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Materialism Notes.docx

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Department
Philosophy
Course
Philosophy 1020
Professor
John Thorp
Semester
Fall

Description
Exam: Elborn College 2168A Tuesday November 19 , 7­9pmh 18. Materialism “Physicalism” 1. Cartesian dualism – Where we are a) Review of the position There are two fundamentally different kinds of reality: body and mind • Mind: internal o Soul  Not extended in space  Not tangible  Private • Sarah – Green Orange Switch Disorder  Not subject to physical forces • Body: public and spatially extended  Matter  Extended in space  Resistant to touch  Resistant tot ouch  Public   Subject to physical forces  b) The chief problem facing dualism Princess Elisabeth to Descartes: Your notion of the soul entirely excludes  extension, and it appears to me that an immaterial thing can’t possibly touch  anything else • Mind and body cannot have any possible connection between them  if they are irreducibly different in reality • It seems impossible to imagine how any physical thing can have  causal interactions with the nonphysical mind o And yet body and mind interact all the time c) Three attempts to solve the problem: i) Interactionism Descartes (Whose work in metaphysics really gives rise to this whole enquiry) • Simply asserts that mind and body can interact, and he gives us  some speculative detail about how this happens • But all this detail really makes the mind­body more acute • Cartesian interaction is not a solution to the problem, it is an  evasion of the problem ii) Occasionalism Malebranche Malebranche had the idea of occasionalism, the idea that there is no direct  link between bodily events and mental events. It all happens through the  mediation of God.  There can’t possibly be a link between mind and body  o However, the link is through God Mental Events Bodily Events Hunger Eating iii) Parallelism Leibniz Leibniz had the idea of parallelism or pre­ God established harmony:  The mind and the body are entirely  independent but they follow their  (deterministic) careers in such a way that they seem to be related  Parallelism: Pre­established harmony Mental Events Bodily Events Hunger Eating Satiety Stop Eating  Both occasionalism and parallelism seem like crazy, impossible  solutions to the mind­body interaction problem  The problem seems so hard, so impossible, that one begins to think  that the solution may lie deeper: that we nee
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