[Wittrs] Re: Dualism . . . Background Issues

  • From: "SWM" <SWMirsky@xxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2010 00:49:41 -0000

--- In Wittrs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Joseph Polanik <jPolanik@...> wrote:

> take your own advice. be supportive of the following fact: the
> Dennett's theory of consciousness can't possibly be correct unless von
> Neumann is wrong about quantum mechanics.
> Joe

You mean your interpretation of von Neumann? Bear in mind that I have already 
agreed that if dualism is true then Dennett's thesis, which denies dualism is 
necessary for understanding consciousness is not true. But then the issue is 
still that there is no reason to believe dualism is true absent 1) affirmative 
evidence that it is or 2) a failure of any other theory to account for 
consciousness. Since I believe Dennett's theory adequately accounts for it AND 
I have seen NO affirmative evidence in favor of dualism, I have no reason to 
think dualism is true.

So why does it make any difference to argue that dualism as held by von Neumann 
(assuming you have him right) is true?

I previously asked if you could explicate the thesis you present about von 
Neumann's views and you gave us a I,II,III system of categories of things that 
are and related that to a restated 1,2,3 system of your own and, on that basis, 
said dualism was implied (logically that is). I responded by suggesting that 
there was nothing in this classification that couldn't also accord with a 
non-dualist picture of consciousness UNLESS you already started by assuming 
dualism. And that can't establish anything since it is a circular claim 
(assuming its conclusion).

So, again, what's the point of your asking me to acknowledge that Dennett's 
thesis is inconsistent with a putative von Neumannian claim of dualism. Well of 
course it is since Dennett is arguing that we don't need dualism to account for 


Need Something? Check here: http://ludwig.squarespace.com/wittrslinks/

Other related posts:

  • » [Wittrs] Re: Dualism . . . Background Issues - SWM