Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Science and the Soul

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Dr. Jacobus Erasmus.[2] I will not concern myself here with that former discourse. My argument with Parsons here is simply that he rejects all belief in anything like soul or spirit based upon one basic idea of substance dualism and doesn't leave any room for theological development. in effect he;snot attacking a straw man per se but he's lumping all non phsyicalist belief into one pile and assuming that he's dealt with that because he argues against some philosophers. There are theological possibilities that would allow for more of a combined view between the scientific and the theological.
For reasons that are embedded in his previous discussion he presents as the bedrock of his arguments the authority of neuroscience to reduce mind to brain, He quotes Owen Flanagan’s conclusions in The Problem of the Soul. "Modern mind science regulates its inquiry by the assumption that mind is the brain in the sense that perceiving, thinking, deliberating, choosing, and feeling are brain processes…That the mind is the brain is thus a regulative assumption that guides contemporary mind science."[3] After a slew of quotes of this nature,all of the information gathered are assumptions not proven facts assumptions made by neroscinetistss reducing mind to brain. David Eagleman, "The strange computational machinery in our skulls is the perceptual machinery by which we navigate world, the stuff from which decisions arise, the materials from which imagination is forged. Our dreams and our waking lives emerge from its billions of zapping cells."[4] Perceptual machinery not exactly technical  scientific  term, one wonders might it also include a less tangible aspect as well? I guess that depends upon how "strange" it is. All of the quotes are like this. 

Parsons is arguing a long string of experts hold the to the same opinion so he is justified in assuming they are right. "These quotes should be sufficient to indicate that I was not making an idiosyncratic or groundless claim about the assumptions of neuroscience about the efficacy and sufficiency of the brain for the mental. Given more time and space, I am sure I could adduce quite a few more such quotes."[5]But all he's really saying when we come right down to it is he has a lot of quotes about the opinions of experts in  a field that has produced little in the way of basic knowledge. They understand a lot about the processes of the brain but but don't really understand enough to rule out the soul. Parson's asserts that we can because a lot of them say they think so. Those statements do not apply to reducing mind to brain as the first quote would have it. 

Classical psychological reductionism assumes the mind is essentially the brain. Mental behaviors are explained totally in terms of brain function. Mental states are merely reduced to brain states.(I also have my own sources:)

But while it may be true that certain psychological processes are contingent on some neurophysiological activity, we cannot necessarily say that psychological processes reduce to ‘nothing but’ that activity. Why not? – Because much of the time we are not dealing with cause and effect, as many neuroscientists seem to think, but rather two different and non-equivalent kinds of description. One describes mechanism, the other contains meaning. Understanding the physical mechanisms of a clock, for example, tells us nothing about the culturally constructed meaning of time. In a similar vein, understanding the physiological mechanisms underlying the human blink, tells us nothing about the meaning inherent in a human wink (Gergen, 2010). Human meaning often transcends its underlying mechanisms. But how does it do this?[6]

Reducing mind to brain confuses mechanism with meaning.[7]
            Raymond Tallis was a professor of Geriatric medicine at University of Manchester, and researcher, who retired in 2006 to devote himself to philosophy and writing. Tallis denounces what he calls “neurohype,”  “the claims made on behalf of neuroscience in areas outside those in which it has any kind of explanatory power….”[8]

The fundamental assumption is that we are our brains and this, I will argue presently, is not true. But this is not the only reason why neuroscience does not tell us what human beings “really” are: it does not even tell us how the brain works, how bits of the brain work, or (even if you accept the dubious assumption that human living could be parcelled up into a number of discrete functions) which bit of the brain is responsible for which function. The rationale for thinking of the kind – “This bit of the brain houses that bit of us...” – is mind-numbingly simplistic.[9]

Parson's states: "As for the piece by Manzotti and Moderato, it does not deny what I assert, namely that neuroscientists explicitly invoke assumptions about the mental arising from the physical." [10] But obviously they don't all agree, Nor do any of his quotes prove that they agree with Phsyicalism as metaphysics. 

Parson's first argument is what he calls "the interaction problem" On substance dualism  mind and matter are defended in mutually exclusive terms. Mind has no physical properties and is not composed of atoms.It is not physical and cannot be detected by the physical. Essentially it works by assumiomg that we know so much through science and yet science confirms nothing of substance dualism."With putative soul/body interactions there is a lot of speculation and hand-waving, but nothing definite—certainly nothing to compare to the detailed, coherent, rigorous, testable theories of fundamental physics. It is with justification that Flanagan says that dualists believe in psychokinesis." The real issue here reduces to believe the one with the empirically demonstrable properties. While that may be a good abductive reason to be a physicalist it;s not a disproof of soul by any means. In fact it's just  the argument  is really a bait and switch, it says these two positions are diametrically opposed. Matter is entirely empirically demonstrable and spirit has no physical substance and that's why the former  is provable the latter is not. Sp accept the former and pretend the latter is nonexistent, But since it's not amenable to empirical demonstration that it's not open to empirical disproof.

Second argument:


My second argument against souls is that soul-theory thinks of the self as a simple, abiding, spiritual entity that constitutes our personal identity. This is the theory of the self as a Cartesian Ego. I opposed to this theory a version of what is normally called the “Bundle” theory of the self, which is traced back to Hume, but which also has roots in Buddhism. On this theory, personal identity is not constituted by a spiritual essence or entity, but is a nexus of heterogeneous experiences and traits.


That is basically a straw man argument. There are other versions of soul or spirit that do not require a ghost in the machine. The mind itself,or consciousnesses, can be equated with spirit. In God and the new Physics[11] Paul  Davies (an atheist at the time) argued that theoretically God could change Constantine for the electrical pattern firing across the synapse and thus transfuse our consciousness to other bodies. Why can't that constitute a soul  if it could mean  eternal life? 

Third Argument


My third objection to souls begins with the simple and undeniable observation, backed by enormous empirical research, that non-human animals have minds, that is, they are capable of quite sophisticated acts of cognition and intelligence and display many of the emotions that we do. Soul-theory holds that we think, feel, etc. with our souls. So, do animals have souls? If we say “no,” then we admit that the brain is sufficient for the mental life of non-human animals. At what level of cognition or consciousness, then, are brains no longer sufficient and why? How do we give a principled, non-arbitrary answer here? If brains can do that much, then why not more?


First of all Argument 3 begs the question in assuming animals have no soul-like quality. Moreoever,a second problem is that the argument turns on a stark dichotomy creating a sharp division between body and soul. He assumes that the soul  given all the heavy lifting of personality and decision making and that brain is just housing. In so assuming he is asserting the Greek understanding of soul. Apparently that is the tradition  among philosophers m to take theirs ques fro Aristotle rather than the Bible. We see this is true from Parson's historical account of the subject: 

...the historical context needs to be considered. For Homer, the soul is that animating or vitalizing principle that accounts by its departure at death for the transformation of an active hero into a motionless corpse. Seemingly, Hector's body is still there after he has been slain by Achilles, but obviously something essential has departed. You can then follow the development of thinking about the soul to the explicit dualism of the Pythagoreans and Plato, to Aristotle's complex treatment in De Anima. The upshot is that my remarks about what is "obvious" were not historically sensitive. Indeed, many things we now think of as obvious were not at all to ancient people, who were not thereby simply being obtuse. For instance, hard as it is imagine today, until early modern times fossils were not recognized as the records of living things. So you are quite right that my remarks were ahistorical and your remarks are a needed corrective. One really does need to be aware of the cultural and historical context before making pronouncements about obviousness![12]


The problem with the Greek understanding is that they assume an estrangement between body and soul They saw the soul as using the body like a vehicle, like a man sailing a ship or using a tent, but the Hebrews understood a more unified relationship. The more apt image here would be marrow in the bone rather than a man in a tent, as the Hebraic author  illustrates.[13] The upshot being that a more unified view would see the soul less as a smaller self inside the body but as a more organic  part of the whole person thus sharing more activity with the brain. Consciousness as soul (or spirit) fits here. It would allow us to see the soul  as consciousness not as a ghost in the machine, and it would leave something  for life after death,




Notes
[1] Keith Parsons, "Response to Dr. Jacobus Erasmus on the Soul, " Secular Outpost (Jan 10, 2019)
(accessed 1.22.2019)
[2] the two previous arguments:
He gives his reply at:
[3] Owen Flanagan quoted in Parsons, "Response to Dr. Jacobus Erasmus" Op Cit, Original  in Flanagan  The Problem of the Soul., 2002, pp. 77-78
[4]David Eagleman, quoted in Parsonis, "Response to Dr. Jacobus Erasmus" Op Cit
[5] Parsons, "Response..." Op Cit
[6] A. N Schore, Affect regulation and the origin of the self: The neurobiology of emotional development. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. (1994).
See also: Siegel, D. J. The developing mind: How relationships and the brain interact to shape who we are. New York, NY: Guilford Press. (1999).

[7] K. Gergen, The accultured brain. Theory & Psychology, 20(6), (2010).  795-816.

[8] Raymond Tallis New Haumanist.org.uk Ideas for Godless People (blog—online researche) volume 124 Issue 6 (Nov/Dec 2009) URL: http://newhumanist.org.uk/2172/neurotrash  visited 5/9/12

[9] ibid

[10] Parsons, "Response..." Op Cit
[11] Paul Davies,  God and the new Physics, Hew York, NY: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition October 16, 1984.

[12] Parsons, "Response..."  comment section

[13] Hebrews 4:12
"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

26 comments:

im-skeptical said...

he is essentially arguing that no proof equals no soul. In all fairness he's really discussing justified assumptions.
- Those are two different things. If his argument is about epistemic justification (which it is), then why do you insist that he makes the case for "no proof equals no soul"?

But he does not evade the BOP if he is going to make positive arguments against the soul
- I don't think you get the concept of "burden of proof". He doesn't believe it because he doesn't see the justification for belief. If you do believe it, then it's up to you to show that justification.

all of the information gathered are assumptions not proven facts assumptions made by neroscinetistss reducing mind to brain.
- There you go with your "proof" again. Science doesn't prove things. But it IS based on evidence, and substantiated through a process of verification. Religion, on the other hand, is based on assumptions without evidence, and a stubborn refusal to verify ant of its postulations.

he has a lot of quotes about the opinions of experts in a field that has produced little in the way of basic knowledge. They understand a lot about the processes of the brain but but don't really understand enough to rule out the soul.
- Wow. Stunning ignorance on full display. You don't know anything at all about cognitive and neurological sciences, and you make a claim like this?

Tallis denounces what he calls “neurohype,” “the claims made on behalf of neuroscience in areas outside those in which it has any kind of explanatory power….”
- Tallis is a religionist. Of course religionists go against the whole scientific field of neuroscience. Do you think a quote from him is sufficient to debunk a whole major branch of science?

While that may be a good abductive reason to be a physicalist it;s not a disproof of soul
- There you go with your "proof" again. Science doesn't prove things. But unlike your religious assertions, it does give us justification for what we believe.

The mind itself,or consciousnesses, can be equated with spirit.
- So how is this a straw man? The spirit IS the ghost in the machine.

First of all Argument 3 begs the question in assuming animals have no soul-like quality.
- It has always been the position of most religionists (and the official stance the Catholic church) that animals do not possess a soul.

The upshot being that a more unified view would see the soul less as a smaller self inside the body but as a more organic part of the whole person thus sharing more activity with the brain.
- This is consistent with hylemorphic dualism. But it is still dualism. It still postulates that the soul is a distinct entity that exists separate from the body, and continues to live after the body is gone. In other words, no matter how you try to spin it, it is the "ghost in the machine".

Joe Hinman said...

he is essentially arguing that no proof equals no soul. In all fairness he's really discussing justified assumptions.


- Those are two different things. If his argument is about epistemic justification (which it is), then why do you insist that he makes the case for "no proof equals no soul"?


what did I say about it? Obviously it;s two different things and obvious that he gives that impression.Only an idiot would fail to see it.

But he does not evade the BOP if he is going to make positive arguments against the soul


- I don't think you get the concept of "burden of proof". He doesn't believe it because he doesn't see the justification for belief. If you do believe it, then it's up to you to show that justification.

Do you actually read English?what was your first langue? What do I say that even remotely suggests that I don't get bop? I said said he does not evade it do you not know what evade means?do you not get that that is not negative?

all of the information gathered are assumptions not proven facts assumptions made by neroscinetistss reducing mind to brain.


Skeptiphro- There you go with your "proof" again. Science doesn't prove things. But it IS based on evidence, and substantiated through a process of verification. Religion, on the other hand, is based on assumptions without evidence, and a stubborn refusal to verify ant of its postulations.

This statement is remarkable its idiotic nature. You start this little four sentence paragraph arguing that I don't know science because I speak of proof, then finish switching immateriality to the contradictory criticism that religion that religion doesn't do enough to indicate factual validity,yo think you are not contradicting because there's a deference in proof and verification but the term proof in a paper like not a formal paper is just popular shorthand for the verification process.Anyone who has followed my blog for any length of time knows that i have written about the very same ideas that you are trying to trade on; hypothesis testing rather than proof.

Anyone who has argues with me at length everyday day in and day out for two years. and has a modicum of brain cells, should know this. Then there's you.



he has a lot of quotes about the opinions of experts in a field that has produced little in the way of basic knowledge. They understand a lot about the processes of the brain but but don't really understand enough to rule out the soul.



- Wow. Stunning ignorance on full display. You don't know anything at all about cognitive and neurological sciences, and you make a claim like this?


I apologize that i can;t see how not having credentials and not being involved in gradate school gives you an edge. I cite A. N Schore, J.D. Siegel. and Raymond Tallis. You use no sources. That's casue you just know it all by osmosis right? Once again your ass is kicked, you are out gunned

Tallis denounces what he calls “neurohype,” “the claims made on behalf of neuroscience in areas outside those in which it has any kind of explanatory power….”

Now he's going to get on his high horse and he is going to deal with opposing knowledge the only way he can,not arguing not by facts not by showing that his ideas are better not by analysis of the other ideas but by name calling and asserting the inferior nature of religious thought. Anytime Skepoe get;s backed into a corner which is every time he tries to argue,he just mentions the other guy is religious this just turns off his words. He automatically has to be wrong a priori because religious stuff is stupid and has to be wrong no matter what, that is the most intellectual this little poser ever gets. .

Joe Hinman said...


Skepistotle tells us Tallis is a "religonist!"

the most available source he could have gone to to get a clue on this is my bib on my article,look at the entry for the Tallis source:


Raymond Tallis New Haumanist.org.uk Ideas for Godless People (blog—online research) volume 124 Issue 6 (Nov/Dec 2009) URL:
http://new humanist.org.uk/2172/neurotrash visited 5/9/12


How many religious people write for a source that says it.s for Godless people? Is that a clue? do you think?


In a pseudo Journal sort of internet publication called Philosophy know Tallis writes:

Why I Am An Atheist:Raymond Tallis examines his happy disbelief.

"I suppose I have been more or less an atheist since my teens, although, given my early exposure first to Catholicism and then to Anglicanism, it was probably some time later that I entirely shook off the feeling that a posthumous comeuppance might be awaiting me. Recently, I was invited to join a panel at the Glasgow Book Festival to debate atheism with the philosopher Julian Baggini and the crime writer and humanist Christopher Brookmyre. We were asked to begin by stating the reasons we were atheists. I would be deceiving myself if I thought I knew which reason had most contributed to my present happy state of unbelief, even less which was decisive."

are you starting to the idea? is that a a clue

with that first one he only needed to read any bibliography, are you starting to think maybe there;s a connection between poor searcher sills and understanding?


Joe Hinman said...



continuing my response to Skepistotle's comment,


While that may be a good abductive reason to be a physicalist it;s not a disproof of soul


Skeptastotle- There you go with your "proof" again. Science doesn't prove things. But unlike your religious assertions, it does give us justification for what we believe.

Parson's says "In my OP, I gave three arguments against the existence of souls" that is equivolant to saying he will disprove the soul.



JoeThe mind itself,or consciousnesses, can be equated with spirit.


Skeptastotle- So how is this a straw man? The spirit IS the ghost in the machine.

It can't be a Straw,an because it's my assertion not the thing I am attacking Strawman is a argument you make to attack that represents your opponents position but is not as good as your opponent would make.


First of all Argument 3 begs the question in assuming animals have no soul-like quality.

Skeptastotle- It has always been the position of most religionists (and the official stance the Catholic church) that animals do not possess a soul.

No it's not you will have to document that, there are plenty of religions that include animals in their reincorporation set up.

JoeThe upshot being that a more unified view would see the soul less as a smaller self inside the body but as a more organic part of the whole person thus sharing more activity with the brain.


Skeptastotle- This is consistent with hylemorphic dualism. But it is still dualism. It still postulates that the soul is a distinct entity that exists separate from the body, and continues to live after the body is gone. In other words, no matter how you try to spin it, it is the "ghost in the machine".

No I referenced the Hebrew view, you are still trying to talk about Greek ideas,"hylemorphic dualism," and is the dualism of Aristotle and the Aristotelians


8:32 AM

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

what did I say about it? Obviously it;s two different things and obvious that he gives that impression.Only an idiot would fail to see it.
- Joe, Parsons is NOT making the argument "no proof equals no soul". You keep harping about proof. Nobody else is doing that.

What do I say that even remotely suggests that I don't get bop? I said said he does not evade it do you not know what evade means?
- It's because YOU evade the BOP. You believe without sufficient justification.

Anyone who has followed my blog for any length of time knows that i have written about the very same ideas that you are trying to trade on; hypothesis testing rather than proof.
- Anyone who has followed your blog knows that you constantly saying things like "THAT'S NOT PROOF", when THEY are talking about epistemic justification. Now, you're accusing Parsons of doing that, but he is only talking about epistemic justification.

I apologize that i can;t see how not having credentials and not being involved in gradate school gives you an edge.
- I would appreciate if you stop lying about my academic achievements. They are greater than yours. Your master's degree from a bible college doesn't quality you to argue with the big boys.

Skepistotle tells us Tallis is a "religonist!" ... look at the entry for the Tallis source
- Tallis IS a religionist, just like Nagel is. I didn't say he believed in God. But like Nagel, he believes in non-naturalist woo, which is apparent in the article you cite. And like Nagel, he writes things that promote religious belief. It feeds right into your hands.

Parson's says "In my OP, I gave three arguments against the existence of souls" that is equivolant to saying he will disprove the soul.
- Parsons is talking about epistemic justification - what the evidence supports and what it doesn't support - not proof.

It can't be a Straw,an because it's my assertion not the thing I am attacking Strawman is a argument you make to attack that represents your opponents position but is not as good as your opponent would make.
- You seem confused. YOU said the the "ghost in the machine is a straw man". I explained why it is an accurate representation of your claims. (A spirit IS a ghost.)

No it's not you will have to document that, there are plenty of religions that include animals in their reincorporation set up.
- In Catholic doctrine, animals do not have the kind of soul that is the subject of Parsons' third argument, which is the rational seat of mind. They have life (which is often called "soul") as long as they are materially alive, but no immortal, rational and moral soul similar to what humans have. I quote Catholic Answers: "The soul is the principle of life. Since animals and plants are living things, they have souls, but not in the sense in which human beings have souls. Our souls are rational--theirs aren't--and ours are rational because they're spiritual, not material."

No I referenced the Hebrew view, you are still trying to talk about Greek ideas,"hylemorphic dualism," and is the dualism of Aristotle and the Aristotelians
- You are confused about Greek hylomporhism. They were not dualists. Hylemorphic dualism is different. It is the CATHOLIC concept of a soul, adapted from the Greek, but incorporating Christian the concept of an entity that can exist eternally as the seat of intelligence without a body.

Eric Sotnak said...

For all anyone knows a soul may exist. But I think most often it is explanatorily vacuous. It is usually merely a "that which." Someone says the soul is that which is responsible for consciousness, or for qualia, or for personal identity, but details are invariably lacking. Exactly how does the soul explain consciousness? The answer is that that's just what the soul does - it is that which makes us conscious. I don't think claims like this are disprovable, but they are not very fecund in suggesting avenues for research or improved understanding. If an anesthesiologist wants to render you unconscious, she can't do it my affecting the soul, but can do it by affecting the brain. That doesn't prove reductionism, but the soul once again proves useless on the side of practice, procedure, or policy.

Joe Hinman said...

For all anyone knows a soul may exist. But I think most often it is explanatorily vacuous. It is usually merely a "that which." Someone says the soul is that which is responsible for consciousness, or for qualia, or for personal identity, but details are invariably lacking. Exactly how does the soul explain consciousness? The answer is that that's just what the soul does - it is that which makes us conscious. I don't think claims like this are disprovable, but they are not very fecund in suggesting avenues for research or improved understanding. If an anesthesiologist wants to render you unconscious, she can't do it my affecting the soul, but can do it by affecting the brain. That doesn't prove reductionism, but the soul once again proves useless on the side of practice, procedure, or policy.


Hey Eric I think the problem here is you like many atheists think that every thing in has to fill an explanatory function in scientific terns,It does not. Some things might exist for other reasons. the soul is a theological concept. It stands for the individual's progress in relation to God. The spirit is the life force,the think that loves on after death. At times the Bible uses these terms interchangeably but this is how I use them.

Scientific research to try and find a soul is rather impracticable. The article I was addressing claimed to disprove the soul. I was shown it cannot, that doesn't obligate me to prove thereis one.

Joe Hinman said...

No I referenced the Hebrew view, you are still trying to talk about Greek ideas,"hylemorphic dualism," and is the dualism of Aristotle and the Aristotelians
- You are confused about Greek hylomporhism. They were not dualists. Hylemorphic dualism is different. It is the CATHOLIC concept of a soul, adapted from the Greek, but incorporating Christian the concept of an entity that can exist eternally as the seat of intelligence without a body.

No idiot, go learn something! I already documented it idiot.

Joe Hinman said...

D. E. H. Whiteley, The Theology of St. Paul Subsequent Edition Blackwell Pub; Subsequent edition (October 1, 1986) original 1965.



Plato's View On The Souls - UK Essays
https://www.ukessays.com/essays/philosophy/platos-view-on-the-souls-philosophy-essay.php


"Plato's idea of the soul is his dualist position, believing that body and soul are fundamentally distinct. His theory on the soul was produced in his book Phaedrus. In it Plato was most concerned with demonstrating the immortality of the soul and its ability to survive bodily death.May 11, 2017


Dennis Bratcher "Body and Soul Greek and Hebrew Tensions in Scripture"The Voice

http://www.crivoice.org/bodysoul.html


"The Reformation helped, but did not address all aspects of the problem, so we are left with a legacy of theology that was developed to answer the questions raised by idealistic Greek philosophy, especially the Platonic and neo-Platonic strands, rather than to explicate Scripture....The real person is the spiritual since the body is only a shell that is discarded at death. For the real us, death is not really real; it is only a doorway through which the soul/spirit passes between worlds or planes of existence."

Jewish Virtual Library,"Dualism"1998 - 2019 American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/dualism

"On the history of Western thought, philosophical dualism goes back to *Platonism and *neoplatonism which developed and spread the idea of an opposition between spirit and matter, spirit being the higher, purer, and eternal principle, whereas matter was the lower and imperfect form of being, subject to change and corruption. Applied to the understanding of the nature of man, this meant that man was composed of a lower, material part (the body), and a higher, spiritual part (the soul).

Joe Hinman said...

Conrado EGGERS LAN
Universidad de Buenos Aires - CONICET
Las Heras 1543
1714 ITUZAINGO,Body and Soul in Plato's Anthropology - OpenEdition Journals
https://journals.openedition.org/kernos/pdf/592

Perhaps Plato is the first philosopher who settles the dualism body-soul in the history ... B.e. the Greeks had not a conception of "body" and "soul" such as the one they ... 1) daims that such a "definition of death" doubtless represents the normal.Perhaps Plato is the first philosopher who settles the dualism body-soul in
the history of Greek thought1
. Of course, at least since Herodotus (Le. ca 450
B.e.) we hear about the soul's immortality after the body's wasting away (II,
123). And the Potidaea's inscription ("aither received souls; earth, bodies", if the
reconstlUction of the end of the line is right) shows that, by the year 432 B.e.,
at least sorne people thought that the fate of the \jfUX~ could be other than the
one of the (jOOl.W., both of these being thereby two different "components" of
the man alive. But you can never know, in these cases, what is exactly meant
by \jfUX~ and (jOOlHX. The text of Potidaea's inscription is similar to the one of
Euripides (about ten years later): "1tVBÛI.l to aither, 1:0 (joolla to earth"
(Suppl., 533-534).

Dr Helen Klus, how we came to kmow the cosmos Mind body dualism
26.1 Mind-body dualism and materialism


http://www.thestargarden.co.uk/Socrates-Plato-and-Aristotle.html

"In the 5th century BCE, Ancient Greek philosophers Socrates and Plato believed that the mind and body are made of different substances. Plato argued that the mind and body are fundamentally different because the mind is rational, which means that examining the mind can lead to truth. In contrast to this, we cannot believe anything we experience via the senses, which are part of the body, because they can be tricked.

Plato did not trust the senses because we can confuse reality with the imagination. The most extreme cases happen when we dream or hallucinate but this also occurs when we confuse one object for another. Plato showed that we are often presented with illusions of this kind. A stick, for example, can appear bent in water, yet when we pick it up, we will find that it’s straight. Things are not always what they seem, and we are not always aware that we are making these mistakes. To find true knowledge, we need to examine our own minds in what is known as rational introspection.

The Star Garden is a science education website run by Dr Helen Klus. How We Came to Know the Cosmos covers the history of physics and the basics for KS3, KS4, and KS5 science revision including SATs, GCSE science, and A-level physics."

Eric Sotnak said...

"I think the problem here is you like many atheists think that every thing in has to fill an explanatory function in scientific terns"

No, I don't think that. But you know perfectly well there are many people who reject physicalism because they think it is incapable of explaining consciousness, or qualia, etc. (I have a colleague who fits this bill, in fact.)

My point is that this is a lousy reason to reject physicalism in favor of a soul unless the soul does a better job of explaining the thing in question. But it actually doesn't. Posit a soul if you like, but don't pretend that it provides a superior explanatory framework when it really doesn't.

Joe Hinman said...

"I think the problem here is you like many atheists think that every thing in has to fill an explanatory function in scientific terns"

No, I don't think that. But you know perfectly well there are many people who reject physicalism because they think it is incapable of explaining consciousness, or qualia, etc. (I have a colleague who fits this bill, in fact.)

I can imagine that it could explain consciousness (that is if we think of physical apart fro reductionism)but it hasn't.

My point is that this is a lousy reason to reject physicalism in favor of a soul unless the soul does a better job of explaining the thing in question. But it actually doesn't. Posit a soul if you like, but don't pretend that it provides a superior explanatory framework when it really doesn't.


I notice you make dichotomy physical and soul as though soul must be immaterial.If we just think of soul as that which lives on after death and nothing more then the combination of electrical impulses that make up thought could be the soul and if those are physical then the soul is physical.

On the other hand if the soul refers to an intangible then you still must ask if that quality isn't necessary to our understanding of human being, Consider my idea that soul is a symbol of our relationship with God that's intangible but it's not the sort of thing that needs proving symbols don't need proving,

im-skeptical said...

No idiot, go learn something! I already documented it idiot.
- Joe, please stop frothing at the mouth, and we can discuss things calmly.

I'm sure you are aware from your extensive philosophical education that there is a distinction between Platonic and Aristotelian philosophical tradition. Yes, Plato was a dualist, and that dualism has carried into the Christian concept of mind. Aristotle had a somewhat different conception, which is called hylomorthism. Aristotle's conception is much more tightly coupled with the body. It is actually unclear whether Aristotle was a dualist. To him, the soul was the life of the body. At any rate, many Greek philosophers were not dualists at all. Thomas Aquinas incorporated much of Aristotle's philosophy into Catholic religious philosophy, but his conception seems to be more of a hybrid, in that it it clearly dualistic. It is called hylemorphic dualism.

Joe Hinman said...

Skep I quoted Whiteley in saying that the Greeks tend to treat the soul as a man sailing a ship, the soul is the helmsman and the body is the ship. Just because one guy, Aristotle doesn't see it that way--he did but just not with the forms-- but he still did see it that way,does not change the fact of the distinction between the Greek view and the Hebrew view. I showed that that Greek view is still alive in modern western philosophy, see that in Parson's piece.

(1) You can't prove that Aristotle is igneous to counter that trend

(2) Aristotle himself had his own kind of dualism in relation to the soul.



Joe Hinman said...


Aristotelian dualism

Despite the difference between Aristotle and Planto:

"Nevertheless, the text makes it clear that Aristotle believed that the intellect, though part of the soul, differs from other faculties in not having a bodily organ. His argument for this constitutes a more tightly argued case than Plato's for the immateriality of thought and, hence, for a kind of dualism."

Robinson, Howard, "Dualism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2017 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = .

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/dualism/

"He argued that the intellect must be immaterial because if it were material it could not receive all forms. Just as the eye, because of its particular physical nature, is sensitive to light but not to sound, and the ear to sound and not to light, so, if the intellect were in a physical organ it could be sensitive only to a restricted range of physical things; but this is not the case, for we can think about any kind of material object (De Anima III,4; 429a10–b9). As it does not have a material organ, its activity must be essentially immaterial."

im-skeptical said...

OK, Joe. I was saying that there is not a single Greek conception of the soul. But regardless of that, you did make the statement statement "The upshot being that a more unified view would see the soul less as a smaller self inside the body but as a more organic part of the whole person thus sharing more activity with the brain." This seems to be more consistent with Aristotle's conception than Plato's. But despite that, (and whether or not Aristotle was a dualist) the Christian conception IS dualistic (ie, in the tradition of Plato).

The reason I brought this up is that there is a tension between a "unified" view and a "dualistic" view. Unified implies a single entity. Dualism implies two distinct entities. Hylemorphic dualism attempts to combine the two, but it loses coherency in the process. Is it one entity, or two entities, or (somehow) both?

Joe Hinman said...

OK, Joe. I was saying that there is not a single Greek conception of the soul. But regardless of that, you did make the statement statement "The upshot being that a more unified view would see the soul less as a smaller self inside the body but as a more organic part of the whole person thus sharing more activity with the brain." This seems to be more consistent with Aristotle's conception than Plato's. But despite that, (and whether or not Aristotle was a dualist) the Christian conception IS dualistic (ie, in the tradition of Plato).


did you not read the source I put up saying Aristotle is hydraulics? the point is the influence of Greek philosophy (in colluding Aristotle) on modern Western philosophy,clearly influenced by the dualistic aspects.

The reason I brought this up is that there is a tension between a "unified" view and a "dualistic" view. Unified implies a single entity. Dualism implies two distinct entities. Hylemorphic dualism attempts to combine the two, but it loses coherency in the process. Is it one entity, or two entities, or (somehow) both?

the Hebrew view is the basis of the Christian view. The modernist theological view I sketched out solves.

2:45 PM

im-skeptical said...

And you think that passes as a cogent answer to my question?

Joe Hinman said...

stip trying to take over the discussion and force your own agenda, you are not dealing with my point.

im-skeptical said...

That's what you always say. But everything I said was specifically addressing the things you said in your post.

Joe Hinman said...

No, My point was there is a distinction between the Greek view (in general) and the Hebrew, modern philosophy is stuck on the Greek. You have not even even gone near that, You take a point next to it and run off down your own path with drivel about how Aristotle is different from Plato but totally ignoring points about why he is still a duelist.

im-skeptical said...

No, My point was there is a distinction between the Greek view (in general) and the Hebrew, modern philosophy is stuck on the Greek.
- Your article addresses the three arguments of Parsons. I commented on your response to each of those three arguments. One of the things you spoke about was the "Greek view". I noted that there is not a single unified view that the Greeks held. In general, Greek philosophers did NOT hold a dualist view. But as you noted, Plato did. You said "The problem with the Greek understanding is that they assume an estrangement between body and soul".

As for Aristotle, there is some ambiguity in his stance. Modern philosophers are not in agreement on whether he was a dualist. But his stance (in contradiction to what you said) was that the soul is closely coupled with the body. That is called hylomorphism. I also noted that Aquinas adopted Aristotle's view into his Christian philosophy, and removed any ambiguity as to whether it was dualist.

I don't know where you get the notion that I'm not addressing your points. I AM addressing them. But you don't seem to have all your facts right.

Joe Hinman said...

im-skeptical said...
No, My point was there is a distinction between the Greek view (in general) and the Hebrew, modern philosophy is stuck on the Greek.


- Your article addresses the three arguments of Parsons. I commented on your response to each of those three arguments. One of the things you spoke about was the "Greek view". I noted that there is not a single unified view that the Greeks held. In general, Greek philosophers did NOT hold a dualist view. But as you noted, Plato did. You said "The problem with the Greek understanding is that they assume an estrangement between body and soul".

there sure as hell is that is a general kind of dualism that does very in different versions but in comparison to the Hebrew version it is distinct and dualism.My evidence bears that out and you have none.

As for Aristotle, there is some ambiguity in his stance. Modern philosophers are not in agreement on whether he was a dualist. But his stance (in contradiction to what you said) was that the soul is closely coupled with the body. That is called hylomorphism. I also noted that Aquinas adopted Aristotle's view into his Christian philosophy, and removed any ambiguity as to whether it was dualist.

you have no proof I documented my view you have not documented yours

I don't know where you get the notion that I'm not addressing your points. I AM addressing them. But you don't seem to have all your facts right.


Because you are not, My essay was about Parson's argument,s it's not about whatever BS excuse you can find to wedge your misconceptions in font and center,

9:35 AM
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im-skeptical said...

My evidence bears that out and you have none.
- I read, Joe. You should read more widely, too. You misunderstand or misapply some of the ideas you have.

you have no proof I documented my view you have not documented yours
- If I told you 2 plus 2 equals 4, you would scream "You don't have proof! You haven't shown any documented sources!" Use the SEP. Use the IEP. Use Wikipedia. You might actually learn something.

Joe Hinman said...

JoeMy evidence bears that out and you have none.


Skepster- I read, Joe. You should read more widely, too. You misunderstand or misapply some of the ideas you have.

anyone can make tall claims. Saying that is not proof you are not even specific outweigh to say what you are talking about. Stop wasting my time,

Joeyou have no proof. I documented my view you have not documented yours


Skepster- If I told you 2 plus 2 equals 4, you would scream "You don't have proof! You haven't shown any documented sources!" Use the SEP. Use the IEP. Use Wikipedia. You might actually learn something.


stupid! be an adult anyone can claim to be right.In an adult discussion we examine evidence of our position not just make tall claims.


6:58 PM