[Wittrs] Re: Dualism Cooties: Dennett Explicitly Accuses Searle of Implicit Cartesianism

  • From: "SWM" <SWMirsky@xxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2010 01:30:39 -0000

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

> first it's implicit; but, now it's explicit?

I don't believe I said it was implicit but if I did then all I meant was that 
it's implied in the sense that it follows from the logic of his claim, not that 
it is there but unstated. (Note the two meanings of "implicit" in ordinary 

And it is "explicit" in the sense that he states it explicitly.

> where?
> the only reference to Cartesian dualism in the passage from
> _Consciousness Explained_ is in the last sentence from the quoted
> passage; and, it's irrelevant unless you're trying to justify a logical
> fallacy.

The statement makes it explicit as in being explicitly stated. Moreover, it is 
an integral part of what he writes which, of course, is why I took the trouble 
to transcribe so much of his text!

How is it "irrelevant" if he states it as part of his claim re: the CRA? Do you 
mean he states it but doesn't really mean it or that he states it in passing 
without any indication that it is an integral part of his claim? But the text 
that surrounds it shows that isn't an accurate interpretation at all!

As to your claim of "justifying a logical fallacy" note that it is you who have 
claimed there is a logical fallacy in Dennett's argument so, at best, you can 
say he is stating it in justifying the logic of his argument (because, 
obviously, he would not think it a fallacy if he is making the argument). But 
if so, it cannot be irrelevant to what he is saying as you claim.

On the other hand, your analysis of his argument is mistaken (as I've explained 
nearby in my second, corrected post). Therefore the argument you take him to be 
making is NOT his argument. So whether it is fallacious or not is quite beside 
the point, i.e., it is THAT claim that isn't relevant.

Now let's go back to your original claim, i.e., that Dennett did not claim that 
the CRA was based on a Cartesian Dualist presumption. As we have now seen, in 
his own words, he did. So you are wrong on THAT.

Is Dennett right in making his claim or not? You say he isn't but you base your 
denial on a misstatement of his argument. So you haven't made that case.

But does it really matter whether Dennett is right in this or not? Isn't all 
that matters the merits of the argument, no matter who is making it? So let's 
look at the actual claims, the actual argument, now that we have got the 
question of Dennett's position behind us.

Note that philosophy isn't, finally, about citing and quoting competing 
authorities but about exploring and arguing the issues on their merits.


P.S. And do get rid of that "cooties" business in the header as it is a silly 
locution which says nothing about an assertion of dualism since dualism is a 
thesis about how things are while cooties are little creatures of suspect and 
bothersome provenance that may infect our scalps and other hairy regions. The 
analogy makes no sense.

> so would you quote the passage in which you claim that Dennett is
> explicitly/implicitly accusing Searle of explicit/implicit of substance
> dualism.
> Joe
> --
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