[Wittrs] Dualism Cooties: Is Stuart a Property Dualist?

  • From: Joseph Polanik <jpolanik@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2010 16:03:08 -0400

SWM wrote:

>Joseph Polanik wrote:

>>okay so physical objects have process properties and system
>>properties; and, only the latter can explain under explain/constitute

>>that claim qualifies as property dualism according to the criteria for
>>EPD that I've previously posted.

>>therefore, Stuart, you are a property dualist.

>You are obsessed with categories Joe.

that's a laugh. you are the one who has droned on for years that Searle
is really a closet Cartesian dualist.

>I never denied being a "property dualist" if all it means is that some
>physical events produce/have a subjective aspect.

that some physical events produce/have a subjective aspect is the fact
that is to be explained by neuroscience and philosophy of consciousness.

property dualism is more than just this one fact. it is one type of
explanation of this fact.

>With Searle, I don't take that to be "property dualism" however there
>is a good argument out there that that really is ll that "property
>dualists" mean. If that is so then Searle's position IS no different
>from "property dualism" despite his disclaimers and I would have no
>problem with it as well.

yes, PD is innocuous and EPD is extremely innocuous.

>In the sense that is important it doesn't strike me as really being
>dualist because the only issue as far as I can see with real dualism is
>whether it implies that we need more than one ontological basic in the
>universe to explain the occurrence of minds.

Searle, although very likely a property dualist, does in fact argue for
two ontological basics; but, only for one ontologically basic substance;
meaning, kind of 'stuff'. the other, the first-person phenomenology that
has an experiencer dependent mode of existence, is an ontologically
basic phenomenon - subjectivity/experience.

>With Searle I think that "property dualism", even when claimed
>otherwise, often seems to be expressed in terms of ontological basics,
>i.e., that the properties of some physical events which are what we
>mean by "consciousness" are brought into the universe


of the two ontological basics that Searle acknowledges, one (physical
'stuff' or physical objects) has been present since the big bang.
billions of years passed before conditions were right for the emergence
of life and billions more passed before conditions were right for the
first appearance of consciousness within the universe.

at some point in time, something extraordinary happened; and, there was
consciousness for the first time in our universe.

>in some ultimately unfathomable way as a new entry to the universe.

new entry? as a new phenomenon, yes. but Searle is no mysterian. he
thinks we'll eventually know how it happened that there is
subjectivity/experience in what was at first an insensate universe.

>That strikes me as old fashioned dualism in a different set of clothes,
>that's all.

it only counts as old-fashioned, hard-core, Cartesian-style interactive
substance dualism if there are two ontological basic types of stuff.

read your Dennett, he speaks of physical stuff:

"The prevailing wisdom, variously expressed and argued for, is
materialism: there is only one sort of stuff, namely matter --- the
physical stuff of physics, chemistry and physiology --- and the mind is
somehow a physical phenomenon. in short, the mind is the brain."
[_Consciousness Explained_, p. 33]

and mind stuff:

he illustrates the problem of explaining the interaction of mind stuff
and physical stuff using the 'Casper' argument, where Casper, The
Friendly Ghost represents mind stuff. "how can Casper both elude all
physical measurement and control the body?" he asks rhetorically.

>But let's be very clear here, again. I AM NOT ACCUSING SEARLE OF BEING

in the three years of this argument that I know about, I don't recall a
single person who accused you of accusing Searle of property dualism.

>My claim is that Searle is implicitly an onotological dualist while
>denying it.

unless you can prove that Searle postulates a second kind of 'stuff',
you can't prove he is a substance dualist (what you've called 'Cartesian
dualist', 'real dualist' or 'ontological dualist').



Nothing Unreal is Self-Aware



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