Textbook Notes (368,566)
Canada (161,966)
York University (12,849)
Philosophy (78)
PHIL 2240 (9)
Chapter 2

Lowe - Chapter 2.docx

5 Pages
58 Views
Unlock Document

Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 2240
Professor
Brandon Fenton
Semester
Fall

Description
LOWE Chapter 2 Minds, bodies and people  The mind-body problem  Contentious – how the ‘mind’ is related to the body  ‘the problem of how subjects of experience are related to their physical bodies’  Limiting to human persons, but may include non-human animals  Possibilities:  Person is identical with their body, or some distinguished part of it, as its brain  Person is something distinct from body  Person is a composite entity, one part is their body and another is something else, possibly an immaterial spirit or soul  Later 2 are forms of ‘substance dualism’  ‘substance’ any sort of persisting object or thing which is capable of undergoing changes in its properties over time  Don’t confuse with ‘substance’ – denoting some kind of stuff, as water CARTESIAN DUALISM:  Rene Descartes  Writes as if human person is distinct from body  Immaterial substance in relation to body  Other times, the human person is a combination in a relation of ‘substance union’  Person is not made of any parts, invisible  Subjects of experience, with thoughts and feelings  Bodies - spatial extension, mass, location  Human person - states of consciousness  Believed bodies incapable of thinking  Behaviour of bodies governed by mechanical laws, movements determined by effect of coming into contact with other bodies  How could this manifest intelligent activity (human speech to communicate thoughts) THE CONCEIVABILITY ARGUMENT:  Laws supposedly governing the behaviour of our bodies – Descartes believed a priori (wrong)  One can coherently conceive the possibility of themselves existing without a body, in a disembodied state  This means can’t be identical to a body  Being identical with a body, but the possibility to exist without it  It not possible to exist without me existing  Cannot be identical with the body,  Exist without existing is not true of I  Force of argument depends on possibility to exist without the body  We can imagine existing in a disembodied state, not enough for it to be logically possible  Descartes claims can clearly and distinctly perceive it is possible  No proof  Any proof will appeal to a further claim that something is possible  Some claims about what is possible are acceptable without proof, or else all are not  Descartes claim not one of these THE DIVISIBLE ARGUMENT:  Other argument by Descartes  As a subject of experience, is simple and indivisible substance, body being spatial, is and composed of parts  Since they differ, the body and him cannot be the same thing  Challenging his assumption of being a substance, questions use of I  Referring to single thing persisting identically though time  Perhaps I is referring to a linguistic function  Pick out a certain object as ‘it’ in ‘it is raining’  Subjects of experience persist through time and undergo change without loss of identity  Losing a part of the body is not losing a part of one’s self  What of the bran?  Descartes claim of being able to exist as a disembodied state without it is insufficient NON –CARTESIAN DUALISM  A person is a thing possessing both mental and physical characteristics  Mental states attributed to person themselves  “I need to have a brain to think and feel’  Persistence-conditions of objects – conditions under which an object of that kind continues to survive as an object of that kind  Appeal to possibility of exchanging body or brain for another (perhaps non-organic)  If could survive demise of present brain, could not be identical with it  Is a person composed by their body?  If true every part of the body is part of the person, but reverse not true  If a person is composed by their body, but not identical with it – person must have certain parts in addition to body, but not the case after dismissing immaterial soul  Must deny a person is composed by their body ARE PERSONS SIMPLE SUBSTANCES?  Things having exactly the same parts are identical with one another – mereology  A person is not identical with their body and must be a simple substance (compressed argument) - reverse structure of Descartes  Notion of ‘dividing a person in two’  By removing a part of a person’s body either left with the same person or no person at all  Another objection to simple substance claim, if combined with claim that persons share with their bodies physical characteristics  If persons are spatially extended they must be divisible into distinct parts  They are abstractions whose identity depends upon their relation to the single person they belong to CONCEPTUAL OBJECTIONS TO DUALISTIC INTERATION  Cartesian substance dualism is a form of Interactionism dualism – mental states of a person often interact causally with physical states of the body, both causing such states and being caused by them  Critic of nonphysical states are causes and effects of physical states  Conceptual and empirical difficulties  Conceptual difficulties – cannot make sense of there being a casual transaction between items different in nature from one another ad the dualist conceives mental and physical states  Cartesian dualism leaves no scope for these interactions to happen  Idea causation must be ‘local’ abandoned by Newtonian theory of gravitation  Gravitational force is carried by particles known as ‘gravitons’ implying gravitational effects are local rather than the results of action at
More Less

Related notes for PHIL 2240

Log In


OR

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


OR

By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.


Submit