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Phil 10100 Introduction to Philosophy Spring 2012

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Title: Phil 10100 Introduction to Philosophy Spring 2012


1
Phil 10100 Introduction to Philosophy Spring
2012
  • Part 3
  • Professor Marian David
  • Friday Sections with TAs

2
Body and Mind in Descartes

  • ?
  • Body Life Soul Mind

  • ?
  • Aristotelian notion of soul combined aspects of
    life with aspects of mind/intellect.
  • Descartes separates the two aspects
  • The living body is a machine body life are
    purely mechanical, material phenomena
  • Mind is purely immaterial
  • Soul Mind
  • Nonhuman animals (no intellect) are mere machines.

3
  • Some quotes from Descartes The Passions of the
    Soul (329-31)
  • The heat and movement of the limbs proceed from
    the body, and the thoughts from the soul.
  • It is an error to believe that the soul gives
    movement and heat i.e. life to the body.
  • The error consists in supposing that since dead
    bodies are devoid of heat and movement, it is the
    absence of the soul which causes this cessation
    of movement and heat. Thus it has been believed,
    without justification, that our natural heat and
    all the movements of our bodies depend on the
    soul whereas we ought to hold, on the contrary,
    that the soul takes its leave when we die only
    because this heat ceases and the organs which
    bring about bodily movement decay.
  • So as to avoid this error, let us note that death
    never occurs through the absence of the soul, but
    only because one of the principal parts of the
    body decays. And let us recognize that the
    difference between the body of a living and that
    of a dead man is just like the difference
    between, on the one hand, a watch or other
    automaton (that, is a self-moving machine) when
    it is wound up and contains in itself the
    corporeal principle of the movements for which it
    is designed and, on the other hand, the same
    watch or machine when it is broken and the
    principle of its movements ceases to be active.

4
Mind/Matter Theories
  • Mind-Body Dualism, a.k.a Substance Dualism
  • Minds and bodies are two fundamentally different
    kinds of beings minds are immaterial beings,
    bodies are material beings.
  • Materialism Everything is matter
  • (i) Mind is matter ? Reductive Materialism
  • (ii) There is no mind ? Eliminative Materialism
  • Idealism Everything is mind
  • (i) Matter is mind
  • (ii) There is no matter
  • Materialism and Idealism are versions of Monism.
  • What about abstract things (numbers, Platonic
    forms, etc.) neither mind nor matter?

5
Cartesian Dualism (CD)
  • (a) Minds are immaterial beings no mind is
    identical with a body or with any material thing.
  • (b) Persons are minds I am a mind.
  • It follows immediately that (c) Persons are
    immaterial beings.
  • Note that (b) and (c) are specifically about
    persons
  • (b) is argued for in Med II
  • (a) is more general, not argued for in Med II
  • (a) is part of Substance Dualism.
  • CD combines Substance Dualism with Monism about
    Persons
  • Persons are immaterial thinking things.

6
  • Descartes Substance Dualism ( Thesis (a))
  • But I recognize only two ultimate classes of
    things first, intellectual or thinking things,
    i.e. those which pertain to mind or thinking
    substance and secondly, material things, i.e.
    those which pertain to extended substance or
    body. (Principles of Philosophy, 1.48)
  • There are two fundamentally different kinds of
    substances (things, beings) minds and bodies,
    with two fundamentally different, defining
    attributes, thinking and extension.
  • Minds are immaterial (non-extended) thinking
    things.
  • Bodies are non-thinking material (extended)
    things.
  • Minds and bodies have very little in common only
    substance, number, and duration.
  • Minds are not in space.
  • Science and laws appropriate for one are very
    different from science and laws appropriate for
    the other.
  • Note Substance Dualism, by itself, says nothing
    about persons.
  • A substance a genuine being, a bearer of
    attributes, remains self-identical through
    change.

7
Readings for Thursday, March 8
  • Descartes, Meditations
  • Synopsis marg. 12-16
  • Concourse
  • Item 10, Taylor Persons and Bodies, pp. 9-17
  • From Platos Phaedo
  • Marg. 63e (top p. 101) to 84c
  • Phaedo reports a conversation between Socrates
    and friends he is Socrates

8
(No Transcript)
9
Arguments for Substance Dualism
  • Cartesian Argument 1
  • I cannot doubt that I exists.
  • I can doubt that this body exists.
  • I am not this body.
  • Continuation
  • The words this body can refer to any material
    thing. So
  • I am not identical with any body.
  • By (b), we get
  • My mind is not identical with any body,
  • Which can be generalized to
  • (a) No mind is identical with a body.

10
  • Mocking argument
  • Lois Lane cannot doubt that Superman is a
    superhero.
  • Lois Lane can doubt that Clark Kent is a
    superhero.
  • Superman is not Clark Kent.
  • Against Cartesian Argument 1
  • the Mocking argument is unsound
  • Cartesian Argument 1 has the same structure as
    the unsound Mocking argument
  • hence It is not trustworthy invalid ? unsound ?
  • Diagnosis different perspectives on the same
    thing?
  • Argument 1
  • Appears in Descartes earlier work Discourse on
    the Method.
  • Descartes rejects it in the Meditations Preface
    to the Reader

11
  • Cartesian Argument 2
  • Is the one presented in Meditation VI, marg. 78.
  • This is his main official argument for substance
    dualism.
  • See Concourse Item 9, for a reconstruction.
  • Does it, too, ultimately succumb to a version of
    the mocking-argument problem?
  • The following argument is not really anywhere in
    Descartes but it is inspired by things he says
    at various places (especially marg. 78)

12
  • Cartesian Argument 3
  • If I am identical with this body, then I am
    necessarily identical with this body.
  • I might exist without this body.
  • Hence, I am not necessarily identical with this
    body.
  • I am not identical with this body.
  • First premise
  • The Necessity of Identity (Saul Kripke) If x
    y, then necessarily x y.
  • The words this body could refer to any material
    thing in particular to my whole human body, or
    just my brain.
  • Second premise
  • Support I can conceive or imagine myself as a
    disembodied spirit.
  • Worry Is conceivability a reliable guide to
    possibility?
  • Worry Are you even sure you can conceive/imagine
    that?

13
Cartesian Dualism
  • (a) Substance Dualism (b) Persons are minds.
  • ?
  • (c) Persons are immaterial beings
  • I am an immaterial mind or soul.
  • Two consequences of CDs view about persons
  • I have a mind/soul is strictly speaking false
    I am a mind/soul.
  • I have a body is okay.
  • All statements that attribute physical properties
    to persons are false, strictly speaking
  • I am walking I am taking a shower I am
    alive I am here are all false, strictly
    speaking.
  • Odd consequences?

14
Union Dualism (UD)
  • (a) Substance Dualism No mind is a body
    minds are immaterial beings.
  • (b) Persons are mind-body unions I am a
    mind-body union.
  • Substance Dualism (a), just like CD
  • Differs from CD in its view about persons
  • Different options concerning the body-part of the
    union (usually brain).
  • A more plausible view about persons than the one
    offered by Cartesian Dualism (?)
  • Note A union dualist cant use any of the
    Arguments 1-3 as they stand she would have to
    try to revise them somewhat
  • How?
  • According to this view, there seem to be (at
    least) three fundamental kinds of beings.
  • Why? Or could a union dualist say there are only
    two after all?

15
Cartesian Dualism vs. Union Dualism
  • They agree about Mind-Body Substance Dualism,
  • They disagree about persons,
  • For many, UD has the (far) more plausible view
    about persons,
  • BUT ?

16
Personal Survival After Death?
  • CD clearly allows for personal survival (i.e.
    continued existence) after the destruction of the
    body.
  • It does not guarantee personal survival
  • But it appears to be a prerequisite of personal
    survival (see Synopsis to Meditations, margin
    12-14).
  • UD seems to make personal survival impossible
  • If I (M B), then (M - B) ? I
  • The mind-body union is destroyed when the body is
    destroyed If I am a mind-body union, I am
    destroyed when the body is destroyed
  • What can remain after the destruction of my body
    is something that once was a part of me, my mind
    or soul, which is not identical with me.
  • Which one, do you think, is the official church
    view?

17
  • Note well!
  • Both views allow for (but dont guarantee) the
    survival of the mind or soul
  • the issue concerns the survival of persons, of
    you and me.
  • UD persons ? personal survival ?
  • CD persons ? personal survival ?
  • UD vs. CD
  • Which one fits better with Catholicism?
  • Eternal existence might suggest CD fits better,
  • But what about the resurrection of the flesh?

18
Readings for Tuesday, March 20
  • Concourse
  • Item 10, Taylor Persons and Bodies and
    Interactionism
  • Item 11, Malebranche
  • Item 5, from Aristotles Metaphysics, Sections 1
    and 2
  • Item 12, from Aristotles On the Soul

19
  • Luca Signorelli
  • Last Judgment The
  • Resurrection of the Body
  • 1499-1504

20
Dualism and Resurrection The Gap Problem
  • ?
    8
  • ?
    8
  • conception death
    resurrection

    heaven/hell
  • ? mind
  • ? body
  • What happens to me (the person) during the gap?
  • CD I am a mind (I ?)
  • UD I am a mind-body union (I ??)

21
Some Dogmas of the Catholic Church
  • Man consists of two essential partsa material
    body and a spiritual soul. (De fide.)
  • All human beings subject to original sin are
    subject to the law of death. (De fide.)
  • Immediately after death the particular judgment
    takes place, in which, by a Divine Sentence of
    Judgment, the eternal fate of the deceased person
    is decided. (Sent. fidei proxima.)
  • The souls of the just which in the moment of
    death are free from all guilt of sin, and
    punishment for sin, enter into Heaven. (De fide.)
  • The bliss of Heaven lasts for all eternity. (De
    fide.)
  • The souls of those who die in the condition of
    personal grievous sin enter Hell. (De fide.)
  • The punishment of Hell lasts for all eternity.
    (De fide.)
  • All the dead will rise again on the last day with
    their bodies. (De fide.)
  • The dead will rise again with the same bodies as
    they had on earth. (De fide.)
  • Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 6th
    ed., Herder Book Co. 1964.

22
Cartesian Dualism
  • Plato and Descartes are Cartesian Dualists
  • Other advocates?
  • Descartes often flirts with Union Dualism (e.g.
    Med VI, marg. 81, 82)
  • Descartes has a pro-body/matter attitude
  • Plato (in Phaedo) has an anti-body attitude
  • the human body as a prison of the soul
  • the body pollutes the soul ? influence on ascetic
    aspects of Christianity
  • The following problem concerns dualism in general.

23
Mind-Body Dualism and the Problem of Interaction
  • Princess Elisabeth asked Descartes to explain
  • how the mind, being only a thinking substance,
    can determine the body in producing voluntary
    actions.
  • Later she said
  • it would be easier for me to admit matter and
    extension to the mind than it would be for me to
    concede the capacity to move a body and be moved
    by one to an immaterial thing.
  • Letters to Descartes, May and June 1643.

24
  • The Principle of Mind-Body Interaction
  • Human minds can interact with human bodies.
  • Physical events can cause mental events, and
    mental events can cause physical events.
  • Note well interaction.

Mind acting on Body Intentional action! raising my hand vs. my hand rising Stress and anxiety symptoms butterflies, sweating Love symptoms butterflies, sweating Body acting on Mind Sense Perception! Knowledge of external world Pleasure and Pain Hunger, etc.
25
The Anti-Dualism Argument
  • Problem If Dualism is true, How is mind-body
    interaction possible?
  • 1. Human minds can interact with human bodies.
  • 2. If Dualism were true, human minds could not
    interact with human bodies.
  • 3. Dualism is false.
  • Clearly valid.
  • Second Premise
  • How could something material push/be pushed by
    something immaterial?
  • Causal closure of the physical domain
  • Every physical event that has a cause has a
    physical cause.
  • Conservation Laws.
  • Law of Inertia F ma E mc2

26
  • Descartes and Plato advocate dualism and
    interaction
  • Is their position incoherent?
  • Since the Interaction Problem is a problem for
    Substance Dualism, it is a problem for both, CD
    and UD
  • CD What makes my body my body?
  • Special patterns of interaction between me and my
    body are surely relevant.
  • UD What unites my mind with my body?
  • The unifier (whatever it is) gives rise to
    special patterns of interaction.

27
Materialism
  • Historically, the interaction-based Anti-Dualist
    Argument was the strongest motive for materialism
    (physicalism).
  • Warning
  • Dont think of mind-body interaction so that it
    presupposes dualism.
  • Unfortunately, Taylor, in Interactionism
    (Concourse), does that sometimes.
  • Mind-body interaction is no in-principle problem
    for materialism
  • Mental events are physical events physical
    events can cause physical events
  • Minds are brains brains can causally interact
    with the rest of the human body.

28
Materialists and Death?
  • Death is nothing to us, for when we are, death
    is not, and when death is, we are not.
  • Epicurus (c. 300 B.C.)

29
Nicolas Malebranche (1638-1715)
  • Advocate of Cartesianism
  • philosopher-priest
  • very influential at the time
  • Contra Descartes
  • We have clear distinct ideas of essence of
    matter but cant prove its existence (need faith)
  • We can prove existence of mind but dont have
    clear distinct idea of its essence
  • Occasionalism
  • Dualism with a radical solution to the problem of
    interaction

30
  • Sense Perception
  • Material things causing immaterial ideas?
  • The Search after Truth, pp. 219, 223
  • Malebranche denies body-to-mind causation!
  • We see all things in God!
  • Search, pp. 230-35.
  • Intentional Action
  • Malebranche also denies mind-to-body causation!
  • Malebranche denies Interaction!
  • He denies premise 1 of Anti-Dualism argument!
  • He denies that human minds can interact with
    human bodies.
  • Your hand never rises because you want to raise
    it.
  • The material objects you see, the changes in your
    eyes and brain, are not the causes of your visual
    experiences/ideas.
  • The stone hitting your head is not the cause of
    your pain.

31
Occasionalism
  • So called natural causes are not true causes
    they are only the occasions at which God
    exercises His will.
  • So-called secondary causation is unreal, an
    illusion, only primary causation (Gods
    causation) is real.
  • Search, pp. 448-52
  • Is Occasionalism born from desparation?
  • from the desire to save Dualism from the
    anti-dualist argument?
  • that would be a motive but not an argument for
    Occasionalism

32
Readings for Thursday, March 22
  • Concourse
  • Item 3, from Glymour, pp. 38-45 Aristotles
    Conception of Nature and Science
  • Item 5, from Aristotles Metaphysics, Book IV,
    1-2.
  • Item 12, from Aristotles On the Soul.

33
Malebranches main argument for Occasionalism
  • A real cause requires a necessary connection
    between it and its effect.
  • There is a necessary connection only between the
    will of an omnipotent being and its effects.
  • Therefore
  • Only God is a real cause.
  • Search, pp. 448-50.
  • This argument is logically independent from
    Malebranches motivation for denying mind-body
    interaction to save Dualism.
  • There is an additional argument involving
    knowledge and ignorance.

34
Worries about Occasionalism
  • There is no body-to-body causation either!
  • Thats also excluded by Malebranches main
    argument.
  • What about Freedom?
  • Mind-to-mind causation?
  • Am I the cause of my own decisions?
  • Gods freedom? Search, p. 451

35
  • Isnt Occasionalism absurd? even insane?
  • Well,
  • On the other hand Ms theory contains a part
    explaining why his theory, if true, would seem
    absurd to us! Search, p. 224-5.
  • Compare
  • When X happens, Y happens
  • Y happens because X happens
  • We tend to infer the second from the first rash
    judgment.
  • Correlation vs. Causation
  • When X happens, Y happens a common cause?

36
  • If it isnt literally true that my wanting is
    causally responsible for my reaching, and my
    itching is causally responsible for my
    scratching, and my believing is causally
    responsible for my saying, if none of that is
    literally true, then practically everything I
    believe about anything is false and its the end
    of the world.
  • Jerry Fodor Making Mind Matter More

37
Dualism
  • Interaction is a serious problem
  • The Anti-Dualist Argument has to be addressed
    somehow
  • Different topic
  • Why is Substance Dualism called Substance
    Dualism?
  • Are there other forms of Dualism?
  • Yes.

38
Property Dualism vs. Substance Dualism (compare
Concourse, Item 9)
  • Substance Dualism There are two different sorts
    of things (beings, substances) immaterial minds
    and material bodies.
  • Property Dualism There are two sorts of
    properties (or states) mental properties and
    physical properties mental properties are not
    identical with physical properties.
  • Substance Dualism entails Property Dualism.
  • Property Dualism does not entail Substance
    Dualism!

39
  • Substance Materialism Property Dualism
  • There are no immaterial substances that is
  • All substances are material things
  • But some material things (e.g. brains, organisms)
    have irreducibly mental properties!
  • Something like this seems to be Aristotles view
  • and Aquinass view
  • and the Churchs view

40
Readings for Tuesday, March 27
  • Concourse
  • Item 3, from Glymour, pp. 38-45 Aristotles
    Conception of Nature and Science
  • Item 5, from Aristotles Metaphysics, Book IV,
    1-2.
  • Item 12, from Aristotles On the Soul.
  • Item 13, Brentano, read p. 88 at least five times

41
Aristotle (384-322 BC)
  • Aristotle he is notoriously difficult on the
    nature of the soul.
  • Materialism?
  • Dualism with exactly one, general soul
    (impersonal)?
  • Dualism with many individual souls (personal)?

42
Aristotle Metaphysics (Book G (IV))
  • Metaphysics
  • It seeks the first principles and the highest
    causes
  • The science that investigates being insofar as it
    is being and the attributes that belong to it
    insofar as it is being
  • The science of substances and their fundamental
    attributes.
  • Substances
  • genuine things (beings)
  • are ultimate subjects of predication the bearers
    of attributes (properties)
  • stay constant through change
  • have unity
  • unlike mere aggregates
  • are independent and complete
  • they could, in principle, exist on their own
  • contrast with attributes and modes of substances,
    and with events they depend on substances

43
Aristotles Analysis of Substances Hylemorphism
  • hylé matter morphé form
  • Substances are composed of Matter and Form
  • Form is (roughly) the internal structure of a
    thing that makes it what it is
  • Statue a lump of clay with a form/shape
  • Forms are attributes of substances no form
    without a substance whose form it is
  • Platos forms are transcendent
  • Aristotles forms are immanent
  • Prime Matter?
  • matter without form?
  • mere potentiality?
  • See Glymour, Concourse Item 3, pp. 38-45.
  • Dont confuse Aristotles forms with Platos
    forms!

44
Some Dogmas of the Catholic Church
  • Man consists of two essential partsa material
    body and a spiritual soul. (De fide.)
  • The rational soul is per se by itself the
    essential form of the body. (De fide.)
  • Every human being possesses an individual soul.
    (De fide.)
  • Source Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic
    Dogma, 6th ed., Herder Book Co. 1964.

45
Aristotle On the Soul (412a-415a)
  • Substance composite of matter and form.
  • An animal/human body is a substance.
  • The soul must bethe form of a natural body
    having life potentially within it (412a20).
  • Form and actuality Soul something X such that
    having X makes a natural body that can be alive
    actually be alive.
  • The soul is what makes an organism be alive the
    principle of life.
  • They eye analogy (412b15).
  • The soul plus the body constitutes the animal
    (413a).

46
Is Aristotle a Union Dualist?
  • It looks like it, BUT he rejects Substance
    Dualism
  • Soul as form of the bodyan attribute being
    alive, having life, 412a15
  • Because soul is the form of a body we can
    wholly dismiss as unnecessary the question
    whether the soul and the body are one (412b5) ?
    shape of wax and wax
  • Since it is the soul by or with which primarily
    we live, perceive, and thinkit follows that the
    soul must be aformulable essence, not a matter
    or subject (414a10).
  • The soul, it seems, is not a substance (not a
    thing in its own right), but an attribute or
    state of a substance.
  • Union Dualism without Substance Dualism !
  • A person is a (human) body ensouled.
  • This appears to be Aristotles view a version of
    property dualism.
  • Seems more sophisticated than Substance Dualism.

47
  • If so, How could the soul have independent
    existence?
  • Aristotle (typically)
  • No form without matter.
  • No form without a substance whose form it is.
  • Doesnt that imply No soul without a body ?
  • Hence the rightness of the view that the soul
    cannot be without the body, while it cannot be a
    body it is not a body but something relative to
    a body. (414a15 see also 412b5)
  • Looks like the soul cannot have independent
    existence.
  • ?

48
  • BUT he also says that one part or aspect of the
    soul, the mind (noûs, intellect), can have
    independent existence
  • it indubitably follows from the account of the
    soul as form that the soul is inseparable from
    its body, or at any rate that certain parts of it
    are (413a)
  • it the mind/thinking part of the soul seems to
    be a widely different kind of soul, differing as
    what is eternal from what is perishable it alone
    is capable of existence in isolation from all
    other psychic powers (413b25).
  • The thinking part of the soul mustbecapable of
    receiving the form of an object that is, must be
    potentially identical in character with its
    object without being the objectTherefore, since
    everything is a possible object of thought,
    mindmust be pure from all admixture (429a14-20)
  • Thus that in the soul which is called mind (by
    mind I mean that whereby the soul thinks and
    judges) is, before it thinks, not actually any
    real thing. For this reason it cannot reasonably
    be regarded as blended with the body (429a18-25)
  • while the faculty of sensation is dependent on
    the body, mind is separable from it. (429b3)
  • Remember that Aristotle takes the human soul to
    have three aspects/parts vegetative, sensitive,
    intellectual.

49
  • How can he hold that?
  • It seems that to have independent existence the
    intellectual soul (the mind) would have to be a
    substance, a thing in its own right.
  • But Aristotle says the soul is the form (an
    attribute) of a substance, the form of the human
    body
  • Could some forms of substances also be
    substances?
  • Could some forms exist independently of
    substances?
  • Could the intellectual soul be a substance and
    also be a part of something, the total soul,
    which is not a substance?
  • Medieval philosophers talked about Substantial
    Forms
  • e.g. Aquinas
  • forms that are sort-of like substances, having
    the capacity for independent existence, but they
    are still forms, attributes of substances
  • Descartes
  • rejected substantial forms as absurd trying to
    have your cake and eat it too
  • This is one reason why his work was put on Index,
  • other reason he also rejected real accidents ?
    Eucharist

50
Readings for Thursday, March 29
  • Concourse
  • Item 13, Brentano, read p. 88 at least five times

51
(No Transcript)
52
Franz Brentano (1838-1917)
  • Soul the substantial bearer of presentations
    (ideas), and of other activities based upon
    presentations, which are only perceptible through
    inner perception.
  • Natural science studies the properties and laws
    of physical bodies.
  • Psychology studies the properties and laws of
    souls.
  • Psychophysics studies interaction.
  • Weber-Fechner Law To increase the intensity of a
    sensation in arithmetic progression it is
    necessary to increase the intensity of the
    stimulus in geometric progression.

53
Distinction Between Mental and Physical Phenomena
  • Brentano gives examples of mental and physical
    phenomena on pp. 78-80.
  • He then considers various proposals for
    distinguishing the mental from the physical
  • Mental phenomena are presentations (ideas) and
    all phenomena that are based upon presentations
    (p. 80).
  • Mental phenomena have no extension and no
    location in space (p. 85).
  • Mental phenomena are perceived only by inner
    consciousness ? our knowledge of them is
    immediate, infallible, self-evident (p. 91).
  • phenomena (pl.) phenomenon (sng.)

54
  • Brentanos proposal (Section 5, p. 88), look at
    footnotes
  • The Intentionality of the mental
  • Every mental phenomenon is characterized by
    what the Scholastics of the Middle Ages called
    the intentional (or mental) inexistence of an
    object, and what we might call, though not wholly
    unambiguously, reference to a content, direction
    towards an objectEvery mental phenomenon
    includes something as an object within itself,
    although they do not all do so in the same way.
    In presentation something is presented, in
    judgment something is affirmed or denied, in love
    loved, in hate hated, in desire desired, and so
    on.
  • In presentation something is presented every
    idea one has is an idea of something

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Intentionality of the Mental
  • Scholastics intentional inexistence of an
    object
  • Thinking of x having x in ones mind?
  • Aristotle the thinking part of the soul must be
    capable of receiving the form of an object that
    is, mustbepotentially identical in character
    with its object without being the object it is
    not the stone which is present in the soul, but
    its form (On the Soul, 429a10, 431b26)
  • Thinking of x the soul receives the form of x
    without the matter of x.
  • Brentano reference to a content, direction
    towards an object
  • Aboutness
  • Descartes Ideas can only be, as it were, of
    things (Med III, 44)
  • Is aboutness a feature of all mental phenomena?
  • Pain and Pleasure?
  • Certain cases of anxiety?
  • Maybe its not a feature of all mental phenomena,
    but its still very interesting.

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  • John thinks of x John kicks x
  • John loves x John touches x
  • John hates x John is taller than x
  • John fears x John is 2 miles from x
  • John looks for x John is moving faster than x
  • John imagines x
  • Mental states involve a special relation, the
    intentional relation (aboutness) between a
    subject and an object
  • What sort of relation is that?
  • Can it be explained in physical terms?
  • Physical relations are causal, spatial, and
    temporal relations its very hard to see how the
    intentional relation can be accounted for in
    terms of physical relations.
  • A relation that can hold between a subject and
    something that does not exist!
  • Especially hard to see how this could be
    explained in physical terms.
  • Intentionality may support an argument against
    materialism.

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  • Perseus on Pegasus Slaying Medusa
  • John Singer Sargent

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The Puzzle of Non-Existence
  • On the one hand There is no such thing as
    Pegasus
  • On the other hand Marian is thinking of Pegasus.
  • Hence,
  • Marian is thinking of something, namely Pegasus.
  • Hence,
  • There is something Marian is thinking of, namely
    Pegasus.
  • Oops.
  • Should we say There are some things (like
    Pegasus) such that there are no such things? ?
  • A paradox (intuitively obvious premises lead to
    what looks like a violation of the law of
    non-contradiction)can it be resolved?

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Short Summary Dualism vs. Materialism
  • The interaction problem is a tough problem for
    dualism it is hard to see how interaction could
    be accounted for by a dualist. On the face of it,
    the problem seems to speak for materialism and
    against dualism.
  • But the intentional relation (aboutness) is a
    tough problem for materialism it is hard to see
    how this relation could be explained by physics.
    On the face of it, this seems to speak for
    dualism and against materialism.
  • On the other hand, the intentional relation might
    be a somewhat two-edged sword. Puzzles like the
    one about things that dont exist suggest that
    its difficult to even talk coherently
    (consistently) about this relation.

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Readings for Tuesday, April 3
  • Concourse
  • Item 14, from John Locke An Essay Concerning
    Human Understanding
  • Book I, Chap. I, and Chap. II, sections 1-5
  • Book II, Chaps. 1-4, 11, 12

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  • Continue with Part 4
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