[Wittrs] Dualism Cooties: Is Property Dualism Always Fatal?

  • From: Joseph Polanik <jpolanik@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 07 Mar 2010 17:53:54 -0500

SWM wrote:

>Joseph Polanik wrote:

>>these possibilities are all versions of substance dualism; property
>>dualism may be far less pejorative.

>We've had this argument before, too, and I don't know what's gained by
>another rehash, Joe. The point I've made is that, with Searle, I agree
>that dualism is only really dualism if we are talking about something
>bottom line. As Walter said in the past, though, Searle's
>interpretation of what property dualists means isn't consistent with
>what he believes they mean. If that's so, then it's not, on Searle's
>account, dualism and it would not be on my account either.

yes, we've had this argument before, Stuart; but, you continue to rely
on linguistic sleight of hand to make your case that Searle (or some
other philosopher) has dualism cooties.

the fallacy involves these steps:

1: observing some evidence of property dualism in the works of the
target philosopher.

2: dropping the qualifying word 'property' when describing the target
philosophers position as 'dualism'.

3: defining 'dualism' in such a way (eg by the examples you gave) that
it is co-extensive with the traditional definition of 'substance
dualism'.

the fallacy might be called the fallacy of covertly redefining a term in
mid argument. a crude example would be: 'Chalmers is a dualist; and,
Descartes is a dualist; therefore, Chalmers and Descartes are in the
same camp.

your claims rely on the same fallacy; although, it is better concealed.

>That is, a dualism of appearances isn't dualism in any meaningful
>sense on my view and it isn't what I am talking about when I speak of
>dualism (which is why it is not included in the three possibilities I
>sketched out).

what I am proposing, essential property dualism, EPD, is an
*explanatory* dualism. it explains the dualism of appearances.

the dualism of appearances is the core problem in the philosophy of
consciousness: how does it happen that there is subjective experience in
an otherwise objective universe? this traditional formulation is not
that different from my formulation: how is it that there is
experienceable phenomena as well as measurable phenomena in a purely
physical universe?

>>clearly, all physical objects have properties which are measurable;
>>otherwise, we'd not be able to detect them. for example,
>>electromagnetic radiation in the visible range has properties enabling
>>it to interact with photochemicals in the retina. that would be a
>>measurable phenomenon; but, not an experienceable phenomenon.

>All measurement occurs in experience since it takes an expriencing
>subject to measure. Moreover insofar as anything we experience can be
>measured we can be said to be measuring aspects of experience and, if
>we can do that, then we are measuring experience. Think of measuring
>the time we hear a musical chord, see a visual image, etc.

I am thinking about seeing a ripe tomato. I experience seeing redness.
someone with appropriate instruments may measure the wavelength of the
light it reflects. these are two separate operations occurring at
different times in the same causal sequence.

>I don't really feel strongly motivated to go over the same stuff with
>you again though (especially since you never responded to my posting of
>evidence here that Dennett considered Searle's argument to be an
>example of what you like to call substance dualism -- at the least you
>ought to have acknowledged the information even though it went contrary
>to what you were suggesting at the time).

I don't recall seeing the material you mentioned. was this during the
time you were busy denying that a physicalist account of consciousness
assumes that von Neumann must be wrong about quantum mechanics?

>>the interaction between light and photochemicals in the eye sends a
>>signal to the brain and eventually a person experiences seeing redness
>>(or whatever).

>So?

so there is a causal sequence in which measurable effects cause
measurable effects which cause measurable effects ... until some
measurable effect of a previous cause causes an experienceable effect
in addition to or instead of a measurable effect.

hence, there are two classes of properties. those that cause measurable
phenomena as effects and those that cause experienceable phenomena.

>>that's property dualism

if you have two sets of properties, you have property dualism.

Joe


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Nothing Unreal is Self-Aware

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