[Wittrs] Dualism Cooties: Ontologically Basic Ambiguity

  • From: Joseph Polanik <jpolanik@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 20 Mar 2010 19:41:35 -0400

Gordon Swobe wrote:

>It seems to me that many philosophers of the materialist persuasion
>(e.g., Dennett) cannot see that as materialists we can reduce mental
>phenomena scientifically to third-person descriptions while preserving
>their subjective reality -- and that we can do this *without* embracing

>Following Searle, we can reduce mental phenomena to third-person causal
>descriptions without reducing them ontologically. In this case, we can
>tell a complete scientific story about the neurology of pain while
>recognizing that our epistemic reduction to objective scientific facts
>does not entail an ontological reduction.

>Though causally reducible to third-person descriptions, mental
>phenomena also have an irreducible first-person ontology. And we can
>accept this brute fact of existence without adding any metaphysical
>baggage about non-physical properties or substances!

suppose scientists come up with a complete description of how the brain
produces consciousness; and, that everyone is satisfied that this
description is a causal explanation.

do we *know* that this causal explanation will count as a causal
reduction; and, if so, how?

looking forward to the day that this explanation is first announced, I
can easily imagine pondering my response. do I say "now I know what I am
reduced to" or do I say "now I know what I have emerged from"?



Nothing Unreal is Self-Aware



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