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Flashcards in Dualism Deck (40)
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What are substances?

Something that possess properties, the substance that persists throughout changes to properties

Doesn't depend on another entity to continue existing.

E.G. The chair


What are properties?

Properties can't exist without substances

E.G. Solidity (being solid)

Descartes claimed thoughts can't exist without a thinker


What is substance dualism?

A form of dualism that claims the mind and body are desperate substances


This means in theory they can be separated.


What are the properties of the mind?

Non-extended and thinking


What are the properties for the body?

Extended and non-thinking


Outline the conceivability argument:

If I can clearly and distinctly understand something

(E.G. I have clear and distinct ideas of myself as a thinking thing)

Then to an extent, it forms foundations for what we know about the world


Link Descartes Conceivability to Substance Dualism:

He can clearly and distinctly conceive of himself as a thinking thing which is not extended in space

(Can doubt the body, not the mind)

And a clear, distinct idea of bodies in space. Therefore God must be able to create it similar to our idea. Because God can do this, bodies are separate substances to the mind


What is the criticism of logical possibility not showing in reality?

All Descartes has shown is that God has the ability to create them separately, not that he actually has, it's just a logical possibility.


What is Descartes response to logical possibility?

He only needs to show it's possible for his argument to be correct.

To show the mind cannot be essentially reduced to matter is sufficient enough to show we can have mental states without bodies, showing they're separate.


What is the criticism of what is conceivable may not be possible?

Although we can conceive of them separately, it doesn't follow up. We can conceive of what's not possible.

E.G. Time travel


What is the further argument of what is conceivable may not be possible?

Further, I can conceive of two separate entities, not meaning they are actually separate.

E.G. Lois Lane thinking of Clarke Kent being separate to Superman, with different abilities and personalities, yet they are the same person.

Thinking doesn't mean they are.

Just because we conceive of the mind and body being separate doesn't mean they are.


What does Descartes reply to what is conceivable not being possible criticism?

He has a 'clear and distinct' conception of his mind and body

In the examples used to 'damage', they aren't damaging because if thought about enough they are inconceivable.


What is the indivisibility argument?

The body is divisible and the mind is not. Having these separate properties makes them separate substances.


Put the Indivisibility Argument in its premises':

1. Divisibility, the body, can be described by physics (shape, size, motion) in quantitative terms

2. Indivisibility, the mind, is in qualitative terms. (States of mind, sound, smell.) You cannot halve smells or sounds.

3. We cannot conceive of half a mind, but we can conceive of half a body no matter how small

4. If a foot is amputated the body is divided, not the mind

5. Therefore, because of these fundamentally different characteristics they must be separate substances


What is the criticism of the mental being divisible?

E.G. Multiple personality disorder - many different 'selves' or minds within the same body.

Further, Freud said we aren't conscious of all our thoughts. We have a conscious surface and an unconscious one, two halves of a mind


What is a possible response to the divisible mind?

Descartes' distinction is something divisible in space and something that isn't.

Freud only shows the mind has different aspects, it isn't divided in the way you can divide an orange into segments.


Not everything thought of as physical is divisible criticism:

Descartes says the essential property of bodies is they're extended and divisible = logically impossible to be physical and indivisible

However if we look at modern scientific understandings, there is a stopping point for dividing particles. You cannot halve a force field.

Descartes is wrong by saying all that's physical can be divided.


Outline Interactionism :

There is a two way interaction between the body and mind.

Analogy of pilot and a ship, the body and mind and more deeply connected than this.

The mind can't leave the body like a pilot to the shop, yet they're still separate


What is the problem of interaction?

Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia questioned the idea of an immaterial soul interacting with a physical body.

1. If X causes the body to move then X is extended

2. If X is a thinking substance it isn't extended

3. So, if X is a thinking substance it cannot directly cause a body to move


Why is the problem of interaction damaging?

It is essential to the argument that
A. The mind is a thinking, non-extended substance
B. The mind can cause physical events in the body


How can you further the problem of interaction?

Out understanding of the world is that all physical events have physical causes.
A physical event caused by an unphysical thing is unscientific


How does Descartes reply to Princess Elisabeth?

There are two types of causation: physical causation and the mind/body causation. They work in different ways.

Mind/body causation is mysterious and we can say very little about ho it works.

(Weak response because the mystery of the mind and its causation effect is unverifiable)


What is the problem of other minds?

The fact we cannot know others have minds, yet it seems obvious they do through intuition.

Substance dualists say the mind isn't physical. So there is not evidence others have minds.


What is property dualism?

Accepts there is only physical substances, but believes there are properties that are mental.

Argues mental properties ARE NOT IDENTICAL OF REDUCIBLE to physical properties.

Qualia cannot be physically reduced.


What is qualia?

A form of mental state that is subjective and intrinsic. It is how things 'feel to us' and is introspectively accessible.


What is a philosophical zombie?

A zombie is physically identical to a human down to the last molecule, it looks and acts the same and is indistinguishable, yet it is void of subjective conscious experience.


What is Chalmers' zombie summary?

1. It is conceivable there are zombies

2. If it is conceivable, then is is metaphysically possible there are zombies.

3. If it is metaphysically possible, then phenomenal properties of consciousness are non-physical

4. Therefore, property dualism is true


A zombie world is not possible criticism:

We do not have enough information about physical and functional states to be sure an ultimately perfected duplicate physical would not have the same mental life


What is Lacewing's summary of zombies not being conceivable?

1. A zombie is a physical duplicate of someone with a consciousness, but without consciousness.

2. A physical duplicate is a functional duplicate

3. Therefore. A zombie is a physical and functional duplicate, without consciousness.

4. Phenomenal properties are physical properties realising particular functional roles

5. Therefore a physical and functional duplicate of someone with consciousness, has consciousness

6. A duplicate cannot both have and lack phenomenal consciousness

7. Therefore, zombies are inconceivable


What is the reply to Lacewing?

It relies on there being a complete physical description of consciousness which there is not

PD - a complete description of the world would never account for conscious experiences


What is conceivable may not be possible for prop dualism

Can't make metaphysical conclusions about what exists through what you can just conceive of.

E.G. H2O is always the same, but being able to conceive it as something else doesn't entail its possibility

Similarly we can conscience of zombies, doesn't mean it is possible.


What is the property dualist reply to conceivable but not possible?

This example only works with water, not phenomenal experience.

Consciousness is essentially different from the physical and therefore conceivability does lead to their possibility.


Outline the Mary's Room/ Knowledge Argument by Jackson

Mary is kept in a room all her life by a scientist who only lets her experience black and white through a monitor, including her reflection, food etc.

She knows all she knows all there is to know about colour vision and brain mechanisms.

One day she is released and sees the sky is blue.

Jackson claims she learns something new, the qualia of colour opposed to mere physical properties.


Explain Mary's room in premises

1. While in the room, Mary learns all physical information about people's experiences of colour

2. When Mary leaves the room and sees blue, she learns something new, the experience of blue / the qualia

3. Whilst in the room there was knowledge Mary lacked

4. Therefore, there were some facts about experiences Mary was ignorant to, a non-physical fact


Criticism of propositional knowledge?

Nemirow said she doesn't learn any knowledge when she got out, she doesn't learn 'qualia' she just learned how to experience it.

She doesn't learn, she acquires the ability to understand previous knowledge.


The criticism of knowledge in a different way?

Mary has come understand previous knowledge better.

E.G. Lois Lane knows superman has a birth mark, but not Clark Kent. One fact, two different ways of knowing it. Two different facts applying to one thing with two different set of properties.


Qualia doesn't exist criticism?

Phenomenal properties cannot be understood in terms of physical properties. Phenomenal properties are qualia, non-representational properties of experience.


Dennett's argument against qualia?

Mary is presented with a blue banana when she leaves the room, people watching wouldn't expect her to know it's the wrong colour.

Dennett argues Mary would know the banana was blue, not yellow as they naturally come.


Outline epiphenomenalist dualism

Whilst the body interacts with the mind, mental states cannot cause anything in the physical world (actions)


What is the criticism of free will?

If our conscious mind cannot cause our actions then we have no free will and cannot be held accountable for our actions.

Free will and responsibility are naturally associated with humanity.