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Old 10th April 2006, 08:34 AM   #201
UndercoverElephant
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
Nope.

Let's say not.
OK. So we have established that you don't want to label either P1 or P2 physical. Can you tell me why, instead of just refusing to do so?

Quote:
Of course not, because then we would be confused about which one we were talking about.
Good, let's hold on to that thought, because it is going to be very important later that nobody goes back to mixing them up.

Quote:
How about "internal experience" and "external stimulus"? That avoid all kinds of ontological baggage.
That will suffice. So we now have "internal experience" and "external stimulus" and these two things are mutually exclusive.

We need two more definitions:

Physicalism: the philosophical theory that matter is the only reality.
Physical: ??????

In order to prove physicalism is false, we first need to agree on a definition of physical. Since we now have two agreed terms (P1 and P2), we therefore have to try to define what we mean by "physical" in terms of P1 and P2.

OBSERVATION: Almost everybody taking part in this debate, on all sides, is likely to agree that P1 and P2 together account for everything which exists. There are internal experiences, there are external stimuli, but it is fairly meaningless to start talking about things which we neither experience nor postulate the existence of as external causes. Why posit anything else?

So we need to map: "internal experience" and "external stimulus" onto "physical". Now, there are various ways we could approach this

A1) "Physical" looks like an awful name for "internal experience". That sounds like a fast-track to idealism. That is how hammegk might well define "physical". Am I correct in thinking you will reject this approach?

A2) "Physical" sounds like a much better name for "external stimulus". It's not a usage I would use, because I'd call it neutral instead. But it is at least one potential approach. Is this what "physical" is?

If neither approach provides a sensible way to define "physical" then we have major problems, because it looks like we can't find a way to coherently define what we mean by "physical", since we have already agreed to rule out defining it to be both P1 and P2, and since you have rejected defining it as either one of them and since we don't want to introduce anything new, either. In other words, if physical doesn't refer to something describable in terms of P1 and P2 then "physical" refers to nothing at all --> physicalism is false.
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Old 10th April 2006, 08:37 AM   #202
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Originally Posted by JustGeoff View Post

...snip..

That will suffice. So we now have "internal experience" and "external stimulus" and these two things are mutually exclusive.


...snip...
Hold on you are not sneaking that one in! From the definitions you provided there was nothing that led to a conclusion such as "these two things are mutually exclusive."

You need to go back to your definitions and reword them somehow if you want to be able to conclude that from them.
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Old 10th April 2006, 08:43 AM   #203
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
That is not "provable" all we can say is that both of you communicate to us the same thing.
You are correct to observe that we cannot prove that my experience of a chair is identical to yours. We arrive at that conclusion via a process of empathy and/or reasoning. And it is only a tentative conclusion, but nevertheless quite a reasonable one.

Quote:
What is directing your "consciousness toward an object like a chair"?
That sounds like a lifegazer question: "What is this THING that is experiencing a chair?" At the moment, before we have agreed on our definitions, I'm going to delay answering this.

Quote:
Again how do you know P1 is the same in both cases?
I don't. We can't. But I suspect that most people having this debate believes that P1 is at least fairly similar when you are talking about two humans. If it was a bat that was experiencing the chair, P1 wouldn't be the same.

By the way, Darat - if P1 is different in both cases then it's very easy to prove physicalism is false, so right now you are unwittingly batting for the opposition.
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Old 10th April 2006, 08:47 AM   #204
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I think you are jumping ahead.

What you are saying, to use an analogy of H2O, is that since ice is a cold hard substance and water is a warm cold liquid substance they can't both be H2O.
No, that is somebody-else's analogy for demonstrating something other than this. Anyway, Paul has already accepted that P1 and P2 cannot be the same.

Quote:
To move an argument forward based on the conclusion "they are different things" you need to be able to show that P1 & P2 can not be different "aspects" of the same thing.....
STOP!

You have introduced some new terminology designed to conflate subjective and objective i.e. "Different aspects of the same thing." I need you to think in terms of P1 and P2. I do not believe that the external stimulus which causes experiences of a chair is the same thing as the experience of a chair, and neither should you. Critical thinking, Darat, come on.....!
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Old 10th April 2006, 08:52 AM   #205
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
It's fair to say that a chair and the experience of a chair are not the same thing. After all, clearly the chair is not in my head. What we want to avoid is claiming that they are/are not the same type of thing.

~~ Paul
This feels like progress to me. Yes, clearly the chair (external stimulus, P2) is not "in your head" (internal experience, P1). It would be very silly to claim otherwise.

***Note that it this point we haven't even mentioned brain processes.***

We just have a mind-independent "chair-like-thing" which is a cause (P2) and the subjective experience of a chair (P1). Nobody is denying there is something profoundly connected between P1 and P2, but this shouldn't lead us to say they are the same thing. Likewise, nobody has mentioned brains, so we still haven't even brought that into the discussion. YET.

We are still waiting for a coherent definition of "physical."
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Old 10th April 2006, 09:11 AM   #206
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Originally Posted by JustGeoff View Post
The BIV and me are both having the same set of experiences. In both cases I am aware of a chair. To be more technical, there is a sort of intentional consciousness occuring - my consciousness is directed towards an object that looks like a chair. These are the same and I am calling them P1.

Agreed?
So far so good, but I do not see the relevance of talking about intentionality here.

Originally Posted by JustGeoff View Post
This statement is vague and confusing.

One of them is produced by something external which is in someway chair-like and the other is produced by a bunch of electronics. In both cases the cause is external, but even thought P1 is the same in both cases, P2 is different. Therefore P1 isn't P2.

Agreed?
I said: "Both experiences (BIV and yours) are externally and objectively produced".

No. I believe its very precise. Both are produced by "external to the consciousness" causes. Both are a bunch of chemical-electric processes within the brain. In the end, for the brains, its irrelevant what is the cause, as long as the experience exists. The difference is outside their experience capabilities and this is the end of our universe (if we want to take this to the last consequences).

Originally Posted by JustGeoff View Post
That's just a meaningless statement dependent on materialism, and therefore not relevant at this point.
I said, regarding the above: "Both are, in the end, similar firing patterns in the respective brain."

Meaningless? In which way? Do you deny that its impossible, even in principle, to distinguish among both of them from the experiential point of view? that the same pattern is not needed to cause the same experience? That in the end all we experience is such pattern?

Originally Posted by JustGeoff View Post
The problem is you can't tell the difference between P1 and P2. I suspect you want to call both of them "physical", even though they are clearly not the same thing. Please choose which one you are going to call "physical".
They are both physical (whatever that means) and objective (meaning that their cause is external to "the experiencer").
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Old 10th April 2006, 09:12 AM   #207
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Nobody is denying there is something profoundly connected between P1 and P2, but this shouldn't lead us to say they are the same thing.
Like I've already pointed out the connection is the transmission of information. Your brain in a vat analogy merely demonstrates that it there is no unique mapping from information to model - which again I already pointed out sometime ago.

One real thing, many possible perceptions of it. The perceptions do not then map back onto the thing as you want to do with neutral monism - there is no justification to do that. The conclusion we should draw is that any philosophical system is bound to be axoimatic. Yours is not supported. You add a new axiom to an existing system that fails to be of any use and adds inconsistencies.
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Old 10th April 2006, 09:15 AM   #208
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Originally Posted by Geoff
OK. So we have established that you don't want to label either P1 or P2 physical. Can you tell me why, instead of just refusing to do so?
It implies that the other is not physical. Because physical is such a loaded word in philosophy, I would have no idea what anyone was inferring when thinking that one of them is "not physical."

Quote:
That will suffice. So we now have "internal experience" and "external stimulus" and these two things are mutually exclusive.
Mutually exclusive, you say? I'm okay with that, as long as we agree that either (a) absolutely everything that goes on in my head is an internal experience; or (b) only some things are, and the rest of the things are external stimuli.

Quote:
Physicalism: the philosophical theory that matter is the only reality.
No way. Do not bother me with a proof that poorly-defined physicalism is false. Tell me what you're actually going to disprove. You may do this by defining matter and reality in the above definition.

Quote:
So we need to map: "internal experience" and "external stimulus" onto "physical". Now, there are various ways we could approach this

A1) "Physical" looks like an awful name for "internal experience". That sounds like a fast-track to idealism. That is how hammegk might well define "physical". Am I correct in thinking you will reject this approach?

A2) "Physical" sounds like a much better name for "external stimulus". It's not a usage I would use, because I'd call it neutral instead. But it is at least one potential approach. Is this what "physical" is?
I reject any ontological definition of physical. However, for the sake of argument, I'll accept that physical things do not include the concept of internal experience, as opposed to the source of internal experience, as long as physical also does not include any other concept (e.g., computation). I allow this with some trepidation.

Quote:
If neither approach provides a sensible way to define "physical" then we have major problems, because it looks like we can't find a way to coherently define what we mean by "physical", since we have already agreed to rule out defining it to be both P1 and P2, and since you have rejected defining it as either one of them and since we don't want to introduce anything new, either. In other words, if physical doesn't refer to something describable in terms of P1 and P2 then "physical" refers to nothing at all --> physicalism is false.
Don't conflate the general term physical with whatever definition of it is used in the definition of the poorly-defined term physicalism. I'm okay with using physical as long as we define it carefully. Then you can refute our definition without reference to physicalism.

~~ Paul
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Old 10th April 2006, 09:19 AM   #209
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Originally Posted by Bodhi Dharma Zen View Post
(I said, both experiences (BIV and you) are externally and objectively produced.
Right, but that's not the same as saying that the experiences are the same as the causes, is it?

Quote:
I said, regarding the above: "Both are, in the end, similar firing patterns in the respective brain."
This is both vague and wrong. The external thing which causes my experience of a chair simply is NOT something which is in my head.

Are you seriously claiming P1 and P2 are the same thing???

Please try to answer the question this time.
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Old 10th April 2006, 09:24 AM   #210
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Originally Posted by JustGeoff View Post

...snip...

By the way, Darat - if P1 is different in both cases then it's very easy to prove physicalism is false, so right now you are unwittingly batting for the opposition.
"unwittingly batting for the opposition"?
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Old 10th April 2006, 09:33 AM   #211
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Paul

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff :

OK. So we have established that you don't want to label either P1 or P2 physical. Can you tell me why, instead of just refusing to do so?

Paul replied:

It implies that the other is not physical.
Good. You are beginning to see the structure of the proof.

Quote:
Because physical is such a loaded word in philosophy, I would have no idea what anyone was inferring when thinking that one of them is "not physical."
The fact that the word "physical" is overloaded is the fault of the physicalists, who continually try to use it to refer to both P1 and P2 even though we have agreed that this is a silly thing to do. For the moment, I need you to stop worrying about what else these things might be and concentrate on what YOU understand by "physical".

Quote:
That will suffice. So we now have "internal experience" and "external stimulus" and these two things are mutually exclusive.

Mutually exclusive, you say? I'm okay with that.....
...except you are going to tack something on which makes you not OK with it....

Quote:
, as long as we agree that either (a) absolutely everything that goes on in my head is an internal experience; or
Why would we have to agree that before we have defined physical in terms of P1 and P2? The trouble with me agreeing to this is that you have used the term "head", which is understood to be "physical", but we haven't agreed what you mean by "physical". So I'm not going to let you have a definition of "head" which conflates P1 and P2 - you've already agreed NOT to do that.

Quote:
(b) only some things are, and the rest of the things are external stimuli.
Same problem. Until you define "physical", I don't know what you mean by "goes on in my head".

Quote:
Physicalism: the philosophical theory that matter is the only reality.

No way.
Eh??? That **IS** physicalism, Paul.

If you reject this premise then I have no idea what I am supposed to be proving is false, and neither do you. It's no wonder you can't see the proof, is it?

First define "physical", then we can define "physicalism".

Quote:
I reject any ontological definition of physical.
Then you have rejected physicalism by definition.

Quote:
However, for the sake of argument, I'll accept that physical things do not include the concept of internal experience, as opposed to the source of internal experience, as long as physical also does not include any other concept (e.g., computation). I allow this with some trepidation.
So when I sit down and compute something on an abacus, the computation is not a physical process? So when there are neural processes occuring in my brain, they aren't physical processes? You SURE that's what you want to say?

Quote:
Don't conflate the general term physical with whatever definition of it is used in the definition of the poorly-defined term physicalism. I'm okay with using physical as long as we define it carefully. Then you can refute our definition without reference to physicalism.
Paul, this is utterly stupid. So far today you have claimed :

a) That "physicalism" is not the claim that all of reality is physical.
b) That you won't accept any ontological definitions of physical.
c) That you'll only define physicalism if my subsequent refutation of it is then not considered to be a refutation of physicalism!

Just how crooked do you want the playing field to be before you finally start the game and allow me to win it?

I have the proof sitting in front of me. It's ready to go. But how am I suppose to refute something you won't even define??
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Old 10th April 2006, 09:37 AM   #212
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
"unwittingly batting for the opposition"?
Yep, your line of argument leads to another falsification of physicalism, but one at a time....
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Old 10th April 2006, 09:39 AM   #213
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Originally Posted by JustGeoff View Post
Yep, your line of argument leads to another falsification of physicalism, but one at a time....
Geoff - I'm not battling for any side. "Proving" any metaphysical position to be "false" to me is nothing more then an interesting intellectual game with no real significance.
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Old 10th April 2006, 09:41 AM   #214
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Originally Posted by JustGeoff View Post
So we need to map: "internal experience" and "external stimulus" onto "physical". Now, there are various ways we could approach this

A1) "Physical" looks like an awful name for "internal experience". That sounds like a fast-track to idealism. That is how hammegk might well define "physical". Am I correct in thinking you will reject this approach?

A2) "Physical" sounds like a much better name for "external stimulus". It's not a usage I would use, because I'd call it neutral instead. But it is at least one potential approach. Is this what "physical" is?
Hold on!! Im denying the difference between P1 and P2. "IE" and "ES" are the same thing, but with different names. Lets see the chair again. I see a chair (IE) and I have to postulate the reason Im seeing it. It could be an illusion and not "real" (in the sense of being there independent from my experience). How can I know, or suppose, that it is more than an illusion? (this is, in itself, a very complex issue, but lets move on). One way is to deduce (some would say propose) ES (we most be aware of this is an hypothetical entity, no matter how logical is its deduction).

Anyway, here is an easy way to show it. You need to create an artificial difference to demonstrate "two realms", but the only way to advance the argument is realize that the only thing we have (and will always have) is IE (huh, I need to point out that "internal" is false, but lets move on). From here we postulate ES. But this P2 is just an explanation that RESIDES in P1 (is part of experience).

Mm and a last thing. Some will call it physical, you might call it with other word... whats the difference? Allow me to pseudoquote an ancient text (there are better translations but this should suffice):

The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.

The unnameable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things.

From without being, you realize the mystery.
From being, you see only the manifestations.

Yet mystery and manifestations
arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness.

Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to all understanding

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Old 10th April 2006, 09:42 AM   #215
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.....
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Old 10th April 2006, 09:50 AM   #216
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Originally Posted by Bodhi Dharma Zen View Post
P2 is just an explanation that RESIDES in P1 (is part of experience).
Then P1 isn't P2, is it? Even according to you, one of them is an explanation and one of them is an experience.

P1) Your experiences of objects
P2) The external things which cause you to have experiences of objects.

P2, according to you, is something you never actually experience - you just conclude it exists because of reasoning and empathy. P1, according to you, is experience. Therefore they aren't the same! I don't understand your objection. I can understand you claiming that (P2) doesn't really exist, but that's idealism.
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Old 10th April 2006, 09:52 AM   #217
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mmm is the thinking process and experience??
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Old 10th April 2006, 09:52 AM   #218
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BTW, that last, retracted post (...) was the proof. It was withdrawn because of BDZ rejecting the claim that P1 and P2 should not be confused.

Quote:
Mm and a last thing. Some will call it physical, you might call it with other word... whats the difference?
Those who call things "physical" don't usually know what they are calling "physical"

Quote:
Allow me to pseudoquote ancient mystisism:

The TAO that can be named and the one that cant be are both the same thing, but with different name. From the no being we can see its escence, and from being we can see its appearance.
Thanks. This is neutral monism.
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Old 10th April 2006, 09:58 AM   #219
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Originally Posted by JustGeoff View Post
Those who call things "physical" don't usually know what they are calling "physical"

Thanks. This is neutral monism.
Mm Im not a materialist, so I dont know.

And your welcome.
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Old 10th April 2006, 10:21 AM   #220
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Okily Dokily.....

Since we now appear to be agreed that P1 isn't P2, the proof can be specified:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Proof against physicalism

NOTE: If you want to challenge this proof then you must challenge either the premises, the definitions or the reasoning. What you must not do is make some other sort of statement, which depends on an assumption that physicalism is true (thus assuming the proof fails before examining it), and claim that this means the proof is false. Any responses to this proof which take this form will be rejected on the grounds they they have nothing to do with the proof.

NOTE: The definitions weren’t mine, so no accusations I rigged them, please.


Definitions:

Physicalism: The claim that the only reality is physical reality. (YEP, that's what it means!)
P1) Your experiences of objects (like chairs) ("subjective experiences")
P2) The external things which cause you to have experiences of objects ("external stimuli")

Agreed Premise (A): P1 and P2 are not the same thing and should not be confused.
Premise (B) : P1 and P2 account for everything which exists

The proof now rests on the potential ways of defining "physical" with respect to P1 and P2.

(C) Physical is (P1):

If "physical" is defined as (P1) then there is a reality which isn't physical - the world of causes - the world of P2.

Conclusion: Physicalism is false.

(D) Physical is (P2):

If “physical” is defined as (P2) then there is a reality which isn’t physical – the world of experiences – the world of P1 – otherwise known as the mental realm.

Conclusion: Physicalism is false.

(E) Physical is both (P1 and P2):

This is just plain incoherent. We’ve already agreed that this isn’t a valid option.

Conclusion: Physicalism can’t even be specified without a contradiction and is therefore false.

(F) Physical cannot be defined in terms of (P1) and (P2):

Combined with premise (B), we are now saying that amongst the entire class of things which exist there is nothing we can meaningfully define as “physical”.

Conclusion: “Physical” doesn’t refer to anything at all, physicalism is false.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We have now explored all the logically possible ways of defining “physical”, given P1 and P2. All of them lead to the conclusion that physicalism is false. And we haven't even mentioned "brain processes", so they are irrelevant to the proof. Nothing you can say about them makes any difference to THIS proof. The only way to escape it is to argue for eliminativism, and this would take the form of denying that P1 refers to anything at all (NOT that P1 is the same as P2, because that would be (E) and it's incoherent, as the eliminativists know only too well).
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Old 10th April 2006, 10:41 AM   #221
Bodhi Dharma Zen
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Hold on! when did I accept that P1 is not P2???

They are the same. The experience of chair and the experience (thinking) about the chair. Without thinking involved (recognizing patterns for example) there would be no chair.

To express it in another way. There is no isolated "chair". The "chair" is a thinking process; It involves "a constant" (whatever is a chair without language, perception and imagination) and "us" (meaning language, perception, imagination).
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Old 10th April 2006, 10:46 AM   #222
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Originally Posted by Bodhi Dharma Zen View Post
Hold on! when did I accept that P1 is not P2???

They are the same. The experience of chair and the experience (thinking) about the chair. Without thinking involved (recognizing patterns for example) there would be no chair.
You aren't even claiming to be defending physicalism, BDZ, so what is the problem?

P1 is not P2. That is the essence of the mistake made by physicalists. The experience of a chair is P1. P2 is something we postulate the existence by "thinking about it". We reason that it must exist. Which is fair enough. But it is not fair enough to claim that thing we have reasoned to exist is the same as the experience we started reasoning from.

Read this page, and I think you'll stop wanting to argue with me:

http://naturyl.humanists.net/diamon.html
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Old 10th April 2006, 10:48 AM   #223
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Nope, Im not "defending" physicalism. Still, what I dont agree is in the assumption that "materialists are wrong".

If anything, they are confused, as we both are.

BTW, that link makes me think that you could be an Advaitin too (you might be ready!). Note that this would imply to cease to reason and understand before language... difficult task... and rewarding!!
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Old 10th April 2006, 10:49 AM   #224
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Originally Posted by JustGeoff View Post
But you seem to think this has demonstrated something. All it has demonstrated is that you don't understand the relationship between science and materialism, as per the title of the thread. You are calling things "materialistic" when what you should be saying is "scientific".
You'd agree that science is naturalistic and I've already said that I see no difference between naturalism and materialism. Note, I am not saying that science proves materialism or naturalism. Just that science is essentially materialistic because it only deals in material things (only a strawman version of materialism cannot accomodate things like QM).

Quote:
Not quite. You've put words into my mouth. What I actually said was that it includes things we are minimally aware of.
OK, but in my example, the person sitting in the room with the ticking clock was not even minimally aware of the ticking. That is certainly how the experience seems to us - we are not aware of the clock until we "hear" it stop. It is often the case that we are not aware (even minimally) of many of the audible sounds around us or all the objects in our visual field.

We are basically talking about subliminal awareness here. Which is not conscious awareness at all, or it would no longer be subliminal. See here for a discussion and some examples:

http://watarts.uwaterloo.ca/~pmerikl...erception.html

I'll say again: there can be no "what it is like" to be only subliminally aware of something (i.e. not consciously aware) and then to realise that the something (which you were not consciously aware of) has stopped happening. But we believe we experience this quite frequently. It shows that there is something fundamentally wrong with the idea that there must always be something that it is like to be conscious.

You say, the literature of cognitive science is full of things like this. Which surely means your worldview is full of holes that you are ignoring.
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Old 10th April 2006, 10:50 AM   #225
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Originally Posted by Bodhi Dharma Zen View Post
Nope, Im not "defending" physicalism. Still, what I dont agree is in the assumption that "materialists are wrong".

If anything, they are confused, as we both are.
Confused...yep, they are confused. They think P1 is P2.
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Old 10th April 2006, 10:53 AM   #226
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Originally Posted by chriswl View Post

OK, but in my example, the person sitting in the room with the ticking clock was not even minimally aware of the ticking.
Yeah, that's what you claimed. But it's wrong.

Quote:
That is certainly how the experience seems to us - we are not aware of the clock until we "hear" it stop. It is often the case that we are not aware (even minimally) of many of the audible sounds around us or all the objects in our visual field.
No, this isn't true. They are there all along, providing the backdrop to consciusness.

Quote:
We are basically talking about subliminal awareness here. Which is not conscious awareness at all, or it would no longer be subliminal.
Neither is it non-awareness. It's subliminal awareness, just like you said.

See here for a discussion and some examples:

Quote:
You say, the literature of cognitive science is full of things like this. Which surely means your worldview is full of holes that you are ignoring.
No. It demonstrates nothing about ontology. All it demonstrates is that there are many levels of consciousness and different types of awareness.
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Old 10th April 2006, 10:58 AM   #227
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Originally Posted by JustGeoff View Post
P1) Your experiences of objects (like chairs) ("subjective experiences")
P2) The external things which cause you to have experiences of objects ("external stimuli")

Agreed Premise (A): P1 and P2 are not the same thing and should not be confused.
Premise (B) : P1 and P2 account for everything which exists

(E) Physical is both (P1 and P2):

This is just plain incoherent. We’ve already agreed that this isn’t a valid option.
This is where the fast one is pulled.

We haven't agreed that it isn't a valid option at all. We agreed P1 and P2 were different, we never agreed that together they could not account for all that is physical.
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Old 10th April 2006, 11:02 AM   #228
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Originally Posted by Kevin_Lowe View Post
We haven't agreed that it isn't a valid option at all. We agreed P1 and P2 were different, we never agreed that together they could not account for all that is physical.
So define "physical" in terms of P1 and P2, please. Paul tried, and couldn't do it. Can you do better?
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Old 10th April 2006, 11:07 AM   #229
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Originally Posted by JustGeoff View Post
No, this isn't true. They are there all along, providing the backdrop to consciusness.
Consciousness != backdrop to consciousness. I don't know what more to say
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Old 10th April 2006, 11:09 AM   #230
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Originally Posted by chriswl View Post
Consciousness != backdrop to consciousness. I don't know what more to say
Your argument depends on claiming that everything available to conciousness is available at the same level as whatever it is you happen to be focused on. It's simply not true. There's nothing more to say.

And anyway - in terms of my proof, eliminativism isn't going to be supported by your argument. Eliminativism is a claim that there is no such thing as P1, which isn't what you are claiming.
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Old 10th April 2006, 11:14 AM   #231
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Wow, what progress we made while I was managing my money. We're using reality, physical, physical reality, physicalism, and exists without agreeing on definitions. I wonder if that might have something to do with our not agreeing on the proof?

~~ Paul
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Old 10th April 2006, 11:16 AM   #232
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
Wow, what progress we made while I was managing my money. We're using reality, physical, physical reality, physicalism, and exists without agreeing on definitions. I wonder if that might have something to do with our not agreeing on the proof?

~~ Paul
What is your actual objection, Paul?

I knew beforehand you were going to find some way of not admitting this is a proof. But you're going to actually have to specify what is wrong with the proof this time. If you want to object to any of my terms, then object to them. But be very clear what your objection is, and make sure it isn't critically dependent on an assumption that physicalism is true.
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Old 10th April 2006, 11:22 AM   #233
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Originally Posted by JustGeoff View Post
Your argument depends on claiming that everything available to conciousness is available at the same level as whatever it is you happen to be focused on. It's simply not true.
You are confusing "availability to consciousness" with actual consciousness. Things available to consciousness are potential candidates for conscious awareness. They may not actually get experienced consciously. They may not lead to conscious experiences.
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Old 10th April 2006, 11:25 AM   #234
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Originally Posted by JustGeoff View Post
Physicalism: The claim that the only reality is physical reality. (YEP, that's what it means!)
P1) Your experiences of objects (like chairs) ("subjective experiences")
P2) The external things which cause you to have experiences of objects ("external stimuli")

Agreed Premise (A): P1 and P2 are not the same thing and should not be confused.
Hold on, now we have to be careful.

Let's suppose for a moment that the physical reality is all that is.

Let's consider the small four-legged chair that I right now see in front of me. Let's call the chair A1 and my observation of it O(A1). These two things are patently different. True. It would be extremely non-physicalist to claim that they were the same.

But if there is nothing that is not physical, then that observation O(A1) is another physical thing, let's call that A2. Or more precisely, it would be a physical process caused by my physical brain (object A3) changing its state as a response to stimulation of optical nerves (A4) that in turn was caused by reflected light entering my eyes (A5).

This is a case that you didn't take in accord in your analysis: the possibility that the experience of an object may be a physical thing that is different from the object itself.
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Old 10th April 2006, 11:34 AM   #235
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Originally Posted by LW View Post
Hold on, now we have to be careful.

Let's suppose for a moment that the physical reality is all that is.
We can suppose that. That would be a supposition that physicalism is true. The trouble is that so far, Paul hasn't been able to define "physical", so we aren't sure what "physicalism" even means.

But we certainly have to be careful.

Quote:
Let's consider the small four-legged chair that I right now see in front of me. Let's call the chair A1 and my observation of it O(A1). These two things are patently different. True. It would be extremely non-physicalist to claim that they were the same.
So what we have called "P1", you have called O(A1, and what we have called "P2", you have called A1. That is fair enough. You are implying that the "real chair" is P2 - the cause of the experience rather than the experience. And you have accepted that these things aren't the same. All sounds good so far.

Quote:
But if there is nothing that is not physical, then that observation O(A1) is another physical thing, let's call that A2.
A reminder of my note in red at the top of the proof:

NOTE: If you want to challenge this proof then you must challenge either the premises, the definitions or the reasoning. What you must not do is make some other sort of statement, which depends on an assumption that physicalism is true (thus assuming the proof fails before examining it), and claim that this means the proof is false. Any responses to this proof which take this form will be rejected on the grounds they they have nothing to do with the proof.

Asserting that physicalism is true and then claiming that this is sufficient to refute a proof against physicalism which makes no assumptions about whether physicalism is true simply doesn't work. Here is your line of reasoning:

1) Assume physicalism is true
2) Therefore, even though we've already agreed that P1 and P2 aren't the same, they both must be physical.

This is a proof against physicalism by contradition. You are correct. If physicalism is true then P1 and P2 must be the same (or one of them simply doesn't exist). But P1 and P2 aren't the same, therefore physicalism is false.

You can't defend physicalism by assuming it is true anymore than you can do the same thing with the Bible:

1) Assume the bible is true
2) Therefore, even though we've already agreed that we are evolved from worms, this cannot possibliy correct.
3) conclusion : We didn't evolve from worms

Doesn't work, does it?
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Old 10th April 2006, 11:35 AM   #236
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While we're at it, let's define physicalism. Let's just see what Google comes up with:

physicalism: the theory that human beings can be explained completely and adequately in terms of their physical or material components

physicalism ((philosophy) the philosophical theory that matter is the only reality) [patently absurd]

Likewise, physicalism about the mental is a position in philosophy of mind which holds that the mind is a physical thing in some sense.

Physicalism is the thesis that everything is physical, or as contemporary philosophers sometimes put it, that everything supervenes on the physical.

There is a lot of confusion in the philosophy of mind literature stemming from a tendency to take physicalism and materialism to be interchangeable. [interesting]

Physicalism is the thesis that, in some sense, everything (beliefs, thunderstorms, people, sounds, etc.) is physical.

~~ Paul
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Old 10th April 2006, 11:38 AM   #237
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Originally Posted by Geoff
OK. So we have established that you [Paul] don't want to label either P1 or P2 physical. Can you tell me why, instead of just refusing to do so?
...
(E) Physical is both (P1 and P2):

This is just plain incoherent. We’ve already agreed that this isn’t a valid option.
Clearly we didn't.

~~ Paul
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Old 10th April 2006, 11:40 AM   #238
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
Clearly we didn't.

~~ Paul
Oh dear. Are you now going to backtrack on the claim that P1 isn't P2?

After all we said about not going back and arguing about terms after the proof had been delivered?

After I told you that the proof depended on this distinction?

After you admitted the distinction is real?

Tut tut. Somebody is cheating.
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Old 10th April 2006, 11:52 AM   #239
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Originally Posted by JustGeoff View Post
NOTE: If you want to challenge this proof then you must challenge either the premises, the definitions or the reasoning.
I am attacking your reasoning. To put it more precisely, your statement:

Quote:
(D) Physical is (P2):

If “physical” is defined as (P2) then there is a reality which isn’t physical – the world of experiences – the world of P1 – otherwise known as the mental realm.
You have not ruled out the possibility that P1 is physical but different from P2.

Quote:
What you must not do is make some other sort of statement, which depends on an assumption that physicalism is true (thus assuming the proof fails before examining it)
But what you are doing in the above is assuming that physicalism is false and then proving it false based on that assumption. You assume that if an object and an experience of an object are different, then they are so completely different that have to belong to completely separate realities.

That is like saying that because an apple is different from an orange, they may not be both made of matter.

Quote:
Here is your line of reasoning:

1) Assume physicalism is true
2) Therefore, even though we've already agreed that P1 and P2 aren't the same, they both must be physical.
No. What I did was to show that there was one line of reasoning that you didn't address in your proof. If you want your proof to be waterproof, you have to address it. Unfortunately, I can't see any way to do it except that by assuming that P1 and P2 must necessarily be different, but feel free to prove me wrong by doing it.
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Old 10th April 2006, 11:54 AM   #240
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
While we're at it, let's define physicalism. Let's just see what Google comes up with:

physicalism ((philosophy) the philosophical theory that matter is the only reality) [patently absurd]
Paul, This is what physicalism is. You are DEAD RIGHT. It's patently absurd.

Quote:
Likewise, physicalism about the mental is a position in philosophy of mind which holds that the mind is a physical thing in some sense.
Which is also patently absurd. How are you going to defend it from my proof? By assuming physicalism is true, as LW did? Doesn't work, Paul.

Quote:
Physicalism is the thesis that everything is physical, or as contemporary philosophers sometimes put it, that everything supervenes on the physical.
Is this the definition you are going to go for? How are you going to defend it from my proof?

Quote:
There is a lot of confusion in the philosophy of mind literature stemming from a tendency to take physicalism and materialism to be interchangeable. [interesting]
Makes no difference to my proof. Don't care whether you call if physicalism or materialism. The proof works against both of them.

Quote:
Physicalism is the thesis that, in some sense, everything (beliefs, thunderstorms, people, sounds, etc.) is physical.
Is this the definition you are going to go for? How are you going to defend it from my proof?

None of that makes a blind bit of difference. I am waiting for an actual objection to the proof. One that doesn't depend on you backtracking on something you already agreed NOT to backtrack on.
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