. > Constructivist content • I high- light the primacy of perceptual constructs over explanatory abstraction on both epistemic and ontic levels. > Key words • Idealism, physicalism, pancomputationalism, anti-realism, hard problem of consciousness, epistemic symmetry, explanatory abstraction, levels of abstraction. (shrink)
A groundbreaking collection of contemporary essays from leading international scholars that provides a balanced and expert account of the resurgent debate about substance dualism and its physicalist alternatives. Substance dualism has for some time been dismissed as an archaic and defeated position in philosophy of mind, but in recent years, the topic has experienced a resurgence of scholarly interest and has been restored to contemporary prominence by a growing minority of philosophers prepared to interrogate the core principles upon which past (...) objections and misunderstandings rest. As the first book of its kind to bring together a collection of contemporary writing from top proponents and critics in a pro-contra format, The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism captures this ongoing dialogue and sets the stage for rigorous and lively discourse around dualist and physicalist accounts of human persons in philosophy. Chapters explore emergent, Thomistic, Cartesian, and other forms of substance dualism—broadly conceived—in dialogue with leading varieties of physicalism, including animalism, non-reductive physicalism, and constitution theory. Loose, Menuge, and Moreland pair essays from dualist advocates with astute criticism from physicalist opponents and vice versa, highlighting points of contrast for readers in thematic sections while showcasing today’s leading minds engaged in direct debate. Taken together, essays provide nuanced paths of introduction for students, and capture the imagination of professional philosophers looking to expand their understanding of the subject. Skillfully curated and in touch with contemporary science as well as analytic theology, The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism strikes a measured balanced between advocacy and criticism, and is a first-rate resource for researchers, scholars, and students of philosophy, theology, and neuroscience. (shrink)
I put forward a version of the Cartesian Argument from Doubt for mind–body dualism. My version utilizes de re statements, which means that it is not vulnerable to the usual charge of intensional fallacy. The key de re statement is, ‘Body is such that its existence is entailed by Mind’s believing that Body does not exist’, which is false, whereas the respective ‘Mind is such that its existence is entailed by Mind’s believing that Body does not exist’ is true.
A popular response to the Exclusion Argument for physicalism maintains that mental events depend on their physical bases in such a way that the causation of a physical effect by a mental event and its physical base needn’t generate any problematic form of causal overdetermination, even if mental events are numerically distinct from and irreducible to their physical bases. This paper presents and defends a form of dualism that implements this response by using a dispositional essentialist view of properties to (...) argue that the psychophysical laws linking mental events to their physical bases are metaphysically necessary. I show the advantages of such a position over an alternative form of dualism that merely places more “modal weight” on psychophysical laws than on physical laws. The position is then defended against the objection that it is inconsistent with dualism. Lastly, some suggestions are made as to how dualists might clarify the contribution that mental causes make to their physical effects. (shrink)
Substance dualism is on the move. Though the view remains unfashionable, a growing and diverse group of philosophers endorse it on impressive empirical, religious, and purely metaphysical grounds. In this note, I develop and evaluate one conceptual argument for substance dualism. According to that argument, we may derive a conclusion about our nature from the mere fact that we have the concept of a spirit. The argument is intriguing and fruitful; but I shall contend that it is, nonetheless, unsound.
Standard definitions of causal closure focus on where the causes in question are. In this paper, the focus is changed to where they are not. Causal closure is linked to the principle that no cause of another universe causes an event in a particular universe. This view permits the one universe to be affected by the other via an interface. An interface between universes can be seen as a domain that violates the suggested account of causal closure, suggesting a view (...) in which universes are causally closed whereas interfaces are not. On this basis, universes are not affected by other universes directly but rather indirectly. (shrink)
Intentionality is a curious notion and so is partial identity; the latter is employed by Christopher Tomaszewski (henceforth, CT) in his paper to afford solutions to a wide array of different philosophical problems. The author’s central thesis is that intentionality is a kind of partial identity; i.e. when the mind is intentionally directed towards an external object, it "takes in" a part of the object – its form, but not its matter. In my essay I first expound Franz Brentano's views (...) on intentionality - inspired by Aristotle's doctrine of hylomorphism. Contrary to what CT suggests, I conclude (in light of Brentano's later work) that intentionality should not be characterized as a genuine relation since one can be intentionally directed towards existing as well as non-existing objects and since, in the case of the latter, it remains unclear what it is that the mind “takes in”. Second, I clarify the notion of partial identity. In this context it is not obvious to me what exactly CT's appeal to partial identity contributes to the solution of the problem of material constitution. Third, I explicate CT's thesis that intentionality is partial identity (based on previously given definitions) and conclude that his argument in support of mind/body-dualism fails. Overall, skepticism remains as to whether partial identity adequately captures the tricky terrain of intentionality. (shrink)
On the heels of the advance since the twentieth-century of wholly physicalist accounts of human persons, the influence of materialist ontology is increasingly evident in Christian theologizing. To date, the contemporary literature has tended to focus on anthropological issues (e.g., whether the traditional soul / body distinction is viable), with occasional articles treating physicalist accounts of such doctrines as the Incarnation and Resurrection of Jesus cropping up, as well. Interestingly, the literature to date, both for and against this influence, is (...) dominated by philosophers. The present volume is a collection of philosophers and theologians who advance several novel criticisms of this growing trend toward physicalism in Christian theology. The present collection definitively shows that Christian physicalism has some significant philosophical and theological problems. No doubt all philosophical anthropologies have their challenges, but the present volume shows that Christian physicalism is most likely not an adequate accounting for essential theological topics within Christian theism. Christians, then, should consider alternative anthropologies. (shrink)
This book tackles the challenging question what mathematical formalisms and possibly new physical notions should be developed for quantitatively describing human cognition and behavior, in addition to the ones already developed in the physical and cognitive sciences. -/- Indeed, physics is widely used in modeling social systems, where, in particular, new branches of science such as sociophysics and econophysics have arisen. However, many if not most characteristic features of humans like willingness, emotions, memory, future prediction, and moral norms, to name (...) but a few, are not yet properly reflected in the paradigms of physical thought and theory. -/- The choice of a relevant formalism for modeling mental phenomena requires the comprehension of the general philosophical questions related to the mind-body problem. Plausible answers to these questions are investigated and reviewed, notions and concepts to be used or to be taken into account are developed and some challenging questions are posed as open problems. -/- This text addresses theoretical physicists and neuroscientists modeling any systems and processes where human factors play a crucial role, philosophers interested in applying philosophical concepts to the construction of mathematical models, and the mathematically oriented psychologists and sociologists, whose research is fundamentally related to modeling mental processes. (shrink)
In “The Argument for Subject Body Dualism from Transtemporal Identity Defended” (PPR 2013), Martine Nida-Rümelin (NR) responded to my (PPR 2013) criticism of her (2010) argument for subject-body dualism. The crucial premise of her (2010) argument was that there is a factual difference between the claims that in a fission case the original person is identical with one, or the other, of the successors. I argued that, on the three most plausible interpretations of ‘factual difference’, the argument fails. NR responds (...) that I missed the intended, fourth interpretation, and that, in any case, with an additional assumption, the argument on the third interpretation goes through. I argue that the fourth interpretation, while insufficient as stated, reveals an assumption that provides an independent argument, namely, that in first person thought about future properties we have a positive conception of the self that rules out having empirical criteria of transtemporal identity. I argue that the considerations offered for this thesis fail to establish it, and that we do not bring ourselves under any positive conception in first person thought. I argue also that on the third interpretation, the first premise of the argument is inconsistent with the necessity of identity. (shrink)
The exclusion argument is widely thought to put considerable pressure on dualism if not to refute it outright. We argue to the contrary that, whether or not their position is ultimately true, dualists have a plausible response. The response focuses on the notion of ‘distinctness’ as it occurs in the argument: if 'distinctness' is understood one way, the exclusion principle on which the argument is founded can be denied by the dualist; if it is understood another way, the argument is (...) not persuasive. (shrink)
Arguments for substance dualism—the theory that we are at least partly non-material beings—abound. Many such arguments begin with our capacity to engage in conscious thought and end with dualism. Such are familiar. But there is another route to dualism. It begins with our moral value and ends with dualism. In this article, we develop and assess the prospects for this new style of argument. We show that, though one extant version of the argument does not succeed, there may yet be (...) a deep problem for standard physical accounts of our nature. (shrink)
Endurantism, as opposed to perdurantism, is supposed to be the intuitive view. But the ‘endurantist intuition’ – roughly, that objects persist through time by being numerically identical and wholly located at all times at which they exist – is behind more than just endurantism. Indeed, it plays an important role in the motivation of some theories about the passage of time, and some theories about the nature of the subject. As we shall see, the endurantist intuition is often taken in (...) these cases to be a reason, or at least a motivation, to endorse one or the other of these metaphysical theories. Sometimes, it is even said to constitute a basis for an argument in their favour. In this article, I show that such an appeal to this ‘endurantist intuition’ is misleading and wrong. I do not deny that there is an intuition of this kind, but I deny that it can play any philosophically significant role as a reason – and even less as a basis for an argument – in defending metaphysical theories such as endurantism, dualism, or the A-theory. (shrink)
This essay sheds light, through a comparative study of the anti-Manichaean passages contained in Augustine’s Letters, on the significance for Augustine of the refutation of Manichaeism, which he had embraced in his youth. Augustine’s contrasting the Manichaean dualism in metaphysics, anthropology and ethics was his life-long project as a scholar, and lead him to expound in a clear and simple way his core beliefs in philosophy and religion.
This paper presents a moral argument in support of the view that the mind is a nonphysical object. It is intuitively obvious that we, the bearers of conscious experiences, have an inherent value that is not reducible to the value of our conscious experiences. It remains intuitively obvious that we have inherent value even when we represent ourselves to have no physical bodies whatsoever. Given certain assumptions about morality and moral intuitions, this implies that the bearers of conscious experiences—the objects (...) possessing inherent value—are not physical objects. This moral evidence is corroborated by introspective evidence. (shrink)
Although Descartes’ characterization of the mind has sometimes been seen as too ‘moral’ and too ‘intellectualist’ to serve as a modern notion of consciousness, this article re-establishes the idea that Descartes’ way of doing metaphysics contributed to a novel delineation of the sphere of the mental. Earlier traditions in moral philosophy and religion certainly emphasized both a dualism of mind and body and a contrast between free intellectual activities and forcibly induced passions. Recent scholastic and neo-Stoic philosophical traditions, moreover, drew (...) attention to the disparity between the material and the immaterial, as well as to the possibility of a retreat into the personal realm of one’s own mind. Yet none of these moral and religious assessments of the relation between mind and body were motivated by the purely epistemological interest that we find in Descartes in setting apart a world of consciousness from the world of physics. The present article explains how Descartes made use of specific theological and moral philosophical theories in his own analysis of mental faculties; how he changed the orientation of metaphysics itself in the direction of a phenomenology of the mental; how he never returned to the naive idea of offering a dualist foundation for ethics; and how his mechanicism may have motivated his epistemological transformation of the science of metaphysics. In all these various ways, Descartes inaugurated an understanding of human mental life on the basis of physiological rather than metaphysical considerations, a view of psychology that is related to the experience of human individuals, and a naturalistic characterization of the mind in terms of a domain of consciousness rather than of moral conscience. (shrink)
This paper evaluates an argument according to which many anthropologists commit themselves to Cartesian dualism, when they talk about meanings. This kind of dualism, it is argued, makes it impossible for anthropologists to adequately attend to material artefacts. The argument is very original, but it is also vulnerable to a range of objections.
This paper sketches and motivates a metaphysics of mind that is both substance dualist and, to a large extent, property reductive. Call it “property reductive emergent dualism”. Section “Emergent Dualism” gives the broad outlines of the view. Sections “Problems of Mental Causation” and “Theoretical Virtues” argue that it can claim several advantages over non-reductive physicalist theories of mind. Section “Problems of Mental Causation” considers metaphysical challenges to mental causation in detail. Section “Theoretical Virtues” considers overall theoretical virtues: ontological and ideological (...) economy, unification with physical sciences, the promise of explanatory gain. On these grounds, I propose that the view coupling substance dualism with property reductivism deserves further philosophical attention. (shrink)
Evangelical scholars have recently offered criticisms of mind-body dualism from the disciplines of theology, philosophy, and neuroscience. We offer several arguments as to why these reasons for abandoning mind-body dualism fail. Additionally, we offer a positive thesis, a dualism that brings together the best aspects of the Cartesian view and the Thomistic view of human persons. The result is a substance dualism that treats the nature of embodiment quite seriously. This view explains why we, as souls, require a resurrected body (...) as well as accounting for the great good of our embodiment in general. A human person is at the same time wholly soul and yet fully bodily. (shrink)
Zu den Anliegen dieses Beitrags zählt zum einen die Diskussion einiger aktuellerer Argumente gegen die Vereinbarkeit eines Dualismus von Eigenschaften mit einem (Substanz-)Physikalismus und zum anderen in einer Präsentation und Verteidigung des von E. J. Lowe (1950-2014) vertretenen (Nicht-Cartesianischen) Substanzendualismus. -/- Erschienen in: Patricia Wallusch/ Heinrich Watzka (Hrsg.): Verkörpert existieren. Ein Beitrag zur Metaphysik menschlicher Personen, Münster: Aschendorff 2015, pp. 59-70. ISBN 978-3-402-11892-4 .
A rigorous approach to the study of the mind–body problem is suggested. Since humans are able to talk about consciousness (produce phenomenal judgments), it is argued that the study of neural mechanisms of phenomenal judgments can solve the hard problem of consciousness. Particular methods are suggested for: (1) verification and falsification of materialism; (2) verification and falsification of interactionism; (3) falsification of epiphenomenalism and parallelism (verification is problematic); (4) verification of particular materialistic theories of consciousness; (5) a non-Turing test for (...) machine consciousness. A complex research program is constructed that includes studies of intelligent machines, numerical models of human and artificial creatures, language, neural correlates of con- sciousness, and quantum mechanisms in brain. (shrink)
Mind, Brain, and Free Will, Richard Swinburne’s stimulating new book, covers a great deal of territory. I’ll focus on some of the positions Swinburne defends in the philosophy of mind. Many philosophers are likely to have reservations about the arguments he uses to defend them, and others will think his basic position is unmotivated. My goal in this brief discussion is to articulate some of the reasons why.
This chapter will explicate what Nishida means by “nothing” (mu, 無), as well as “being” (yū, 有), through an exposition of his concept of the “place of nothing” (mu no basho). We do so through an investigation of his exposition of “the place of nothing” vis-àvis the self, the world, and God, as it shows up in his epistemology, metaphysics, theology and religious ethics during the various periods of his oeuvre – in other words, his understanding of nothingness that he (...) takes to be the root of the self, the world, and the religious notion of an absolute or God. We will also indicate some of the sources of his notion from the Eastern and the Western traditions. What unites his view to nothing from the different periods is an existential praxis, and what I call an “anontology” that avoids reduction to either opposites of being and non-being (on-mēon). (shrink)
The essay presents Saul Kripke's argument for mind/body-dualism and makes the suppositions explicit on which it rests. My claim, inspired by Richard Boyd, is that even if one of Kripke’s central suppositions - the principle of necessity of identities using rigid designators - is shared by the non-traditional identity theorist, it is still possible for her to rebut Kripke’s dualism.