[Wittrs] Oops, I misread Joe's Syllogism - but it's still the wrong argument!

  • From: "SWM" <SWMirsky@xxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2010 13:29:02 -0000

Ah, I see I misinterpeted your "C". Forgive me. It was early in the morning. 
But rather than dump what I'd previously written, which I believe had some 
useful points, I will address syllogism here:


You write that Dennett's point is that:

If you are a Cartesian Dualist, then there is no understanding in the room as 
follows -

[1]: C -> -U
[2]: - U
[3]: C

  and

[1]: C -> -U
[2]: U
[3]: -C

But as I endeavored to show nearby, Dennett isn't making that claim.

His argument is more like this:

1) If you think consciousness cannot be broken down to non-conscious 
constituents, then you are a Cartesian Dualist.

2) The only way to think that the CR implies that no similarly constituted 
system can be conscious is to think that consciousness cannot be broken down to 
non-conscious constituents.

3) Searle thinks that the CR implies that no system with the same kind of 
consitutents as the CR can be conscious.

4) Therefore Searle is a Cartesian Dualist.


A much simpler reply to you is possible now that I went back and noticed you 
meant "Cartesian Dualism" by "C" rather than the more typical "consciousness" 
as we generally see in these discussions.

Thus your proposed interpretation of Dennett's argument is incorrect.

This points up, by the way, why it is generally better, as well, to write in 
plain English! Logical notation gives a false sense of scientific rigor while 
masking meanings and confusions.

SWM


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