Peter, your comments appear to illustrate a basic confusion between ontological and epistemological claims that makes me think that you haven't taken on board the fundamental distinction entailed in Bruno's original statement:
"Ontological reduction does not necessarily entail epistemological *elimination*, but it does entail ontological *elimination*." If we haven't resolved something so fundamental at the outset, it's no wonder you find what I go on to say so difficult to follow. As Bruno implies, the whole POINT of any ontological reduction programme is ontological elimination: it is an attempt (however incapable of final success it may be) to distinguish what "REALLY" exists from what "APPEARS" to exist. Hence it is of the greatest significance that ontological elimination doesn't also entail epistemological elimination; i.e. even when composites seem to have been shown to have no "really real" ontological status distinct from their components, they nonetheless somehow stubbornly hang on to their "apparently real" epistemological status. The relationship to the Hard Problem should now be clear, I think: the "zombie" is just the reduced ontology of the components, shorn of any composite epistemology. Since ontological reduction wants to say that this reduced state of affairs JUST IS what the "real" situation consists in, this shouldn't be a problem, and indeed this is the eliminativist position, however bizarre it may seem. However, unless we lapse into that sort of inconsistency, it manifestly IS a problem - i.e. the Hard one. David On 9 March 2011 01:24, 1Z <peterdjo...@yahoo.com> wrote: > > > On Mar 9, 1:03 am, David Nyman <da...@davidnyman.com> wrote: >> On 8 March 2011 23:42, 1Z <peterdjo...@yahoo.com> wrote: >> >> > How can they fail to be composite when they include interactions, >> > structures and bindings? What ***are*** you on about? >> >> Say there is a pile of bricks that, under some externally-applied >> description, could be construed as a house; then that pile is what >> there is, not a pile + "a house". > > Houses aren't heaps of rubble, they are bricks mortared together. And > why shouldn't I say that such-and-such mortared-together bricks are > a house - the house exists as does the bricks-and-mortar. > >> Similarly if a theory says that >> what exists is just micro-physical bricks and their relations, then >> just those things are what one should expect to encounter - not those >> things + an open-ended zoo of higher-order composite entities. > > One *should* expect composite entities, because the relationships > and binding between molecules are just the way they get composite > entities get composed. If you mortar bricks together you intend > to build something > >> Since >> the theory of micro-bricks in relation supposes these to do all the >> work, what a priori reason would there be to posit additional >> composite entities on top of the bricks themselves? > > Well, under reductive explanation, they are not additional. Nor > are they non-existent. They are identified with subsets of their > component parts. > >> In fact >> composites command our attention only in the context of observation >> after-the-micro-physical-facts, in the form of the >> non-micro-physical-facts - the so-called "secondary qualities". > > So? Something may seem not to be composed of smaller > parts, whilst actually being so. > >> To >> dramatise this, Chalmers uses the metaphor of the zombie, for which no >> secondary qualitative composites exist, > > Zombies and qualia are another and much more specific > issue. > >>nor any apparent need of them. >> That's what I'm on about, but in a more general way. > > But it doesn't generalise! The HP is very specific. > We can imagine zombies because we don't understand > the neuron-qualia link. But we do understand the molecule-heat > link, and the brick-house link. So it is insane to say "that is just > mortared-together bricks, not a building". > >> David >> >> >> >> > On Mar 8, 9:15 pm, David Nyman <da...@davidnyman.com> wrote: >> >> 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; >> >> > It is also not the case that there is molecular motion, that >> > molecular >> > motion is identical to heat, and there is nonetheless no heat. >> >> > It *is* the case that there is molecular motion, *which is* 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, >> >> > Huh? I have been saying that mathematical terms don't >> > refer. But "heat" does refer. It refers to what "molecular motion" >> > refers to. Two terms, one referent. Likewise "Muhamad Ali" >> > and "Cassius Clay". When someone says "Ali is identical to Clay" >> > they are not asserting the non-existence of either. >> >> >>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; >> >> > Non-existence of referent doesn't follow from redundancy of reference. >> > We don't >> > need both "Clay" and "Ali", but both terms have something >> > to refer to. >> >> >> 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. >> >> > Not in the least. You haven't even touched on the nature >> > of experience. All you have done is asserted something >> > of an identification that clearly doesn't apply to other >> > identifications. It is not the case that one of the Morning >> > Star and the Everning Star doesn't exist (which one?) >> >> >> 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. >> >> > Whatever. Eliminativism may be the worst rubbish in the >> > world. but it isn't the same thing as reductivism. >> >> >> What is mistaken about materialist identity theory >> >> is that its assumptions force it to collapse two categorically >> >> orthogonal states into one, >> >> > You say they are orthogonal. Maybe they are. But that is quite >> > distinct from your claim that reductions in general are eliminations >> >> >>which is simply to turn the meaning of >> >> "identity" on its head. >> >> > You may think that identification is impossible in this >> > case. But identification still isn't elimination, and it >> > works in some cases even if it doesn't work with mind. >> >> >> This might be acceptable to Humpty Dumpty, >> >> but to a less idiosyncratic user of language it must appear merely ad >> >> hoc and desperate. >> >> > This is getting weirder and weirder. The Hard Problem is >> > a very specific problem to do with the nature of mind and matter. >> > However, successful reductions don't change the *meaning* of >> > identity. If anyone is doing *that* it's you! >> >> >> 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. >> >> > Fine. Then the claim is false. But the claimed identification >> > still doesn't *mean* ellimination!! >> >> >>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. >> >> > What claims, for heaven's sake? If someone reduces arithmetic >> > to set theory, that doesn;t mean there is no arithmetic. >> > If sets exist, then numbers do, and if sets don't numbers >> > don't. It makes no sense to say that the one exists >> > and the other doesn't. That would be like saying Ali >> > lives and Clay does not, or the morning star >> > has been hit by an asteroid, but the evening star has not >> >> >> 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. >> >> > I don't thing anyone has claimed reduction is apriori. And that >> > is at least a third non-equivalent version of the claim. >> >> >>And the point of saying this is to >> >> articulate the Hard Problem in a particularly pointed way, >> >> > You haven't articulated it at all. Your earlier claims >> > about reduction being elimination were general in nature. >> >> >> without all >> >> that distasteful talk of the undead. The end point of reduction is >> >> the a priori elimination of everything composite. >> >> > What?!?!?!?! >> >> >> 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. >> >> > How can they fail to be composite when they include interactions, >> > structures and bindings? What ***are*** you on about? >> >> >> 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 >> >> ... >> >> read more » > > -- > 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. > > -- 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.