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University of Calgary
PHIL 483
Noa Latham

Sept 12, 2013 - phenomenal consciousness: o pains, pleasures o feelings, sensations o memories? - Qualia: plural for qualitative state - Intentionality o Content-ful (you hope that something will be true)  Many of these states have propositional states… you hope that, you wish that  Or its content can be an object- I see the bottle  It is an open question as to whether animals have propositional attitudes o representational o referential o hybrid of intentional content and phenomenal consciousness: emotions, desires, dreams, willing/volition -> action (should actions count as mental at all?A propositional content to what you’re wanting to do) - Mental states that are “purely mental/not purely mental” o Descartes thinks that there can be a purely mental state, you can isolate the mind and experience sensations without a physical-feelings without a body o What about acts? Or the act of deciding… does not require a physical action. o Mental category of perception essentially involves something that gets perceived - Ontological Categories o Essential distinction is btw particular things (particulars) and universals o Particulars have a spatio/temporal location o Universals: ex. properties (like of being red) – had individual instances – no spatio-temporal location o Particulars: minds, mental events (ex. an idea comes into your mind, or remembering an incident in your childhood), mental states (difference btw state and event: events are 4 dimensional entities, states exist fully at a particular moment in time- state does not involve a temporal extension) o Universals: - Difference between thinking something and believing something: o Having the thought that P (genuinely thinking that P is true) – an occurrent state o Believing that P is true - a dispositional state – you have a tendency to have thoughts about P when the topic comes up  Edmonton is north of K town- we believed it when the prof said it (you can also believe something that you have never actually thought of before in your life) o Type of mental event (being in pain) and a particular mental event (my pain right now) o Feeling angry with my mother vs being angry with my mother  Are these different states?  Feelings angry with my mother… an occurrent state  Being angry with my mother, having the disposition to be angry with your mother whenever you are around her - What makes facts different from particulars and universals? o Ex. the sky is blue o Particular: the sky, universal: blue o Facts are true propositions Substance Dualism - Deeply ingrained in many religions - Descartes supports the view and has arguments for it - Written about in his Meditations - Arguments: o Language use could not come about from purely mechanical principles, therefor there has to be non-physical substances  In his time this makes sense  Now a days we think this is possible, not in principle impossible o Mathematics could not be explained by a machine  This is not true any more o When we use our rationality we use it in a vast amount of different ways- no program could make a robot be as rational in as many different ways as humans are  Again, not true anymore o Although you cannot produce convincing human robots, you could produce convincing animal robots, thus all of the things animals can do do not display having a rational soul. He says it is not that they have less intelligence/reason than us, but none at all  We know more about animal intelligence now- some are self aware, or have communication skills, or are rational (alex the parrot) Sept 17/13 - The Descartes belief that there has got to be something other than matter in the world o Principle reason for believing this is: the reasoning humans display, especially when using language, cannot be explained purely mechanically o We cannot be finite machines because rationality displays itself in so many ways o He wants to draw a very sharp line between humans and animals  Completely devoid of these rational souls  (alex the parrot could use “same” and “different”)  does Descartes think animals could have sensations? He talks about this when he talks about the natural movements of animals which express passions- they do not even have the sensations of pleasure and pain- much like a robot o we have no reason to believe the soul dies when the body dies - mental to physical interaction: o expression of emotion (ex. embarrassment -> blushing, crying, laughing) o action - physical to mental interaction: o experiencing pain (although this is probably purely mental, in the case of the substance dualist though this would be the case) o perception - If I am a mind rigged up to a body, and souls exist, we should be able to distinguish how many souls I have o For something to be a genuine entity we have to be able to count it? Example, the universe, we don’t know if there are one or a million universes, so does this mean our universe is not a genuine entity? o You couldn’t tell if there was one or several minds hooked up to your body if they are having the same feelings/thoughts, etc. o The prof said this argument feels artificial and should not be dwelled on! - Smith and Jones on Evolution and Dualism o Radical jump in behavior of organisms when the mind (soul) first implemented into life (on the spectrum of evolution) o We cannot even demarcate when the first prototype of a homo sapien first existed- when was it then that the mind came into play? Was it there all along but evolved as well? How far back?  Do amoebas have primitive minds then? (souls)  Perhaps the minds do not have to start at the very beginning, perhaps they developed in the middle and evolved from there?  Panpsychism: the mental is everywhere in nature- down the molecules  Most dualists say (Cartesian dualists anyway) that only humans have minds  We are avoiding the “big jump” by having rudimentary minds that evolve  Isn’t there something arbitrary about deciding where on the scene the mind comes into play? - phylogenetic vs ontogenetic - Smith and Jones: the Philosophical Problem o Asoul to be outside space but inside time o By primitive he means something that is not further explainable o Smith and Jones say there is a way that a dualist could respond to this worry:  Whenever we think about causation of any sort, we think there is an underlying mechanism- we can understand how causation works by finding out the details  With mental to physical tho, we cannot give a mechanism  On behalf of a dualist, Smith and Jones respond with: they think that there is a way- the thing to do it start off by challenging the materialist with similar thoughts and questions- if you say explain why planes don’t fall down you would have to explain until you get to the fundamental level of the law of gravity- no further way to explain it, just the way the world works- if you are a dualist you will say there are further ways to explain because there are P-M, M-P, P-P, and M-M - pg 47 in Kim: the pineal gland- a fundamental law- whenever the brain is in P -> M o the mind will sometimes make the physical do something it wouldn’t have done according to substance dualists o Smith and Jones say Sept 24, 2013 - Smith and Jones - Epiphanomenalism: the mind does not effect the material world - Causal relation from P-M - Physical states necessitate mental states - Epiphenomanilist dualism: P1 -> P2 -> P3 where P1-M1 and P2-M2… and where P1->M1->M2 - Prof finds the time lag a rather implausible view - The idea that our actions are not caused by our decisions at all… worrying - Your entire brain/mind can be destroyed by you could still have mental states floating around because it is so disengaged from the body - Strange view Parallelism - P->P - M->M - No interaction btw the two - No causal principle relating them - Epistomelogical problem: you would have no reason to believe there was a physical world- or no single world there are now simply 2 separate worlds - Representational content- mental has beliefs about the physical world? But what the mind believes can come apart… we can imagine all kinds of things but there needn’t be a physical world that actually corresponds - Not a plausible candidate as a theory of an actual world- it is a theory of two worlds says prof *interactive dualism is most plausible tho many arguments against it -Direct access to your mental states- you have a privaledged account of what is going on in your mind- we must infer this info about others minds - you cannot be mistaken if you are in pain- you know you are in a certain mental state with complete certainty - the converse of this is referred to as transparency Behaviorism - As Kim says, this comes from two directions: philosophical and the other is scientific - Methodological/scientific behaviorism - Philosophical/logical/analytical behaviorism: meaningful utterances must be falsifiable o If these mental statements are statements about things that are hidden from us (others mental states) than can we even say these are meaningful at all if we cannot verify them? If we think they are meaningful there must be a way to verify them ? o All mental statements must be translatable o Analytic: true in virtue of their meanings - What we count as being behavior: (p 66 and 67? Kim) o Things that are observable- perspiration, rising blood pressure, salivation, etc. o Bodily movements: throwing a baseball, running, a rat turning left in a maze, etc. o Actions involving bodily motions: for example greeting a friend, writing an email, going shopping, attending a concert o Is something like walking (bodily movement) different than attending a concernt (actions involving bodiy motions)?Attending a concert is intentional and mental, is there ever unintentional walking?Animals perhaps? We are not just talking about bodily movements, we are talking about the behaviour of the thing- it needn’t be done for a purpose, but it must at least be caused by the behaving thing o All that is required is that it is proximately close to the behaving thing o Behavior: bodily movements caused by some internal state/system o Differentiate behaviour from mental - Henkel’s Paul has a Toothache - Being in the mental state of having a toothache- easily identifiable which is obvious- tho something like greeting behavior is far less obvious o 1) Paul weeps and makes gestures of such and such kind o 2) At the question “what is the matter” Paul utters “I have a toothache” – So, certain sounds can come out of Paul’s mouth, but for us to construct the meaning of these sounds gets into tricky mind territory o 3) closer examination reveals a decayed tooth – does this count as behaviour? We don’t say Paul is doing/having decayed tooth o 4) Paul’s blood pressure/speed of his reactions/digestive processes shows various changes (is this counted as part of the behavior?) – should blood pressure be rather like tears? o 5) ? o Part of behaviorism is to restrict the physical o To what extent can we get a behaviorist analysis in terms of the non verbal behavior? Is there any hope in analyzing what it is for Paul to be in pain? You can pretend to be in pain- thus the behavior does not represent the mental o Behaviorist analysis would not work on “super Spartans”- those who hide their pain o If you’re in pain, then you will tend to exhibit certain behaviors – those Super Spartans under certain circumstances would exhibit pain (if they reject their cultural codes and conventions)- they are disposed to have pained behavior like all of us o Certain animals for instance can be in pain without showing physical behavioral signs  But they have species specific ways of behaving- for example, avoidance  May have to get even more specific than species- intra species differences- some people laugh/cry when sad- no set behavior - pain is the cause of winces and groans- a necessary truth w/o being a priori (look below) - the idea that we can analyze mental terms and behavior seems overly ambitious o standard meter: a standard meter is one meter long- a priori true though it is not necessarily true, it is just a contingent fact about the world – but it is something that we learn as an a priori truth o or that water is H20- this is something we needed to discover, it is not necessarily a priori- tho it is seen as a necessary truth - Apriori: necessary true - Aposteriori: contingently true o Krikpe says these can cross over Sept 26/13 - Loose sense of what counts as behavior: crude human observers - Evidence must be publicly observable - Should not in your science allow there to be any inner states - Ontological behaviorism: you say that in terms of basic ontology pains are manifestations- pains are just winces and groans o P=W&G o Therefor for species that do not wince or groan they do not feel pain o Amore plausible view: pain = the cause of winces and groans - philosophical behaviorism: mental terms can be translated into physical terms o P=Cause of P is W&G - PB and OB – does one entail the other? o Does OB imply PB? You can be a OB without being a PB  You can be a PB without being an OB Malcolm: “Knowledge of Other Minds” - Attacking the Cartesian view of epistemology o To know what is going on in other peoples minds you have to resort to reasoning by analogy - Cartesian picture: extrapolation- associating other behavior from the knowledge of your own - Introduces a strange argument by Hamshaw: “he’s just like me, and I have a mind so he must as well” – his use of the analogy argument I can testify to my own validity- seeing this argument used in other people makes us able to check that it works o Prof does not take this argument serious o Another form of this argument: might wonder if someone is feeling the way I am feeling when I have a certain sensation- “he’s spinning round, so he probably feels giddy just like I do when I am spinning from giddiness” o Seeing people say the same thing that I am thinking (like saying this) makes their form of inference successful o You cannot assume their utterances mean the same thing we would mean if we said it, thus we cannot be sure they have minds at all o Kind of like saying “he is wearing a yellow tie so his name must be Jacob- and then someone else seeing this and saying “this must be true because I am wearing a yellow tie and MY name is Jacob”” --- no sense - IntroducesAnother version of the argument by Price o Can infer an entity has mental states just by inferring the intelligibility of it o Price imagines that you have just the rustling of leaves producing articulate sounds that sound like English- would this alone be enough that it has a mind and has thoughts?Another “he is just like me” argument o According to price this is enough for us to infer that it has thoughts o Malcolm thinks this wouldn’t be good reason to infer that the tree has thoughts because you don’t attribute intelligence unless it can be demonstrated. Prof says Malcolm’s suggestion is very restrictive though  What if the tree were able to answer questions intelligibly? - Can we really make sense from our own case what it means to have sensations and what it means when others say that they have it o In my own case to be seeing red/to be giddy: we know this directly from experience o How do we know the same thing is going on for them when they “see red/get giddy”? o Wittgenstein suggests that the worry about solipsism is that if we take pain to mean “that bad sensation in me” then it would translate to feeling pain in your body when someone else says they feel pain- for our understanding of pain (in solipsism anyways) is our own feeling. “I have a giddiness feeling coming from over there/from them” o Must be in touch with linguistics- in order to learn color tones we need to be in touch with other people- do not learn by introspection. We wouldn’t know to divide it into 6 tones- it is only because we are socialized in a certain way  We are taught the kinds of sensations we have by other people! Including giddiness, knowing what red is, etc. Others use behaviorisltic observation  Linguistic variations- in Japanese their terms of blue and green apparently do not correlate exactly with our words for blue and green  It is not until others have observed our behavior and told us we are feeling a certain way that we learn it- we are taught to use “mental language/sensation language”  This is one of Wittgenstein’s claims- we don’t just learn sensations terms through introspection - Malcolm doesn’t want to go all the way to behaviorism Oct 1/13 Wittgenstein - No such thing as a private language - Nothing would be able to guarantee if you were using this private term correctly or incorrectly - You thus couldn’t mean anything by attributing labels to your own mental states - Hence there must be public criteria for being in a mental state - What about the reliability of memory? It may just seem to you that you are in “S” again but all that you are going by is your shifty memory of thinking you were in “S” before o No way to check to see if your memory was reliable - would a person in isolation have mental states? Yes- they just could not categorize them or label them - there has got to be a public component to mental states Malcolm - “I am in pain vs he is in pain” o he borrows an idea from Wittgenstein o “I am in pain” is not a report on a mental state- they are not stating a fact/proposition, they are just exhibiting pain behaviors o There is no problem here because the former is not a state of affairs, thus we do not have to worry about what it means o Prof says there must be a closer connection btw these tho, and he thinks that division is a strange one- rather desperate Armstrong - Cartesian theory is right about incorrigibility - honesty requires public action - if I sincerely uttered I was in pain two seconds ago, it is possible that a neurosurgeon implanted a false memory – it is crazy to think that this statement would be logically incorrigible – because it was in the past! o Incorrigibility couldn’t apply to assertions about past states o As soon as we have to rely on our memories mistakes can creep in o Incorrigibility thesis is a thesis about the present moment - how can we gain knowledge from introspection if we cant be wrong? o If it doesn’t make sense to say you are wrong it doesn’t make sense to say you can be right either - he structures this as a thesis, four arguments that support it, and then counter arguments - can you give us a convincing case of thinking youre in a certain mental state but you are not? - imagine an advanced state of science and they are wired up while going through these states/sensations- if someone was incorrect in their believed mental state, then this would be an argument against the incorrigibility thesis - perhaps they have been socialized differently and their color sensations are swapped - Oct 3, 2013 - mid term will be posted on blackboard next thurs after class (before long weekend) o answering short questions about the readings o respond within a strict word limit Armstrong’s Paper and the Incorrigibility Thesis - we could be using our language improperly if we are spectrum inverted, or if someone has tricked us (though how long would we be tricked for?) - Armstrong says imagine instead of color it is pain- imagine if you feel like you are in extreme pain but the brain scientist said “no, youre not in pain” o Anticipation effects: if they think they are going to be subjected to pain they will feel exaggerated pain when pricked or subjected to slight pain o Pg 425 of yellow o There can be circumstances in which you are incorrect about your feeling of pain o What about the time lapse- I say “I am in great pain” a tiny bit later than it has occurred - He also tackles Descarte’s incorrigible proposition: I am thinking and I can be completely certain of that o Armstrong tries to say no, there is no mental state that is incorrigible (no mental state that you can be guaranteed completely certain to be in that state) o Presupposing that you have thoughts (tho this doesn’t make it incorrigible) o We often don’t have thoughts, we are often in “dreamless sleep” – so it seems like Descartes is making an observation- I am observing that I am thinking now, not necessarily all of the time, but now.And then he argues that he couldn’t be wrong o Admirable thatArmstrong is tackling this (the hardest argument) for his thesis Kim- Mind Brain Identity Theory - supposed we find good evidence for mind-brain correlations- how could we explain the correlations? o Variety of different ways o Causal relations btw them (Descartes idea) o Acommon cause that produces the correlation o Perfectly synchronized in the way the preexisting harmony has made them/designed them o Identity- why is discharge of electricity correlated with lightening? Not because of a common cause, but because lightning IS the discharge of electricity – not separate things at all but the same thing described in different way - ontological advantage to say there is only one – the physical- like Ockham’s razor - there are so many correlations (having the sensation of redness is correlated with neural activity N236) – so one thought would be, instead of having all of these unexplained correlations, just eliminate them and call them identities- not two things or two types of things here - Ockham’s razor is an argument but not a knock-down argument- only acceptable if we have no other evidence - Inference to the best information- and this is identities o Just like how thunder and lightning are the same thing- you are perceiving the same thing in different ways - if pain always matches C fiber stimulation o then pain = C fiber stimulating o then they are the same state, interchangeable o why is C fiber stimulation pain and not an itch? o This is now known of as a primitive and non-comprehensive understanding of pain in the brain (C fiber stimulation) o Kim is inclined to say if you still are wondering why C fiber stimulation is pain and not an itch, or why it is anything at all, then really our questions are not answered about pain - if someone is told that heat is molecular kinetic energy, then we can ask why? Or is this just the way things are and there is no further sensible questions as to why o Kim says but why is it pain and not itch, whereas identity theorists say you may want to know that but you need to rest content in the fact that it is a brute fact- your demand for that answer is an improper demand - Another important argument is the argument from mental causation o Every physical event has a purely physical cause and that has a purely physical cause and so on o --|--|--| time ^ call dr ^ being in a physical state of pain (this pain inherits the cause of the physical state) -> in favor of the identity theory - Three difficulties for the Identity Theory o 1) we can know something one way o 2) the model argument o 3) this one is taken to be fatal to this position-> the idea that mental states can’t possibly be identical to physical states because we know that there are many different ways organisms can be wired and yet we share certain states (not every animal has the C fiber yet they feel pain)  what about aliens? They could be made completely differently than us and yet still share the same states/believe the same thing?  This makes it implausible that there is only one state that correlates to mental states- many different ways  Many neural states are found when a person is in a given mental state Oct 8, 2013 Kripke - non-rigid designators: designate all things in all possible worlds - rigid-designators - “the invention of bifocals” by Ben Franklin- not in all possible worlds- B.F. would not live in all possible worlds - in contrast, a proper name like Ben Franklin does arise in all possible worlds tho? - Proper names do name the same person in all possible worlds - If it’s a rigid-designator, it names the same thing in all possible worlds - Rigid designators: water is H2O, heat = molecular motion- a priori truths - Kripke says, is it heat that is the molecular motion or is heat always just molecular motion- perhaps heat is simply the sensation? - Putnams experiment: what if we discovered a planet that looked just like ours- people swimming in the ‘water’- after testing the water they realize it had a completely different molecular structure- would they call this water? No o Think about fools gold- malleable gold colored substance- it seems like gold but we realize compositionally it is not gold- and thus we do not call it gold o What could people have meant by water before H2O was discovered? - dthat: an operator that takes a description (what gives it the sensation of heat) and rigidifies it o what we mean by “heat” is “dthat” – dthat being what gives it a description in the actual world o description doesn’t give a meaning to the term, but it fixes the meaning of the term to us o heat doesn’t mean what gives rise to the sensation of heat, but “heat” rigidly designates - what about if on another world they create H2O but it is repulsive and smells badly to them- is this still water? Even though they respond to it differently than how we respond to water? - Cross categories- necessary a posteriori o The standard meter stick- is this a rigid designator? - The identity of mental and physical items o Descartes mind-body dualism identities o Token identities o Types of state- mental types and physical types - when we say pain many people think that it is a term to describe a certain sensation o but pain could also just be Cfs- but what if Cfs is felt as something else? o There are possible worlds where Cfs is not painful at al o So is this a contingent truth? o You could be in an epistemic situation with pain and you would this feel pain, but you could also be in an epistemic situation with heat and not feel heat- so does heat really mean the sensation of heat or does it mean molecular motion? o Pain is not just what gives us the sensation of pain but what feels like pain o Wittgenstein: the meaning of a term is its use Oct 10/13 - Descartes says his mind could exist separately – his mind is not his brain - Is my current pain my current Cfs? - There could be minds that aren’t attached to bodies- so it is not so obvious that my mind can exist without my brain? There could be a qualitatively identical mind that could exist without my/a brain? - Could my very pain exist without my Cf’s being stimulated? o Could there be a qualitatively identical pain that could happen (or that I could feel) without my Cfs? o Thus there is room to cast doubt on Kripke’s argument? Chapter 8 of Kim - would qualitatively same brains have the same content? - what is it to have a mental state/content? It could be best described as being what a mentor would give - the content of your beliefs is relative to some interpretation scheme - narrow and wide content o what is the content of a persons belief o narrow: the view that the content of what you believe is really determined by what goes on in your head- it is fixed by your internal physical (and mental) states. Narrow content supervenes on the content of your brain- if the brains are physically qualitatively identical, the content must be identical too o wide: the opposite- content of a persons beliefs extends beyond what is in their heads - Putnam uses wide to suggest that the content of a persons belief extends beyond what goes on inside their heads o The water on another planet example- it not being H2O- if I believe the bottle contains water, how should we describe my twin on twin earth- what does that twin believe? Putnam’s thought experiment says no! o (must set aside the fact that qualitatively our brains cannot be the same because ours contains water… but forget that) o according to Kripke- our water designates H2O- their content of water designates XYZ o “my twin believes the bottle contains XYZ” – well our term for water means more than H2O- it also means the substance in which we play in, and bathe in, and drink- so what about theirs? o Twater? Twin Water o Putnam finally says: we cant really say my twin and I have the same content - Kim: animal mental states- the frog sees a fly o The content of a frogs belief involves something about flies o The frog would have the same conceptual belief if they saw a robotic fly- they would think it was a fly- their brain content is not subject to environment – attributing to them a content to their mental states, we would still change the word for the fly o Perceiving something crucially depends on what thing is being perceived in my environment o “froggy brain states” - lots of evidence that content is wide is most cases - Perhaps there is an entirely different source for our wide content- not just our environment but our linguistic community o Is the linguistic community part of the environment? o “I have arthritis in my thigh” – their belief is false o in a twin state- perhaps arthritis means inflammation of bones or joints- so this belief is not false o the mental content is different in these two cases, even if their brains are qualitatively the same o according to Burge, the true belief would be that twin has Farthritis- you must use another word for it to be a true belief o these two characters have genuinely different contents to their beliefs despite having the same environment and brains- the only difference is what the word means in their linguistic communities o but is the content of both their beliefs the same? Their belief of what the word arthritis means is different, but they both think it means inflammation of the bones or joints- one has a true belief of their linguistic community and the other has a false belief  thus the speech community doesn’t really affect the content of your belief?  Is the content of your belief determined by your speech community?  Kim offers a skeptical account- if you believe you have a pain in your shoulder - Mid term take home: o 6 passages from the readings that we have discussed o pick 4 out of the 6 o 300 word limit per question o he says “comment on the significance of this passage” instead of asking a question… makes it harder o embed it in the subject matter… “here the author is discussing this topic… this author plays this role in this argument… etc.” o leaves a scope for us to say what we think is important and relevant o do not quote or paraphrase- use our own words o understand what the issue is and why it is playing the role it does o the aim is to say what is significant about it! Oct 15/13 - could you have beliefs about the world (not just sensations) and have some need for narrow content? o The thought that my twin on twin earth has various water beliefs, and I have various water beliefs, there is difference in the content but isn’t there something about the content of our beliefs that is shared? o From my twins point of view, and from my point of view, what we seem to believe is the same o The incorrigibility of our mental states o Is there a notion of content where we can be completely certain? “I know what I am thinking right now” o But if content has to do with the environment, then we cant be certain o Are there purposes for which we need narrow content? o Could we know something with completely certainty with wide content?  I could be a brain in a vat and so no - to explain someone’s behaviour, we attribute their beliefs and desires o all we need to explain what they are going to do is the narrow content o “she goes to the dr” – should we describe this as behaviour? “she goes” means she intends to be doing something by moving her legs, so it is implying what she intends to do- she has beliefs about a dr, so in a way in can o sense in which the narrow content is playing an important role because you can judge behaviour from the narrow content o the idea that content is wide/narrow/ but instead that there are two separate notions that are both equally acceptable - the metaphysics of wide content o what should we say when we talk about the wide content? o What is their belief? Is it just some aspect of the brain or the brain and the world o The belief that water and oil don’t mix for example o Kims second option: the belief involves a relational property  Much more promising says prof  Requires us to think of the metaphysics of particular things  Distinguish btw concrete particulars and abstract particulars- the idea is that the concrete particular just refers to some thing that occupies some spatio-temporal region, abstract particulars is into some particular thing about the property (example is my walk and my walking slowly- the second is an abstract that is representing the property slowness of a particular event which is my walk)  My belief that oil and water don’t mix is my having the property of believing that P - Davidson wants to talk about events as described o Davidson would say my walking slowly and my walk are the same event just described in two ways o Concrete events- it is the same concrete events described differently- though abstractly they are different events - Davidson and Interpretation o Kim talks about interpretation as a way of characterizing someone as having a belief with a content- what it means to have a belief with a mental content would be to be in a mental state where someone assigns to you all beliefs, desires and meanings o Radical interpretation (says Davidson) o Davidson says you have to look at what is in their environment, what makes them say and do certain things, and then piece together o What is the evidence that is used? Kim says it is their behaviours, what is in their environment, and that the interpreter has to make certain assumptions to do the interpretation- such as charity- you have to assume that their beliefs are largely true in order to get the interpretation going at all o Kim says once you’ve done this you might be stuck with extreme indeterminacy -> unable to narrow down what belief to determine to someone o “Karl believes that eating raw spinach will improve stamina, breath, please his mother, etc….” the kind of options which are clearly different, and so the interpreter might be stuck in deciding between these options. Kim says there will be indeterminacy even if you interpret the person for the rest of their life- this is an unfortunate feature of trying to determine what a person believes- leads to radical irrealism – no fact of the matter as to what they believe- or you have to say it is relative to a scheme of interpretation, say what they believe in relation to some interpretation scheme- thus it is not a promising way of understanding mental content o Davidson uses phrases about his actual/possible behaviour- an actual interpreter can only use actual behaviour (no access to possible data- how the person might have acted in all the possible situations) o Davidson uses an omniscient interpreter – but not that the interpreter knows your mental states, building up a theory that is based on all the data you could possibly get in an omniscient way  What is the evidence that this interpreter would use?  It would need to be present, actual, and counterfactual behaviour  It would have to bring in their surroundings as well for wide content  Interestingly we don’t need to bring in the future to help interpret  We also importantly do not need to bring in facts about the brain- no need to use knowledge about their brain state  Final pint that differentiates Davidson’s view and behaviourist view is that you have to do it holistically, not piece by piece - Next time- tackle Davidson’s argument against psycho-physical laws Oct 17/13 Davidson - he is only focused on intentional mental states- not sensations - actual interpreter can only observe actual behaviour- not counterfactual behaviour- Davidson has an idea about an ideal interpreter tho says prof o prof calls this ideal interpreter an omniscient interpreter- this person does not know brain states/mental states, but omniscient about observing - Davidson’s view of content is externalist- have to know the features of their environment- believes in wide content - You’ve got to interpret holistically- that means come up with a complete theory o How do you interpret holistically? o You’ve got to assume the person is largely irrational o Maximize expected utility o if you desire an end, that means you desire the means (or what you perceive to be the means) o Consistent in belief o Believe consequences of beliefs o Forms beliefs on basis of available evidence - With ideal interpreter- will you still get sources of indeterminacy? Davidson says yes - If someone says that’s a whale, and we discover when they use that word they have no concept of a mammal, than we think maybe that isn’t how we should interpret the word whale - Examples of getting really worrying non-determinacy o Prof says Davidson doesn’t give any nice examples, tho he keeps saying there will be indeterminacy - grue: something is green until a certain point and then blue afterwards o concept that has a significant time built into it o it is in the nature of what it is so be a mental property or state to have rationality- a crucial feature of attributing a mental state is finding rationality o the mental realm is finding rationality in the subject- essentially evolved in making mental attributions o the physical realm is completely different- we are trying to make the physical world be rational o mental attributions are implicated in finding rationality – absolutely not what is going on in the physical world o Kim has a good way of spelling out how this argument is supposed to work… Kim believes that the mental supervenes on the physical  Supervenience: for every mental property you might have, it depends on the physical in this sort of way: mental properties will have physical manifestations that will show the mental property -> detailed physical state will reveal mental state -> (M)(EP)(Px->Mx)  Distinction btw syntax and semantics- no strict laws that will tell you if something has a syntactic property that it is true, no purely syntactic string of symbols that can be proved to be true in any formal language (they are related by supervenience- semantic properties supervene on the syntactic ones) • S1 and S2 -> ex. I am going to the bank- syntactically the same but semantically different - Davidson- within the actual world, there cant be any identical mental things that are not physically identical o In every world in which you find physically identical things you will find mentally identical things o In other words, it could be P2 that gives rise to M1 o Reductio - Kim says supposing you could infer mental states from the physical, than you have ceased to need the rationality to attribute the mental- you would no longer really be attributing something mental because you wouldn’t need to bring in rationality! - Prof’s suggestion was that in order to figure out what the condition is, the rules of rationality needs to be brought in o How does the mental get attributed? o Microphysical physical brain, and surrounding, and the past- thus it would fix macroscopic data - second argument- if you be Oct 22/13 Paper: - write clearly - relevant info - cite so he can look up page if need be -Midterm: nd - 2 : behaviourlism through Cartesian epistemology rd - mental statements about mind -> into behaviour -3 : argument from analogy - inferring mental states from behaviour- is it similar to yours - Armstrong Incorrigibility Thesis - you have priviledged access to your mental states - spectrum inversion -Kripke question - arguing against psychopyshical identity - rigid/non rigid designators - Cfs as not pain- contigentantly identical - cant be contingently identical – argument against identity theory - a possible - Kim’s thartritis - whether our beliefs and desires have wide or narrow content - Davidson- his argument that there cannot be any strict psycho-physical laws - suggested by kim that the mental supervenes on the physical- comes from the doctrine of strong supervenience - if they cant be psycho-physical laws in one direction then there cant be bi- conditional laws- tho prof says he argues for why there can be one way conditionals? - Norms of rationality to attribute beliefs with its logical consequences (if X is within 10 miles of Y, than it must be within 50 miles of Y as well) o B1 (X is within 10 miles of Y) and B2 (X must be within 50 miles of Y as well) – but if youre in B1, there can be no guarantee youre in B2? This is Kim trying to flesh our Davidson’s argument that strict psycho-physical laws are impossible because they would not allow the physical and mental have features that they are answerable to o Kim says that this is an abduction ad absurdum because of the relational assumption btw B1 and B2- not bi-conditional o Prof says there can indeed be one way conditionals o The important feature requires that you have not a heterogeneous disjunction ? ah - Davidson uses this argument (?) against type identity and in favor of token identity o Mental events do engage in causal relations o Principle of ?? of causality o Cant be any strict psycho-physical laws o If P falls under physical type P under the law, we cant have M follow under an M type causing a physical type o HUH o M must be a P type event o The mental event in question must be a physical type, thus it must be a physical event o You could do it the other way- M is caused by some physical type P o Every mental event has some physical type of property that makes it a physical event Oct 24/13 - identity requires bi-conditional relationships - Kripke wants it to be possible in all possible worlds - Psycho-physical laws are not a priori - Mental particular means mental exemplified is a mental property - What would it mean to say that all mental particulars are physical particulars? o If we were to be token ? or monists (only one type) o Whether token physicalism is true? Or whether all particular events are mental events - property identity is implausible says prof - walking slowly as compared to my walking- you can call it the slow walking or just the walking says Davidson o another understanding of particulars: they are just the content of a spatio- temporal region o even a substance dualist would say the soul would be located in a spatio- temporal region (or at the very least time) -Three principles: o PCI: o PNCC: where there is causality, there must be a law. whenever you have a particular thing, it will fall under a type- if some eventAcaused B, event Aand B are particular concrete events, than eventAhas a type that it falls under (perhapsAis of typeAand B type B)Atype events lead to B type events- strict laws (Davidson thinks this is a true claim about what we say when we say one thing cuases another) o Third principle: PAM: no mental type
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