On 21 Aug, 09:37, Flammarion <peterdjo...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> > Yes, of course you're right - perhaps I didn't phrase my response to
> > Jesse clearly enough.  In my discussion with Peter about Quinean
> > 'eliminative paraphrasing', I was pursuing the same conclusion that
> > you attribute to Dennett as an 'honest materialist'.  That is, under
> > materialism, that persons, consciousness - and computation - must in
> > the end be explained away, or conceptually *eliminated*.
> Explaining away qua reduction is nto the same as
> explaining away qua elimination.

Well, either way he's explaining away, as you yourself point out
below.  But it's a false distinction, as I point out below.

> > But also - just to dispose once and for all of this particular point -
> > I want to be sure that you understand that I'm not arguing *for*
> > eliminative materialism, except as devil's advocate (I'm sure you know
> > this).  But one aspect of my recent discussions with Peter has been to
> > bring to a focus the strict consequences of materialism, in precisely
> > the honest way that you attribute to Dennett.  The trouble is, that
> > Dennett, having eliminated the mind and hence the notorious 'problem',
> > still cheerfully carries on deploying the same mind-dependent concepts
> > as though nothing had happened!
> The upshot of which is that he *hasn't* eliminated the mind
> (with the possible exception of qualia)
> in the sense of Eliminative Materialism, only reduced it in the
> sense of Reductive materialism.

What do you mean "with the possible exception of qualia"!  The whole
point is that if you think you can leave qualitative experience out of
the account you're an eliminativist.  Qualia are precisely what is
being eliminated.

> > In other words, his position is
> > inconsistent and incoherent.  It's dualism for free!
> In other words, his position isn't what you have decided it is.

What do you mean?  Are you saying he's an eliminativist or a crypto-
dualist?  Or are you implying that (possibly!) non-qualitative
reductive materialism is something different than either of these?

> > So, in this context, let me try to understand your remark: "with or
> > without assuming PM (primitive matter) there is an mathematical notion
> > of computation and of computability".  I would say - per Dennett, but
> > understood *consistently* - that under the assumption that there is
> > *only* primitive matter (i.e. material monism) - there strictly can be
> > no appeal to such a notion as computation, because mathematics itself
> > is eliminable per Qine.
> No. Paraphrase indicates identity. Water can be paraphrased
> as H2O. That means water is identical to H2O. not that
> water does not and cannot exist. Water is only eliminated
> as *fundamental* (eg. the way the Greeks thought of it).
> EliminativISM is a much stronger claim, that the concept
> eliminated should never subsequently be used even as
> a place-holder or shrothand

Yes, so following your recipe above, a given computation can be
paraphrased as a specific physical process.  This means that this
computation is identical to that physical process.  'Computation' is
therefore eliminated as something fundamental (in the Greek sense).
Consequently, this leaves CTM+PM with 'computation' as a mere
shorthand for an appeal to the fundamental physical processes, or
alternatively with no appeal to anything fundamental whatsoever.

Further, I can't possibly agree with your contention that
'eliminativism' is any other or stronger claim than this.  This would
be absurd, as well as unnecessary, because it would mean that we would
be struck dumb.  There is no problem with using the 'eliminated'
concept as a shorthand (indeed this is explicitly proposed in the
Quinean excerpt you commented).  The principle is to be able to put it
aside whenever required, by means of an appeal to the underlying
fundamental reduction.

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