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Lecture 13

Lecture 13 Notes

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Steve Joordens

PHLA10 – Lecture 13 Notes November 20 and 22 , 2012 The Philosophy of Mind: Part 1 Chapter 19 Dualism and the Mind/Body Problem Chapter 19: Pages 255 - 263 The Mind-Body Problem  What is the mind? o Mental states (beliefs, desire, etc) o Consciousness (feelings, sensations, etc)  What is matter or the physical? o What is described by physics o Physical states (mass, shapes, electrics charge, etc)  The Mind-Body Problem = explaining the relationship between the mental and the physical  The source of the modern mind-body problem is Descartes o Traité de L’Homme (1664) Dualism versus Materialism  Dualism = the view that mind and matter are different things o One form of Dualism is Cartesian Dualism  Mind is a separate entity  Mind is non-spatial (has no size, no location)  Mind is in causal interaction with matter  Ie. Injury to body causes painful feeling in mind  Ie. Mental decision to raise arm causes arm to rise  Materialism = the view that mind is a part of the material world which is all there is o One form of Materialism is the Mind-Brain Identity Theory  Mind is identical to brain  Analogy with the discover that water = H₂O  Neuroscience will discover that mind = brain Mind and Soul  Soul (whatever it is) seems to involve mind  Sometimes it is said that mind is the ‘rational part’ of the soul o But this seems to forget many conscious mental states (feelings, emotions, sensations)  A quick argument for dualism o The mind (part of soul) is immortal o The body is not immortal PHLA10 – Lecture 13 Notes November 20 and 22 , 2012 The Philosophy of Mind: Part 1 Chapter 19 o Therefore, the mind and body must be separate  Arguments like these use the philosophical principle: Leibniz’s Law Leibniz’s Law (LL)  If X = Y then, any property of X is a property of Y, and vice versa  It logically follows that:  If X has a property that Y lacks, then X ≠ Y o This is the principle of the alibi, for example:  If the murder was in Toronto and you at that time in Ottawa, you cannot be the murderer.  Why not? The murder has a property which you lack  But what are properties? o One of the basic elements of our ‘common metaphysics’ o The world is composed of:  Objects (which have various characteristics)  These characteristics are their properties o Unlike objects, properties can be shared by different things  ie. There are many red things o Properties are abstract; their instances are concrete o Other elements of the common metaphysics:  Events  Processes  Can these both be reduced to objects and properties? (1) Arguments for Dualism  The argument based on the immortality of the soul is a valid use of Leibniz’s Law o But is it sound?  The materialist will deny that any part of the human being is immortal, so they will deny the main premise  But Descartes’ didn’t use the immortality argument  Here’s a possible Cartesian argument: 1) I can doubt that I have a body a. Maybe I am only a spirit dreaming that I have a body 2) I cannot doubt I have a mind 3) Therefore, mind and body are not identical (by Leibniz’s Law)  What Leibniz’s Law property is demonstrated? o Indubitable existence argument: Mind has ‘cannot be doubted’ while the body lacks this  But is this argument valid? PHLA10 – Lecture 13 Notes November 20 and 22 , 2012 The Philosophy of Mind: Part 1 Chapter 19 o No, this argument cannot be valid. If it was, we could prove way too much. o Counterexample: 1) Peter doubts Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta is a famous singer 2) Peter does not doubt that Lady Gaga is a famous singer 3) Therefore, Lady Gaga ≠ Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta  What has gone wrong?  Basically, we have mistaken a property of Pet
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