Russel Standish wrote: >> It seems to me that to believe we are randomly emplaced >souls, whether >> or not they existed elsewhere beforehand, is to perforce embrace a >> species of dualism. > >Exactly what species of dualism? Dualism usually means that >minds and brains are distinct orthogonal things, interacting >at a point - eg pineal gland. What I think of as mind is an >emergent property of the interaction of large numbers of >neurons coupled together. I do not think of emergent >properties as dualism - but if you insist then we simply have >a language game.
Nope, I'm thinking of dualism as "the mind (or consciousness) is separate from the body". Ie. The mind is not identical to the body. > >> >> To rescue the DA (given the problem of defining a reference class), >> one must assume a particular stance regarding counterfactuals of >> personal identity; that "I" could have been someone else >(anyone else >> in the reference class of observers, for example). > >True. > >> But unless I am an immaterial soul or other sort of >cartesian entity, >> this is not possible. > >I disagree completely. You will need to argue your case hard >and fast on this one. See below. > >> If I am simply my body, then the >> statement "I could have been someone else" is as ludicrous >as pointing >> to a tree and saying "Why is that tree, that tree? Why couldn't it >> have been a different tree? Why couldn't it have been a lion?" >> >> Jonathan Colvin > >The tree, if conscious, could ask the question of why it isn't >a lion. The only thing absurd about that question is that we >know trees aren't conscious. That seems an absurd question to me. How could a tree be a lion? Unless the tree's consciousness is not identical with its body (trunk, I guess), this is a meaningless question. To ask that question *assumes* a dualism. It's a subtle dualism, to be sure. As a little boy once asked, "Why are lions, lions? Why aren't lions ants?" Jonathan Colvin