[Wittrs] Re: Searle: not a Cartesian Dualist

  • From: Gordon Swobe <gts_2000@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 17:14:29 -0700 (PDT)

>> Cartesian dualism has a bad name only because of
>> the philosophical problems that arise when grappling with
>> the idea of something non-physical, so even if it makes
>> you/Dennett feel warm and fuzzy inside to label
>> Searle's view dualistic, it really doesn't matter: Searle's
>> philosophy does not suffer from the problems of
>> Cartesian dualism.
> Well you can assert that, of course. One can always
> assert one's beliefs. But this isn't a matter of belief alone
> but of argument. 

Okay Stuart, here I offer you the most important part of the argument that I 
left out. I thought you already knew this but perhaps you don't:

Cartesian dualism suffered from the fact that nobody least of all Descartes 
ever offered a plausible account of how non-physical mind could affect material 
matter, or how material matter could affect non-physical mind. 

Searle's non-dualistic philosophy does not have that weakness. On Searle's 
view, mental phenomena arise as high level *physical* features of the 
neurological substrate. If computers could do something similar, instead of 
running syntactic operations on symbols, then they could have mental phenomena 

I see nothing dualistic about Searle. It exists only in your confused rebuttal 
to the CRA in which you with help from Dennett imagine dualism where none 



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