[Wittrs] Re: are objects causal

  • From: "jrstern" <jrstern@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2010 18:56:59 -0000

--- In Wittrs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "SWM" <SWMirsky@...> wrote:
> --- In Wittrs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "jrstern" <jrstern@> wrote:
> <snip>
> > Searle asserts that brains have some unknown physical property that enables 
> > them to play this critical role.  It's not being a hammer that drives the 
> > nail, it's being hard and in motion, it IS a hammer because it is hard and 
> > in motion, and has some other properties of shape or origin if you like, it 
> > is "multiply realizable" by other token hammers, rocks that are hard and in 
> > motion, etc.  Until and unless the magical properties of "brain" are 
> > enumerated, it seems entirely natural to suggest that substitutes should 
> > work there, too, and Searle cannot prove a negative result, that a computer 
> > cannot fill that role, from an unknown property of brain.
> Ah, I couldn't agree more, rare occurrence that such agreements on lists like 
> these are! -- SWM

I'm glad that's clear and agreeable, but I hope it also shows the point of 
taking physicalism seriously as a general doctrine, not just a matter to be 
argued inside of a discussion of mind.

It is physicalism, not computationalism, that hosts multiple realizability.

Even Fodor gets this wrong, insofar as he spends a lot of time defending 
against a naive physical essentialism, and then throws out a foundational 
physicalism with the bathwater.


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