Theory Dualism and the Metalogic of Mind-Body Problems

In Christopher Daly (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophical Methods. Palgrave. pp. 497-526 (2015)
Authors
T. Parent
Virginia Tech
Abstract
The paper defends the philosophical method of "regimentation" by example, especially in relation to the theory of mind. The starting point is the Place-Smart after-image argument: A green after-image will not be located outside the skull, but if we cracked open your skull, we won't find anything green in there either. (If we did, you'd have some disturbing medical news.) So the after-image seems not to be in physical space, suggesting that it is non-physical. In response, I argue that the green blob is a fictional object, while assuming a weak sort of realism about fictional objects (where they exist as mind-dependent objects). This view can look like dualism, however, but I try to interpret it not as implying metaphysical dualism, but rather as reflecting a dualism of theory. Roughly, there can be a theory of mind-independent objects, and a theory of mind-dependent objects. Yet there are principled reasons why we cannot integrate the two into a consistent whole, for reasons related to Russell's vicious circle principle. Most of the paper motivates this by an analogy between the physicalist's theory of the world, and drawing a map with a complete representation of the map itself. Regimentation unearths the inconsistencies that arise, when trying to represent as part of a model the very representations used to define the model.
Keywords Qualia  Mental Representation  Heterological Paradox  Theory of Types
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