Substance Dualism - Questions Read through your answers again first. Look at the feedback youve been given where were you mistaken? What did you need to include to push yourself to full marks? Make sure you are clear on any issues you had. Get a pen that is a different colour to the one you wrote your answers in. 1. What is meant by the term Qualia? Most common mistake: Not linking definitions to mental states or conscious experience! Qualia is the what-it-is-likeness of something 2. Leibniz Law Most common mistake: Not stating that two things must have all the same properties LL states that any things with the same properties are identical. Leibnizs Law (also called the Indiscernibility of Identicals): If two things have all the same properties, then they are the same
thing (they are identical). Conversely, If two things do not have the same properties, they are not the same thing (not identical). 3. Argument from Divisibility Most common mistake: Not stating why minds cant be divided but the physical can OR stating that the physical is extended and the mind isnt but not saying why this is important. 1. I am indivisible. 2. My body is divisible. 3. Therefore I am not my body. Onto Conceivability Argument First, I know that everything which I clearly and distinctly understand is capable of being created by God so as to correspond exactly with my understanding of it. Hence the fact that I can clearly and distinctly understand one thing apart from another is enough to make me certain that the two things are distinct, since they are capable of being separated, at least by God. The question of what kind of power is required to bring about such a separation does not affect the judgment that they are distinct.
Thus, simply by knowing that I exist and seeing at the same time that absolutely nothing belongs to my nature or essence except that I am a thinking thing, I can infer correctly that my essence consists solely in the fact that I am a thinking thing. It is true that I may have (or, to anticipate, that I certainly have) a body that is very closely joined to me. But, nevertheless, on the one hand I have a clear and distinct idea of myself, in so far as I am simply a thinking, non-extended thing; and on the other hand I have a distinct idea of body, in so far as this is simply an extended, non-thinking thing. And accordingly, it is certain that I am really distinct from my body, and can exist without it. What argument is Descartes making here? Can you split it into premises and conclusion? Conceivability Argument 1. If I can clearly and distinctly conceive of the essential nature of two things as separate, it must be possible to separate them (God could do it). 2. I can conceive of the nature of my mind as a thinking, non-extended substance separate from my body. 3. I can conceive of the nature of my body as an extended, non-thinking substance separate from my mind.
4. Since I can conceive of these things as distinctly separate it must be possible for them to be separate. Meaning they dont depend on one another, therefore they are two separate substances. Critique Mind Without Body? Mind without body is not conceivable Is it truly possible to think about a mind without a body? Every frame of reference we have requires senses that use physical data to tell us about the world. In everyday life we recognise people as being the same as their bodies our friends and family are flesh and blood bodies, not disembodied souls. Without their bodies we would not recognise them. It seems impossible then to conceive of the mind without the body, and if this is true then it means that a mind without body is logically impossible. Premise 2 is flawed. Critique Logically Possible > Reality? Logical Possibility does not dictate reality Just because we accept the possibility of something does not mean that it is true in this reality.
For example: I can conceive of a flying horse and imagine how one would work, but just because it is possible in one world does not mean it is true in this world. There are natural laws that go against this happening. Logical possibility does not mean physical possibility. Even if we accept that is possible that the mind could exist without the brain it does not mean it is true in our world/reality. We should not be using a priori reasoning to make empirical claims about the world and reality around us. Critique Conceivable > Possible? The fact that Descartes can Descartes invited Someone ignorant of conceive of the essence commentary
from the of his Pythagoras might well suppose mind being separate from his scholars of his day, one that they could conceive of a body does not show thatait is right-angled triangle that lacked Antoine Arnauld raised actually to separate criticism possible that he felt the
this property, but it wouldnt them. need to address: follow that is it actually possible for this triangle to exist. Not even God could create it. It is possible Descartes is The criticism was levelled mistaken, is missing some at Descartes first premise crucial information or hasis that what is conceivable
simply the always misunderstood possible. essence of his mind. To demonstrate his issue he offered a parallel argument using This leads on to the famous masked mantheorem. fallacy. Pythagoras Critique Masked Man Fallacy? 1. I cant conceive of my father being the masked man. 2. I cant conceive of the masked man being my father.
3. I can conceive of them being separate people. 4. The masked-man and my father are therefore two distinct different things. Critique Another Way? Lois Lanemakes Descartes thisthat believes mistake when hefly. Superman can assumes that his clear and distinct idea of the Lois and Lanemind doesasnot body believe things
that Clark separate is Kent can fly.to show that enough they must be separate. His idea is aSuperman property of Therefore him, a property andnot Clark Kent are of not the is thething sameheperson. considering.
We cannot automatically assume that subjective knowledge of something (or even a group of things) is enough for making accurate, noncontradictory statements. What we believe is a property of us, not the thing in question therefore we cannot make accurate statements based purely on our subjective knowledge. DIRT Using a pen of a different colour to the one you originally answered your questions in (just to make sure it stands out in your folder): Pick one or two questions you did not get full marks on. Either rewrite them (in the case of the 3 / 5 mark questions) or write an extra paragraph that could be added to your 12 mark question in order to improve it. Make sure you state which questions you are doing.
Folders So Far Substance Dualism The mind is a distinct substance from the body. 1. Key Terms 2. Argument from divisibility Mind is divisible Body is not divisible 3. Argument from conceivability Mind without body is not conceivable. What is conceivable may not be possible. What is conceivable tells us nothing about reality (MM fallacy) 4. Handout 5. Short Assessment (with DIRT) Post-Substance Dualism As neuroscience, psychology and our understanding of the mind evolved through the years, many philosophers began to reject substance dualism due to the reasons we mentioned last lesson.
The development of evolution (and the idea that some creatures have more / less complex minds based on their brain structure), seemed to be a death knell for the theory. Some philosophers therefore embraced physicalist theories the view that minds are entirely physical things, and well be discussing this in the coming weeks. But in the 90s a text was written that threw a spanner in the works of physicalism as well. David Chalmers Easy Vs Hard Problems of Consciousness Who: David Chalmers When: 1966 Present Text: Facing up to the problem of consciousness. Notes: University professor and influential philosopher. Should probably buy a suit. David Chalmers Easy Vs Hard Problems of Consciousness
Read the section of text youve been given. What does Chalmers term the Easy problems of consciousness? Why? Give some examples. What is the Hard problem of consciousness? Why? Give some examples. Is he correct? Recap Easy Vs Hard Problems of Consciousness What does Chalmers term the Easy problems of consciousness? Why? Give some examples. What is the Hard problem of consciousness? Why? Can you give an example? What are P-Zombies? Why are they an issue for physicalism? Chalmers Easy Vs Hard:
Easy Problem of consciousness: Hard Problem of consciousness: How does the brain integrate, categorize and distribute information? The problem of explaining the relationship between physical phenomena, such as brain processes, and experience. How does it respond to environmental stimuli? How does it focus attention? These things are known as the easy problem of consciousness as they can be functionally defined. That is to say, if we can find the function of the brain that performs these tasks, we have solved the issue. All of these questions are about
identifying or specifying mechanisms that perform certain tasks. Weve not done it yet, but presumably we will do with enough study. Experience does not seem to be functionally definable if we find the mechanisms that perform these functions we would still not know certain key questions: Why is their performance accompanied by experience? Why one kind of experience and not another? Presumably no amount of brain study or biological understanding would help us answer these questions. Property Dualism This led to Chalmers propose a reinvigorated version of dualism this time based around properties rather than substances.
If we start by considering physical properties What if weve missed something the obvious? Physical states What if the mental is a property of the physical? Fallible Public Follow laws Something new that arises only from the brain and no other physical object? Dont have qualia Dont have intentionality
Property Dualism Special set of properties that depend on the physical substance for their existence. No other physical substance has these properties. So consciousness is a real thing a real non-physical phenomenon, but it cannot exist without the brain to produce it. How does it work? As the brain evolves, it has become more and more complex. Once it has reached a certain level of complexity, mental states emerge. Mental properties can therefore be said to be emergent they appear once
physical matter has managed to organise itself into a sufficiently complex system. way of understanding A Alternatively consider athis idea could be to at life itself, life building or look a sand castle the only emerges when matter complete structure
only has reached certain level of emergesa once the component complexity. parts have been formed into a Too chaotic and life does not sufficiently complex layout. emerge. A Special Kind of Property: It is important to note that the property dualist considers mental
properties to be special in that they cannot be reduced to physical properties. This essentially means that (unlike physicalists who believe that all mental states can be explained using the physical) property dualists believe that mental properties cannot be explained simply using physical sciences. Mental properties are not just organisational features of physical matter, they are more. This means that PDs remain dualists, except this time there are two types of property not substance. A Special Kind of Property: Heat = Physical property of something and can be reduced to the physical explanation using science.
Happiness = Mental property of something and cannot be reduced to a physical explanation using science. Against Physicalism - Leibniz "One is obliged to admit that perception and what depends upon it is inexplicable on mechanical principles, that is, by figures and motions. In imagining that there is a machine whose construction would enable it to think, to sense, and to have perception, one could conceive it enlarged while retaining the same proportions, so that one could enter into it, just like into a windmill. Supposing this, one should, when visiting within it, find only parts pushing one another, and never anything by which to explain a perception. Thus it is in the simple substance, and not in the composite or in the machine, that one must look for perception. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) What is Leibniz trying to say here? Do you think he has a point? Important Note: Essentially Leibniz is pointing out the problem of Qualia here, as such this argument works in support of all kinds of dualism not just property. Tasks:
Explain what is meant by property dualism for your notes include: The relationship between the mind and the body (think of the diagram). Why property dualists consider mental properties to be emergent. What property dualists mean when they say that mental properties are irreducible. Read pages 242-244 of the textbook: If you STILL dont have an explanation of qualia get it down now Chalmers has a nice outline. What is a philosophical zombie? Why does the possibility of these creatures highlight an issue for physicalism? When youve completed these tasks have a look at the activity on page 243, see if you can figure out whether your partner is a philosophical zombie! Philosophical Zombies Imagine a human with no conscious mental states lacking in Qualia. Chalmers calls this being a zombie. This zombie perfectly matches a
normally functioning person, it is physically identical even down to the brain neurons and it behaves just like everyone else. The only difference is it has no subjective awareness. It does not enjoy any qualia. There is nothing that it is like to be this zombie. The Philosophy Bit Chalmers thinks that such a philosophical zombie is conceivable (remember possible world!). There isnt anything contradictory about the idea. He does however accept that they dont/cant exist in this universe (laws of nature). But this is irrelevant, there exists a possible world in which these zombies exist physically identical to humans except they dont experience qualia.
If this is true then consciousness cant simply be identical to physical properties. Philosophical Zombies 1. Physicalism claims that consciousness is ultimately physical in nature. 2. It follows that any world which is physically identical to this one must contain consciousness. 3. But we can conceive of a world which is physically identical to this one, but in which there is no conscious experience the world of the philosophical zombies. 4. Therefore physicalism is false.
Key Points Property dualists believe that there are two different kinds of thing, they just think the two different things are properties not substances. Property dualists believe the mental properties to be emergent properties of the physical substance that is to say, something that emerges when the physical substance has become sufficiently complex. Property dualists also believe that these mental properties cannot be reduced to the physical they cannot be explained using physical terms or physical science. They illustrate this issue with explaining mental phenomena using physical terms in the problem of qualia, Leibnizs machine and the Philosophical zombies argument so far Response 1: A world of P-Zombies is not truly conceivable. But just try to keep hold of this idea in the midst of your ordinary intercourse with others. Say to yourself, for example: The children over there are mere automata; all their liveliness is merely automatism. And you will either find these words becoming quite meaningless; or you will produce in yourself some kind of uncanny feeling, or something of the sort. - Wittgenstein According to Dan Dennett,
whilst there are no explicit contradictions in the argument there are hidden ones. We may fool ourselves into thinking we can strip consciousness away from a persons ability to act, but actually having a mind is integral to performing such tasks. Some examples: Can a person really - People responding in a respond intelligibly without Qualia? Without conversation without qualia understanding of what would mean they dont
theyre saying? understand their own words or yours. - People describing their sense of qualia without actually having it. - Imagining someone experiencing no pain after losing an arm or leg Response 1: A world of P-Zombies is not truly conceivable. Imagine not experiencing anything? Can you do it? Even if youre just thinking of a black space youre still experiencing that thought, that blackness. The life of a P-Zombie simply cant be imagined. The P-Zombies inner life is nonexistant and is therefore unimaginable. We also struggle with imagining meeting a PZombie as from our perspective everything about this person is the same as everyone else. So we either are being asked to imagine something that cant be imagined or something which is very easy to imagine but doesnt differ from our everyday experience.
Response 2: What is conceivable is not possible. Just because we can of something, A physicalist canconceive summarise this as:that doesnt mean it is possible. This is because sometimes our conceptions are based on false beliefs. Just because we can imagine the existence of these P-Zombies does not For instance, before the chemical structure of mean they can truly exist. Any creature water was discovered, people may have had that hassuch
theasexact physical thoughts I wonder if watermakeup is H2O orof I a humanthat would conscious suspect wateralso mighthave be H2O, but it might not be. At this time, people could easily conceive that experience because conscious
water was not H2O. But this is not possible, experience is simply physical. because water just is H O. 2 So, weifmight able to of zombies And theybewere toconceive lose their mindsnot for being if physicalism is true (and someconscious, reason,but they
simply would not we may yet discover that it is, maybe we are missing behave in the same way we do.would They some crucial information) then zombies are have not to bepossible conscious.creatures. Response: But if this were true then we would not have an issue with qualia we would simply be able to study the physical makeup of the
creature and be able to deduce its mental states. If mental states are simply physical states then we should be able to access them just by observing the physical (Jacksons Knowledge Argument). Response 3: Possibility tells us nothing about reality: Just because zombies exist in another world, does not mean they exist in this one. Perhaps we are in one world where mental / conscious states are physical and in the rest they are not. Physical Mental Absent Response: But this means that the mental is something extra and is extraneous to our needs. If in our world the mind is purely physical then why does it need a
mysterious non-physical for P-Zombies to Possible have consciousness in their Our World element Possible 1 2 world? Surely this is just extra, unneeded stuff? Physicalist World Dualist world P-Zombie World Responses: Which of these criticisms do you think is the strongest? Why?
P-Zombies are not conceivable. What is conceivable is not always possible. Property Dualism Criticisms What is possible tells us nothing about reality. Tasks 1. Make sure you have a summary of the P-Zombie
argument down. 2. Why do some people think PZombies are not truly conceivable? 3. Why might people believe they are conceivable but not always possible? 4. Why does something being possible not always mean it is reality? Dan Dennetts Final Word Supposing that by an act of stipulative imagination you can remove consciousness whilst leaving all cognitive systems intact is like supposing that by an act of imagination, you can remove health while leaving all bodily functions and powers intact Health isnt that sort of thing and neither is consciousness.
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