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

  • From: Joseph Polanik <jpolanik@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2010 21:45:58 -0500

SWM wrote:

>Joseph Polanik wrote:

>>SWM wrote:

>>>Joseph Polanik wrote:

>>>>thank you. I've found your post from 2010-01-31 in which you quote
>>>>some material including the next paragraph and then provide a
>>>>parenthetical comment:

>>>Dennett: "Here is how the misdirection occurs. We see clearly enough
>>>that if there were understanding in such a giant system, it would not
>>>be Searle's understanding (since he is just a cog in the machiery,
>>>oblivious to the context of what he is doing). We also see clearly
>>>that there is nothing remotely like genuine understanding in any hunk
>>>of programming small enough to imagine readily -- whatever it is,
>>>it's just a mindless routine for transforming symbol strings into
>>>other symbol strings according to some mechanical or syntactical
>>>recipe. Then comes the suppressed premise: Surely more of the same,
>>>no matter how much more, would never add up to genuine understanding.
>>>But why should anyone think this is true? Cartesian dualists would
>>>think so, because they think that even human brains are unable to
>>>accomplish understanding all by themselves . . ."

>>Stuart: [Recall my point that Searle's CRA hinges on an implicit case
>>of substance dualism.]

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

>I don't believe I said it was implicit

read the quoted material. I'm quoting you!

>... 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 language.)

implicit means not explicit. it does not have the same logical
connotations as implies

for example. Dennett is saying that Cartesianism implies that one
believes that there is no understanding in the chinese room. but that
claim is hardly implicit.


>>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

no. I did not. I said a fallacious argument could be constructed from
Dennett's premise --- and that you are apparently reveling in that

>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.

my claim (first stated back in January in msg #4130 in the yahoo
archives) is that Dennett does not accuse Searle of substance dualism;
but, only accuses Searle of being wrong in claiming that the Chinese
room lacks understanding of chinese.

now you're talking about a dualist presumption rather than a dualistic
conclusion? okay, then which presumption are you referring to and where
does Dennett say that such a presumption is only made by Cartesian

>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.

accusing each other of latent/blatent dualistic tendencies is how
philosophers play the Cootie Game. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooties



Nothing Unreal is Self-Aware



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

Other related posts: