[Wittrs] Re: Dualism Cooties: Searle Diverges from Zombie Physicalism

  • From: "SWM" <SWMirsky@xxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2010 12:39:47 -0000

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

> SWM wrote:
>  >Searle, of course, peels off subjectness from the rest of the universe
>  >by asserting that it has a "first person ontology" which cannot be
>  >dealt with in a third person way. But what does that mean, finally?
> it means that first person phenomenology has an experiencer dependent
> mode of existence; whereas, third person phenomenology has an
> experiencer independent mode of existence.

Yes, but what does it mean in a claim about what is responsible for the 
occurrence of mind in the universe which, of course, is the question the CR and 
the CRA are intended to address, i.e., can computational processes running on 
computers produce consciousness?

>  >Searle, after all, agrees that the universe is physical but then he
>  >diverges from this when he invokes "first person ontology" claims
>  >(suggesting either that there is something in the universe that isn't
>  >physical -- or that there is something brought into existence by some
>  >physical things in the universe that isn't).
> yes. Searle 'diverges' from zombie physicalism by claiming that
> something that has a third person ontology (a brain) can create
> something that has a first person ontology --- for example, an
> afterimage.

Dennett never denies that we have experience or your favorite, after images. 
This just misses the point.

>  >Insofar as ontology is about reductive description it is about what
>  >causes what (as in what is responsible for what).
> ontology is about what there is.

And ontological basics refers to what there is at some basic level beyond any 
possibility of further reduction.

>  >But Searle, while asserting his claim about consciousness being a
>  >matter of first person ontology, agrees that brains, perfectly physical
>  >things, cause consciousness! Thus his notion of ontology appears rather
>  >idiosyncratic because he separates causal descriptions from what we may
>  >want to characterize for want of a better term, as observational
>  >descriptions.
> ontology *always* makes the distinction between appearances and what
> causes or otherwise accounts for the appearances.
> Joe

And the question here is what is consciousness, is it ontologically basic or 
just derived from whatever else exists?


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