[Wittrs] Re: Dualism Cooties: Ontologically Basic Ambiguity: Causality

  • From: "SWM" <SWMirsky@xxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 12:58:25 -0000

--- In Wittrs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Joseph Polanik <jPolanik@...> wrote:

> SWM wrote:
>  >Joseph Polanik wrote:

>  >>SWM wrote:
>  >>>And, indeed, when it comes to claims of causality, even he agrees
>  >>>that one can causally reduce the features of consciousness to
>  >>>whatever it is brains do. However, he stumbles when he makes a
>  >>>distinction by confusing causal reduction (which possibility he
>  >>>affirms) with what he calls ontology when, in fact, the very issue at
>  >>>hand, causal reduction, IS one of ontological reduction.

> this claim asserts an identity between 'causal reduction' and
> 'ontological reduction'; and, that's questionable. Searle denies it.

It's questionable that there is an ontological causal reduction because Searle 
denies it or it's questionable that consciousness reduces to brains and Searle 
denies it?

> my
> position is that, with respect to subjective experience or
> consciousness, a causal explanation does not even count as a causal
> reduction let alone an ontological reduction.

I deny it. That has about the same implication, of course, as anything anyone 
else denies, including Searle.

> what makes you assume that a causal reduction is necessarily an
> ontological reduction?
> Joe

It involves reducing one thing to another thing (saying X is just Y); it's 
ontological when you reach a point "below" which you can find no more "things" 
to reduce it to, i.e., when you're scraping the explanatory bottom and your 
down to whatever "things" exist without anywhere further to reduce.


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