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Old 10th April 2006, 05:50 PM   #281
Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
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Originally Posted by Geoff
We aren't doing epistemology. This is ontology.
I decline to define ontological physicalism. There must be an official definition, or are philosphers doing their usual dance number?

~~ Paul
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Old 10th April 2006, 05:53 PM   #282
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
Yes: The experience of seeing the chair is precisely the brain process.
So we can eliminate "the experience of seeing a chair" altogether?

They are exactly the same?

Synonyms (brain process IS IDENTICAL TO experiences)?

Who needs that silly "folk psychology!"

Welcome to the world of eliminativism. You have defended materialism coherently. I cannot refute eliminative materialism. It is a coherent position.



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Old 10th April 2006, 05:56 PM   #283
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Any explanation that defines physicalism to be true turn physicalism into something resembling a religion.
Emergentism doesn't define physicalism to be true. It provides a potential answer to some of these dilemmas and allows physicalism to be true. There is a difference. The fact that there are emergent properties in this universe is simply a fact. That is one reason why your proof fails. You can try again.

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I didn;t define the terms.
You set up this rule that you pull out any time anyone gives you an answer that you cannot counter -- Oh, no you can't use that because it defines physicalism to be true.

Quote:
Are you going to have a go?
Hell no. I'm trying to stay out of this debacle. I get to have a few good laughs over it and don't have to circle the drain when everyone trots out the same arguments because you are talking past each other.

I tried to play peacemaker early on until it just got silly. It has moved past silly, leapt over riduculous and is clawing past inane.

I only jump in when I think something has been overlooked.

Quote:
I didn't define ANYTHING.
Um, yes you did. You created this rule that physicalist explanations are out of bounds because they seem to define physicalism as the only possiblity. I'm sorry, man, but emergentism just is. We don't know for a fact that consciousness is an emergent property of neurons. We simply suspect it. But the existence of emergent properties means that your proof's use of causality is not exhaustive of the forms of causality. Therefore, you have not proven that physical explanations cannot in theory explain consciousness. The door is still open.

I have no idea what the final answer is. I have my guesses, but I could be wrong. I've been wrong plenty of times before. If you want to claim that you think it is more likely that neutral monism is correct, then that is fine with me. It is the claim that physical/material explanations are impossible that creates so much rancor. I'm afraid that you haven't accomplished that yet.

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What option is that then?
The counter-argument is all ready. Let her rip.

Oh, wait, I remember now. Geoff keeps claiming that he didn't post any definitions. Um, yeah, Geoff, you did. In fact that is what we have been arguing against.

One of those definitions if I remember was that subjective means that which is not observable by an outside observer. But, as Paul mentioned, you already defined calculation as a purely physical process. So that means that when we calculate in our heads, we are performing a purely physical process that is subjective. There can be any number of individual experiences of this, but the calculation that is physical is subjective by your definition. So there is something wrong with your definition of subjective or you should admit that some physical processes can be subjective. Or you can simply special plead that human calculation is completely different from computer calculation.

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Old 10th April 2006, 05:56 PM   #284
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But earlier you commented that eliminativism is mad, and isn't the definition of mad, in the sense that you are using it, illogical?
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Old 10th April 2006, 05:59 PM   #285
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Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
But earlier you commented that eliminativism is mad, and isn't the definition of mad, in the sense that you are using it, illogical?

I think it's mad. Hammegk thinks it's mad. Lot's of other people don't really want to admit it is their position but it probably is. And a few people who are big names in "cognitive science" think it's a revolutionary new idea which is going to change the world.

What it is it NOT is illogical, and that is the reason why the people who believe it is true believe it is true. It is mad. But it is the only coherent way to defend physicalism, so people defend it anyway.
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Old 10th April 2006, 06:02 PM   #286
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But what then do you mean by mad.

I had assumed that you meant it as illogical. As far as I know, the only other definitions are angry and mental illness (which I suppose would be ironic).
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Old 10th April 2006, 06:06 PM   #287
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Wasp

Quote:
You set up this rule that you pull out any time anyone gives you an answer that you cannot counter -- Oh, no you can't use that because it defines physicalism to be true.
Wasp,

Imagine you are trying to explain evolution to a Christian. The Christian can't understand that he needs to look outside the Bible to realise the Bible isn't true. But every time you ask him to do this he keeps going back to the Bible. So you tell him that the only way you can meaningfully talk to him is if he accepts, at least in principle, that the Bible might be wrong. He doesn't like this. He says : every time I try to get you to understand the Truth you pull out this "catch all". You tell me that it's not OK to just accept the Bible is the word of God. That isn't fair! You've already decided the Bible isn't the word of God!

Substitute "physicalism" for "Bible" and you're the Christian:

"You set up this rule that you pull out any time anyone gives you an answer that you cannot counter -- Oh, no you can't use that because it defines Bible to be true."

That's a good rule, wasp. Let's keep it.

Geoff
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Old 10th April 2006, 06:09 PM   #288
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Originally Posted by Geoff
So we can eliminate "the experience of seeing a chair" altogether?

They are exactly the same?

Synonyms (brain process IS IDENTICAL TO experiences)?

Who needs that silly "folk psychology!"

Welcome to the world of eliminativism. You have defended materialism coherently. I cannot refute eliminative materialism. It is a coherent position.
That's nice. But, of course, there are other possibilities. The experience of seeing the chair could be a physical thing, but different from brain process. You just have to allow the possibility that it is a physical thing, so as not to beg the question.

Anyway, we could always eliminate the brain function and keep the experience.

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Old 10th April 2006, 06:12 PM   #289
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Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
But what then do you mean by mad.
It works in theory. In practice, only a person who wasn't thinking straight would actually believe it.

Quote:
I had assumed that you meant it as illogical. As far as I know, the only other definitions are angry and mental illness (which I suppose would be ironic).
No, it just seems like a fairly odd thing to do to claim that minds don't exist.
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Old 10th April 2006, 06:15 PM   #290
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It works in theory. In practice, only a person who wasn't thinking straight would actually believe it.... No, it just seems like a fairly odd thing to do to claim that minds don't exist.
To claim that minds are entirely the product of physical processes is not to say there is no mind. Like a computer, which you admit is entirely physical.
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Old 10th April 2006, 06:15 PM   #291
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Again, no. We've already been through this. Just because someone uses physicalism as a basis does not mean that he or she cannot possibly see any other worldview. That is simply wrong. You really do not need to trot out the same tired argument that cannot possibly be correct or we would necessarily all believe the same way. If we were completely enmeshed in our worldviews with no possibility of seeing the world in any other way, then no advancement in science would ever occur. Everyone would be enmeshed in their paradigm. No paradigm shift could ever occur.

I can easily see things from a neutral monistic view. I have dabbled with various forms of monism for years. That I currently seek a natural explanation of consciousness simply means that I seek a natural explanation of consciousness. If that proves to be wrong, then it proves to be wrong. Simple as that.

Your constant whining that everyone who disagrees with you is a fundamentalist has worn so thin the quarks are showing.

Your job, as you have set your task since you insist that physical explanations of consciousness are impossible, is to prove that. You have not provided an adequate proof. You can continue trying or you can retract the absolutist claim that is impossible for physical explanations to work. Simply because physical explanations might possibly work does not mean that they will. It only means that it is a possibility.

Quit the patronizing fundie talk and perhaps we could make some progress. Deal with the issues at hand, not the rhetoric.
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Old 10th April 2006, 06:20 PM   #292
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I get the sneaking suspicion that philosophers think they've done something quite clever when they say "See, you've just eliminated subjective experience by equating it to brain function." Ooh, really? Is that like eliminating computation by equating it to computer hardware executing programs? Or weather by equating it to atmospheric change?

Something has been eliminated, though: A source of obfuscation in the quest to understand how the mind works. Every single aspect of the mind that's tossed out to nonphysical subjective experience is an aspect that is being ignored.

~~ Paul
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Old 10th April 2006, 06:22 PM   #293
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"You set up this rule that you pull out any time anyone gives you an answer that you cannot counter -- Oh, no you can't use that because it defines Bible to be true."
Oh yeah, that is the perfect analogy. A group of people who completely distort all meaning and a group who are trying to use rational principles to solve a very difficult problem. Yeah, we are exactly Bible-thumping fundamentalists. Sorry, it just doesn't work does it?

And yes, that is what you are doing -- acting the fundamentalist. You are the one creating this absolute that physicalism cannot be used, as your example above so lovingly demonstrates.

So how about if you stop projecting your own style of thinking on everyone else for the sake of progress?

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Old 10th April 2006, 06:40 PM   #294
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Originally Posted by JustGeoff View Post
Anyone want to provide me with a coherent set of definitions for:

Objective
Subjective
Physical
Mental
1st-person
3rd-person
Qualia
This is why I am a behaviorist and a pragmatist. These questions are part of a prescientific vocabulary that is based on a cartesian dualism. There are any number of definitions...but frankly, complaining about these terms is a bit like complaining about phlogiston. (I know I am in the minority in my opinion, but you can ask Jeff Corey, the behaviorists are right).

Rather than these terms, try natural events (both public and private) and explanatory fictions. All the terms you have up there can be handled with just those. You'll have to learn a new vocabulary, but you will get used to no longer using "phlogiston"...
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Old 10th April 2006, 06:44 PM   #295
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Hey, look at the Wikipedia definition of eliminative materialism:
Quote:
Eliminative materialism (also called eliminativism) is a view in the philosophy of mind that argues for an absolute version of materialism with respect to mental entities and mental vocabulary. It principally argues that our common-sense understanding of the mind (or folk psychology), which eliminativists view as a sort of unformalized theory, is not a viable conception on which to base scientific investigation. Eliminativists believe that no coherent neural basis will be found for many everyday psychological concepts such as belief or desire and that behaviour and experience can only be adequately explained on the biological level. The most radical claims of eliminativism include the challenging of the existence of conscious mental states such as pains and visual perceptions.
I'm perfectly happy to be called a moderate eliminativist. I don't see anything about denying subjective experience in there at all.

I feel so much better now.

~~ Paul
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Old 10th April 2006, 06:46 PM   #296
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I swear that the juxtaposition of Mercutio's post and my post is purely coincindental.

~~ Paul
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Old 10th April 2006, 06:59 PM   #297
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Yeah, the whole "emergentism" thing is really just a way of saying "we think it's all physical but we don't know all the rules yet". It is seen as non-eliminativist, but with enough knowledge it probably collapses into eliminativism.
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Old 10th April 2006, 07:18 PM   #298
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This is like watching a train wreck in painfully slow motion...
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Old 10th April 2006, 07:57 PM   #299
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What everyone here seems to be forgetting is that, historically speaking, radianism presupposes the ontological precursors to prevalist intentionology.

You can claim that the conscious experience of objective perception is, a priori, tactilistic. But in doing so, you are completely ignoring what Grimaldi established as the prechandrian imperative.

If I see an apple, then who's to say what that "I" was, or whether what we choose to call an apple is, without respect to a pre-determined symbol system, in any way independently real. To do so, one must appeal to what Krudenski termed "the definitivist fallacy".

I'm not saying that this denies any mentalistic substantiation to what is believed by a subject to be actual experience. But I must insist that there's no objective justification for giving this supposed experience any more atropic credibility -- that is to say "reality" -- than any other non-subjective metaprosthesis.
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Old 11th April 2006, 02:18 AM   #300
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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. 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.
This is my final try to communicate my thoughts to you on this subject.

You are saying that you can prove that "physicalism" is false.

In the proof that you posted you have defined two statements:
  • P1: the experience of an object
  • P2: the external object that causes the experience

Then you ask which one of these is physical. If we continue formalization, we get the two propositions:
  • A = "P1 is physical"
  • B = "P2 is physical".

Then you have the agreed premise: "P1 and P2 are not the same thing". Your proof assumes that we have to formalize this as "not (A and B)". This is the spot where your proof goes awry. Since this is the very thing that you want to proof: that it is impossible for both P1 and P2 to be physical. You are assumming your conclusion! Most of us agree with your premise but not the way how you formalize it.

A better way to formalize it would be to issue a new proposition:
  • C = "P1 and P2 are different objects".
Even though this is better is not good since propositional logic doesn't have enough expressive power to capture the details of concepts like that. However, for reasons that I tell later in this post I won't go through the trouble to use a more expressive formalism.

There are now eight different truth assignments. When listing them I use the notation T(A) to denote that A is true and F(A) to denote that it is false:
  • F(A), F(B), F(C): in this interpretation neither is physical so it immediately rules out physicalism.
  • F(A), T(B), F(C): this is the case (D) of your proof. It rules out physicalism since P1 is not physical.
  • T(A), F(B), F(C): this is the case (C) of your proof. It rules out physicalism since P2 is not physical.
  • T(A), T(B), F(C): this is the case that you have not addressed. That P1 and P2 are both physical but different objects.
  • F(A), F(B), T(C): here P1 is identical with P2 which was ruled out incoherent.
  • F(A), T(B), T(C): again, ruled out incoherent.
  • T(A), F(B), T(C): incoherent
  • T(A), T(B), T(C): incoherent

I don't claim to be able to prove that physicalism is true. I don't claim that I could prove any ism true or false at all. In fact, my position is completely opposite: it is not possible to prove anything outside mathematics. If you search for my old posts, you'll find that I've been telling this for long time to people who think they can.

The problem with proofs outside mathematics is that they depend on our initial assumptions and our way to formalize the statements. And there is no way to know that those assumptions and formalizations are correct. So, any attempt to prove something about the nature of reality using formal logic is doomed to be useless.
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Old 11th April 2006, 03:57 AM   #301
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Piggy has an important point, although this still leaves dualism on the table. As for LW's logic, we clearly see that there is no bi-univocal correspondence between linear signifying links or archi-writing, depending on the author, and this multireferential, multidimensional machinic catalysis. The symmetry of scale, the transversality: all these dimensions remove us from the logic of the excluded middle and reinforce us in our dismissal of the ontological binarism we criticised previously.

~~ Paul
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Old 11th April 2006, 03:58 AM   #302
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Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
To claim that minds are entirely the product of physical processes is not to say there is no mind. Like a computer, which you admit is entirely physical.
The computer is entirely physical. It has no mind.

Actually, you should be careful to distinguish between "is" and "is the product of". These are very different claims.
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Old 11th April 2006, 04:07 AM   #303
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
Yes: The experience of seeing the chair is precisely the brain process. If you will not accept this or some other such explanation as a possible explanation, then you are assuming that the experience of seeing the chair is nonphysical, and therefore you are begging the question.

~~ Paul
All through this thread people have been assuming THEIR conclusions, whilst accusing me of doing the same even though I have not done it even once!

It's not that I won't accept this as a possible explanation. It is that this so-called "explanation" [i]isn't an explanation - it is eliminitavism. Eliminating something is not the same as explaining it. I don't give a monkey's nuts what you eventually end up defining "physical" to mean. Unless, that is, you define it to mean "everything" in which case you have quite literally assumed your conclusion.

Basically, every time you accuse me of "begging the question" what in fact has happened is that you want to get away with doing exactly that yourself. Unless I allow you a starting position which allows for no possibility of a non-physicalist conclusion, you accuse me of "begging the question"! Who is really "begging the question"? You, Paul. Not me.
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Old 11th April 2006, 04:09 AM   #304
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
I decline to define ontological physicalism. There must be an official definition, or are philosphers doing their usual dance number?

~~ Paul
The "official definition" is "Physical reality is the only reality." If you won't accept this definition and won't define it as something else then it logically follows that it is impossible for me to refute it. I cannot knock down a non-existent target.
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Old 11th April 2006, 04:17 AM   #305
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
That's nice. But, of course, there are other possibilities. The experience of seeing the chair could be a physical thing, but different from brain process.
This is a new one. Definately original.

Quote:
You just have to allow the possibility that it is a physical thing, so as not to beg the question.
I have done. I don't know why you think I haven't. All you have to do is provide a definition of physical which covers "the experience of seeing a chair", without doing one of the following things:

a) Defining the brain processes to be IDENTICAL to the chair
b) Defining "everything which exists" to be physical

(a) is eliminitivism and (b) is defining your conclusion to be correct.

So far, you haven't offered a definition of physical which satisfies this critieria. See, no question-begging from this end.
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Old 11th April 2006, 04:19 AM   #306
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Originally Posted by Ichneumonwasp View Post
Again, no. We've already been through this. Just because someone uses physicalism as a basis does not mean that he or she cannot possibly see any other worldview.
You appear to be unable to conduct this debate without using physicalism as the basis of your argument.
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Old 11th April 2006, 04:21 AM   #307
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Geoff - quickest way out of this is to define your "neutral monism" in the same manner as you did the P1, P2 example.

Then people can see if it is at least logically coherent.
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Old 11th April 2006, 04:21 AM   #308
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Originally Posted by Ichneumonwasp View Post
Oh yeah, that is the perfect analogy. A group of people who completely distort all meaning and a group who are trying to use rational principles to solve a very difficult problem. Yeah, we are exactly Bible-thumping fundamentalists. Sorry, it just doesn't work does it?
It works perfectly. The fact that you can't see it just confirms my accusations are valid. You are now claiming that your Bible is better than their Bible. There is nothing rational about defining your conclusion to be true.
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Old 11th April 2006, 04:36 AM   #309
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Originally Posted by LW View Post
This is my final try to communicate my thoughts to you on this subject.

You are saying that you can prove that "physicalism" is false.
I am saying that if anybody tries to give me a coherent set of definitions for the words then I can use them to prove that their version of physicalism must be false. The only case in which this is not true is if that person fails to define any of the "mental" things at all, or defines them to be identical to physical things - and therefore unneccesary terms.

Quote:
In the proof that you posted you have defined two statements:
  • P1: the experience of an object
  • P2: the external object that causes the experience
Those terms were chosen by Paul. Let's retrace our steps. I asked Paul whether he understood the difference between two different senses of "physical" that physicalists like to use.

1) The experience of seeing an object
2) the external (mind-independent) thing which is the (distal) cause of the experience.

Quote:
Then you ask which one of these is physical. If we continue formalization, we get the two propositions:
  • A = "P1 is physical"
  • B = "P2 is physical".

Then you have the agreed premise: "P1 and P2 are not the same thing". Your proof assumes that we have to formalize this as "not (A and B)". This is the spot where your proof goes awry. Since this is the very thing that you want to proof: that it is impossible for both P1 and P2 to be physical. You are assumming your conclusion! Most of us agree with your premise but not the way how you formalize it.
OK, I understand the objection. Looks like I need the physcalists to define physical for me.


Quote:

T(A), T(B), F(C): this is the case that you have not addressed. That P1 and P2 are both physical but different objects.
Ah, but there are three, not two things that you want to include of the list of objects.

Thing 1: The external (mind-independent) cause of the experience of a chair
Thing 2: The brain process
Thing 3: The experience of seeing a chair.

I never mentioned (thing 2) in my proof. If you introduce (thing 2), then claim it is identical to (thing 3) then you are an eliminativist. If you say they are not identical, then I can construct a new proof.

Quote:
I don't claim to be able to prove that physicalism is true. I don't claim that I could prove any ism true or false at all. In fact, my position is completely opposite: it is not possible to prove anything outside mathematics. If you search for my old posts, you'll find that I've been telling this for long time to people who think they can.
You can prove, given a set of definitions and pure logic, that the definitions are a coherent set or an incoherent set. At the end all you have done is prove whether or not somebody is using a set of terms which are self-contradictory or not. My claim is that all non-eliminativist physicalists are using a set of self-contradictory terms to talk about reality. It is only in this sense that I can prove their position is incoherent. And I already admitted that I cannot prove that eliminativism is incoherent.
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Old 11th April 2006, 04:38 AM   #310
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
Piggy has an important point, although this still leaves dualism on the table.
Did he? I thought his post was the output from a "post-modern generator"....
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Old 11th April 2006, 04:40 AM   #311
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Originally Posted by JustGeoff View Post
I am saying that if anybody tries to give me a coherent set of definitions for the words then I can use them to prove that physicalism must be false. The only case in which this is not true is if that person fails to define any of the "mental" things at all, or defines them to be identical to physical things - and therefore unneccesary terms.
The terms themselves are dualistic. You are assuming your conclusion. One cannot use inherently dualistic terms to support a monism (John. B. Watson tried, and failed, within behaviorism, as one example); therefore, your use of them to prove physicalism false is a foregone conclusion.

It's an understandable mistake, because it is the language we are accustomed to using, but it is a non-problem.
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Old 11th April 2006, 04:44 AM   #312
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Originally Posted by Mercutio View Post
This is why I am a behaviorist and a pragmatist. These questions are part of a prescientific vocabulary that is based on a cartesian dualism.
Well, all except "qualia" may be. And actually those terms predate even Descartes.

But your point is quite interesting with respect to the original point of this thread. You are saying that in order to answer this problem (which is philosophical, with wide-reaching implications) you want to use "post-scientific vocabulary" only. In effect that means "materialistic vocabulary only", in which case you are confirming the accusation made in the opening post. You want to use the language of scientific materialism to solve a philosophical problem.

Quote:
There are any number of definitions...but frankly, complaining about these terms is a bit like complaining about phlogiston. (I know I am in the minority in my opinion, but you can ask Jeff Corey, the behaviorists are right).
That is just scientism in action. "Anything which is meaningless outside the vocabulary of scientific materialism is completely meaningless." You are defending the position of the Churchland's : we must eliminate the "non-scientific" (= "non-materialistic") vocabulary.
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Old 11th April 2006, 04:48 AM   #313
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Originally Posted by Geoff
Basically, every time you accuse me of "begging the question" what in fact has happened is that you want to get away with doing exactly that yourself. Unless I allow you a starting position which allows for no possibility of a non-physicalist conclusion, you accuse me of "begging the question"! Who is really "begging the question"? You, Paul. Not me.
Okay, I'll take a deep breath here.

So that neither of us begs the question, the proof has to cover multiple cases, as you are trying to do. The problem is that we don't agree with your formulation of one of the cases. To fix it, you suddenly introduced brain processes in between the chair and the experience of the chair.

Quote:
This is a new one. Definately original.
It's not logically impossible that brain processes and subjective experience are two different physical things.

But perhaps it doesn't matter. If all you are doing is showing that one path leads to some sort of monism where things aren't "physical," and another path leads to some sort of monism where everything is "physical," then I'll just stipulate that your proof is valid. After all, there are no other choices. I was somehow operating under the delusion that you were going to prove that neutral monism must be the answer.

This brings us to eliminative materialism. Poking around a bit, I find definitions that are entirely reasonable. They don't even appear to define eliminativism as an ontological position, but just address the question of folk psychology terms. Is there supposed to be something more to it, or is this going to be a situation where people accuse me of "the absurdity of denying subjective experience" when that's not what eliminativism does?

~~ Paul
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Old 11th April 2006, 04:49 AM   #314
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Originally Posted by Geoff
Did he? I thought his post was the output from a "post-modern generator"....
And mine was from an actual Postmodernist philosopher. Almost indistinguishable, no?

~~ Paul
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Old 11th April 2006, 04:49 AM   #315
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Originally Posted by JustGeoff View Post
...snip...

That is just scientism in action. "Anything which is meaningless outside the vocabulary of scientific materialism is completely meaningless." You are defending the position of the Churchland's : we must eliminate the "non-scientific" (= "non-materialistic") vocabulary.
Or another way of looking at it is to say we should adapt our vocabulary to match the evidence rather then trying to adapt the evidence to our vocabulary.

(ETA)

And by that (just as an example of the type of thing I mean) it could just be that our word "mind" describes something that just doesn't exist (as it is defined), much like as our knowledge of the world increased we realised the word unicorn describes something that doesn't exist (as it is defined).
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Old 11th April 2006, 04:53 AM   #316
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Originally Posted by Geoff
But your point is quite interesting with respect to the original point of this thread. You are saying that in order to answer this problem (which is philosophical, with wide-reaching implications) you want to use "post-scientific vocabulary" only. In effect that means "materialistic vocabulary only", in which case you are confirming the accusation made in the opening post. You want to use the language of scientific materialism to solve a philosophical problem.
What do you mean when you say it's a "philosophical problem"? It may be a problem that philosophers have tackled, yet it may have no philosophical solution, as I suspect it does not. The solution may lie in having the patience to see what scientists uncover.

~~ Paul
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Old 11th April 2006, 04:54 AM   #317
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Originally Posted by Darat
And by that (just as an example of the type of thing I mean) it could just be that our word "mind" describes something that just doesn't exist (as it is defined), much like as our knowledge of the world increased we realised the word unicorn describes something that doesn't exist (as it is defined).
This is almost surely the case, since the definition of mind is as squirmy as a box of frogs.

~~ Paul
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Old 11th April 2006, 04:56 AM   #318
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Geoff - quickest way out of this is to define your "neutral monism" in the same manner as you did the P1, P2 example.

Then people can see if it is at least logically coherent.
I don't think that would be a quick way out. I think it would additionally complicate things. I may do it later.
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Old 11th April 2006, 04:59 AM   #319
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
This is almost surely the case, since the definition of mind is as squirmy as a box of frogs.

~~ Paul

And that seems to be the case for many words and terms that are used in these types of discussion doesn't it?
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Old 11th April 2006, 05:02 AM   #320
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Originally Posted by JustGeoff View Post
Well, all except "qualia" may be. And actually those terms predate even Descartes.

But your point is quite interesting with respect to the original point of this thread. You are saying that in order to answer this problem (which is philosophical, with wide-reaching implications) you want to use "post-scientific vocabulary" only. In effect that means "materialistic vocabulary only", in which case you are confirming the accusation made in the opening post. You want to use the language of scientific materialism to solve a philosophical problem.
No, you are quite mistaken here. I am not a materialist, and in fact the materialist vocabulary you are trying to put in my mouth is a dualistic vocabulary. You are as much a victim of this problem as those you are trying to teach here.
Quote:

That is just scientism in action. "Anything which is meaningless outside the vocabulary of scientific materialism is completely meaningless." You are defending the position of the Churchland's : we must eliminate the "non-scientific" (= "non-materialistic") vocabulary.
No. You are seeing what you want to see, and not what I am saying. It is, once again, understandable--you are unable to see past your assumptions because you are constrained by the language you have chosen.
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