> On Aug 27, 6:45 pm, Brent Meeker <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>> I don't know whether you're hair splitting or speaking loosely, but the 
>> above is off the point in a couple of ways.  In the first place empirical 
>> science is inductive not deductive; so there is a trivial sense in which you 
>> can't deduce any empirical fact, such as someone's aesthetic preferences.  
>> More broadly you can deduce aesthetic preferences, though of course that 
>> takes a theory.  A theory is non-physical, but it isn't necessarily an 
>> assumption - it may be very well supported inductively.  In fact I can give 
>> and easy example of such deduction and I don't even need to directly observe 
>> your brain.  I predict that you prefer the appearance of nude young women to 
>> that of nude young men.
>> Brent Meeker
> Well yes, science is both deductive and inductive (with the deductive
> thought of as a special case of the inductive).  Yes, you can infer
> aesthetic preferences from a theory, which doesn't have to be an
> assumptuion.  You are off-topic though.  The discussion was a debate
> over whether non-physical aspects (for instance aesthtics preferences)
> are entirely explainable in terms of physical aspects (ie particles,
> forces and fields).  I've argued convincing that they aren't, since
> any level of non-physical description has to slip in non-physical
> components -ie subjective experiences about nude young woman ;)

I don't find your arguments at all convincing.  In fact I don't think you've 
even given an argument - just assertions.  

But in a rather trivial sense I agree with you.  To explain Y in terms of X you 
have to include Y.  So to explain subjective experiences, the explanation is 
bound to "include" them in the sense of saying, "...and that's the subjective 
experience." But the explanatory part, "...", can be entirely in terms of 
neuronal processes or natural selection and evolution or culture.  There is no 
need for explanations to be all at one level.  In fact, such explanations are 
often less useful than those that cross levels.  To explain aesthetic 
preferences in terms of subjective sexual feeling toward parents, as Freud did, 
isn't very useful (even if it were true).  How much more interesting to explain 
them in terms of dopamine and serotonin (if possible) or natural selection.

Brent Meeker

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