[Wittrs] Dualism Cooties: Ontologically Basic Ambiguity: Causality

  • From: Joseph Polanik <jpolanik@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 22:20:32 -0400

SWM wrote:

>Joseph Polanik wrote:

>>SWM wrote:

>>I have no idea what you mean by 'ontological causal reduction'. would
>>you care to explain this newly introduced phrase?

>It's not newly introduced. I've used the term many times before on this
>and earlier lists. It means a reduction of X to Y such that Y is the
>bottom line thing to which X can be reduced because no further
>reduction to anything else is possible.

you are still begging the question as to whether there is any reduction
of any kind.

how did you decide or come to know that a causal account of the
origin of consciousness explains how consciousness is reduced to the
brain rather than explaining how consciousness emerges from the brain.

>>your claim (that the causal reduction of consciousness to brain (which
>>Searle accepts) is necessarily an ontological reduction of
>>consciousness to brain (which Searle rejects)) is questionable because
>>you've not supported it.

>I've noted that Searle speaks both of first person vs. third
>person ontologies and of causal reductions of minds to brains and that
>he separates the two issues. And I have noted that this separation is a
>mistake since the possibility of causal reduction (which Searle grants)
>introduces the question of where we stop and where we stop can also be
>ontological and, in a case like this, it is.

again, your argument presupposes that a causal explanation is a causal

>Why? Because the point is
>to ask whether what we call mind can be reduced to something that isn't
>like itself. If it can, then the role of brains (which are physical) in
>relation to minds is understandable within a model that does not posit
>two underlying ontological basics. If it cannot, then that model is
>questionable and we must, at least, consider that something has been
>left out of our picture of the universe.

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

>>>It involves reducing one thing to another thing (saying X is just Y);

>>does it involve saying that "X is whatever causes X"?

no answer to such a simple question?

>>do you tell your wife that your love for her is causally reduced to
>>the functionality of hormones and brain chemicals?

>That's irrelevant.

if you're not willing to live your own philosophy, why should anyone
else take it seriously?

>>>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.

the question is whether a causal account of consciousness explains the
reduction of consciousness to the brain or the emergence of
consciousness from the brain.

your argument, such as it is, presumes that there is a reduction and
then tries to justify classifying that reduction as causal and/or

I'm challenging your implicit presumption that there is a reduction.

>>a causal explanation of first-person phenomenology (the experiencing I
>>and its experiences) will link experienceable phenomena to the
>>properties of some metaphenomenal object(s); and, Searle generously
>>stipulates that you may call such an explanation a causal 'reduction'
>>of consciousness to brain.

>He "generously stipulates" it, does he? What makes you think he is
>doing it out of generosity or that it is merely his stipulation? ...
>Can you back up your editorial remark above about his being generous
>and stipulative?


I will suspend the stipulation. you may now present your argument that a
causal account of consciousness explains a reduction rather than an



Nothing Unreal is Self-Aware



Need Something? Check here: http://ludwig.squarespace.com/wittrslinks/

Other related posts: