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19. Cartesian Dualism.docx

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Philosophy 1020
John Thorp

19. Cartesian Dualism (November 15, 2011) The mind-body problem 1. A sense of the terrain: conscious states sense-perceptions (visual, auditory, tactile….) body sense (pains, somesthesia, itches….) imaginings (day dreams, mythical figures….) thought (math, logic, science, language….) memories (of all of the above) dreams (of all of the above) hallucinations, delusions (all of the above) emotions (?) 2. Some characteristics of conscious states a) privacy – No one can have access to my conscious states. They can hypothesize about them, infer them from my behavior or my language but they cant have them. Because of privacy, I cannot even know for sure that another person has conscious states. Solipsism? < Latin solus = alone and ipse = oneself b) immediacy- You don’t infer your conscious states, you simply have them. c) incorrigibility- You cannot be in error about your conscious state. You may also be mistaken about the mode of a conscious state – e.g you may mistakr a dream for perceptual awareness or an imagination for a memory but you cannot be mistaken about the d) evanescence – conscious states come and go. A puzzle about the identity of conscious states e) spatial oddness- Where do conscious states occur? In the brain? ( a post – theoretic response) where does pain occur? Spatial oddness spatial extension vs. spatial location 3. Other matters concerning conscious states a) Conscious states and other species We feel reasonably confident that other people have conscious states much like our own (even if we can’t prove it) Apes? Dogs? Fish? Insects? Bacteria? How do we fit conscious states into the evolutionary story? b) Conscious states and skepticism – All our evidence for the existence of an external world is internal- is conscious states; some of these states seem to report an external worls (perception) but they may be mistaken. Dreams, when you are in them, don’t seem like dreams. Maybe this lecture is a dream? c) Some matters of language conscious states mental states mental events mental images sense-data percepts 4. The really big problem
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