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Philosophy 9-18.docx

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 1070
Professor
Robert Mc Gill
Semester
Fall

Description
PHILOSOPHY N OTES SEPTEMBER 18, 2013  The mind-body problem: The following three claims are mutually incompatible. I. Naturalism: all physical events have only physical causes. II. The soul is non-physical. III. The activity of the soul causes action.  Accepting DI (Dualistic Interactionism) requires us to make a choice I. Keep dualism, but get rid of interaction. (Malebranche) II. Keep interaction, but get rid of dualism. (Physicalism: the soul/mind is just the brain.) III. Get rid of both dualism and interactionism. (Leibniz)  Malbranche – Occasionalism o There are immaterial souls and material bodies (dualism) o But, there is no causal interaction between mind & body. o There seems to be interaction, because God intervenes to coordinate mental and physical events. M1  M2  M3 B1  B2  B3  Cartesian Dualism sets the agenda for Early Modern debates about the nature of Mind.  Descartes represents the common-sense view.  Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) o Ancestors were Portugese Jews who fled the inquisition to Holland, where he was born. o Monist – There is only one substance = the whole of reality o Whole of reality = God/nature = the infinite divine substance o One substance viewed under two aspects/attributes o Accepts a conceptual distinction between mind/body, but not a real distinction between mind/body. Spinoza’s Monism:  Substance = that which contains within itself complete explanation of its nature and existence o But, that which can be known through itself alone can’t have an external cause o So, the substance is the cause of itself o Implies that substance is completely self-dependent o God is the only thing that qualifies o God = Nature = all that is = the totality of reality  Attribute = some quality that the intellect perceives as constituting the essence of a substance o One substance, with infinite attributes o The generated and
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