On 8/29/2011 8:27 AM, Jason Resch wrote:
On Aug 29, 2011, at 12:00 AM, "Stephen P. King"
On 8/28/2011 11:06 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
Capillary action is not a violation of the laws of physics. What
about substance monism precludes any life form from existing?
Also are you saying you are a substance dualist?
Is 'substance dualism' the only form of dualism?
I suppose there is idealism (only mind) which would be a theory of no
substances. Also nothing precludes someone from postulating 3 types
of substances, but this is uncommon because usually the second
substance invoked is used to explain all the mysteries.
I was asking if substance dualism is the only type of dualism. The
answer is no. Much has been written on the subject. For example see:
My argument is against the assumption of substance in all of its
forms. The fact that Descartes' version of dualism failed is not the
fault of duality, it is due to the basic flaws built into the assumption
or postulate of substance. To quote from the Stanford Encyclopedia of
philosophy article that I just referenced: "A substance is characterized
by its properties, but, according to those who believe in substances, it
is more than the collection of the properties it possesses, it is /the
thing which/ possesses them. " The problem lies in this notion of a
'bearer of properties' that somehow has an existence independent of the
properties that adorn it. Having it has no properties itself, what is
our motivation to even consider that it is a necessary or even useful
entity? (Existence is not a property!)
This argument can be seen as a demonstration that postulating
multiple substances only compounds the problems that we have with the
assumption of one substance! It seem to me that it is unparsimonious to
even bother with the notion of substances except as a rhetorical devices
to convey the idea of agency or whatever.
Maybe you might consider that the idea of substance is simply not
even wrong. Matter and Mind are both process, substance is just the
relative invariant aspects of such.
Perhaps but "substance dualism" is a useful shorthand for the idea
that patterns alone (be they physical, informational, or mathematical)
are insufficient for explaining mind.
Sure, but if that shorthand injects a logically fallacious idea we
might as well allow for other contradictory notions as postulates. If we
are attempting to understand consciousness does it not make logical
sense that we are careful not to propose concepts that are straw men,
even inadvertently? Why are 'patterns' the only other option? Not that
there is anything wrong per say with the idea that patterns are involved
in coherent explanations of mind, but it is obvious that there is more
to mind than patterns. Again, beware of straw men arguments!
Craig's idea seems to be that "consciousness is so different that all
our conventional scientific knowledge is useless and doomed to fail in
Are you sure? What if his critique is a bit more subtle. What if it
is an attack on material monism and the substance assumption that seems
to be endemic in 'conventional scientific thinking" (not knowledge).
There is some sense in which substance dualism can be true. That is
when actors in a simulation are controlled by something outside the
simulation. For example, human conyrolled charcters in a computer
game. There would be no way to explain the motions of the character
from within the simulation, every motion would require some intervention.
Substance dualism in our universe would require something similar:
interventions (which would constitute violations of the laws of
physics) by some entity outside this universe and consequently is
somewhat immune to invenstigation by us.
The problem that needs to be explained by any theory of mind is
'psycho-physical parallelism' (For example see;
The intervention or interaction problem is just the most visible
symptom of the substance postulate. Once we accept the postulate of
substance we are doomed to need to postulate more and more forms of
substance to act as intermediaries between distinct objects, the zoo of
particles that we see in the Standard Model illustrates this well! It is
not necessary to bring up the point about violations of the laws of
physics, David Bohm's Guide Wave interpretation, for example, violated
no laws of physics and yet had the same kind of duality between
particles and wave functions that simplistic versions of dualism entertain.
Substance is illusion.
Perhaps, but the illusion of substance seems to follow rules which are
never seen to be broken. The question is: are regular violations of
these rules part of this illusion of substance?
The key property that the substance postulate covers can be reduced
to the principle of conservation or invariance under some continuous and
invertible transformation, we do not need to propose some odorless,
colorless, invisible 'stuff' to hang properties upon. Just as the notion
of an aether was shown to be an unnecessary hypothesis by the theories
of Relativity, so too does QM demolish the motivation underpinning the
substance assumption by shown that observables are operators and linear
functional that literally act as the generators of the properties
associated with the observables.
There is no need whatsoever to assume substances of any kind. See:
Once we no longer labor under this crippling assumption dualism is
free of most of the problems that have led to its derisive connotations.
The only problem of dualism is to explain the appearence of interactions
and that problem has already been mostly solved. See:
http://boole.stanford.edu/pub/ratmech.pdf Using the notion of
bisimulation, borrowed from computer science (for example see:
http://tunes.org/wiki/bisimulation.html) , we can easily show how the
appearances of interactions flows from bisimulations between dynamic
versions of logical algebras and, given the Stone representation
theorem, the appearance of 'particles' and fields drops out without
additional postulation of entities as the topological spaces that are
the duals of those same logical algebras.
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