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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 1
Professor
Eric Yang
Semester
Fall

Description
Philosophy 1: Intro To Philosophy with Professor Eric Yang Email: [email protected] Day 1, Sept. 28 Etymological = philein + Sophia = love of wisdom 2nd order discipline: considering religion, physics, politics, those domains Main Topics  Existence of God: can we prove he exists? Is His existence compatible with the evil in the world?  Free will: do we have free will? Is it compatible with determinism?  Personal identity & ontology: What conditions such that a person continues to exist? What are we? Are we souls or a wholly material thing?  Epistomology: knowledge and skepticism. What is knowledge? Are we being deceived? Goals:  Gain an understanding and appreciation of philosophical problems and to actually practice the philosophical methods of critical investigation  Acquire basic for recognizing and evaluating arguments  Learn how to write an argumentative paper that defends a particular position Logic Introduction Argument: set of propositions that consist of (1) a conclusion & (2) premises in support of conclusion. Structure =  1. Premise  2. Premise  3. Premise  4. Conclusion Deductive argument: premises guarantee argument Inductive argument: premises raise probability of argument *trust intuition, often onto something To evaluate a deductive argument:  [1] is it valid? Not ‗it‘s a valid point.‘ If premises true, conclusion must be true.  [2] is it sound? It‘s valid and all premises are true.  Modus pohens: if P, then Q. P. Therefore, Q.  Modus tollens: if P, then Q. Not -Q. Therefore, not –P.  Hypothetical syllogism: if P, then Q. If Q, then R. Therefore, if P, then R.  Disjuncture syllogism: either P or Q. Not –P. Therefore, Q.  Fallacies = mistakes in reasoning process. Too many but to identify well, evaluate actual arguments. Best practice of identifying arguments and fallacies is by evaluating actual arguments, which is part of the purpose of this course. Day 2 Arguments for God‘s Existence, Oct. 1 Differing personalities between religions, so what features do that have in common? Restricted theism:  X is God = x is omniscient, omnipotent, all good (i.e. morally perfect)  ―Can God create a stone too heavy for Him to lift?‖ Evaluation of arguments  Valid: does the conclusion necessarily follow the premises?  Sound: is the argument valid & are the premises true? Cosmological arguments: 2 types, destve God‘s existence through very generic features of the world = 1 Cause Argument & Dependence Argument 1st Cause Argument:  [1] some things have come into existence and it‘s a result of some other causes  [2] every causal sequence eventually traces back to a first cause  [3] there‘s a first cause  [4] first cause = God  [5] so there IS a God o Premise [1] assumption: (alpha) nothing which comes to exist can be the cause of its own existence o Premise [2] assumption: (beta) it is impossible for a sequence of causes to go to infinity The buck has to stop. o Regress must terminate w/ a being who is causing existence of something w/out itself being caused to exist o The first cause must itself be uncaused. An uncaused cause. o Objections to [2]:  Deny (beta): maintain possibility of an infinite causal sequence. (―no beginning‖) analogous to negative integers.  Looks like every cause has an antecedent explanation o Objection to [4]: can deny that the first cause was God  Perhaps multiple first causes  First cause may not be omniscient, omnipotent, nor wholly good.  Instead of God, maybe Big Bang is the uncaused cause.  Requires possibility that an event occurs, which has no cause/explanation. (i.e. deny Principle of Sufficient Reason).  Burden of proof given to the person giving the argument Dependence Argument  Preliminaries: ontological dependence: noncausal  Object A is ontologically dependent on B just in case A needs B simultaneously in order to exist. (i.e. a ham sandwich depends ontologically on ham and 2 slices of bread for existence)  Ontologically dependent being needs other entities for existence and existence needs explanation  Ontologically independent being can exist without any other entity. Explains own existence. o [1] there are ontologically dependent beings o [2] they eventually derive existence from ontologically independent things o [3] something ontologically independent exists o [4] that ontologically independent being is God o [5] God exists  justifying [2]: Principle of Sufficient Reason (Leibniz) = for every dependent being, there‘s a sufficient reason why it exists, rather than not.  Dependent beings cannot provide sufficient reasoning they exist  [y] An infinite sequence of ontologically dependent beings is impossible because it doesn‘t provide an explanation of why anything exists. (An explanation must terminate)  Deny = not every ontological dependent thing may have an explanation  Deny [y]: perhaps an infinite sequence of ontologically dependent beings is possible  Objection to [4]: maybe other entities that are ontologically independent may not be omniscient, omnipotent nor wholy good so it does fit the God definition. (i.e. point-sized physical particles) Day 3 Arguments for God‘s Existence, Oct. 3 Design argument (DA)  Preliminary =if universe was a product by accident, then we should expect disorder. Patterns rarely emerge.  2 types: a) focus on organisms or features & b) focus on features of the universe  [1] universe exhibits intricate machine-like structure at every scale and time  [2] only possible way for this is to have been intelligently designed  [3] universe is intelligently designed  [4] if intelligently designed, designed by God  [5] God exists  objection to [1]:have to make sense of the claim that the universe (something natural) is like a machine without begging the question  begging the question: implicitly assuming the conclusion somewhere in your argument  objection to [2]: even what is improbable may be possible. The ordered universe may have come into existence in a fluke random occurrence, as certain structure do arise from random fluctuation Design argument Ver. 2  [1*] the universe exhibits orderly and life-sustaining structure  [2*] the best explanation for the universe‘s existence is it was intelligently designed  [3] universe is intelligently designed (by 1* & 2*)  [4] if intelligently designed, designed by God (by 3 & 4)  [5] God exists  objection to [1*]: universe is not so well organized, just clusters of quarks and galaxies  premise [1*]: theist‘s response = intricacy of fine timing if physical magnitudes had not been virtually the quantities that they are, life and complex atoms wouldn‘t have developed i.e. one manifestation of orderly and life-sustaining structure  premise [2*]: unlikelihood of universe like ours requires explanation = fine timed structure of universe is best explained not by chance or necessity but by activity of intelligent agency  objection to [2*]: an explanation of order is the universe by appeal to physical law operating on physical materials  theist’s response: existence of physical laws and it‘s uniform operation on physical matter is not in need of explanation  better [2*] objection: multiverse: if there are (infinitely) many universes, many that are different with respect to its laws & forces, then it may not be improbable that at least one of these universes will be orderly and life-sustaining  objection to [4]: perhaps there are multiple designers of the universe or they‘re not omnipotent, omniscient, nor morally perfect. Existence of evil shows that the intelligent designer isn‘t God. Day 4 Focus on An Inductive Version of DA, Oct. 5 Argument from evil: best argument against God‘s existence = the problem of evil Focus on restricted theism again = to raise problem, unnecessary to include divine omniscience God = (by definition) is omnipotent and wholly good Logical problem: certain set of beliefs is inconsistent. Theism is an incoherent framework. Inconsistent set: can derive a contradiction. rd If any 2 are true, the 3 is false:  [1] God is omnipotent  [2] God is wholly good  [3] Evil exists Additional assumptions  [A1] a wholly good being always eliminates evil as far as it can  [A2] no limits to what an omnipotent being can do (can prevent all evils)  propositions 1, 2, A1, A2, entail there‘s no evil  absurd so either God isn‘t omnipotent, or he‘s not all good & if either not –[1] or not –[2], then God of restricted theism doesn‘t exist *adequate solutions vs. fallacious solutions (Mackie)  give up any of the 1-3  deny omnipotence or it restricts it  deny wholly goodness  deny evil exists  bad solutions: gives up one of the 1-3 but false appearance as though all three propositions can be retained  attempt 1: good cannot exist without evil necessary counterpart. Problem: restrict/denies omnipotence o God can‘t create good without simultaneously making evil  attempt 2: evil is necessary as a means to the good o ―the ends justify the means‖ –Machiavelli problem: restricts/denies omnipotence, by causal laws that He must create certain means (evil) to create end (good) (a lower degree of good)  attempt 3: universe is better with some evil than none. st Discordance heightens beauty of musical scores. Permits 1 order evils (physical pain) to attain 2nd order goods (benevolence, charity, mercy) problem: restricts denies God‘s wholly good because not concerned with minimizing evil (on 1 order level) nd ~then 2 order evils (malevolence, cruelty) problem returns Free Will Defense  attempt 4: the most plausible = evil is due to human free will. Better on the whole that humans act freely and go wrong then to be determined (even if they‘d always act rightly).  The appeal = want to make the distinction  Preliminary = theodicy vs. defense o Theodicy: what God‘s actual reasons are for permitting evil o Defense: what might be a reason for God to permit evil  Response to objection o Defense: Alvin Platinga [AP] says no matter what God created, if it includes free creatures, then evil exists (requires denying A2) o Places a limit on the omnipotent being o 1-3 form a consistent set as long as AP is logically possible  Mackie’s reply  Problems: o (a) what about natural evils (earthquakes, animal suffering, etc.) o (b) if humans are truly free, God lacks a certain control over them, denies [1]. God isn‘t omnipotent o Plantinga‘s reply: omnipotence doesn‘t mean there are no limits, but can‘t do anything logically impossible (i.e. humans control selves with free will) o Can‘t God create human with freedom that acts good? o Platinga‘s reply: no, free will is not compatible with determinism o Mackie‘s reply: yes, free will is compatible with determinism Day 5 Free Will & Determinism Intuitive datum 1  Moral responsibility requires freewill. If S doesn‘t perform action A freely, then S isn‘t morally responsible for A.  FW = people sometimes act freely. Perform action A free only if A was ―up to you‖ = the choice was yours for more than 1 alternative Intuitive datum 2  Free will requires a ―garden of forking paths‖ Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP)  S performs A freely and responsibly only if S could have done otherwise than A  Determinism = every event has a cause.  Sider = ―given the laws of nature, once the cause has occurred, the effect MUST occur‖  Past event + laws of nature = guaranteed  Compatibility question: how do we reconcile FW & determinism?  Positions o hard determinism: incompatibilst, accepts determinism, not FW. No one‘s responsible for any event.  Problem: difficult because datum 1 and belief in moral strength o Libertarianism: imcompatibilst accepts FW, rejects determinism.  How is freedom possible given indeterminacy of causal sequence?  Why quantum mechanics? = NO HELP o Intelligibility question: o -Response:  adopt substance dualism: a human is a soul that transcends the laws of nature  agent causation: S acts freely only if [a] the action is not caused in an ordinary, _______ way & [b] the action is caused by the agent  ―I affect the world in a unique way‖  OMG mentioned the flying spaghetti monster o Soft determinism: compatibilist, accepts FW and determinism. S performs A freely if A is ―caused in the right way.‖ FW doesn‘t require a ―garden of forking paths.‖  [i] caused by beliefs and desires (B+D)  objection = hypnosis  [ii] caused by B+D, and B+D chosen freely  objection = circular, begging the question  [iii] caused by B+D, provided not compelled by any other  objection = same compulsions not due to being caused in the right way, my influence of another  [iv] caused by B+D, provided they flow from person‘s character  objection: some free actions occur even though they don‘t ―flow from one‘s character‖ Majority are soft determinists but open questions to characterize freedom, however some claim that libertarianism is more intuitive Day 6 The Consequence Argument, Oct. 10 Compatibilism: FW & determinism can both be true. Has the upper hand. Incompatibilism: FW & determinism cannot both be true Van Inwagen‘s goal: est. incompatibilism. Can‘t have both. But does NOT est. whether FW or determinism are true. Assume DET is true and show that if you make that assumption, you can‘t also believe in FW.  DET is true  It is necessary that if P0 and L, then P. (By definition of DET)  It is untouchable that if P0 and L, then P (By necessity rule)  It is untouchable that P0 and L (no power) [separate premise we can assume]  It is untouchable that P (conditional rule)  I am not able to do otherwise than P  If 6, then I do not act freely  I do not act freely (modus ponens)  EXPLAIN ALL OF THESE RULES IN DETAIL  ―I contended that the best and most important argument for the incompatibility of free will and determinism was the Consequence Argument.‖ Brief, informal sketch: ―If determinism is true, then our acts are the consequences of the laws of nature and events in the remote past, But it is not up to us what went on before we were born, and neither is it up to us what the laws of nature are. Therefore, the consequences of these things (including our present acts) are not up to us.‖ Proposition:  [a] literal bearer of truth-value  [b] expressed in sentences  2 different sentences can express the same proposition: ―The snow is white‖ vs. ―La neige est blanche‖  Some true propositions are such that their truth is up to me. o ―‘I had Freebirds for lunch‘ is true, and it was up to me whether it would be true or not. Could have made that prop false.  Some true propositions are such that their truth is not up to me. o ―‘My brother was born in 1977‘ is true but not up to me.‖ But it was up to my parents.  Some true propositions are such that their truth is not up to anyone (any human being). o ‗The presence of mass changes the local curvature of spacetime‘ is true and not up to anyone.  Untouchable proposition: p is untouchable = p is true, and nothing that anyone is or ever has been able to do might have had the consequence that it was false.  Necessary propositions: p is necessary= p is true in every possible world. i.e. p is true ―no matter what.‖ o i.e. 2+2=4 Logic of Untouchable propositions:  Necessity Rule: [NR] o [i] p is necessary o [ii] p is untouchable o Any necessarily true proposition is an untouchable proposition  Conditional Rule: [CR] o [i] p is untouchable o [ii] (if p, then q) is untouchable o [iii] q is untouchable  The Consequence Argument: o Terminology:  P0: a proposition that gives a complete and correct description of the state of whole universe at some time in the remote past  L: conjunction of all the laws of nature  P: the proposition that I came to class o Definition of determinism: [DET] it is necessary that: if P0 & L, then P  Pvl‘s strategy for proving incompatibilism: assume DET, and show that FW is false  One more preliminary: [No Power] the past and the laws of nature are untouchable. i.e. there is nothing I can do to make any true proposition about the past false, and there is nothing I can do to make any true law of nature false. o [1] DET is true. (assumption) o [2] it is necessary that : if P0 & L, then P (by 1, definition of DET) o [3] it is untouchable that : if P0 & L, then P (by 2, NR) o [4] it is untouchable that : P0 & L (by No Power) o [5] so, it is untouchable that P (by 3, 4, CR) o The conclusion can be generalized for any action performed by any human  So if DET is rue, every true proposition is untouchable.  Fri. read The Consequence Argument and (optional) Frankfurt‘s refutation of the Principle. Day 7, The Consequence Argument (cont.), Oct. 12 [1] Untouchable propositions  p is untouchable = p is true, and nothing that anyone is or ever has been able to do might have had the consequence that it was false [2] two rules:  [a] necessity rule: p is necessary p is untouchable  [b] conditional rule: p is untouchable & (if p then q) is untouchable q is untouchable [3] definition of determinism: [DET]: it is necessary that if P0 & L, then P [4] No power: the past and the laws of nature are untouchable  [1] DET is true (assumption)  [2] It is necessary that: if P0 & L, then P (by 1, def. of DET)  [3] It is untouchable that: if P0 & L, then P ( by 2, NR)  [4] It is untouchable that: P0 & L. (by No Power)  [5] So, it is untouchable that P (by 3, 4, CR) Only four possible responses:  [a] deny that Necessity Rule is valid  [b] deny that Conditional Rule is valid  [c] reject No Power: deny that P0 is untouchable  [d] reject No Power: deny that L is untouchable  most objectors opt for [b] Rest of argument: (Justifying incompatibilism)  [6] I am not able to do otherwise that come to class (by 5, def. of untouchable)  [7] If I am not able to do otherwise than come to class, I did not come to class freely  [8] So, I did not come to class freely (by 6, 7)  justification for [7]: Principle of Alternative Possibilities o PAP: S acts freely and responsibly only if S could have done otherwise Compatibilist response:  Two different notions of freedom: o [a] freedom to do otherwise o [b] freedom to act  Some compatibilists argue that the kind of freedom we care about, which is the kind of freedom that has to do with moral responsibility, is the freedom to act, not the freedom to do otherwise  Objection: deny [7] by rejecting PAP: argue that I can act freely and responsibly even though I could not have done otherwise.  PAP is a conditional, and to show that a conditional is false, one must show the antecedent to be true, and the consequent false.  Objection: denying PAP o Daniel Dennett (1984): ―‘Here I stand,‘ Luther said. ‗I can do no other.‘ Luther claimed that he could do no other, that his conscience made it impossible for him to recant. He might, of course, have been wrong, or have been deliberately overstating the truth. But even if he was…his declaration is testimony to the fact that we simply do not exempt someone from blame or praise for an act because we think he could do no other. Whatever Luther was doing, he was not trying to duck responsibility.‖ o John Locke (1690): ―Suppose a man be carried, whilst fast asleep, into a room where is a person he longs to see and speak with; and be there locked fast in, beyond his power to get out; he awakes and is glad to find himself in so desirable company, which he stays willingly in…I ask, is not this stay voluntary? I think nobody will doubt it.‖ o Harry Frankfurt‘s (1969) paper gives most influential objection to PAP: Provide a case in which S is morally responsible for some action (and so acts freely) but could not have done otherwise.  So rejects intuitive datum 2 o Frankfurt‘s counterexample:  Jones is angry and wants to kill Smith, and Dr. Evil hates Smith and wants to ensure that Smith ends up dead.  Dr. Evil, an evil but brilliant neurosurgeon, implants a chip in Jonas‘ brain such that it will let Dr. Evil know what Jones decides to do before he performs an action  If Jones decides not to kill Smith, Dr. Evil will press a button that makes Jones pull the trigger and kill Smith  If Jones decides to kill Smith, Dr. Evil does nothing (just watching from his evil lair)  Jones decides to kill Smith and pulls the trigger, thereby killing Smith; and Dr. Evil does not intervene  Can Jones be blamed for killing Smith? That is, is Jones responsible for killing Smith?  If yes, then PAP is false, for Jones responsibly (and so freely) performed the action, but Jones could not have done otherwise.  So, deny [7] of the extended argument.  Most people‘s reactions:  Jones is guilty and blameworthy for killing Smith since he acted ―on his own‖, and is thereby responsible for killing him.  Jones acted freely in killing Smith even though he could not have done otherwise (because Dr. Evil would have made him do it if he decided not to)  Debate is still ―up in the air‖  Some incompatibilists defend PAP and claim Frankfurt‘s examples do not undermine it  Some compatibilists think we are ―looking in the wrong place‖ and instead focus on ―reactive attitudes‖ (i.e. resentment, anger, gratitude, etc.) Day 8 Substance Dualism (E.J. Lowe), Oct. 15 Self (Mind) and Body Personal Ontology:  Central question: ―What am I?‖ i.e. ―What sort of thing am I?‖  Other questions related to personhood: o ―What makes someone the same person over time?‖ (personal identity) o ―What makes a person different from non-persons?‖  Related question: ―What is the relationship between my body and me?‖ o Lowe: Sometimes put as ‗mind-body problem‘, but whatever I am, I am a being ―with a mind‖—that is, I am the literal subject of all and only my mental states 2 Broad Positions  Substance Monism (a.k.a. Materialism) o I am my body  The relationship between my body and me is identity  (can substitute ‗brain‘, ‗cerebral cortex‘, cerebrum‘, ‗brain stem‘, etc. for ‗body‘) o Some materialists also accept the following:  Physicalism: my mental states are physical states (e.g. neurophysiological states)  Substance Dualism: o I am a soul (or a soul + body) o My body and I are not identical but causally related o I am the subject of all and only mental states, and my body is not.  Mental states is incompatible with physical states o Dualism is very unpopular among philosophers and putatively very popular among ―the folk‖.  Cannot reject the view by scoffing or mocking; but must show tat arguments for it fail or provide arguments against it. o Dualism and theism can come apart:  Can accept Dualism and atheism (W.D. Hard, Willian Lycan)  Can accept Materialism and theim (van Inwagen, Trenton Merricks) We‘ll look at two Cartesian arguments for Substance Dualism: o [1] The Conceivability argument o [2] The Divisibility Argument  Still influential and enforced by some contemporary philosophers.  Conceivability: o What you can ―imagine‖ to be the case. o Conceivability-to-possibility principle o [CP]  If I can conceive that P < then P is logically possible.  Conceivability test: I can conceive of myself getting an A in the course, so it is possible for me to get an A in the course.  I can conceive of a human being flying (unaided), so it is possible for a human being to fly (unaided)  I cannot conceive of a square circle, so it is impossble for there to be a square circle. Doesn‘t‘ technically follow CP. o Conceivable scenario (from Descartes): (I think therefore I am): I can conceive of a scenario in which there exists an Evil Demon that has god-like powers and exerts all its energies in deceiving me. In this scenario, I do not have a body (since there are no physical objects, but the Evil Demon deceives me in believing that I have a body (among other things) o Since I can conceive of myself existing without a body, then it is possible that I exist without a body  Leibniz’s Law: o [LL] For all x and y:  if x=y, then for all F, x is F just in case y if F  If two things are identical, they must have all the same properties!  Equivalently: if x has a property that y lacks, then x≠y Conceivability Argument  [1] It is conceivable that I exist without my body  [2] It is possible that I exist without my body (by 1, CP)  [3] I have the property of possibly existing without my body, and my body does not have the property of possibly existing without my body (by 2)  [4] so, I am not identical to my body (by 3, LL)  Objection: reject move from [1] to [2] o That is, deny [CP]:  Conceivability ≠ possibility  What is conceivable may not be logically possible o Just because you imagine yourself in a disembodies state does not mean you can exist in such a state o We can deny CP. I can conceive of myself existing without my body, but that is not logically possible. o Against CP: Roommate bet example:  Loser carries out this set of instructions:  [i] clean the apartment  [ii] do winner‘s laundry  [iii] Where n is even and equals the square root of 289, buy roommate n CDs of her choice  [iv] eat 5 live worms  Roommate-bet case seems conceivable, but it is actually logically impossible (see [iii])  The number n must be both even and odd (17)  Truth of [2] is not established (though not falsified either!)  So…stalemate(?) Day 9, E.J. Lowe: Substance Dualism, Oct. 17 Review:  Substance dualism vs. substance monism (materialism) o Substance dualism: I am my soul (or soul+body) o Materialism: I am my body (or brain, cerebrum, etc)  Conceivability Argument: o [CP] If I can conceive that P, then P is logically possible o [LL] For all x and y, if x=y, then for all F, x is F just in case y is F o [1] it is conceivable that I exist without my body o [2] it is possible that I exist without my body (by 1, CP) o [3] I have the property of possibly existing without my body, and my body does not have the property of possibly existing without my body (by 2) o [4] so, I am not identical to my body (by 3, LL) o Objection: deny [CP]. Even if I can conceive of myself existing without a body, it does not follow that it is logically possible that I can exist without a body Divisibility Argument Descartes: ―There is a great difference between the mind and the body, inasmuch as the body is by its very nature always divisible. While the mind is utterly indivisible‖ ―When I consider the mind…I am unable to distinguish any parts within myself; I understand myself to be something quite single and complete. Although the whole mind seems to be united to the whole body, I recognize that if a foot or arm or any other part of the body is cut off, nothing has thereby been taken away from the mind. As for the faculties of willing, of understanding, of sensory perception and so on, these cannot be termed parts of the mind, since it is one and the same mind.‖  Simplicity: x is simple = (definition) x is not capable of being further divided into component parts  [1] I am a simple substance  [2] my body is divisible and composed of different parts  [3] So, I ≠ my body (1, 2, LL)  since 2 is plausible, argument requires (ASK COLIN)  Justification for [1]: unity of consciousness requires that I am a simple (non-composite) entity  Moreover, it is off to think of the mental states of the self as being ―composed of parts‖: what is half a belief, or two-thirds a desire, or the parts of a pain, etc.?  Objections to [1]: [a] there is no unified self, but only a bundle or stream of conscious states o ―We are nothing but a bundle or collection of different perceptions, which succeed each other with an inconceivable rapidity, and are in a perpetual flux and movement…the mind is a kind of theatre, where several perceptions successively make their appearance; pass, re-pass, glide away, and mingle in an infinite variety of postures and situations. There is properly no simplicity in it at one time, nor identity in different; whatever natural propension we may have to imagine that simplicity and identity‖ – Hume, treatise 1.4 VI o [b] Question begging: suppose the mind is identical to the brain; given that the brain is composed of parts, then so is the mind  so dualist must already assume that mind is distinct from the brain (or body) to claim that it is simple  Cartesian substance dualism makes two claims: o [1] self and body are not identical o [2] self and body are causally related  by [2], dualists claim that the states if the self (mind and states of the body can causally interact with each other o Dualistic Interactionism (DI):  Mental-to-physical causal connection  Desire and belief causes bodily action  Physical-to-mental causal connection  Being punched in the arm causes pain o The Conceivability Argument and the Divisibility Argument may not work (though perhaps they can be modified and salvaged), but it has not been shown that dualism is false—so maybe we are immaterial substances (e.g. souls) o Next we‘ll look at arguments that ty to show that dualism is false  Arguments target Dualistic Interactionism (DI) Conceptual Objections to DI  How can there be causal transaction between states of radically different natures? o Seems that mental states (which lack location in physical space) of the soul cannot cause physical states of the body which are located in space)  Assumes ―transaction‖ conception of causation  ―Transaction‖ conception of causation: o ―Some property of the cause must be transmitted to the effect‖( Lowe pg. 22) o E.g. motion of one billiard ball transfers property of motion to another ball upon impact o Heat of poker transfers property of heat in some water (where the poker is plunged) o Transaction conception of causation: since soul and body have no properties in common, no property could be transmitted between the mental and the physical  Thus no causal interaction between mental and physical o Thus, difference in kind and nature of souls and bodies seems problematic  Response to Conceptual Objection o Response: accept a Humean notion of causation  Cause and effect is just ―constant conjuction‖  [HC] S1 causes S2 = S1 is followed by S2, and that every state of the same kind as S2 is followed by a state of the same kind as S2  Learn by empirical means what causes what (where certain states are ―constantly conjoined‖ with other states)  Given [HC], no conceptual problem that mental can cause physical (an vice versa)  IF mental state is ―constantly conjoined‖ with physical state, then there is causal interaction  No conceptual constraints: [NC] There are no a priori constraints on what kinds of states/events can enter into causal relationships with one another  Can accept [NC] without accepting Hume‘s theory Further Objections to Dualism, Empirical Objections & The Causal Closure Arugment, Oct. 19 Review:  [1] Divisibility Argument  [2] Cartesian Substance Dualism o [a] self ≠ body o [b] dualistic interactionism (DI)  [3] Conceptual Objection: o Attacks DI given radically different natures of soul and body  Assumes ―transaction‖ conception of causation  Can accept Humean conception of causation to show that there are no conceptual (or a priori) constraints regarding the kinds of states/events that can enter into causal relations. Empirical Objection to DI  Daniel Dennett: ―A fundamental principle of physics is that any change in the trajectory of any physical entity is an acceleration requiring the expenditure of energy, and where is this energy to come from? It is this principle of the conservation of energy that accounts for the physical impossibility of ―perpetual motion machines,‖ and the same (didn‘t finish quote)  Mental-to-physical causal interaction violates certain laws of physics o E.g. conservation of momentum, conservation of energy  If souls act on physical events, then they disrupt the conservation of momentum or energy (some dualists even claim that souls produce ―new energy‖ in the world, though not empirically supported) o One response: Only violate laws under a ―closed‖ system, but universe may not be a ―closed‖ system  E.g. if God can directly intervene in the world, the perhaps souls can in a similar way without violating conservation laws  ―In physics, the mentioned preservation laws are always asserted under the condition that the physical system with regard to which [conservation laws] are asserted in a so-called closed system: that no energy or momentum is coming into the system from entities that are outside of it…now, physics is silent on the question whether the entire physical world is a closed system‖ (Uwe Meixner 2008, 18-19) o Another response: not all causal interactions require exchange of energy or momentum (perhaps at the quantum level)  Cf. physicist Henry Stapp  ―This argument depends on identifying ―standard physics‘ with classical physics. The argument collapses when one goes over to contemporary physics, in which, due to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, trajectories of particles are replaced by cloud-like structure, and in which conscious choices can influence physically described activity without violating the conservation laws or any other laws of quantum physics‖ (Mindful Universe, p. 81) Causal Closure Argument  Can provide a more general, empirical objection to substance dualism: The Causal Closure Argument o Unlike the other objections, it tries to prove that physicalism is true!  (recall that substance dualism implies the denial of physicalism; so this argument shows that substance dualism is false)  Pay attention, might be on midterm! o [1] Principle of the causal closure of the physical:  At every time at which a physical state has a cause, it has a fully sufficient physical cause. o [2] Principle of psychophysical causation:  Some physical states have mental states amongst their causes o [3] Principle of causal non-overdetermination:  When a physical state has a mental state amongst its causes, it is rarely if ever causally overdetermined by that mental state and some other physical state  Overdetermination: you‘ve got two causes, if you got one, you don‘t need the other, but doesn‘t hurt to have both Actual premises and argument  [1] At every time at which a physical state has a cause, it has a fully sufficient physical cause P*  [2] Some physical states have mental states amongst their causes P cause P*  [3] when a physical state has a mental state amongst its causes, it is rarely if ever causally overdetermined by that mental state and some other physical state M o P cause P* Above picture shows causal overdetermination, contra [3]  [4] thus, at least some mental states are identical with certain physical states M o ll P cause P* (M is identical to P) Causal Overdetermination  ―Suppose that two assassins independently shoot at the same time and both bullets inflict fatal wounds upon their victim, who promptly dies: in this case, the victim‘s death is causally overdetermined by the acts of shooting, since (a) each act is a cause of the death and yet (b) even if one of the acts had not existed, the other would still have sufficed, in the circumstances, to cause the death‖ (Lowe pg. 28)  Premise [3] rules out, as a general rule, the possibility of causal overdetermination for mental causation  Not that it can‘t ever happen but just very RARE Argument yields physicalism:  M is identical with one of the physical states P  To deny this is the say that M ≠ P, but then we have a case of overdetermination (which [3] rules out), or that M is not causally efficacious (which [2] rules out), or that P is not causally efficacious (which [1] rules out)  Hence, M = P Options for the dualist:  Deny [2] o Accept parallelism:  Mental and physical never causally interact with each other, but are in perfect sync o Accept epiphenomenalism:  Mental states are causally impotent  Possible responses on behalf of dualist: o [a] reject principle of causal closure  so deny [1]: perhaps there are ―emergent properties‖ and ―emergent‖ powers that have downward effects o [b] reject Principle of Casual non-overdeterminism  So deny [3]: perhaps there can be more than one sufficient cause and yet not be causally overdetermined Animalism Oct. 22 We‘ve considered two possible positions of what we (human beings) are:  [a] substance dualism: souls  [b] materialism There are different versions of materialism, depending on what material object we identify ourselves with Commonsensical or pre-theoretical view:  [A] Human beings are animals or organisms that are members of the species homo sapiens  Commensense reasoning for [A]: o When I look in the mirror, I see a reflection of myself (which is a reflection of an animal)  Cannot see my soul in the mirror o When I kiss my boyfriend, it is something I actually do  If dualism is true, I cause my body to kiss the body of my boyfriend  ―Commonsense‖ view that [A] has come under attack by a large number of philosophers (both past and present) o So it seems that substantive arguments must be given to defend the view that we are animals  Eric Olson‘s goal: defend the view that we are animals o = ―Animalism‖ o Olsen‘s strategy: show that denying that we are animals yields worrisome problems  First, need to just state what the view is o Other views say things that sound similar to animalism, but really are distinct and contradictory accounts  [A] Human beings are animals or organisms that are members of the species homo sapiens o Animalism: strictly, it is the view that you and I are numerically identical with certain animals  There is a human person and an animal, and the relation that holds between the two is identity  (There are other possible relations that hold between the person and the animal, such as causal relations for the dualist)  Animalism implies Materialism (since animals are material objects)  But one can be a materialist and not an animalist  Constitution Theory: I am an animal = (definition_ I am constituted but not identical to an animal What Animalism says:  Constitution Theory: o Statue is constituted by a lump of bronze (i.e. they are located in the same spatial regions and are composed of all the same parts), but they are not identical objects  Distinct objects because the lump of bronze can survive being squashed whereas the statue cannot (and so not identical given Leibniz‘s Law) o Relation of person and animal is constitution, not identity.  This is a materialist view that denies animalism o Animalists, on the other hand, claim that the relation is identity  Animalism implies that only we (human persons such as you and I) are animals, not that all persons are o Animalism is compatible with the existence of persons that are not animals  E.g. God, angels, aliens  Not saying they exist! Just compatible for this idea o Animalism does not say that all animals, including all human animals, are persons  A human animal may continue to exist in a persistent vegetative state but with its mental capacities permanently destroyed  Some would no longer consider such a being as a person, but it is still an animal  Olson provides no definition of what a human person is o ―Rough‖ characterization  A human person is ―roughly someone who relates to a human animal in the way that you and I do, whatever way that is‖ (og. 349)  Needs to characterize it without begging the question in favor of animalism  We are not just ―mere animals‖: o Animalism does not imply that we are no different from other (non-human) animals, nor does it imply that we only have biological properties  ―There may be a vast psychological and moral gulf between human animals and organisms of other species. We may be very special animals. But for all that we may be animals‖ (Pg. 350)  Alternatives o Other possible candidates for being me:  [1] Immaterial substances (souls) or composite of soul + body  [2] Material object constituted by human animals  [3] Sum of temporal parts of some material object (the sum of those parts that are psychologically connected)  [4] (Humean) Bundle of mental states Animalism (continued): The Thinking Animal Argument, Oct. 24 Animalism:  [A] Human beings are animals o i.e. human beings are identical to animals  (contrast with Constitution Theory) What Animalism doesn‘t say:  Animalism does not imply that all persons are animals (only that being such as you and I are)  Animalism does not imply that all (human) animals are persons  Animalism does not imply that we are ―mere‖ animals or brutes Unpopularity of Animalism  Given that animalism (and its endorsement of these [A]) is intuitive and commonsensical, why the view so unpopular among philosophers?  [a] Anti-materialist arguments o Any argument on behalf of substance dualism, such as the Conceivability Argument of the Divisibility Argument, is reason to deny animalism (or any materialist view)  [b] acceptance of the psychological continuity theory of personal identity o (we‘ll see reasons for this account in the next topic)  Olson‘s diagnosis: o Tendency in discussion is to start with question of personal identity (how we persist) followed by the question of personal ontology (what we are)  If we are animals, it seems that the way we persist over time would be by whatever way animals persist o An animal persists just in case its animals functions (e.g. metabolism, capacity to breathe and circulate blood, etc.) continue  i.e. by way of bodily or biological continuity  But animals can continue to exist without psychological capacities or states  So if psychological continuity theory of personal identity is true, then we have to rule our animalism  Olson‘s methodology: o Start with personal ontology, then ask question of personal identity  If the best answer to question of what we are is animalism, then we can infer that the best approad to personal identity is in terms of however it is that animals persist (by way of bodily or biological continuity and not psychological continuity) o Olson provides a very simple but powerful argument for animalism, the Thinking-Animal Argument (TAA) o The TAA has become the most influential argument on behalf of animalism Thinking-Animal Argument  [1] There is a human animal sitting in your chair  [2] The human animal sitting in your chair is thinking  [3] You are the thinking being sitting in your chair  [4] So, you are that animal sitting in your chair (you are identical) o Argument generalizes for all human persons o Olson‘s strategy:  Show that denying any of the premises [1]-[3] is problematic  [a] Deny premise [1]: there are no human animals o If there are no human animals, then we have no reason to believe that there are any animals of any sort  Hard to accept that there are no dogs, sharks, kittens, etc. o Perhaps adopt Idealism: there are no material objects at all (Berkeley, Leibniz)  Olson: not very plausible!  [b] Deny premise [2]: human animals cannot think o If no human animal can think, then it follows that no animals or any sort can think o Hard to maintain since animals do seem to think!  Some dualists argue that no material object can think (others think animals do think because non- human animals have souls too!)  [c] Deny premise [3]: there is more than one thinker in my chair o There are 2 thinking beings, the animal and me (and the animal has the same psychological features that I have)  Worries for denying [3]: o [i] overcrowding:  Whenever we think there is one thinker, there are in fact two  There are 360 thinking beings that are listening to this lecture, not 180 o [ii] epistemic problem:  I think I am a person and the animal thinks he is a person; but I can never know whether I am the person or not  Because I would still believe that I am the person even if it turns out I am the animal o [iii] personhood problem:  Need to explain why the animal does not count as a person even though it has all the same psychological attributes that I as a person have  Olson‘s strategy: o Since denying any of the premises of the TAA leads to implausible or problematic results, then we should accept the premises and so accept its conclusion  That is, must claim either [i] there are no animals, [ii] animals cannot think, or [iii] there is more than one thinking thing in my chair o So, we should accept Animalism Fri: read Olson‘s ―An Argument for Animalism‖ in reader Against Animalism, Oct. 26 Review:  Thinking Animals Argument (TAA) o [1] There is a human animal sitting in your char o [2] The human animal sitting in your chair is thinking o [3] You are the thinking being sitting in our chair o [4] so you are that animal sitting in your chair o Denying [1]-[3] yields implausible results, so should accept premises and its animalist conclusion  Hard Choices o By starting with personal ontology, TAA gives us reason to believe that we are animals  So we should believe that we persist over time in whatever way animals persist over time o But if we accept the psychological continuity theory, then we must deny one of the [1]-[3] of TAA, each of which is an unattractive option:  Must claim either [i] that there are no animals, [ii] that animals cannot think, or [iii] there are at least two thinking things in my chair  Animalism and Other Beliefs o Animalism may conflict with some religious beliefs:  E.g. reincarnation, immaterial after-life, etc.  Animalism may be compatible with Jewish, Christian, and Muslim belief in resurrection Objection to TAA  Although denying any of the premises of the TAA yields bizarre results, the structure of the TAA can be re-cast to prove that I am not an animal but some other material object o SO something has gone wrong with the argument (but this objection doesn‘t tell us where)  ―Strange‖ objects: o You have a left-hand that is a part of you o Imagine that object that is made up of all your parts except for the left-hand  We‘ll call that object ―left-hand complement‖ o The animal in my chair is not identical to left-hand complement since they are not composed of all the same parts  I.e. the animal has my left-hand as a part, which left-hand complement lacks o We can now provide a structurally similar argument to show that I am identical to a left-hand complement:  [1*] there is a left-hand complement in my chair  [2*] if something is a left-hand complement in my chair, it is thinking  [3] you are the one and only thinking being your chair  [4*] So I am a left-hand complement  Why believe [2*]: o My animal can think because it has my brain as one of its parts o By parity of reasoning, the left-hand complement can think because it has my brain as one of its parts  Animalist Reply o Most animalists (including Olson) think we should accept [1] (that there is an animal in my chair) but that we should deny [1*]:  There does not exist objects such as left-hand complements o Problem returns since we can substitute any material object that has my brain in a structurally similar argument to show that I am that object  E.g. ‗head‘, ‗brain‘  My head and my brain are not identical to the animal in my chair since they are not composed of all the same parts o Other arguments:  [1**] there is a head near my chair  [2**] if something is a head near my chair, it is thinking  [3] I am the one and only thinking being near my chair  [4**] so I am a head  [1***] there is a brain near my chair  [2***] if something is a brain near my chair, it is thinking  [3] I am the one and only thinking being my chair  [4***] so I am a brain  So the problem with TAA is that similar arguments can be given that show that I am some material object other than the animal in my chair o Thus the critic claims TAA should be rejected as a reason for accepting animalism  Recall that Olson denies [1*], the existence of left-hand complements  But difficult to make a similar move of denying [1**] and[1***], since that requires denying the existence of objects such as heads and brains o However, that is exactly what some animalists deny (such as Olson)  Animalists will instead claim that I am a being that is ―head- ed‖ or ―brain-ed‖, but there are no composite object such as heads and brains o This is not to deny the obvious claim that I can see something head-shaped and brain-shaped (during surgery), but these animalists claim that there are no such composite objects  Rather, there are particles (that are parts of me) that are arranged ―head-wise‖ or ―brain-wise‖  Some may reject animalism given this unintuitive consequence o However, there is a version of animalism that can maintain the existence of heads, brains, and left-hand complements—and so requires providing a different response to this objection Personal Identity: Soul Theory, Oct. 31 Questions of Identity  Suppose you believe that after death, you will survive (via resurrection, or reincarnation, or as an immaterial ghost, etc). o Is such a scenario even possible?  Weirob challenges Miller to comfort her by arguing for the mere possibility of survival after death (Perry pg. 2) o Another way of putting it:  How could God create an afterlife in which I myself exist, as opposed to someone merely like me existing  I.e. that there is a conscious person in the future, and that person is you?  Not just about life after death  What are the conditions such that I remain the same person over time? o E.g. what makes Obama in 2012 the sametherson as the boy in Hawaii celebrating his 5 birthday in 1966?  Qualitative identity vs. numerical identity o Qualitative identity (―exact similarity‖):  A and B are qualitatively identical just in case A and B possess all the same qualities  Perry (p. 5): question of personal identity doesn‘t concern qualitative identity o Numerical Identity  A and B are numerically identical just in case A and B are one and the same thing  Numerical identity is what we are concerned with regarding personal identity o Identity over time for persons implies one being able to have anticipation, regret, remorse, memories, etc.  Question of personal identity: o What makes person S at t1 numerically the same as person S* at t2?  Solution‘s structure: o Person‘s S (existing at t1) and S* (existing at t2) are identical if and only if…  Not just looking for evidence of sameness, but the nature/essence of personal identity  Solution should give necessary and sufficient conditions Bad Solutions  [1] persons S and S* are identical if and only if S and S* are physically similar o Problem:  Only qualitative identical, not numerically identical  Also, people persist through time even though they undergo physical changes  [2] persons S and S* are identical if and only if S and S* are made of all the same matter o Problems:  Same matter can be used to make up another person (so not sufficient)  Person can lose or gain matter (e.g. hair-cut, eating) and still be the same person (so not necessary) Soul Theory: Sameness of Soul  Miller: ―What is fundamentally you is not your body, but your soul or self or mind… the nonphysical and nonmaterial aspects of you…your mind or soul is immaterial, lodged in your body while you are on earth. The two are intimately related but not identical…what concerns us in survival is your mind or soul. It is this which must be identical to the person before me now, and to the one I expect to see in a thousand years in heaven‖ (Perry pp. 6-7)  Soul Theory: o Persons S and S* are identical if and only if S‘s soul is the same soul as S*‘s soul  Objection: o If the soul is imperceptible, then cannot be sure whether one is talking to the same person or not when sitting with the same body  Miller’s reply (p. 8): o Same soul is connected with the body at t1 and the body at t2  [*] ―Same body, same soul‖ (at least on earth) o Objection: How can we know [*]?  No empirical test available to support that the same soul is always connected to the same body  So either we cannot know it is the same soul when we have the same body, or it is sameness of body that matters for personal identity (not sameness of soul)  Point: there is no direct or indirect method to determine whether sameness of soul is satisfied  Miller‘s next response (p. 12): o Evidence for sameness of soul is sameness of memory & character  [**] ―Same psychology, same soul‖ o Objection:  Can have same psychological traits and yet different souls ―passing through‖  Analogy: have same river characteristics and yet have different water at various times (pg. 14)  Possible that there are distinct souls that are psychologically similar at each moment of a person‘s existence  Thus, there would be sameness of person, but not sameness of soul (so not necessary condition)  Weirob‘s objections are consistent with the existence of souls o Only arguing that souls are irrelevant to question of personal identity  Other objections to existence of souls (Sider): o [1] Materialist framework in philosophy of mind excludes souls o [2] lack of explanation of how soul is capable of thinking (no story such as neural interactions for explanation)  We‘ll return to souls later (Swinburne) Personal Identity: Bodily Continuity and Psychological Continuity, Nov. 2 Review:  [1] qualitative identity vs. numerical identity  [2] question of personal identity, and solution‘s structure: o persons S and S* are identical if and only if…  [3] Soul Theory: Persons S and S* are identical if and only if S‘s soul is the same soul as S*‘s soul  [4] Objections to Soul Theory o Can think of (strange) case in which person remains the same but souls are different; so, sameness of soul is not necessary Sameness of Body  Weirob: ―I will quit breathing, I will be put into a coffin, I will be buried. And in a few months or a few years I will be reduced to so much humus‖ (Perry p. 5)  Commonsense view (?) o If trying to track down the same person, it seems good enough to ensure that we have the same body.  Sameness of body: cannot consist of having all the same matter since the matter of my body is always changing o What makes a baseball the same object in the pitcher‘s hand and in the catcher‘s mitt is that there is a series of locations in space and time that contain the baseball (first in the pitcher‘s hand, later in the intervening places and times, with the final location in the catcher‘s mitt) (Sider, p. 12) Bodily Continuity  Persons S and S* are identical if and only if S is bodily continuous with S*  Bodily continuity as spatiotemporal continuity of body: o A continuous series of locations in space and time containing a body of the same kind  Recall that dialogue is concerning possibility of continued existence after death o How can there be bodily continuity between my body and some body in the ―hereafter‖, when my body will undergo decay?  Bodily Continuity Theorists: o Need to posit some way that maintains spatiotemporal continuity of present body and body at afterlife  Van Inwagen: [an animalist and Christian] possible that God snatches my body right before death (and preserves it) and puts a simulacrum (a dummy) in its place  Objection: o Prince and Cobbler (Locke):   (similar to Miller‘s objection) o On Monday, a wealthy prince murdered someone at a party. The next day (Tuesday), the thoughts and memories of the prince were swapped from the body of the prince to the bod of the cobbler (and vice versa). The person in the cobbler‘s body remembers being wealthy and killing someone at a party; and if asked who he really was, the person I the cobbler would answer, ―I am the prince.‖ The person the prince‘s body is hauled off to jail for the murder and yelling ―I didn‘t do it!‖ o On Tuesday, where is the Prince? o Preliminaries:  Before-Prince: the person in the prince‘s body before the swap  Before-Cobbler: the person in the cobbler‘s body before the swap  After-Prince: the person in the prince‘s body after the swap (has the Before-Cobbler‘s psychology)  After-Cobbler: the person in the cobbler‘s body after the swap (has the Before-Prince‘s psychology)  Prince & Cobbler Objection o [1] After-Cobbler is not bodily continuous with Before- Prince o [2] If the bodily continuity theory is true, then After- Cobbler ≠ Before-Prince (by 1) o [3] After-Cobbler = Before-Prince o [4] So, the bodily continuity theory is false (by 2, 3, & modus tollens)  Moral of Prince and Cobbler case o Intuitions from Prince/Cobbler case supports [3] o What makes Before-Prince (B-P) and After-Cobbler (A- C) the same person is that A-C remembers B-P‘s experiences, A-C act son the intentions and desires of B-P, A-C regrets some of B-P‘s past actions, etc.  Psychological states are what matter for identity, not bodily states  Further support for [3] o Star Trek-style teletransporter  When ―beaming up‖, can de-materialize and re- materialize; even if bodies are no longer spatiotemporally continuous, there is the same person given the same psychological states o Freaky Friday  Mother (Jamie Lee Curtis) and daughter (Lindsay Lohan) can ―switch bodies‖ Psychological Continuity  Persons S and S* are identical if and only if S is psychologically continuous with S* o Theory supported by Prince/Cobbler case, Star Trek teletransporter case, etc.  We will focus on memory for psychological continuity (seems most important, or at least easiest to deal with) o E.g. S* remembers the experiences of S  So what makes the conscious being in the afterlife the same as you is that he or she remembers your experiences  What makes Obama in 2012 the same as 5 year old boy in 1966 is that Obama remembers that boy‘s experiences  Objection: o Circularity objection (Weirob):
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