[Wittrs] Dualism Cooties: The Argument About What the Argument is About

  • From: Joseph Polanik <jpolanik@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2010 22:11:50 -0500

SWM wrote:

>Joseph Polanik wrote:

>>the only reference to Cartesian dualism in the passage from
>>_Consciousness Explained_ is in the last sentence from the quoted
>>passage; and, it's irrelevant unless you're trying to justify a
>>logical fallacy.

>But does it really matter whether Dennett is right in this or not?
>Isn't all that matters the merits of the argument, no matter who is
>making it? So let's look at the actual claims, the actual argument, now
>that we have got the question of Dennett's position behind us.

okay. let's look at the actual argument. the only part of Dennett's
critique of the CRA contains the following (which you only partially
quoted):

Cartesian dualists would think so, because they 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.

this is a quite reasonable claim to make; and, IMO it's actually true.
Cartesian dualists (interactive substance dualists) do in fact belief
this. Descartes did, in fact, claim that he'd proven that he was a soul
not a body and that he (as soul) would continue to exist even without
his body (ie after its death).

now, I'm not saying that Descartes actually proved all this; only that
he thought he'd proven this.

I am also saying that, as shown by the full quote of the sentence above,
Dennett understands what substance dualism is about.

so, if you want to pursue the question of Searle's implicit and/or
explicit substance dualism, just point to the passage where Searle says
that some part of the human individual survives the death of its body.

it doesn't matter whether Searle calls this immortal part of the human
the soul or the ontological basic.

just point to the passage where Searle makes the claim.

the bottom line, Stuart, is that, to prove that Searle is a substance
dualist, you need to put him in the same camp as Descartes.

Joe


--

Nothing Unreal is Self-Aware

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