2009/7/30 1Z <peterdjo...@yahoo.com>: > Cart before the horse: > Why should anyone believe in an ontological gap that isn't backed by > an explanatory gap?
Why indeed? > The mere existence of the mental implies nothing whatsoever > about any dualism any more than the simultaneous existence > of cabbages and kings. Well, I don't disagree with that, although I'm not quite sure what you intend by the dismissive 'mere'. Our disagreements haven't usually been about the necessity of dualism, which I think we both abjure, but rather whether mind is an abstraction from from matter or vice versa. I'm not sure we'll ever agree on that. > Dualism requires an ontological divide--not > a mere difference of kind--and an ontological divide requires > explanatory irreducibility. Couldn't agree more. However, my starting point is that the existence of the mental (not to struggle over terminology) is indubitable, which makes the direction of abstraction mandatory if we want to save monism. Unless one denies reality to the mental (i.e. eliminativism) I'm saying that further insistence on a material ontology in the usual sense is an implicit commitment to dualism. Specious relationship terms such as 'functional equivalence', 'identical to', 'inside of' and the like just mask this, IMO, and under examination can be seen to imply two-ness, not one-ness. Further, in addition to its obvious (at least to me) merit of 'saving the appearances', this narrative seems to serve the rest of the story at least as handily as the 'externalised reality' version. But I don't imagine we'll ever agree on this either. BTW, perhaps I should clarify what I mean by 'the usual sense' of materialism, because it may be that this is part of any confusion. This sense is, I take it, the doctrine that reality is 'nothing but' the material. Stating it this way of course commits you, under monism, to a purely abstract conception of the mental. The unsatisfactory nature of this conception feeds the intuition of a 'neutral' (perhaps not the best term) monism which could instantiate a spectrum of states spanning a mental-material 'dichotomy' now more apparent than real. Any better? David > > > > On 28 July, 01:30, David Nyman <david.ny...@gmail.com> wrote: >> 2009/7/27 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>: >> >> >>> So the brain (i.e. what the eye can see) can't be the mind; but the >> >>> intuition remains that mind and brain might be correlated by some >> >>> inclusive conception that would constitute our ontology: Kant's great >> >>> insight stands. >> >> > It's more than an intuition. There's lots of evidence the mind and brain >> > are >> > correlated: from getting drunk, concusions, neurosurgery, mrfi,... >> >> Yes, sorry - am I REALLY being so unclear? Obviously, as you say, it >> is all too easy to see that mind and brain are *correlated*: my point >> was that such correlation can't be conceived as a simple one-to-one >> mind-material identity of any sort without doing violence to mind as >> an uneliminable primary reality. I think the problem here is with the >> all too easy - but flatly wrong - analogy of 'the same thing under two >> different descriptions', because here we need to be concerned not with >> mere description but with apparently incommensurable modes of >> existence: nobody, I take it, could seriously claim that the >> manifestly radical ontological dichotomy between 'material-existence' >> and 'mind-existence' is exhausted merely by description. > > Cart before the horse: > Why should anyone believe in an ontological gap that isn't backed by > an explanatory gap? > >> Because - and with justification - for many quotidian and scientific >> purposes we focus on the 'material' characterisation of our shared >> 'externalised' reality, it is fatally easy to lose sight of the fact >> that any reification of the material description ineluctably invokes >> dualism in the face of the indubitable existence of the mental realm. > > The mere existence of the mental implies nothing whatsoever > about any dualism. any more than the simultaneous existence > of cabbages and kings. Dualism requires an ontological divide--not > a mere difference of kind--and an ontological divide requires > explanatory irreducibility. > > > > --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---