Thursday, March 15, 2018

Brainless Mind part 2



In my previous post I argued that the comparison between Mind with no brain [God] vs. no becoming with no cause [Universe?] are not analogous. So the argumet that we do not see the latter is not answered with the observation that we do not see the former. The skeptics tried to shift the issue from brain/.mind per se to material based reality. But does that really change the issue? Since God is not a product of nature why should we expect to see analogous aspects in nature why do we have to see this in order to believe in God?

In addition  to this I have some other observations.

Ryan M said...
[this is 7th stooge's comment]
"I think Joe's point is that there's a conceptual distinction between mind (or consciousness) and matter. There's no known instance of mind without a material support or correlate, but the distinction implies that there's no analytic connection between the two things."
Yes that is right. That conceptual distinction is crucial and points to mind as transcendent of matter.

[Ryan M's Answer]
We might speak of mind and matter as distinct in practice, but this seems more like a social issue in our language than anything else. If I broke an arm, I might say "I'm injured", which seems to identify my body with me, but at the same time I might say "One of my arms is broken" which seems to just identify my arm as something I possess. I don't see language of mind vs matter as any different. We often say things that in some contexts make it appear that we believe something that we do not.
[Metacrock]



(1) Linguistic analysis does not establish reality--what we believe does not determine reality but what is the justification?

It doesn't matter if we think of our extremities or our  body as who we are or part of who we are that that will not determine the truth of weather or not mind is dependent upon brain; it's clear that in biological organisms mind is dependent upon brain. But that does not mean there can't be some forms of mind that are not dependent upon brain.

My Point the original piece was that God cannot be subjected to recurring theme in nature. God is not a product of nature but the basis upon which all reality rests. Finding some aspect in nature that mirrors  God's attributes is not necessary for God to possess that attribute.

(2) Understanding ourselves as a unity of Mind and body (body,soul,spirit) is not merely one more thing to believe but a fundamental orientation to the world. In biological organisms mid  supervenes upon the physical. That's because we are talking about biology. God is not biology, thus the question about God and mind/brain is irrelevant. We need not find an example of mind without brain in nature to assume God might be the source of Mind. By the way, God is also the source of matter. If God is the basis of reality then matter is dependent upon mind, in an overall ontological sense.

(3) His metaphysical assumption no less speculative than mine.

 I would like to ask Ryan to clarify his view. I have seen statements from him in the past that I took to be non reductive. But now he seems to be saying that non  reductionist sounding things.

 It is true that we can make observations about the material world and we cannot make direct first hand observations about the spiritual world. I understand why it might seem to some as though the material connection is more likely but assuming that there can only be one kind of mind is as much a ideological assumption and a metaphysical one.  There is no testable evidence that would govern that assumption. If we are willing to make other assumptions those assumptions are justified given reality of God.

[Eric Sotnak said...]
"If I broke an arm, I might say "I'm injured", which seems to identify my body with me, but at the same time I might say "One of my arms is broken" which seems to just identify my arm as something I possess."

Or how about an utterance like, "I wonder where my mind is" which seems to imply a distinction between me and my mind.brainless Mind
Metacrock:

But what difference does that make? We arrange our existences in relation to our metaphysical assumptions that does not govern truth. It's really a matter of what metaphors we choose to literalize.

There are two major reasons for assuming mind is not dependent upon matter:

(1) Conceptual difference

In making this argent I will draw upon Victor Reppert's argument from Reason (which he takes from C.S. Lewis). Rather than advancing it as a God argument, however, I merely use it to argue for the qualitative  difference and it's implications; The qualitative difference between conscientiousness and naturalistic deterministic process.

In essence the argument might be summarized in three stages as Reppert does (p72) He does not enumerate premises as a deductive presentation this is not a deductive argument in a formal preservation but merely a summary of observations:

(1) reasoning process is essential to our epistemic ability.

(2) to fit reasoning into our universe we must accept a dualism, that is we must accept rational explanation for fundamental assumptions and inferences in addition to physical explanation.

(3) theism is necessary to account for these fundamental explanations,[1]

Reppert uses a supporting argument, from intentionality, that illustrates the nature of the argument. This is by no means the only such supporting argument but it's the only one I'll look at. His objective in making this argument is to show that there are elements in making argument that can't be fitted into a naturalistic framework. Lewis argued that it made no sense to say that one state is about another state. If we think about brains as merely lumps of matter one lump of matter is about another lump of matter? The reasoning process is essential for understanding human being. But if naturalism is true that natural inference just does not occur. [2] Reppert terms this the “absoluteness argument.” He has eight more on the same principle I'll just deal with a couple. Laws of physics govern physical states without reference to what they are “about.” Then how can there be determinate meaning to the words we use? Our thought processes are incidental to the lumps of matter and how the laws of physics describe what they do. As Reppert points out “W.V. Quine argued that physical conformation leaves it indeterminate as to what a speaker of a foreign language means by...[a word] but would not this argument also show that there is no fact of the matter as to what Quine means by “naturalism” when he says “naturalism is true?”  [3]
At this point Reppert makes a deductive argument:

(1) if naturalism is true then there is no fact of the matter as to what somone's thought or statement is about.”
(2) But there are facts as to what someone's statement is about (implied by the Existence of Rational inference).
(3) Therefore, naturalism is falseiv [4]
He raises the issue of eliminative materialists who think that if intentional brain states are not found  nonscientific data then there must not be any. For that reason this group maintains that there are no beliefs. Of course it's not wasted upon Reppert that this is a belief. An example of eleminative materialists is Wayne Proudfoot in rejecting the idea of internal mental states due to the difficulty in solving the hard problem, He just makes it go away by refusing to accept there could be truth beyond the ability of his methodology to find it. I deal with this in chapter six ( on Reductionism)of my book God, Science, and Ideology.[5] Reppert et al published an article proving that the eliminative position is self refuting. [6]

Taking it not as a God argument but merely as a means of evaluation processes that ignore reason if we assert that all mental states are reducible to deterministic understanding of brain chemistry then reason has no place. Yet those same processes are only understandable to us as the product of reasoned analysis. If we understand the qualitative difference between deterministic process and copious awareness then we can see that rescinding consciousness to brain chemistry merely loses the phenomena. Thus redaction is not an explanation but a bait and switch in which brain function is put over in place of consciousness.


(2) Emergent property

An emergent property is one that stems from factors lower down in the evolutionary process that do not involve the emergent property. The emergent properties emerge from amid a set of properties none of which herald the emergent one. It just springs forth, life from non-life, consciousness from non-conscious, por soir from en soir.

...[E]mergent entities (properties or substances) ‘arise’ out of more fundamental entities and yet are ‘novel’ or ‘irreducible’ with respect to them. (For example, it is sometimes said that consciousness is an emergent property of the brain.) Each of the quoted terms is slippery in its own right, and their specifications yield the varied notions of emergence that we discuss below. There has been renewed interest in emergence within discussions of the behavior of complex systems and debates over the reconcilability of mental causation, intentionality, or consciousness with physicalism.[7]

According to O'connor and Wang emergent properties can't be reduced to the properties from which they spring. If true that means that if consciousness is emergent it's not reducible to brain function. Yet every reductionist I've ever argued with uses emergence to explain the rise of consciousness, which they take to be reducible to brain chemistry.



sources

[1] Victor Reppert, C.S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea: In Defense of The Argument From Reason, Downer's Grove Il.: IVP Academic 1989
reernces C.S. Lewis Miracles New York McMilliom papperback ed 1978 224-31
[2]Ibid. 73
[3]Ibid, 75.
[4]Ibid.
[5]find

[6]Victor Reppert, “Eleminative Materialism, Cognative Suicide, and Begging the Question,” Metaphilosophy, 23, (1992), 378-92.
[7] Timothy O'Connor, and Hong Yu Wong,  "Emergent Properties", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2015 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2015/entries/properties-emergent/>. (Accessed 9/13/15).


74 comments:

im-skeptical said...

Great exercise in begging the question:

Taking it not as a God argument but merely as a means of evaluation processes that ignore reason if we assert that all mental states are reducible to deterministic understanding of brain chemistry then reason has no place. Yet those same processes are only understandable to us as the product of reasoned analysis. If we understand the qualitative difference between deterministic process and copious awareness then we can see that rescinding consciousness to brain chemistry merely loses the phenomena. Thus redaction is not an explanation but a bait and switch in which brain function is put over in place of consciousness.

If we assume from the start (as Victor does) that mindless matter is incapable of producing conscious brain function, then we can make this argument that concludes (essentially) nature is incapable of the producing conscious mind that we know people have. And the only other alternative is GOD DID IT. Case closed. All you stupid atheists can go home with your tail between your legs because I have proven you wrong with invincible logic.

Of course, you must be aware that Victor's argument has been thoroughly refuted, time and again.

7th Stooge said...

It depends on how "naturalism" is defined. I prefer terms like "physicalism" or "materialism." That way, the argument can be made that thngs like consciousness and rationality are not physically reducible, while also allowing that what is "natural" is a broader category than what's understood as strictly "physical." So nature might accommodate things like consciousness and intentionality while physicalism can't. And therefore, irreducibility of consciousness and intentionality wouldn't, in that case, necessarily support theism. Although irreducibility might be used to support theism, it would be a little harder of a row to hoe.

Joe Hinman said...

If we assume from the start (as Victor does) that mindless matter is incapable of producing conscious brain function, then we can make this argument that concludes (essentially) nature is incapable of the producing conscious mind that we know people have. And the only other alternative is GOD DID IT. Case closed. All you stupid atheists can go home with your tail between your legs because I have proven you wrong with invincible logic.

(1) I don't have to make all they same assumptions he does,I induced the one's I'm making.

(3) swine I'm not using it as a God argument I'm not concerned with that, but I can;t see why evolutionary processes would produce consciousness;the fact that we have consciousness proves neither the it could evolve without God nor that God must have created it It might work as warrant for belief but not a proof.

(3) the fact that you put it in terms of ego crushing shows you are not thinking about the truth or the logic just about winning or losing; that's why you should accept the idea of warrant its more passive. I't' less ego innovated for both sides.


Of course, you must be aware that Victor's argument has been thoroughly refuted, time and again.

people have said a lot of things bout it that doesn't make them right. Most of the criticisms are about the argument's conclusion as a proof for God.I'm not using it as a proof that's not important.

im-skeptical said...

Most of the criticisms are about the argument's conclusion as a proof for God.
- No, they're not. Do you think they haven't refuted the argument that Victor actually makes? You should do a little research on the topic.


I'm not using it as a proof that's not important
- I hear this from you all the time. We both know it's a dodge. Rational mind couldn't happen by material processes alone. You need some kind of intelligence to make it happen. But his isn't an argument for God. Therefore, any criticism I hear can be dismissed. But my criticism to your argument isn't about God. It's about the question-begging assumption you make. So why don't you tell me how you can defend that assumption without assuming God?

Joe Hinman said...

7th Stooge said...
It depends on how "naturalism" is defined. I prefer terms like "physicalism" or "materialism." That way, the argument can be made that thngs like consciousness and rationality are not physically reducible, while also allowing that what is "natural" is a broader category than what's understood as strictly "physical." So nature might accommodate things like consciousness and intentionality while physicalism can't. And therefore, irreducibility of consciousness and intentionality wouldn't, in that case, necessarily support theism. Although irreducibility might be used to support theism, it would be a little harder of a row to hoe.

I agree, that is a quite good ontology. I think physicalism is the more radically reductionist term.Because mind could be non physical and still be material in a sense. Although I don;t make a big deal out of it because I think most people people using materialism to describe their virews are also physicalists.

Joe Hinman said...


Blogger im-skeptical said...
Most of the criticisms are about the argument's conclusion as a proof for God.
- No, they're not. Do you think they haven't refuted the argument that Victor actually makes? You should do a little research on the topic.

they haven't refuted my version of it, they have not heard my version. Victopr's version is a God argument of that is in line with what I said. You have not demonstrated any of these so called "refutations," typical of you to give the illusion of argument while not arguing at all.


I'm not using it as a proof that's not important

- I hear this from you all the time. We both know it's a dodge. Rational mind couldn't happen by material processes alone. You need some kind of intelligence to make it happen.

I m not making a God argument, you really can't do logic can you? to you it's all just opinion what you demand must be true who needs a reason?


But his isn't an argument for God. Therefore, any criticism I hear can be dismissed. But my criticism to your argument isn't about God. It's about the question-begging assumption you make. So why don't you tell me how you can defend that assumption without assuming God?


I haven;t begged the question you have, you assert your position as proof of your position, you assert disbelief as a proof that there is no God. you have made no argument.

I did not argue that consciousness can't be produced by nature Alone so where is the question begging?

I said


"swine [that should say "since" auto correct changed it] I'm not using it as a God argument I'm not concerned with that, but I can;t see why evolutionary processes would produce consciousness;the fact that we have consciousness proves neither the it could evolve without God nor that God must have created it It might work as warrant for belief but not a proof."do you know English what does that say? that "proves neither the it could evolve without God nor that God must have created it " Do you understand that sentence?

Eric Sotnak said...

(A) I don't think it is clear that theism actually EXPLAINS rationality, cognition, or the nature of mental states. Theism is the thesis that God exists. I don't see how one is supposed to go from "God exists" to the nature of mental states is non-physical.

(B) A great deal depends on what, exactly, reductionism is. I'm actually not yet persuaded that there are any fully satisfactory accounts of the nature of reduction, so Im also not convinced we are in a position to say that no reductionist account of mental states can be successful.

(C) Even if a satisfactory account of reductionism does exist, there are lots of people these days who embrace non-reductive physicalism. That is, if they are right, the impossibility of a satisfactory reduction of mental states to physical states does not entail the falsity of physicalism.

im-skeptical said...

I did not argue that consciousness can't be produced by nature Alone so where is the question begging?
- OK. Let me quote what you DID say:

I merely use it to argue for the qualitative difference and it's implications; The qualitative difference between conscientiousness and naturalistic deterministic process.
- This is an assertion that consciousness is NOT NATURAL (ie. physical).

(2) to fit reasoning into our universe we must accept a dualism, that is we must accept rational explanation for fundamental assumptions and inferences in addition to physical explanation.
- Again, the assertion that the physical alone cannot account for reasoning. Yes, it's Victor's argument, but you said you are drawing from this, so one can only conclude that this is your argument, too.

(3) theism is necessary to account for these fundamental explanations
- Here, Victor draws the conclusion that you say you are not drawing. But it's still the same logic.

Now, the first two of these are the question-begging assertion that you deny making, but it is clear that you are in fact making this assertion. That's what the whole argument is based on, so why should you deny it? I asked how you justify this, and all you say in response is that you aren't making an argument for God. Which is nothing but a dodge. You haven't answered the question. And furthermore, you are being coy about the fact that you really are making a theistic argument. At least Victor recognizes it as such. I don't understand what you think you gain by denying it.

7th Stooge said...

(C) Even if a satisfactory account of reductionism does exist, there are lots of people these days who embrace non-reductive physicalism. That is, if they are right, the impossibility of a satisfactory reduction of mental states to physical states does not entail the falsity of physicalism.

What other kind of physicalism can they embrace? I thought reductive physicalism has been pretty much abandoned along with type identity theory.

I still don't have a clear picture on what non-reducitve physicalism is exactly. How do non-reductive physicalists get around epiphenomenalism, given causal closure?

im-skeptical said...

How do non-reductive physicalists get around epiphenomenalism, given causal closure?
- Epiphenomenalism is just another form of non-materialist thinking. I address that very issue in this article.

Mike Gerow said...

Actually, I think what joe said was (more or less) that theism and dualism are WAYS to account for some phenomena, quite different from them being "necessary" to do so.....since what he has in ...um, "mind" in terms of his understanding of God-consciousness is only metaphorically analogous to human consciousness (however that is composed) anyway....so even a physicalist interpretation of human consciousness doesn't phase it since the analogy collapses before the point where there is any direct correlation.

Even if our mind is entirely "physical," Gods mind is entirely not so ... and even if our minds have a "spiritual" aspect, that aspect is at best only metaphorically analogous to Gods mind.

im-skeptical said...

Actually, I think what joe said was (more or less) that theism and dualism are WAYS to account for some phenomena, quite different from them being "necessary" to do so.....
- I was addressing the final half of his article. And I did quote him directly. He is making the assertion that mind is not attributable to the physical brain, for two main reasons. As Joe says,

There are two major reasons for assuming mind is not dependent upon matter:
(1) Conceptual difference
...
(2) Emergent property.

Mike Gerow said...

It's that tricky word 'assuming' that you have to look out for ...."good reasons for assuming" and "is necessary" are quite different concepts..... iOW, here, it is the physicalist who does not have and needs to produce a convincing argument.

7th Stooge said...

- Epiphenomenalism is just another form of non-materialist thinking. I address that very issue in this article.

Always fun to watch materialists throwing their "woo" at each other. ;)

You're right that physicalism is the obvious way around epiphenomenalism, but it has its own problems, I think. How can thoughts and consciousness be physical things given the fact that the same thought or conscious state can be realized in many different possible ways? If I and a martian have the thought that "Water is wet," but my thought is realized by a different type of physical state than the martian's, then I have trouble seeing how what our two thoughts have in common (that water is indeed wet) can be a physical state.

There are also well-known problems with determinism and compatibilism in particular, but I'll save those for later...

im-skeptical said...

"good reasons for assuming" and "is necessary" are quite different concepts
- Assuming is exactly what I criticized Joe's argument for.

it is the physicalist who does not have and needs to produce a convincing argument
- That's the opinion of those who make this unjustified assumption. What physicalists have on their side is evidence. Lots of it.



How can thoughts and consciousness be physical things given the fact that the same thought or conscious state can be realized in many different possible ways?
- The first thing to understand is that mind (including thoughts and consciousness) is not a "thing" or a "state". It is a process. It is a function of the brain. Your question is like asking "How can cars and airplanes be physical when they both accomplish the same function (moving people) in very different ways?" That's multiple realization, and it is not incompatible with physicalism in any way.

There are also well-known problems with determinism and compatibilism in particular, but I'll save those for later...
- Not to mention the many very serious problems with theism.

Joe Hinman said...

There are two major reasons for assuming mind is not dependent upon matter:

Mind supervenes upon matter, supervene does not mean they are the same thing, it means it depends upon it for function not distinguishable from it,

Joe Hinman said...


Blogger Eric Sotnak said...
(A) I don't think it is clear that theism actually EXPLAINS rationality, cognition, or the nature of mental states. Theism is the thesis that God exists. I don't see how one is supposed to go from "God exists" to the nature of mental states is non-physical.

Theism does not offer a detailed exploitation of the logistical workings of consciousnesses. But given Chalmer's statements about the explanatory gap, i think
theism offers a more opportune basis for understating the evolutionary "rationale" for consciousness,


(B) A great deal depends on what, exactly, reductionism is. I'm actually not yet persuaded that there are any fully satisfactory accounts of the nature of reduction, so Im also not convinced we are in a position to say that no reductionist account of mental states can be successful.

If none of satisfying then none are successful

(C) Even if a satisfactory account of reductionism does exist, there are lots of people these days who embrace non-reductive physicalism. That is, if they are right, the impossibility of a satisfactory reduction of mental states to physical states does not entail the falsity of physicalism.

Physicality itself does not entail lack of belief in God. My first incineration is to say what is sacrosanct about physiclaiem? why is it important to you to deny the spiruitual?

7:00 AM Delete

im-skeptical said...

There are two major reasons for assuming mind is not dependent upon matter:

Mind supervenes upon matter, supervene does not mean they are the same thing, it means it depends upon it for function not distinguishable from it


- Do you realize that these two statement are contradictory?

Mike Gerow said...

That's the opinion of those who make this unjustified assumption. What physicalists have on their side is evidence. Lots of it.

What physicalists lack is any theory of how consciousness emerges from matter. It's such a ....um, 'hard problem' that elimitivism seems the most viable alternative to many, iow simply deny there is such a thing as consciousness. But that is problematic too, as Joe and Reppert both point out, since it calls into question the same reasoning processes used to assert the point in the first place... & I don't see how anything you've brought up really addresses this point, so perhaps you don't have an answer, but are merely experiencing cognitive dissonance?

Mike Gerow said...

Otoh, as Joe pointed out, since natural physicalism is not a defeater against theism anyway since God is by definition not a part of nature, you'd still be better for arguing for the PoE or sumpthin! ;-)

im-skeptical said...

What physicalists lack is any theory of how consciousness emerges from matter.
- There are theories. What is lacking is a definitive theory.

It's such a ....um, 'hard problem'
- The "explanatory gap" is between subjective experience of consciousness and an objective understanding of it. That gap will always exist, simply because of the difference between subjective and objective. And this gap is what is exploited as being a "hard problem" by those who want to insist that it leaves an opening for non-materialist fantasies about consciousness. Of course, you should be aware that there isn't one single shred of actual evidence that it is anything more than a fantasy.

Mike Gerow said...

Well, the "evidence" remains in the conceptual problem, as Joe said, that it's hard to imagine how matter "perceives" at all. (at least with current understandings of "matter", but we don't really understand what "matter" is, either, any better than we understand "consciousness," so the entire debate, as Joe also said, is at best metaphorical, a question of choice of more appropriate metaphors, or at worst possibly meaningless given our lack of "solid" understanding...)

But curiously, as you just admitted yourself, there does seem an ineluctable difference between subjective and objective....and that "seeming" has some kind of existence ( illusory or not) that needs to be accounted for, somehow. Waving it away won't work for most people...

im-skeptical said...

it's hard to imagine how matter "perceives" at all.
- I hope you understand that this is an argument from ignorance. Lack of imagination is no excuse to inject supernatural entities into the picture. Michael Behe couldn't imagine how certain biological structures could have evolved with the help of an intelligent designer. But every example of "irreducible complexity" he came up with has been shown to be quite reducible after all. I don't think it's so hard to imagine how creatures can have perception. But then, I don't make the same presumptions you apparently do that would preclude such a thing.

"seeming" has some kind of existence ( illusory or not) that needs to be accounted for
- OK. There's still no reason to assume some ghost of the gaps.

Mike Gerow said...

None of which really addresses the points I made....nor Joe's ....

Arguing that theism is not necessary to explain consciousness is not an argument that physicalism is sufficient for that, and your claim that you "don't find it difficult to imagine" is not an argument at all. If it's so easy, why don't you just explain it to me in a sentence or two here then? How does matter, in any configuration, "perceive"? How does matter experience, say, the color of "red" in any sense? Cuz it's giving me some trouble, as the perceptual and the physical do strike me as things in different categories.

(Also, btw, these arguments are not that strong, since theism not being necessary for any reason whatsoever is not a proof that God doesn't exist, but at best just shows that we can THINK a world without "God"-- which (at best) may or may not give what joe would call 'rational warrant' for atheism...)

7th Stooge said...

- The first thing to understand is that mind (including thoughts and consciousness) is not a "thing" or a "state". It is a process. It is a function of the brain. Your question is like asking "How can cars and airplanes be physical when they both accomplish the same function (moving people) in very different ways?" That's multiple realization, and it is not incompatible with physicalism in any way.

We're not talking about general kinds of processes like "flying" or "moving." we're talking about particulars. You're saying that thought A just IS physical fact B. That's your answer to the epiphenomenalism problem. But for two thoughts to be the same thought, that "2+2=4" say, they'd have to be exactly the same thing, whether you think that thing is a substance, property or event. But if I and an android have the thought "2+2=4," my thought is physically realized in a radically different way than the android's. So how is my thought and the android's the same thought, if thoughts are physical processes?

- Not to mention the many very serious problems with theism.

Okay, once again I'm not arguing for theism. You're conversing with me now, remember?

7th Stooge said...

- Do you realize that these two statement are contradictory?

Causal reduction is different from ontological reduction.

7th Stooge said...

- The "explanatory gap" is between subjective experience of consciousness and an objective understanding of it. That gap will always exist, simply because of the difference between subjective and objective. And this gap is what is exploited as being a "hard problem" by those who want to insist that it leaves an opening for non-materialist fantasies about consciousness. Of course, you should be aware that there isn't one single shred of actual evidence that it is anything more than a fantasy.

The only kind of 'evidence' you'd accept is empirical evidence, but empirical evidence can only give us causal correlations between the brain and reported psychological functions. That kind of evidence can't answer the ontological problem. The 'hard problem' isn't empirical, it's conceptual. That's why philosophers who are physicalists and reductionists who argue for your side don't just offer neuroscientific data; they make philosophical arguments that may draw on empirical data as support, but the main thrust is philosophical. So, sorry, but you gotta make an actual argument, not just repeat the same faith-based pronouncements.

Mike Gerow said...

So how is my thought and the android's the same thought, if thoughts are physical processes?

Wouldn't the response there just be that no two thoughts are ever the same thought -- only thoughts about the same thing? -- only roughly the same?

:-o

Joe Hinman said...


Blogger im-skeptical said...
There are two major reasons for assuming mind is not dependent upon matter:

Mind supervenes upon matter, supervene does not mean they are the same thing, it means it depends upon it for function not distinguishable from it

- Do you realize that these two statement are contradictory?

No. Where's the contradiction? that's like saying air requires oxygen to be breathable but they are not the same thing, is That a contradiction?

8:29 AM Delete

Joe Hinman said...

t's such a ....um, 'hard problem'
- The "explanatory gap" is between subjective experience of consciousness and an objective understanding of it.

not exactly.that's another version of those Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacies you love to commit so much,


That gap will always exist, simply because of the difference between subjective and objective. And this gap is what is exploited as being a "hard problem" by those who want to insist that it leaves an opening for non-materialist fantasies about consciousness. Of course, you should be aware that there isn't one single shred of actual evidence that it is anything more than a fantasy.


talk about attempts to lose phenomena by labeling it out of existence, your argument is like saying I'm not paranoid that's just a rumor started my my enemies.

where in the hell do you get the idea that if a problem is insurmountable it can't screw up your methodology?

Joe Hinman said...

Of course, you should be aware that there isn't one single shred of actual evidence that it is anything more than a fantasy.


there is no study that disproves the hard problem. all such attempts are based upon the bait and switch,using brain function rather than consciousness,

7th Stooge said...

Wouldn't the response there just be that no two thoughts are ever the same thought -- only thoughts about the same thing? -- only roughly the same?

Right you are, Mike. Good catch. I meant something more like the propositional content of the thought. The fact that no two thoughts can ever be the same token even though they have the same content was kind of my point. Thoughts have to be more than just physical tokens. They can share content that can remain the same across very different kinds of physical supports. Of course the same point could be made more clearly if we stick to conscious experiences.

im-skeptical said...

How does matter, in any configuration, "perceive"? How does matter experience, say, the color of "red" in any sense? Cuz it's giving me some trouble, as the perceptual and the physical do strike me as things in different categories.
- the different categories you see are merely subjective and objective. As I said before, there will always be a gap between them. But why should that imply something non-material? All it implies to me is a lack of understanding. I'd really like to see the logic you use to make such a conclusion.


We're not talking about general kinds of processes like "flying" or "moving." we're talking about particulars. You're saying that thought A just IS physical fact B. That's your answer to the epiphenomenalism problem. But for two thoughts to be the same thought, that "2+2=4" say, they'd have to be exactly the same thing
- Prove it. Or at least provide some rational justification for this claim. This is nothing but an assertion, and I have no reason whatsoever to believe it.

Causal reduction is different from ontological reduction.
- Joe made two statements. One says mind is not dependent on matter, and the other says it is dependent on matter (through "supervenience"). That's a contradiction.

The only kind of 'evidence' you'd accept is empirical evidence, but empirical evidence can only give us causal correlations between the brain and reported psychological functions. That kind of evidence can't answer the ontological problem.
- What you're telling me is that you an make up any claim you like, and I can't argue against it because you are making a "philosophical" argument, and evidence has nothing to do with it. Believe that if you like. This is why theists live in a fantasy world. But all your "ontological" claims have no bearing on reality.


No. Where's the contradiction? that's like saying air requires oxygen to be breathable but they are not the same thing, is That a contradiction?
- It might be helpful if you communicated in English. Half the time, I can barely make out what you are saying.

not exactly.that's another version of those Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacies you love to commit so much
- I don't get how saying there's a difference between subjective and objective is "Post hoc ergo propter hoc". Perhaps you could explain. Or perhaps not.

where in the hell do you get the idea that if a problem is insurmountable it can't screw up your methodology?
- I don't think it's insurmountable. As I said, you have to believe that because it supports your ghost-of-the-gaps theory. You refuse to accept what science and all the evidence tells us.


there is no study that disproves the hard problem. all such attempts are based upon the bait and switch,using brain function rather than consciousness
- There's no such thing as "the hard problem" in science. While philosophers argue about it, science goes on happily investigating and developing an ever-increasing understanding of mind and consciousness.

Mike Gerow said...

But why should that imply something non-material? All it implies to me is a lack of understanding. I'd really like to see the logic you use to make such a conclusion.

I never really made that or any other conclusion, but the logic is pretty simple.

The "material" is generally thought to be pretty basic stuff, at least at the Newtonian level where almost all physicalists locate consciousness, and not something about which we lack much essential understanding ... But then, using just Newtonian physics and chemistry and such, why can't you explain how particular arrangements of stuff are able to perceive? It seems like a sensible question....

If otoh you're entertaining a more complex understanding of "material" than you've let on here, with some other unknown quality to it, that'd be something to talk about.

7th Stooge said...

- Prove it. Or at least provide some rational justification for this claim. This is nothing but an assertion, and I have no reason whatsoever to believe it.

If you say that "A is identical to B and C is identical to B, " then there has to be some respect in which A is identical to C. If A and C are realized in very different physical ways, then what makes them identical? I have trouble seeing how what makes them identical are their physical make-up. Unless you define "physical" in a broad sense of playing the same functional role.

- Joe made two statements. One says mind is not dependent on matter, and the other says it is dependent on matter (through "supervenience"). That's a contradiction.

I'll have to go back and reread that whole exchange. It sounds like he's saying that our minds are causally dependent on matter but not reducible to matter.

- What you're telling me is that you an make up any claim you like, and I can't argue against it because you are making a "philosophical" argument, and evidence has nothing to do with it. Believe that if you like. This is why theists live in a fantasy world. But all your "ontological" claims have no bearing on reality.

This makes no sense at all. Evidence isn;t just empirical findings. It's "reasons for belief." It can be empirical findings, it can be logic and reason and arguments. Philosophy isn't "making up any claims you want." Philosophical arguments are subject to criticism and refutation. They're subject to a rational canon. And for the third or fourth time, I'm not arguing for theism. You got God on the brain!

7th Stooge said...

- There's no such thing as "the hard problem" in science. While philosophers argue about it, science goes on happily investigating and developing an ever-increasing understanding of mind and consciousness.

Of course there's no such thing as the hard problem in science. That's not science's job. There's no nonlocality problem for economists or microbiologists. Just because one discipline doesn't have the means to investigate a problem doesn't mean the problem doesn't exist. You can't assume the problem doesn't exist without begging the question. You have to have reasons that are independent of your presuppositions about science (which is what we're actually arguing about) for thinking the problem doesn't exist.

im-skeptical said...

But then, using just Newtonian physics and chemistry and such, why can't you explain how particular arrangements of stuff are able to perceive? It seems like a sensible question....
- So rather than answering my question, you ask another question for me to answer. OK. We don't explain everything at one level. You mentioned chemistry. But chemistry is actually a different level of defining and understanding how things interact and behave. underneath, it's still physics. There many different levels of understanding things, and if you demand that EVERYTHING must be understood in terms of the most basic physical laws, you're not going to get very far far in achieving understanding. In the case of the function of the human brain, we're talking about something that is extremely complex. But just because you don't know how to break that down to mass and force, that is still no reason to assume that therefore there must be some kind og ghost in the works. That is nothing but an argument from ignorance.

Eric Sotnak said...

Joe Hinman wrote: "Physicality itself does not entail lack of belief in God. My first incineration is to say what is sacrosanct about physiclaiem? why is it important to you to deny the spiruitual?"

It isn't a matter of physicalism being sacrosanct. I'm open to the possibility that non-physical realities of some sort might exist. But physicalism has been really really successful as a methodological assumption in the sciences. Show me compelling evidence for non-physical realities and give me a compelling account of how they should be integrated into the rest of science and I'm willing to listen. But I also don't think there is enough reason, as yet, to place any confidence in the claim that physicalism is a doomed position, and that our only hope of ever getting satisfactory explanations of mental states (or anything else, for that matter) lies in abandoning physicalism.

So to return to the original claim of your two posts (that there can be brainless minds): I have yet to see any compelling reasons for me to think that there are any mental states that have no physical basis at all.

im-skeptical said...

Unless you define "physical" in a broad sense of playing the same functional role.
- That's exactly what I said. And you have no way of knowing that two different people are having "identical" thoughts. The only way is to have then translate it into something that can be examined objectively. That's what the statement "2 + 2 = 4" is. two people can agree that they're both thinking of that statement, but you don't know that their actual mental process is the same.

This makes no sense at all. Evidence isn;t just empirical findings. It's "reasons for belief." It can be empirical findings, it can be logic and reason and arguments.
- You're wrong about that. Evidence is objective and factual. But the same evidence can be interpreted in different ways. Arguments are our way of rationalizing and interpreting the evidence. Arguments may be a reason for you to believe, but they are not evidence. Arguments are often faulty. You may believe an argument that is not logical, or not well reasoned. But evidence is simply objectively observable facts.

Mike Gerow said...

There many different levels of understanding things, and if you demand that EVERYTHING must be understood in terms of the most basic physical laws, you're not going to get very far far in achieving understanding. In the case of the function of the human brain, we're talking about something that is extremely complex. But just because you don't know how to break that down to mass and force, that is still no reason to assume that therefore there must be some kind og ghost in the works. That is nothing but an argument from ignorance.

Well, it seems pretty evident that if one calls oneself a physicalist, one should be able to, at least in principle, or conceptually, or theorectically, show how mind in general and, as Chalmers asserts, perceptions / qualia in particular are reducible to matter. You seem to be begging off this task, while preferring to retain the label...
.

im-skeptical said...

Well, it seems pretty evident that if one calls oneself a physicalist, one should be able to, at least in principle, or conceptually, or theorectically, show how mind in general and, as Chalmers asserts, perceptions / qualia in particular are reducible to matter. You seem to be begging off this task, while preferring to retain the label...
- Don't give me that crap. Why don't you go ahead and give us your rational explanation of how your ghost in the machine works. Go ahead and explain to me how the ghost sees for us and thinks for us. Tell us hoe a non-material thing like that can interact with the physical brain, causing the brain to produce all the physical behavior that corresponds to mental processes. Oh, and please explain why damage to the brain causes the ghost to malfunction. Don't try to tell me you can provide a cogent explanation for how your "theory" actually works, because we both know perfectly well you can't.

Joe Hinman said...

Don't give me that crap. Why don't you go ahead and give us your rational explanation of how your ghost in the machine works. Go ahead and explain to me how the ghost sees for us and thinks for us.

That's not a basis for consciousnesses for mind, You don;t really understand the concept of ghost in the mechanic, you take to be any belief in spirit that;snot a valid argument. It's not a fallacy to believe that part of us survives death.


Tell us hoe a non-material thing like that can interact with the physical brain, causing the brain to produce all the physical behavior that corresponds to mental processes.

you can't tell us how a physical ra produces a sense of consciousness,

Oh, and please explain why damage to the brain causes the ghost to malfunction.

how does damage to monitor make soft ware inaccessible?

Don't try to tell me you can provide a cogent explanation for how your "theory" actually works, because we both know perfectly well you can't.

I already stipulate that we can't supply that kind of information but we don't have to because our arguments don't claim to understand it;, the arguments we do make are not based upon that.

the original argumemt (ghost in the machine) was analogy so you are just reflecting back meaning argument from analogy is not proof.


You are also begging the question because It is obvious that the consciousness aspect of human experience is not accommodated for by brain function alone. you are merely begging the question in asserting that consciousness functions disappear when re-labeled

im-skeptical said...

That's not a basis for consciousnesses for mind, You don;t really understand the concept of ghost in the mechanic, you take to be any belief in spirit that;snot a valid argument.
- I agree with you. I don't understand how your theory works. That's why I asked the question. By all means, enlighten us with your superior knowledge of how ghosts actually function in conjunction with the body. I want to know right down to the atomic level, since I have been accused of "begging off" on the very same question. Now, I understand if you can't provide the answer yourself. If so, perhaps you could recommend a good book on the theory of ghost mechanics. And I can throw away all my science books.

Joe Hinman said...


Blogger im-skeptical posted...


Joe:That's not a basis for consciousnesses for mind, You don;t really understand the concept of ghost in the mechanic, you take to be any belief in spirit that;snot a valid argument.

Skepie- I agree with you. I don't understand how your theory works. That's why I asked the question. By all means, enlighten us with your superior knowledge of how ghosts actually function in conjunction with the body.

you really must start reading what you are supposedly answering. You really are so transparent,you did not read what I said. I bet you never read the original material when you first encountered the phrase ghost in the machine,I will do a post on that phrase tomorrow, on cadre blog.


I want to know right down to the atomic level, since I have been accused of "begging off" on the very same question.

there's another one. Begging the question does not mean "begging off." Begging off means you are unable to answer an argument so you say sorry I an not prepared at this time,I have to 'beg off'" Begging the question, however, means asserting the pomposity you are arguing for as a defense of that position. Your argumemt against the hard problem is question begging because you are just assert the problem can't exist because its not the pomposity you favor, then you use that as proof against the hard problem.



Now, I understand if you can't provide the answer yourself. If so, perhaps you could recommend a good book on the theory of ghost mechanics. And I can throw away all my science books.

the major thing that's wrong here is this is the kind of evidence I said I can not give and should not have to. Your answer to that is to assert that i claim I can give because you seem to be taunting me to do so. You have actually no reason why we need to we all have consciousness we know what it is, we don't understand it but we know it's real. you have no evidence to the contrary.

im-skeptical said...

you really must start reading what you are supposedly answering. You really are so transparent,you did not read what I said. I bet you never read the original material when you first encountered the phrase ghost in the machine
- I know exactly what that phrase refers to. It is the ridiculous notion of the soul that does our thinking and controls our actions, in a Cartesian dualist conception of mind, as explained here.

Begging the question does not mean "begging off."
- Please follow the conversation. I didn't say anything about begging the question. I was accused by Mike of "begging off". And now, both of you have done the same thing. Neither of you has provided any explanation of how your own position works. So you are really just blowing a lot of hot air.

You have actually no reason why we need to we all have consciousness we know what it is, we don't understand it but we know it's real. you have no evidence to the contrary.
- I don't deny that we have consciousness. I understand that there are perfectly good evolutionary reasons why it should have developed. And I understand that there is a wealth of evidence that supports the physicalist view, even if you deny that evidence.

Mike Gerow said...

The difference being that I never asserted a positive position, but just as Chalmers did in his famous article, said physicalism was insufficient, an idea that doesn't automatically default to any sort of theistic dualism and leave me needing to defend that position either, there are other options....

im-skeptical said...

The difference being that I never asserted a positive position
- Oh, excuse me. When you asserted that God's mind is not physical, I took that to be some kind of positive position. Chalmers argues that physicalism is not true, so it would seem that you two are in agreement. But Chalmers' argument is bogus, as I explain in my own posting. Take a look.

Mike Gerow said...

Actually, I meant It like Gods mind would be non-physical BY DEFINITION, since that's how "God" is usually understood, as a nonphysical being.


But, okay, I'll peruse your article....

Ryan M said...

I guess what I was saying was simply never understood.

My point was the following; the fact that some concept A and some concept B can be spoken of as different concepts does not logically imply that A and B are different.

As I attempted to point out, we can speak of mind as distinct from matter, but this does not logically imply mind and matter are in fact distinct. This is not to say mind and matter are identical, but that the argument fails that our language sometimes treats them as distinct logically implies they are distinct.

The argument that there is no analytic implication is a rather bad one since analytic implications are sometimes missed due to lack of information. For example, that a tomato is a fruit is analytically implied by the definition of a tomato, but to the average person it can be missed that tomatoes contain all the properties sufficient for fruithood. If the concept of a mind does not imply matter, then we need to know everything relevant about the concept of a mind. Obviously physicalists will reject we know everything relevant to answer this, and the language argument doesn't help.

Joe Hinman said...

Ryan M said...
I guess what I was saying was simply never understood.

My point was the following; the fact that some concept A and some concept B can be spoken of as different concepts does not logically imply that A and B are different.

Well sure but that would depend upon the particulars of each. We don't have time to present a full dissertation in this text box so we make short-hand references to differences assuming background knowledge on the part of the reader. You will agree wont you that the position of the NRA on gun control is different from that of President Obama? It's not just a matte of semantics.

As I attempted to point out, we can speak of mind as distinct from matter, but this does not logically imply mind and matter are in fact distinct. This is not to say mind and matter are identical, but that the argument fails that our language sometimes treats them as distinct logically implies they are distinct.

Mind and matter clearly distinct in some ways No doubt, matter is en soirwhile mind is por soir.
Mind and matter might be totally idempotent or mind might be a product of matter either way they are not synonymous or identical.


The argument that there is no analytic implication is a rather bad one since analytic implications are sometimes missed due to lack of information. For example, that a tomato is a fruit is analytically implied by the definition of a tomato, but to the average person it can be missed that tomatoes contain all the properties sufficient for fruithood.

you have not justified the contention that in the face of a dearth of evidence or data we should make assumptions biased toward reduction. Moreover, I think we do have the data to justify the opposite assumption (see my post over this coming week).


If the concept of a mind does not imply matter, then we need to know everything relevant about the concept of a mind.

I don't see how that follows. You speak as though mind is a radical new idea that is seeking recognition. In fact mind as irremediable to brain (matter) is the assumption of status quo thus the reductionist must prove his/her thesis.


Obviously physicalists will reject we know everything relevant to answer this, and the language argument doesn't help.

I think we probably disagree about what exactly needs solving. Asserting that we must solve the logical links between language, thought, and matter or mind in order to assert that mind does not reduce to matter is based upon that assumption that mind is some radical new idea. After all there are many things we don't know and that lack of understanding does not prevent reductionist from seeking to ply their trade. For example we don't really know what the basis of the physical is, We do not know that physical is the only mode of being.

7th Stooge said...

My point was the following; the fact that some concept A and some concept B can be spoken of as different concepts does not logically imply that A and B are different.]

As I attempted to point out, we can speak of mind as distinct from matter, but this does not logically imply mind and matter are in fact distinct. This is not to say mind and matter are identical, but that the argument fails that our language sometimes treats them as distinct logically implies they are distinct.

The argument that there is no analytic implication is a rather bad one since analytic implications are sometimes missed due to lack of information. For example, that a tomato is a fruit is analytically implied by the definition of a tomato, but to the average person it can be missed that tomatoes contain all the properties sufficient for fruithood. If the concept of a mind does not imply matter, then we need to know everything relevant about the concept of a mind. Obviously physicalists will reject we know everything relevant to answer this, and the language argument doesn't help.


I agree with you that "different concepts" doesn't entail "different things." I think the point though is that showing not just how they are the same thing but how they could conceivably be the same thing has proved to be a more stubborn problem than previously thought.

Maybe this is an argument from ignorance, but I think Kripke and Nagel argue that there may be a necessary though non-conceptual link between mind and matter but that it's more likely than not that our current physical concepts will not get us there. It's hard if not impossible to imagine what position in conceptual space future empirical finding about the brain would need to be filled in to establish this necessary link. Maybe as Dennett says, this is merely a failure of imagination. But my question is, what stronger reasons could there possibly be to justify thinking it's likely that our current concepts won't get us there?

7th Stooge said...

- That's exactly what I said. And you have no way of knowing that two different people are having "identical" thoughts. The only way is to have then translate it into something that can be examined objectively. That's what the statement "2 + 2 = 4" is. two people can agree that they're both thinking of that statement, but you don't know that their actual mental process is the same.

Yes, taht's how you would know about it. But you keep confusing epistemology with ontology and metaphysics. My point doesn't turn on epistemology.

- You're wrong about that. Evidence is objective and factual. But the same evidence can be interpreted in different ways. Arguments are our way of rationalizing and interpreting the evidence. Arguments may be a reason for you to believe, but they are not evidence. Arguments are often faulty. You may believe an argument that is not logical, or not well reasoned. But evidence is simply objectively observable facts.

this is all ideological question-begging. There 's no such thing as pure "evidence." We have sensory input that must be organized in terms of concepts and meaning. We have to interpret and impose meaning onto our sensory inputs. We have to apply logic and reason to what we perceive or else it's meaningless noise. Of course you may believe an argument that's wrong just as you may believe "evidence" (as you're using that term) that ultimately proves to be wrong. All of science, along with all of knowledge, is revisable so we all could be wrong about vast chunks of what we assume is right. To think taht there's this solid unimpeachable thing called 'evidence" taht only science can provide is incredibly naive. You're a very bright guy but I think you're in the grip of an ideology.

7th Stooge said...

It isn't a matter of physicalism being sacrosanct. I'm open to the possibility that non-physical realities of some sort might exist. But physicalism has been really really successful as a methodological assumption in the sciences. Show me compelling evidence for non-physical realities and give me a compelling account of how they should be integrated into the rest of science and I'm willing to listen. But I also don't think there is enough reason, as yet, to place any confidence in the claim that physicalism is a doomed position, and that our only hope of ever getting satisfactory explanations of mental states (or anything else, for that matter) lies in abandoning physicalism.

I think it's reasonable to have physicalism as your default position given its successes so far, barring compelling reasons to not do so. So the debate is over how compelling, how insuperable, the reasons are. And so it rages on :)

Joe Hinman said...

Eric Sotnak said...
Joe Hinman wrote: "Physicality itself does not entail lack of belief in God. My first incineration is to say what is sacrosanct about physiclaiem? why is it important to you to deny the spiruitual?"

Eric SotnakIt isn't a matter of physicalism being sacrosanct. I'm open to the possibility that non-physical realities of some sort might exist. But physicalism has been really really successful as a methodological assumption in the sciences.

N it has't, most scientific discoveries have not been made under a paradigm of physicality. Those that have could have been made by researchers with a thoroughgoing SN belief as long as they had a healthy division of duties for magisteria.


Eric Sotnak: Show me compelling evidence for non-physical realities and give me a compelling account of how they should be integrated into the rest of science and I'm willing to listen.

Frist of all why must be scientific? Why is science ontology and metaphysics too?Why can't we have other kinds of knowledge that we view as valid that science just doesn't talk about? Science is left to determining the physical it should not have a commentary on the non physical.

Secondly what's happened is science is only capable of examine the physical realm that is it's proper magisterium. But because the ideology asserts that physical is all there is the assumption is made that any discoveries in the physical is a bolstering of the ideological assumptions.





But I also don't think there is enough reason, as yet, to place any confidence in the claim that physicalism is a doomed position, and that our only hope of ever getting satisfactory explanations of mental states (or anything else, for that matter) lies in abandoning physicalism.

If mind is non-physical it does. I thin the whole problem with physicilism is that physical is not nailed down as securely as those who support that view think it is. There are unclear sects to the notion of physical.

Eric Sotnak: So to return to the original claim of your two posts (that there can be brainless minds): I have yet to see any compelling reasons for me to think that there are any mental states that have no physical basis at all.

The problem there is your talking about "mental states." I am talking about universal mind, (God) which would be the ground of all mid.So obviously there going to be different sets of expectations that would govern an understanding of each. In other words, humans have mental states, they don't have universal ind,God is aware of all mental states but being universal mind he is not subject to any of them.So obviously there's an explanatory gap there. You have to look for a different set of clues.

Ryan M said...

I'm not going to reiterate anything I've asserted since I think I've been pretty clear, but I will note that I never said reductionism of the mental ought to be one's default position. Arguing that a specific argument for dualism fails is not itself an endorsement of reductionism or any position.

im-skeptical said...

Yes, taht's how you would know about it. But you keep confusing epistemology with ontology and metaphysics. My point doesn't turn on epistemology.
- I wasn't talking about epistemology or ontology or metaphysics. It was about how we communicate out ideas. When we want to express a thought to someone else, we must put that thought into some symbolic form that can be transmitted to the other person. In the process of doing that we translate the thought words or symbols that approximate what we are thinking. The person receiving the communication must translate those words or symbols into a thought in his own mind. But his translation might not exactly match mine. Very often, the thing we intend to say is misunderstood. And even if it's not, it still may not exactly match what was intended. I might say "I see a cat", having in mind a tabby sitting on the window sill. When you hear that, you might think of an Angora laying on the rug. The more information I add to my statement, the closer your your conception of it will be, but they will never be exactly the same.

this is all ideological question-begging.
- You don't seem to get what I'm saying. (See the comment above.) Evidence is not something you believe - it is something you see (although you might question whether you are really seeing it). When you see some evidence, you make judgments about what it means. You may believe your own judgment, and disbelieve someone else'. You can formulate an argument for a particular interpretation of the evidence, but arguments do not change the objective fact of the evidence. This is not begging any question. It is simply a matter of definition. If you are a theist, and you are desperate to claim that there is evidence for what you believe, you might want to call arguments "evidence", but they're really not.

Joe Hinman said...

Ryan M said...
I'm not going to reiterate anything I've asserted since I think I've been pretty clear, but I will note that I never said reductionism of the mental ought to be one's default position. Arguing that a specific argument for dualism fails is not itself an endorsement of reductionism or any position.

I agree, I wasn't arguing that,I don't know if the others were bit I wasn't,

7th Stooge said...

I never said that reductionism of the mental ought to be one's default position. I said I can see how physicalism is a reasonable default position given its successes in the past, barring compelling reasons to think otherwise, if that was what you were referring to. I wasn't assuming you were endorsing any position. My position has always been taht there are good reasons to think that consciousness is not a physical concept.

7th Stooge said...

Skep, you're talking about how we can know what someone else is thinking, the problematic nature of ever knowing for sure that we've communicated our thoughts successfully. That's epistemology. I was assuming that two people can have the same thought, that "Today is Tuesday" for instance, I wasn't talking about the problems involved in knowing that this is so.

Evidence is something you believe. There's no neutral seeing of anything. We and many other species have built in ways of interpreting and making sense of our visual field and other kinds of stimuli. But these ways have to be activated through learnign and familiarity. That's why when a person blind from birth becomes sighted, they can't immediatley "see" anything but a chaos of visual stimulation. It takes time to impose meaning onto this field. All perception is shot trhough with inference. There's probably no, or extremely rare, "neutral given." Knowledge is belief of a certain kind. not all belief is knowledge. And again, this has nothing to do with theism.

im-skeptical said...

7th,

Hmm. We seem to have some disagreement on the definition of terms. The way I see it, the question of how we communicate our ideas is not an issue of epistemology. My understanding of epistemology corresponds more to the dictionary definition, which is: "the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope. Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion." Communication is different from that.

Likewise with evidence, which is defined as: "the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid." Notice here that a belief or proposition is not evidence, but the body of facts that support it is evidence. I am not questioning whether we should trust our senses to give us some kind of truth about reality. I did say you might do that, but it would be irrelevant to the concept of what constitutes evidence in any practical sense.

I'm not trying to run down some philosophical rabbit-hole. If you want to do that, have at it. I prefer to devote my attention to the issues that matter in this world.

7th Stooge said...

What does communication have to do with the scenario I was using? I thought you were talking about communication to point out the problems of how one person can know what another is thinking. But that point is separate from my point.

So "evidence" can consist of sensory perception, memory, testimony, reasoning, the last three of which can be propositional in nature. My point was that it's doubtful that the situation is as simple as you sketch. Take for instance a strand of hair on a murder victim. The bare sense perception tells you nothing. You have to apply many many inferences and types of background knowledge to turn it into evidence. A bare sense perception has to be integrated into a huge inferential web before it becomes "evidence."

im-skeptical said...

What does communication have to do with the scenario I was using? I thought you were talking about communication to point out the problems of how one person can know what another is thinking. But that point is separate from my point.
- It's a peripheral issue, but we were talking about identical thoughts. I'm not sure that there is any such thing.

So "evidence" can consist of sensory perception, memory, testimony, reasoning, the last three of which can be propositional in nature. My point was that it's doubtful that the situation is as simple as you sketch. Take for instance a strand of hair on a murder victim. The bare sense perception tells you nothing. You have to apply many many inferences and types of background knowledge to turn it into evidence. A bare sense perception has to be integrated into a huge inferential web before it becomes "evidence."
- I disagree. Actually, the first three of your examples can be considered evidence, although memory is unreliable and can't be objectively verified. Reasoning does not fit the definition. As I said, I go by the definition. But you haven't given an alternative definition. You seem to be equating 'evidence' with 'reason to believe'. Those two terms are not equivalent. People have reasons to believe things that are not evidence. For example, you might believe a statement simply because you are emotionally attached to the person making the statement. That's not based on evidence.

Joe Hinman said...

Stephen
Tulmi's Analysis of argument published by Darmouth Uniersity
https://writing-speech.dartmouth.edu/learning/materials-first-year-writers/logic-and-argument

"REVIEWING THE GROUNDS OF YOUR ARGUMENT
In crafting an argument, you will make a claim and gather evidence to convince your reader that this claim is valid. Once you've collected the evidence or reasons that support your claim, you'll want to consider whether that evidence is sufficient. In other words, you'll want to be sure that your evidence warrants the claim you're trying to make. You can begin this process by assessing your use of evidence."



by Richard Nordquist
Updated September 26, 2017
"In argument, evidence refers to facts, documentation or testimony used to strengthen a claim, support an argument or reach a conclusion."


https://www.thoughtco.com/evidence-argument-term-1690682

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"The evidence isn't the same as proof. "Whereas evidence allows for professional judgment, the proof is absolute and incontestable," said Denis Hayes in "Learning and Teaching in Primary Schools."

Observations About Evidence
"Without evidence to support them, any statements you make in your writing have little or no value; they're simply opinions, and 10 people may have 10 different opinions, none of which is more valid than the others unless there is clear and potent evidence to support it." -- Neil Murray, "Writing Essays in English Language and Linguistics," 2012

"When conducting empirical research, the researcher's primary responsibility is to provide evidence to support his or her claim about the relationship between the variables described in the research hypothesis. T]he researcher must collect data that will convince us of the accuracy of his or her predictions." -- Bart L. Weathington et al., "Research Methods for the Behavioral and Social Sciences," 2010

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Gooogle

"what constitutes "evidence" in argumentation?"



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There are four general types of evidence:
Real evidence (tangible things, such as a weapon)
Demonstrative (a model of what likely happened at a given time and place)
Documentary (a letter, blog post, or other document)
Testimonial (witness testimony)
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Joe Hinman said...

I think we can consider logic and analysis as devoid via a extension of testimony. It might also be a extension of demonstration.

Joe Hinman said...

Reasoning does not fit the definition. As I said, I go by the definition. But you haven't given an alternative definition. You seem to be equating 'evidence' with 'reason to believe'. Those two terms are not equivalent. People have reasons to believe things that are not evidence. For example, you might believe a statement simply because you are emotionally attached to the person making the statement. That's not based on evidence.

Reasoning is or can be extensions of demonstration or testimony that fits the definition of evidence. Reason is not merely an opinion,if it follows the rules of logic it's sound and valid it's a from of support for opinion.

im-skeptical said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
im-skeptical said...

Joe, first, the article you cited is about "Evidence In Argument", not "Evidence Is Argument". You should read it. Look at the "types of evidence" you cited. None of them are argument. Second, this is about what serves as evidence in a legal or academic setting, not necessarily what scientists would call evidence that would support a scientific theory. Scientific processes are not based on testimony, for example. As for modeling, they are not talking about argumentation. They are referring to the use of a well-established model of reality that can be compared to the actual state of affairs. This is objective and factual - not a matter of debate. Arguments ARE a matter of debate. Evidence is not.

Joe Hinman said...

m-skeptical said...
Joe, first, the article you cited is about "Evidence In Argument", not "Evidence Is Argument". You should read it. Look at the "types of evidence" you cited. None of them are argument.

(1) Do you not know what the word "extension" means? go look that up then we talk.I said it's an extension of two different points. One kind of evidence is testimony, if we see argument as a kind of testimony then it's an extension of that.

(2)It does not say "in argumet" it says :in argumentation," Argumentation is the process of arguing. What one does with argumentation is to make arguments.




Second, this is about what serves as evidence in a legal or academic setting, not necessarily what scientists would call evidence that would support a scientific theory. Scientific processes are not based on testimony, for example. As for modeling, they are not talking about argumentation. They are referring to the use of a well-established model of reality that can be compared to the actual state of affairs. This is objective and factual - not a matter of debate. Arguments ARE a matter of debate. Evidence is not.


consciousness is not a scientific question only. science does not own consciousness, this blog is not a science blog. We are doing philosophy and theology and thinking i general here, we don't need to just frame every thing in scientific terms only.

im-skeptical said...

Joe, I provided the dictionary definition of the word. If you want to go by your own non-standard definition, fine. But don't go around trying to tell the world that YOURS is the right one.

7th Stooge said...

- I disagree. Actually, the first three of your examples can be considered evidence, although memory is unreliable and can't be objectively verified. Reasoning does not fit the definition. As I said, I go by the definition. But you haven't given an alternative definition. You seem to be equating 'evidence' with 'reason to believe'. Those two terms are not equivalent. People have reasons to believe things that are not evidence. For example, you might believe a statement simply because you are emotionally attached to the person making the statement. That's not based on evidence.

I should have said "Justified reasons for belief." I thought that was clear but apparently not. And all the types of potential evidence, including sensory perception can be mistaken, of course. That's why there is the "justified" caveat. As I've said, for a raw datum of any kind to qualify as "evidence" it already has to be integrated into many other things you already know. Otherwise it doesn't mean anything. Think of DNA evidence. There was potential DNA evidence lying around crime scenes 200 years ago but it wasn't actual evidence yet because the background knowledge was missing that would have enabled people to see it and make sense of it, to integrate it inot the rest of what they knew.

Joe Hinman said...

Blogger im-skeptical said...
Joe, I provided the dictionary definition of the word. If you want to go by your own non-standard definition, fine. But don't go around trying to tell the world that YOURS is the right one.

/sorry you are misled by intellectual myopia. Tulmin is the standard, using a dictionary of popular usage is not intellectual turning to a expert like Tulmin is. Tulmin is the stnadard in debate and in cricketer which is the stuidy of argumentation.,

Wiki

Stephen Edelston Toulmin (/ˈtuːlmɪn/; 25 March 1922 – 4 December 2009) was a British philosopher, author, and educator. Influenced by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Toulmin devoted his works to the analysis of moral reasoning. Throughout his writings, he sought to develop practical arguments which can be used effectively in evaluating the ethics behind moral issues. His works were later found useful in the field of rhetoric for analyzing rhetorical arguments. The Toulmin Model of Argumentation, a diagram containing six interrelated components used for analyzing arguments, was considered his most influential work, particularly in the field of rhetoric and communication, and in computer science.

Joe Hinman said...

by Richard Nordquist
Updated April 12, 2017
The Toulmin model (or system) is a six-part model of argument (with similarities to the syllogism) introduced by British philosopher Stephen Toulmin in his book The Uses of Argument (1958).

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The Toulmin model (or "system") can be used as a tool for developing, analyzing, and categorizing arguments.

Observations
"What is it that makes arguments work? What makes arguments effective? The British logician Stephen Toulmin made important contributions to argument theory that are useful for this line of inquiry. Toulmin found six components of arguments:

[T]he Toulmin model provides us with useful tools for analyzing the components of arguments."
(J. Meany and K. Shuster, Art, Argument, and Advocacy. IDEA, 2002)
Claim: A statement that something is so.
Data: The backing for the claim.
Warrant: The link between the claim and the grounds.
Backing: Support for the warrant.
Modality: The degree of certainty employed in offering the argument.
Rebuttal: Exceptions to the initial claim.

"[Toulmin's] general model of 'data' leading to a 'claim,' mediated by a 'warrant' with any necessary 'backing,' has been very influential as a new standard of logical thinking, particularly among scholars of rhetoric and speech communication."
(C. W. Tindale, Rhetorical Argumentation. Sage, 2004)
Using the Toulmin System
Use the seven-part Toulmin system to begin to develop an argument . . .. Here is the Toulmin system:
Make your claim.
Restate or qualify your claim.
Present good reasons to support your claim.
Explain the underlying assumptions that connect your claim and your reasons. If an underlying assumption is controversial, provide backing for it.
Provide additional grounds to support your claim.
Acknowledge and respond to possible counterarguments.
Draw a conclusion, stated as strongly as possible.
(Lex Runciman, Carolyn Lengel, and Kate Silverstein, Exercises to Accompany The Everyday Writer, 4th ed. Macmillan, 2009)
The Toulmin Model and the Syllogism
"Toulmin's model actually boils down to a rhetorical expansion of the syllogism . . .. Although the reactions of others are anticipated, the model is primarily directed at representing the argumentation for the standpoint of the speaker or writer who advances the argumentation. The other party remains in fact passive: The acceptability of the claim is not made dependent on a systematic weighing up of arguments for and against the claim."
(F. H. van Eemeren and R. Grootendorst, A Systematic Theory of Argumentation. Cambridge University Press, 2004)

Toulmin on the Toulmin Model
"When I wrote [The Uses of Argument], my aim was strictly philosophical: to criticize the assumption, made by most Anglo-American academic philosophers, that any significant argument can be put in formal terms . . ..
"In no way had I set out to expound a theory of rhetoric or argumentation: my concern was with twentieth-century epistemology, not informal logic. Still less had I in mind an analytical model like that which, among scholars of Communication, came to be called 'the Toulmin model.'"
(Stephen Toulmin, The Uses of Argument, rev. ed. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2003)
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im-skeptical said...

Joe, your whole spiel about Toulmin is irrelevant to what we were talking about. We were not debating what constitutes an argument. We were debating what EVIDENCE is. And that whole thing you quoted doesn't even mention the word. It does use the term 'Data' in a way that is consistent with 'evidence'. You really need to follow the discussion.

im-skeptical said...

Here is my take on claiming that an argument is evidence.