Philosophy Sept 19
Contradictions and Self Contradictions
Accurate Measuring of the Mind
There are two basic things according to Descartes: mind and body. They must
always be distinct from each other. He arrives at this through his simple mind
theory. But every body does have parts. As long as its extended in space, and exists
you can, in theory put a line down the middle and cut it in two half’s.
A materialistic view would be that you could potentially split the mind into streams.
If you split the brain, you could split the mind.
Descartes main argument for Dualism shows up in the sixth meditation, this would
be his Conceivability argument. This goes back to the 2 Meditation when he was
impressed by the fact that he doubted whether physical things existed, but he knew
he existed. That leads him to question that he is different from other physical things.
The conceivability argument doesn’t talk about studies of the mind, and results. It
talks about reflecting on what one can arrive at with reasoning that is independent
from experience. Contrary to popular belief, he is not making a rash argument.
He relies on what he can think about, conceive or imagine, but he also relies on a key
points about identity. If X is identical to Y, it should not even be possible to think of X
existing without Y. anytime there’s a self contradiction, we wont be able to imagine
that contradiction coming true. We can’t conceive a married bachelor, or a round
square. We cannot even conceive of a contradiction forming a reality.
Descartes asks if he can conceive of his mind continuing to exist without his body.
His point is, if he can conceive it, it shows that he/his mind, is not equal to his body,
or any part of his body, because X obviously does not equal Y.
If something is conceivable, then it is possible (possible meaning: not involving a
contradiction). If A can exist without B, then A is not B. His claim is that it is
conceivable for a mind to exist without a body, so its possible for him to exist
without a body.
It is impossible to try and explain colors to someone who is blind from birth.
Creatures navigate through echo’s, in other words it is an auditory representation of
what is in front of you. An error in Descartes argument is that our concepts of things are partial or
incomplete. I have a concept of the table, but I don’t know what it’s actually made of.
I have a concept of my experiences, but I don’t know what constitutes the substance
having these experiences.
When you rely on introspection, you get a subjective concept of your mind. It
doesn’t present the full essential nature of your mind. It just gives you a partial
glimpse of some features. Your subjecti