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Maslin - Chater 6.docx

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PHIL 2240
Brandon Fenton

Taking Consciousness Seriously: Non-Reductive Monism 6.1 Introduction  The theories examined so far have been avowedly materialist or materialist in inspiration in failing to take consciousness seriously  Their by leaving no room for it, or denying its existence  Identity theory, in both type-type and token-token versions; eliminativism; analytical behaviourism; functionalism  Substance dualism has problems as well:  1) how incorporeal souls are individuated and identified over time  2) how souls are supposed to have a casual commerce with the both 6.2 Property dualism and non-reductive monism  Property dualism, exemplifies non-reductive monism  Only physical substances and physical events, possessing two different kinds of properties  A form of monism  Mental dependent on physical – known as Supervenience relation 6.3 The supervenience doctrine  Donald Davidson – denied reduction of mental to physical was possible  Embraced a version of token-token identity theory  Events thought to be of as concrete, non-repeatable particulars, on par with logical substances  Rejected substance dualism  No purely mental events, only physical ones  They have not only physical properties but irreducibly mental properties  To prevent the issue reducing mental properties to physical properties or identifying with them propped mental properties supervene on physical properties  Davidson’s characterization of supervenience has three elements 1. Irreducibility:  Supervenient phenomena, or acts, are not reducible analytically ontologically to subvenient facts of phenomena  Supervenient phenomena exist over and above subvenient basal phenomena  In context of token-token theory, contrary to type-type identity theory’s claims 2. Co-variation:  Supervenient phenomena are determined by, and co-vary with, changes in the underlying subvenient base  The reason the physical can change without the mental changing is supplied by the multiple-realizability thesis leading to token-token identity  If two individuals exactly resemble each other in their subvenient features, they must be indiscernible with respect to their Supervenient properties  Ex) an exact molecule-for-molecule physical duplicate must resemble me mentally 3. Dependence:  Supervenient phenomena emerge from, and are dependent for their existence upon, subvenient basal phenomena  Asymmetric dependence  In the context of the token-token identity theory the primacy accorded to the physical makes it a weak form of physicalism  Given importance without reducing the mental to the physical or eliminating it  Yields non-reductive monism or property-dualism  Mental is only there because of the physical and cannot alter independently of it Supervenient facts (S facts) Subvenient basal facts (B facts)  S depends for its existence on B;  S can change but if, and only if, B changes;  But B can change without it necessarily being the case that S changes  Features above are satisfied by Plato’s ‘simile of the cave’  The shadows are not genuine logical substances and are dependent upon physical objects and the fire, even if the prisoners are ignorant of this  Prisoners guess that irregularity of a shadow was caused by a previous shadow – mistake  The shadows are distinct form the physical objects casting them and irreducible to them, reduction would be incoherent as identifying a shadow with the object which is a shadow  Illustrates co-variation: - The shadows can change if and only if, the physical objects and the light casting the shadows alter in some way  Two exactly similar physical objects orientated towards the light behind them in a identical way and the same distance from it, must cast the same type of shadow – would have to be sequentially in the same position because two objects cannot occupy the same space in time 6.4 Why does supervenience obtain?  If, and when, supervenience does obtain, what is the reason?  Jaegwon Kim – Supervenience leaves open the precise reason why the mental supervenes on the physical  Most straightforward answer is that the Supervenient phenomenon is casually dependent upon the subvenient phenomenon, but the subvenient base has to be conceived of as a sustaining cause that needs to operate continually in order to keep the Supervenient phenomenon in existence  Ex) The relation between the light source and the objects, on the one hand, and the shadows, on the other, is one of causal dependence - Taking away the objects takes away the shadows  If supervenience is weakened to exclude the dependency condition above, so that only the features of irreducibility and co-variation remain, then Leibniz’s psycho-physical parallelism illustrates this modified form of supervenience  Mental changes co-vary with physical changes (and vice-versa), but without interaction, with God synchronizing the mental and physical clocks  Supervenience can apply to other studies of philosophy  R.M. Hare – moral evaluations supervene on underlying non-moral facts  No amount of non-moral facts can ever logically entail the existence of any moral evaluations, so there is no logical dependency of the evaluative on the factual  Moral evaluations are not reducible or commit the error of ethical naturalism  Could be possible worlds where mental states exist not produced by underlying physical processes, but in the actual world it seems that the mental is dependent on the physical features to give rise to it 6.5 Searle and the mind/body problem  Brains cause minds – mental processes are caused by neurophysiological processes in the brain and are themselves features of the brain – biological naturalism  Word ‘naturalism’ indicates mental processes are fully part of the natural world  Mental phenomena are both caused by, and realized in, the micro-structure of the brain  Analogy that the behaviour of the micro-structure of water causes its behaviour at the macro-level  Disagreement from Hume’s analysis of causation – a causal relation can only obtain
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