[Wittrs] Dancing Dualisms: Searlean Moves and Cartesian Moves

  • From: Joseph Polanik <jpolanik@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2010 07:24:43 -0400

SWM wrote:

>Gordon Swobe <wittrsamr@...> wrote:

>>No, it is absolutely not a "cartesian move" to affirm the ontological
>>reality of the subjective! Only someone who accepted the Cartesian
>>categories would think so.

>Can you prove that or can you at least explicate why you would say it?
>After all, it is Descartes' classic position that mind is different
>ontologically, at its most basic level, from matter -- and here we have
>Searle saying much the same thing.

the short answer is that 'mind' is being used ambiguously; but, when we
translate both Searle and Descartes into a common language we can
clearly explicate the differences between them.

in the terminology of ontological basicality,

Searle is saying that there are two ontological 'basics': there is one
ontologically basic substance, physical 'stuff'; and, there is one
ontologically basic phenomenon, subjectivity/experience. subjectivity
and experience are causally reducible to brain activity but not
ontologically reducible to brain activity.

Descartes is saying that there are three ontological 'basics': there are
two ontologically basic substances, physical 'stuff' and mind 'stuff';
and, there is one ontologically basic phenomenon, subjectivity/
experience. different aspects of experience come from different sources
(the will and the intellect from soul alone; movement from the body
alone; and, senory experience from the conjunction of body and soul).
consequently, while there are causal interactions among the ontological
basics, there is no easy way to apply the concept of causal reducibility
to Cartesian philosophy. hence, there is no ontological reduction (at
least not of the type we have been discussing).



Nothing Unreal is Self-Aware



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