On 8 March 2011 12:16, 1Z <peterdjo...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> There are uncontroversial examples of successful reduction, eg
> the reduction of heat to molecular motion. In these cases
> the reduced phenomenon still exists. There is still such
> a thing as heat. People who sincerely think mind is reducible
> to brain states, therefore sincerely hold that mind is not nothing.
> If you think that is mistaken, you need to say why.

My point has always been simply to hold materialist theory to account
in its own terms.  In these terms, when you have reduced heat to
molecular motion, and thence to its putatively fundamental
micro-constituents, you have thereby shown that there is NO HEAT at
this fundamental level.  To be clear: it is NOT the case that there is
molecular motion AND heat; there is JUST molecular motion (or rather
its fundamental constituents).  I would remind you that you have been
deploying a similar argument with respect to the formal nature of
mathematics, which was the point of departure for this iteration of
the discussion.

Similarly, if you can reduce mind to brain states, and thence to its
micro-constituents, then you have likewise shown that there is NO MIND
at this fundamental level.  "Heat" and "mind" are a posteriori mental
constructs, supernumerary to the reduced account; hence the claimed
"identity" with the reduced material substrate is properly an
additional posit necessitated by the after-the-material-fact of mind
and its constructs.  To state this is just to state the Hard Problem.

Consequently, what is mistaken about eliminativism is that, since it
must employ the fruits of mind to deny the existence of mind, it is
simply incoherent.  What is mistaken about materialist identity theory
is that its assumptions force it to collapse two categorically
orthogonal states into one, which is simply to turn the meaning of
"identity" on its head.  This might be acceptable to Humpty Dumpty,
but to a less idiosyncratic user of language it must appear merely ad
hoc and desperate.  One can easily see how the "morning star" might be
shown to be one with the "evening star", but the claim that first and
third-person phenomena can be similarly collapsed without residue is
of a very different order.  A weaker version (the "easy" option) is
the hope that one type of material state might be reliably correlated
with another (e.g. the neural correlates of consciousness), which is
an empirical possibility; such an approach would permit the theory to
sidestep the orthogonality problem, which lingers stubbornly in the
"hard" corner.

I really don't know why you would consider the above account to be
controversial, based on your arguments elsewhere vis-a-vis
mathematical formalism.  Of course I'm not denying that "heat" and
"mind" exist; I'm just saying that nothing of the kind can be
extracted A PRIORI from the fundamental reduction that is the goal and
terminus of micro-physical theory.  And the point of saying this is to
articulate the Hard Problem in a particularly pointed way, without all
that distasteful talk of the undead.  The end point of reduction is
the a priori elimination of everything composite.  Hence there are no
zombies in this etiolated picture.  There isn't anything composite at
all; nothing above the level of the micro-physical goings-on
themselves.  Everything else manifests after the fact of observation.
And that really is the Hard Problem.

David

>
>
> On Mar 8, 1:02 am, David Nyman <da...@davidnyman.com> wrote:
>> On 8 March 2011 00:11, 1Z <peterdjo...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>> > It's rather well known that reductivism and eliminativism are
>> > not equivalent positions, for instance.
>> <snip>
>> > And reductive identity theorists say mind "is" a bunch
>> > of micro physical goings-on, whereas their eliminativist
>> > opponents say mind "Is" nothing at all.
>>
>> Yes, indeed they do, as I am very well aware, but I've said why I
>> think that neither of these "well known" positions can adequately
>> address the mind-body issues, which is what we are discussing.  My
>> claim is that they are using circular reasoning, assuming the
>> conclusion in the premise, or are simply ignoring the very tools they
>> employ to construct their case.  What specifically do you find to be
>> the error in this analysis?
>
> If they are both 100% wrong, that does  not make them
> equivalent
>
>> > Either or neither or both  of reductivism  and eliminativism can
>> > be judged empirically inadequate: in no case does that
>> > make them the same
>>
>> I have explained why I think any real distinction between the two in a
>> materialist schema is fundamentally question-begging with respect to
>> the mind-body problem, essentially in the terms Bruno articulated so
>> succinctly.
>
> I don't know what a "question begging distinction" is. People
> who are proposing a theory are allowed to stipulate its principles
>
>> You haven't pointed out what is wrong with my argument,
>> merely that others disagree with it.
>
>
> I don't recall you giving an argument...just insisting
> that materialism means there is no mind.
>
>> It would be more helpful if you
>> would say simply what you find to be wrong or unclear in what I have
>> said.
>>
>> David
>
> There are uncontroversial examples of successful reduction, eg
> the reduction of heat to molecular motion. In these cases
> the reduced phenomenon still exists. There is still such
> a thing as heat. People who sincerely think mind is reducible
> to brain states, therefore sincerely hold that mind is not nothing.
> If you think that is mistaken, you need to say why. If you
> think the mind-to-matter reduction simply fails, that is another
> issue.
> A failed attempt at reduction is not at all the same thing as denialism
>
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