[Wittrs] Dualism Cooties: Ontologically Basic Ambiguity: Cartesianism

  • From: Joseph Polanik <jpolanik@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 20 Mar 2010 09:25:15 -0400

SWM wrote:

>Joseph Polanik wrote:

>>Searle says that the brain causes consciousness.

>But Searle already grants that consciousness is a product of brain
>events. If so, it is either brought into existence as a new entry into
>the universe or it IS a product of physical processes in brains. But if
>the latter, then there is nothing in principle to tell us that it
>cannot be a product of computer events, as well.

>This is the crux of my point about Searle's argument and why I say he
>is implicitly dualist while denying being that.

yes, we've known for some time that the crux of this point is the apex
of your thinking; so, get on with it. refine your diagnosis. does Searle
have dualism cooties of the Cartesian strain or dualism cooties of the
Chalmersian strain; and, (more importantly) how do you justify that

>Look at my actual argument about what is implied in the CRA.

I'm trying to clarify the basis for your claims; but, there's a problem.

you alleged that Dennett agreed with you about the CRA; and, for
supporting evidence, you directed us to a passage in Dennett's
_Consciousness Explained_ where Dennett says "Cartesian dualists ...
think that even human brains are unable to accomplish understanding all
by themselves; according to the Cartesian view, it takes an immortal
soul to pull off the miracle of understanding."

you told us about the Mirsky System for identifying Cartesian dualists:
someone who thinks that consciousness cannot be broken down to
non-conscious constituents is a Cartesian Dualist. however, when I
pointed out that there was no evidence that Searle believes that a human
is/has an immortal soul, you admitted that someone may be designated a
Cartesian dualist by the Mirsky System even though they do not postulate
that the human is/has an immortal soul. you even hinted that there might
be other key principles of Descartes' brand of interactive substance
dualism that someone could reject and still be designated a Cartesian
Dualist by the Mirsky System.

however, you've declined my request for clarification as to what is
essential to being classified as a Cartesian Dualist by the Mirsky
System. so being/having a soul is not necessary, is that what you're
saying? can a person still be designated a Cartesian Dualist without
showing that the person hold interactive substance dualism?

in any event, there is a tremendous contradiction between your view and
Dennett's. he seems to 'get' Cartesian dualism. there's an immortal soul
involved. you admit that there's no evidence of this in Searle's case,
but the Mirsky System for outing Cartesian dualists designates him as
such anyway.

so your claim that Dennett agrees with you is dubious.



Nothing Unreal is Self-Aware



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