[Wittrs] Dualism Cooties: Mirsky's Fallacy of Untyped Dualism, FUD

  • From: Joseph Polanik <jpolanik@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2010 07:46:30 -0400

SWM wrote:

>Joseph Polanik wrote:

>As I've said, I think "ontological basicness" captures the point well
>enough despite its inartful appearance. In this case precision should
>take precedence over eloquence.

but precision is precisely what this phrase lacks; and, that's how the
linguistic sleight of hand is done.

>No, I conclude it because his CRA's conclusion requires a presumption
>of ontological basicness.

in ordinary language 'basic' is an adjective referring to something that
is fundamental to or forms the basis for something else.

there are idiomatic uses of basics where it functions syntactically as
noun despite remaining an adjective semantically. in discussions about
school policy you are likely to hear the phrase 'back to basics'. by
asking 'back to basic *what*' you can explicitize the statement. it
means going back to basic teaching methods and/or restricting the
curriculum to basic subject.

in the case of 'ontological basics' we can again ask 'basic *what*'.

it could be a basic phenomenon, a basic property a basic substance.

>>the fallacy is that the phenomenological dualism that constitutes the
>>hard problem of consciousness research is a real dualism; but, it
>>isn't substance dualism

>Ah, a new allegation of yet another fallacy! Except, of course, that
>once again you misstate my argument which isn't about qualia or two
>kinds of objects, etc. It's about what's implied in the CRA. Look at
>the argument, rather than guessing or making things up!

no, this is the basic fallacy that I first attributed to you some weeks

Searle respects the basic fact of consciousness research, there is
subjective experience in an otherwise objective universe. he tells us
that there are two ontologically basic types of phenomena, meaurable and

I call the fallacy in question the Fallacy of Untyped Dualism, FUD. your
version, Mirsky's FUD has these steps

1. classify any basic phenomenon, property or substance as a 'basic'.

2. insist that all basics are basic substances

3. count the substances found by this procedure. if there are two,
attribute substance dualism

there are two 'basics' you can observe in Searle, the two types of
phenomena. he says that these have different ontologies, which to him
means that each has a different mode of existence. it's hard to imagine
two things more different than things having different modes of
existence. so, it's reasonable to conclude that Searle has two basics.
but, the question at issue is: does he have two basic substances?

one of these 'basics' is easily explained as phenomena produced by known
properties of physical objects. so you could say that Searle has two
basics and that one is a basic substance (referring to physical
objects); but, the other is still just experiencer dependent phenomena.
so, while you have two basics, one is still a basic type of phenomenon.

you count both of these (the basic of physical objects and the basic of
experienceable phenomena) when counting the number of 'basics'. so, you
have a dualism of ontological basics.

then, you claim all 'ontological basics' are substances. you point out
that Searle has two 'ontological basics' and you claim he is a substance



Nothing Unreal is Self-Aware



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