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 > > -- > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups > "Everything List" group. > To post to this group, send email to email@example.com. > 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. > > -- 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.