I think you've misunderstood me in numerous ways. I realize what "the issue" "is"; I am maintaining that it is not really an issue once you look (closely) at the way we us words, and the way words use us, in framing the "issue" and, really, in all metaphysical diatribes and conversations.Gertie wrote: ↑March 25th, 2018, 6:08 amDuckRabbit
I don't think it's just a language issue. When you say ''I have things. I have opinions. I have toes. I have a pet pig. I have patience. I have time. I have a watch. I have a body. I have a mind.'' and they're all just things, the same type of 'substance', I think you're actually saying I have these experiences of having opinions and toes and a pig, which are all the same type of experience-substance.Duckrabbit wrote: ↑March 11th, 2018, 9:47 pmMind/Body. Where exactly is the problem?
I have things. I have opinions. I have toes. I have a pet pig. I have patience. I have time. I have a watch. I have a body. I have a mind.
Our language - our use of words ("have", "thing", "facts") - tricks us into thinking we have a metaphysical problem here. My body can be seen; my mind cannot. My toes can be seen; my opinions cannot (necessarily). But aren't all these things? We are free to call them all things. There is a convention of our language that allows us to do so. But then we give up our freedom and allow the language, the word use, the grammar, to oppress us, to gain supremacy, control. What kind of things, we ask, are things that cannot be seen or observed with bodily senses? Much head-scratching has ensued over millennia. There must be two separate (perhaps equal) kinds of things. Then a move is made that is crucial though its importance seems mostly overlooked. We replace "thing" with "substance".
But then the question arises do some of these things exist independently of your experiencing of them. Does your pig still exist when you die, independent of your experiencing of her? Or a rock? If so, then material substance exists. There is a real world of material substance, and you are within it. And unlike some of the material things in it, you have experiential states (consciousness). And experiential states seem to be a different type of thing to atoms and rocks, and brains.
That's the issue.
I was not asserting that the "things" I "have" (opinions, toes, pig, etc.) are all "just things, the same type of 'substance'". I was pointing out, to the contrary, how it is linguistic convention that allows us to call all of these "things", even though they may not have anything more in common than the application of that word. Far from being all one 'substance', I was pointing out that some of them, e.g. opinions, patience, time, are not substances at all. The mistake that has been made is that because we call them all things, we conclude they must be made of some substance, even though we cannot figure out what kind of substance that could be since they do not fit our actual definition of "substance", which involves the physical, the material. We look for a metaphor for "substance", therefore, then drop the metaphor-search and turn it into a metaphysical-search. We hope (again, do not misunderstand me: I do not personally hope because I believe the hope is based on a misperception) that either our rational inquiries or (even better and more decisively) SCIENCE will finally reveal what the nature of this mysterious 'substance' is. And "that", indeed, is "the issue" that keeps philosophers and even some scientists, misguided by the allure of linguistic conventions and the mysteries they seem to present, seeking new ways to conceive and ultimately determine what this substance actually is.
So, I am not saying that these (opinions, toes, pig) are all the same type of "experience-substance"; I would say that "experience-substance" is an oxymoron. "Experience(s)" would be fine. You don't need "substance"; that word is serving no purpose. So yes, I could say that I "have experiences of having these things"; but when would I say that and why? That sentence has no point. Only mistakenly would I lump all these things and the "experience" of having them together. I do not experience having a toothache, Ihave a toothache. The word "experience" does not add anything, and putting it in should not mislead us into thinking it expresses something important. I do not experience having restlessness, I am restless. Both "experience" and "having" are unnecessary and misguiding.
Do these things exist independently of my experiencing them? My opinions or my time do not since they are mine. But this is trivial, not profound. As for pigs and rocks, well I guess I could say "I don't know", but that also seems a rather trivial "revelation". Why I would believe they do not exist, despite common sense (a vastly undervalued phenomenon), I cannot imagine. Another trivial, inconsequential, and ultimately, IMO, meaningless proposition: "material substance exists" (true by definition?) It's also inconsequential to say "my experiences exist." But then calling, labeling my experiences "states", and "consciousness" again makes them seem like they are of a mysterious substance that exists in a different realm than rocks and pigs. But we only look for a separate realm because we have used substantives ("states, "consciousness") to refer to activities which, despite insistence to the contrary, are in no way analogous to physical things like pigs and rocks.
That people look to quantum mechanics, for instance, to ultimately tell us what kind of thing "consciousness" is, is like searching for a lost phone by exploring abstract concepts like endurance and sensitivity.