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Lecture 11

PHL240H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Subjunctive Possibility, Mental Substance, Mental Property


Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHL240H1
Professor
Jim John
Lecture
11

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- Problem for materialism: what exactly is a physical thing
- For topic 1: not even is dualism as such is plausible, topic is about the world. Does it make sense to
say that this vast flux of physical going ons; does non-physical against physical causal contents make
sense
- Topic 2: another cluster of juicy topics you can use. What is it to understand a language (as Searle puts
it)
- Due Friday March 21st
- Something about intentionality that would be hard for materialist positions to explain
- Turns out to be a lot harder to say what materialism is
- Second point, as the Montero paper explains, Cambell’s way of describing materialism is terribly
flawed. Today we’ll dig into this
- Supervenience: supposed to help us understand what people mean when they say members of one set
of properties determine or fix the set of properties of members of second set
oFor example, many believe aesthetic properties supervene on things with pain properties. Then
any pain property duplicate of the Mona Lisa has aesthetic properties
oPeople often talk about one family of features properties
oMona lisa is painting with paint distributed on a canvas in such and such way
If aesthetic features of that painting supervene on its paint properties. Any paint property
duplicate is an aesthetic duplicate. Thus duplicate must be as beautiful as the original
There are those that would argue that the forgery isn’t as beautiful as the Mona Lisa.
They say aesthetic properties don’t supervene only on paint properties, but also on
some extra thing, such as originality
oThus if A supervenes B, then if B1is identical to B, then A property of B is equal to A property of
B1
- Understand notion of possible worlds
oPossible world is a complete way the world could be. By world, I don`t mean planet earth, I
mean everything that is. Complete way that everything that is could be
oThink of a complete way that the world can be as a specification of how stuff can go that is so
specific that it settles every state of affairs
oActual world is the world that really is. There is a way things are. A complete and total way the
world is
oSuppose there is a heaven but we ask, what would it be like if there wasn’t. We would be
imagining a possible world such that it doesn’t have a heaven
oPossible world: possible way the world could be
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