[Wittrs] Logical Arguments--The Good, Bad and Ugly

  • From: "gabuddabout" <gabuddabout@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2010 20:42:52 -0000

--- In WittrsAMR@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "iro3isdx" <wittrsamr@...> wrote:
> --- In Wittrs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "SWM" <SWMirsky@> wrote:
> > One of the things I've seen is that even when a logical argument in
> > syllogistic form is presented, it is very hard to convince anyone
> > of what is shown if they don't already believe the conclusion OR
> > have no commitment one way or the other!

> That is because the disagreement is usually over the premises,  and not
> over the inference from the premises.
> Regards,
> Neil

And it might be why Stuart is a noncommittal physicalist who likes offering bad 
arguments as to why Searle is a closet dualist and  doesn't even understand the 
systems reply..

And those who think the man in the CR is a mereological mistake are those who'd 
rather switch to a different topic from the CR which illustrates the inefficacy 
of functional properties (symbol manipulation even if driven by the first-order 
properties of electricity) to cause anything, contra real machines of the 
nonS/H type.

One may be perfectly committed to physicalism and real ontological subjectivity 
at the same time.  Those who would argue a priori that this can't be true are 
simply conceptual dualists--and it is a reason why Dennett prefers strong AI 
because we have nothing EPISTEMOLOGICALLY better than the Turing test..

The study of how the brain does it (causes consciousness and allows for 
semantics) is an inductive one even if some claim that this is a form of 

Indeed, functionalism is necessarily mysterian and ad hoc at the same time IF 
THOUGHT OF as a potential theory of mind, rather than a neat way of figuring 
out how to do complex computations on "machines," which Searle doesn't argue 
against as being useful for many functional reasons.

It may turn out to be too long a story to tell in order to convince those, who 
are under certain spells, that Searle is exactly right about a lot that some 
just don't understand.  But that may be because it is hard.  Some good papers 
are called for.

I think Fodor's paper a good one:  "Having Thoughts:  A Brief Refutation of the 
Twentieth Century."

It should make a thinker lick his chops!

And then we can debate it forever and ever, depending on what we think minds 


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  • » [Wittrs] Logical Arguments--The Good, Bad and Ugly - gabuddabout