Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

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Mosesquine
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Mosesquine » July 16th, 2018, 5:52 am

There are four kinds of mind-body theories according to Davidson: nomological monism, nomological dualism, anomalous dualism, and anomalous monism. Among them, nomological monism and anomalous monism are so-called reductive physicalism (or type physicalism) and non-reductive physicalism (or token physicalism), respectively.
Nomological monism says that the mental and the physical are identical by laws. According to this view, all the mental stuffs are reduced to all the physical stuffs, by lawlike ways.
Anomalous monism is a view that both the mental and the physical are physical in nature, but there is no lawlike way to make the mental stuffs be reduced to the physical stuffs. So, anomalous monists say that identities between the mental and the physical are not nomological, which means psychophysical identities are not between types but between tokens.

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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Karpel Tunnel » July 16th, 2018, 6:03 am

Can you flesh that out in the concrete. I just read a summary of those positions, but I would hesitate to say I understand how they work out or would work out if they are true in reality.

So we have a guy, call him Henry. Pick a specific situation for Henry, where he is thinking and reacting in some particular way.

How would each theory affect our understading of Henry?

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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Mosesquine » July 16th, 2018, 6:38 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 6:03 am
Can you flesh that out in the concrete. I just read a summary of those positions, but I would hesitate to say I understand how they work out or would work out if they are true in reality.

So we have a guy, call him Henry. Pick a specific situation for Henry, where he is thinking and reacting in some particular way.

How would each theory affect our understading of Henry?

Suppose that Henry is seeing a red tomato in front of him, for example. Reductive physicalists would say that Henry's seeing a red tomato in front of him and Henry's believing that he is seeing a red tomato in front of him are all physical. This means that reductive physicalism is the view that perceptual mental phenomena plus attitudes with subclause contents are all physical phenomena.
Non-reductive physicalists would say that Henry's seeing a red tomato in front of him (i.e. his perceptual experiencing it) is a physical phenomenon or so physical event, but his thinking about it (i.e. his believing, imagining, wishing, desiring, hoping, or so) is a non-reduced mental phenomenon, or so mental event.
Furthermore, reductive physicalists would claim that Henry's psychophysical identity is lawlike, but non-reductive physicalists would deny such lawlike identification.

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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Consul » July 16th, 2018, 1:32 pm

Mosesquine wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 5:52 am
There are four kinds of mind-body theories according to Davidson: nomological monism, nomological dualism, anomalous dualism, and anomalous monism. Among them, nomological monism and anomalous monism are so-called reductive physicalism (or type physicalism) and non-reductive physicalism (or token physicalism), respectively.
Nomological monism says that the mental and the physical are identical by laws. According to this view, all the mental stuffs are reduced to all the physical stuffs, by lawlike ways.
Anomalous monism is a view that both the mental and the physical are physical in nature, but there is no lawlike way to make the mental stuffs be reduced to the physical stuffs. So, anomalous monists say that identities between the mental and the physical are not nomological, which means psychophysical identities are not between types but between tokens.
As I already said, Fodor's choice of the labels "token physicalism" and "type physicalism" is unfortunate, because the token-type distinction doesn't really correspond to the particular-universal or object/event-property distinction. Davidson's token physicalism is an event physicalism, according to which all mental events are physical events. He regarded events as a basic ontological category and as unstructured "blobs". That is, Davidsonian events are different from Kimian events (named after Jaegwon Kim), which are complex entities, viz. states of affairs composed of objects/substances and properties.

If type physicalism is property physicalism, then Davidson isn't a type physicalist, because he is a nominalist (antirealist) about properties. But he endorses concept/predicate dualism, according to which psychological concepts/predicates are irreducibly different from physical ones. Correspondingly, his event physicalism can be defined as the view that all events satisfying or describable by psychological concepts/predicates are also satisfying or describable by physical concepts/predicates.

"Events in Davidson are thought to be concrete spacetime particulars, and fundamental in the sense that they are not reducible to, or constructed out of, other entities, say substances and properties. Davidson did important and influential work on the language of events and actions, in particular on the “logical form” of sentences reporting events and actions. However, he never gave anything like a full metaphysical theory of events; for example, he had nothing explicit to say about the relationship between events and objects, and we are left with an impression that, for Davidson, both objects and events are among the basic ontological categories. And events, like objects, can fall under kinds (a belief, a pain, an explosion, etc.) and have properties (being sudden, unexpected, violent, etc.)."

(Kim, Jaegwon. "The Very Idea of Token Physicalism." In New Perspectives on Type Identity: The Mental and the Physical, edited by Simone Gazzano and Christopher S. Hill, 167-185. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. p. 172)

"Davidson is part of a nominalist tradition that rejects properties, at least as his critics conceive of them. Davidson instead formulates anomalous monism in terms of predicates and descriptions. An event is mental if it answers to a mental predicate, physical if it answers to a physical predicate. Davidson's critics assume that if an event is picked out by both sorts of predicate, this must be because it includes a mental property and a physical property. But Davidson thinks about the mental–physical distinction as merely a difference in description, not as the expression of an ontological divide between kinds of property. For Davidson, then, it makes no more sense to ask whether an event had a particular effect in virtue of being mental or in virtue of being physical than it would to ask whether its effect stemmed from its being described in English or in German."

("Mental Causation," by David Robb and John Heil. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2013.)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Consul » July 16th, 2018, 1:39 pm

Mosesquine wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 6:38 am
…Non-reductive physicalists would say that Henry's seeing a red tomato in front of him (i.e. his perceptual experiencing it) is a physical phenomenon or so physical event, but his thinking about it (i.e. his believing, imagining, wishing, desiring, hoping, or so) is a non-reduced mental phenomenon, or so mental event.
If nonreductive physicalism is to be a form of physicalism at all, the irreducible mental phenomena must be said to be emergent physical phenomena sui generis.
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Karpel Tunnel » July 16th, 2018, 4:43 pm

Mosesquine wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 6:38 am
Suppose that Henry is seeing a red tomato in front of him, for example. Reductive physicalists would say that Henry's seeing a red tomato in front of him and Henry's believing that he is seeing a red tomato in front of him are all physical. This means that reductive physicalism is the view that perceptual mental phenomena plus attitudes with subclause contents are all physical phenomena.
This is what I tend to call physicalism.
Non-reductive physicalists would say that Henry's seeing a red tomato in front of him (i.e. his perceptual experiencing it) is a physical phenomenon or so physical event, but his thinking about it (i.e. his believing, imagining, wishing, desiring, hoping, or so) is a non-reduced mental phenomenon, or so mental event
. that sure sounds like a dualism.
Furthermore, reductive physicalists would claim that Henry's psychophysical identity is lawlike, but non-reductive physicalists would deny such lawlike identification.
Lawlike in what sense. Also that's just two categories and one of the others was a dualism.

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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Consul » July 16th, 2018, 5:02 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 4:43 pm
Mosesquine wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 6:38 am
Furthermore, reductive physicalists would claim that Henry's psychophysical identity is lawlike, but non-reductive physicalists would deny such lawlike identification.
Lawlike in what sense. Also that's just two categories and one of the others was a dualism.
I don't understand either what it means to call psychophysical identities or identifications "lawlike". There are psychophysical correlation laws, which don't entail psychophysical (token or/and type) identities but can be regarded as evidence for them. For example, Ullin Place said that "perfect correlation is identity":

"Conclusion: 'Perfect Correlation Is Identity'

I conclude that, apart from the dubious advantage that it is less susceptible than is the type-identity variety to empirical disconfirmation, token-identity physicalism has nothing to recommend it over its more robust type-identity rival. Moreover, so far from protecting physicalism from empirical disconfirmation, the token-identity version is itself in serious danger of being sidelined, if not actually falsified, by the emergence in the light of current and future research of the kind of 'perfect correlation' between psychological and physiological measures that according to the originator of the identity theory, psychologist E. G. Boring (1933, p. 16), constitutes identity. What Boring perhaps should have said is that if two measures correlate perfectly and spontaneously without requiring any experimental controls to induce them to do so, we have cast iron evidence that they measure one and the same thing. If, as seems more than likely, future research using the recently discovered techniques of brain imaging will allow us to identify such perfect correlations between mentally and physically specified variables, we shall be in a position to assert with confidence that at least some specifiable type-identity statements involving mentally and physically characterized processes are known to be true. In that case, who will give a fig for token-identity physicalism?"


(Place, U. T. "Token- versus Type-Identity Physicalism." 1999. Reprinted in Identifying the Mind: Selected Papers of U. T. Place, edited by George Graham and Elizabeth R. Valentine, 81-89. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. p. 89)
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Mosesquine » July 17th, 2018, 1:56 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 4:43 pm
Mosesquine wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 6:38 am
. that sure sounds like a dualism.

Non-reductive physicalism is not dualism. Dualism (i.e. mind-body dualism) is divided into, largely, substance dualism and property dualism. Substance dualism is the view that there are two distinct substances, the mental and the physical, and property dualism is the theory that there are two distinct properties, the mental properties and the physical properties. Not only substance dualism claims that the mental is not reduced to the physical, but also that the mental is distinct from the physical. So, substance dualism is *dualism* in that it says that there are two distinct substances in the world. So, substance dualism cannot be any kind of *monism*, as explained above.
Property dualism is the view that there are two different kinds of properties, the mental ones and the physical ones. It presupposes that there are non-physical properties or non-physical predicates that describe such non-physical properties. So, reductive physicalists who endorse only physical properties or physical predicates accept predicates like "... is walking on the road", but do not accept predicates like "... is a staff member employed in such and such company" (since '... is a staff member...' is not a predicate that is physically observable), but property dualists who endorse mental properties as well as physical properties accept such non-physical predicates like "...is a staff member employed in such and such company". In this sense, property dualists are *dualists* because they accept non-physical predicates in addition to physical predicates.
Non-reductive physicalism itself has several variations in the philosophical traditions. Davidson's version of non-reductive physicalism, called 'anomalous monism' among others, says that every particular (i.e. every event, in Davidson's terminology) is physical, but so-called mental ones are only counted as ones including attitude verbs like '...believes', '...thinks', '...wishes', and so on. Analogically speaking, all Americans are human (reductionism), but not all Americans are physisians (non-reductionism). In Davidson's version of anomalous monism, all events are physical (monism), but not all events are mental events (anomalism).

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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Mosesquine » July 17th, 2018, 1:58 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote: that sure sounds like a dualism.

Non-reductive physicalism is not dualism. Dualism (i.e. mind-body dualism) is divided into, largely, substance dualism and property dualism. Substance dualism is the view that there are two distinct substances, the mental and the physical, and property dualism is the theory that there are two distinct properties, the mental properties and the physical properties. Not only substance dualism claims that the mental is not reduced to the physical, but also that the mental is distinct from the physical. So, substance dualism is *dualism* in that it says that there are two distinct substances in the world. So, substance dualism cannot be any kind of *monism*, as explained above.
Property dualism is the view that there are two different kinds of properties, the mental ones and the physical ones. It presupposes that there are non-physical properties or non-physical predicates that describe such non-physical properties. So, reductive physicalists who endorse only physical properties or physical predicates accept predicates like "... is walking on the road", but do not accept predicates like "... is a staff member employed in such and such company" (since '... is a staff member...' is not a predicate that is physically observable), but property dualists who endorse mental properties as well as physical properties accept such non-physical predicates like "...is a staff member employed in such and such company". In this sense, property dualists are *dualists* because they accept non-physical predicates in addition to physical predicates.
Non-reductive physicalism itself has several variations in the philosophical traditions. Davidson's version of non-reductive physicalism, called 'anomalous monism' among others, says that every particular (i.e. every event, in Davidson's terminology) is physical, but so-called mental ones are only counted as ones including attitude verbs like '...believes', '...thinks', '...wishes', and so on. Analogically speaking, all Americans are human (reductionism), but not all Americans are physisians (non-reductionism). In Davidson's version of anomalous monism, all events are physical (monism), but not all events are mental events (anomalism).

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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Wayne92587 » July 17th, 2018, 2:55 am

No doubt !

There is a Mind Body Problem.

The Mind Body Problem is the cause of all of the ills of the World. Period; end of sentence.

You will never begin to understand the mind body problem talking about RED TOMATOES!!!

Much less find a solution to the Problem.

The Mind Body Problem is the greatest cause of all Unnecessary Suffering.

Acts of God are the cause of necessary suffering, Cause and Effect.

All unnecessary suffering is the cause of, is known to be Evil.

All Evils are born of Man‘s misconception of the Truth.

The Truth being our Knowledge of Reality that we speak of.

The difficulty being than an Illusion, a lie, is the truth, a Reality.

Absolutely Bad Knowledge has a dual quality, is more likely than not mistaken to be Absolutely Good Knowledge, is known to be the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The person, if bound by the knowledge of Good and Evil is not Conscious.

In fact the Absolutely Bad Knowledge is death to your consciousness, will lay your conscious to rest, put your consciousness in the grave, your consciousness will surely Die.

The assimilation of Knowledge having a dual quality, the Knowledge of Good and Evil, mistaking, assuming, Absolutely Bad Knowledge to be Absolutely Good Knowledge, means the death of Consciousness.

The assimilation of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is the original, is the origin of Sin.

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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Mosesquine » July 17th, 2018, 4:34 am

Wayne92587 wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 2:55 am
No doubt !

There is a Mind Body Problem.

The Mind Body Problem is the cause of all of the ills of the World.

Billy threw a stone to a window, and the window broke. The event that Billy threw a stone to a window causes the event that the window broke. Now, the broken window is an ill of the owner of the window named as 'Jones'. Jones' ill is one of the ills of the world, and its cause is Billy's breaking Jones' window. However, Billy's breaking the window is not the mind body problem, although Billy's breaking the window is a cause of an ill of the world. This follows that not all the mind body problem is the cause of all of the ills of the world. So, the claim of Wayne92587 is not right to be accepted as true.

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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Karpel Tunnel » July 17th, 2018, 5:43 am

Mosesquine wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 1:58 am
Karpel Tunnel wrote: that sure sounds like a dualism.

Non-reductive physicalism is not dualism. Dualism (i.e. mind-body dualism) is divided into, largely, substance dualism and property dualism. Substance dualism is the view that there are two distinct substances, the mental and the physical, and property dualism is the theory that there are two distinct properties, the mental properties and the physical properties. Not only substance dualism claims that the mental is not reduced to the physical, but also that the mental is distinct from the physical. So, substance dualism is *dualism* in that it says that there are two distinct substances in the world. So, substance dualism cannot be any kind of *monism*, as explained above.
Property dualism is the view that there are two different kinds of properties, the mental ones and the physical ones. It presupposes that there are non-physical properties or non-physical predicates that describe such non-physical properties. So, reductive physicalists who endorse only physical properties or physical predicates accept predicates like "... is walking on the road", but do not accept predicates like "... is a staff member employed in such and such company" (since '... is a staff member...' is not a predicate that is physically observable), but property dualists who endorse mental properties as well as physical properties accept such non-physical predicates like "...is a staff member employed in such and such company". In this sense, property dualists are *dualists* because they accept non-physical predicates in addition to physical predicates.
Non-reductive physicalism itself has several variations in the philosophical traditions. Davidson's version of non-reductive physicalism, called 'anomalous monism' among others, says that every particular (i.e. every event, in Davidson's terminology) is physical, but so-called mental ones are only counted as ones including attitude verbs like '...believes', '...thinks', '...wishes', and so on. Analogically speaking, all Americans are human (reductionism), but not all Americans are physisians (non-reductionism). In Davidson's version of anomalous monism, all events are physical (monism), but not all events are mental events (anomalism).
OK, but can you explain in terms of what you wrote here:
Non-reductive physicalists would say that Henry's seeing a red tomato in front of him (i.e. his perceptual experiencing it) is a physical phenomenon or so physical event, but his thinking about it (i.e. his believing, imagining, wishing, desiring, hoping, or so) is a non-reduced mental phenomenon, or so mental event
Because that still sounds like dualism. IOW letting me know what dualisms are is a separate issue from explaing how the above is not a dualism

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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Mosesquine » July 17th, 2018, 7:21 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 5:43 am
Mosesquine wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 1:58 am



Non-reductive physicalism is not dualism. Dualism (i.e. mind-body dualism) is divided into, largely, substance dualism and property dualism. Substance dualism is the view that there are two distinct substances, the mental and the physical, and property dualism is the theory that there are two distinct properties, the mental properties and the physical properties. Not only substance dualism claims that the mental is not reduced to the physical, but also that the mental is distinct from the physical. So, substance dualism is *dualism* in that it says that there are two distinct substances in the world. So, substance dualism cannot be any kind of *monism*, as explained above.
Property dualism is the view that there are two different kinds of properties, the mental ones and the physical ones. It presupposes that there are non-physical properties or non-physical predicates that describe such non-physical properties. So, reductive physicalists who endorse only physical properties or physical predicates accept predicates like "... is walking on the road", but do not accept predicates like "... is a staff member employed in such and such company" (since '... is a staff member...' is not a predicate that is physically observable), but property dualists who endorse mental properties as well as physical properties accept such non-physical predicates like "...is a staff member employed in such and such company". In this sense, property dualists are *dualists* because they accept non-physical predicates in addition to physical predicates.
Non-reductive physicalism itself has several variations in the philosophical traditions. Davidson's version of non-reductive physicalism, called 'anomalous monism' among others, says that every particular (i.e. every event, in Davidson's terminology) is physical, but so-called mental ones are only counted as ones including attitude verbs like '...believes', '...thinks', '...wishes', and so on. Analogically speaking, all Americans are human (reductionism), but not all Americans are physisians (non-reductionism). In Davidson's version of anomalous monism, all events are physical (monism), but not all events are mental events (anomalism).
OK, but can you explain in terms of what you wrote here:
Non-reductive physicalists would say that Henry's seeing a red tomato in front of him (i.e. his perceptual experiencing it) is a physical phenomenon or so physical event, but his thinking about it (i.e. his believing, imagining, wishing, desiring, hoping, or so) is a non-reduced mental phenomenon, or so mental event
Because that still sounds like dualism. IOW letting me know what dualisms are is a separate issue from explaing how the above is not a dualism


Nomological monism, i.e. reductive physicalism says that the mental and the physical are identical by lawlike ways. On the contrary, anomalous monism, i.e. non-reductive physicalism says that both the mental and the physical are physical, but their identifications are not lawlike.
Consider the following sentences:

(1) All emeralds are green.
(2) All emeralds are grue.

Both sentences (1) and (2) are examples suggested in Davidson's paper "Mental Events". The sentence (1) above shows nomic relations such as which all emeralds must be green, and all emeralds cannot be different-colored objects other than green. This is applied to nomological monism by the story as follows:
James is seeing a red tomato in front him. According to nomological monism, James' perceptual experience (i.e. mental image) of seeing a red tomato in front of him is nomologically identical to his brain state such that he sees a red tomato in front of him. In other words, his mental state of such and such experiences is necessarily identical to his brain state of such and such experiences, since psychophysical identities are lawlike according to nomologial monism. Now, James has a belief that there is a red tomato, based on his experience. James cannot have a belief like "There is no red tomato" in that situation, since sentential mental states like believing that there is a red tomato are also nomologically identical to physico-brain states, according to nomological monism.
The quoted story above is made by me to introduce nomological monism. Now, the second story for anomalous monism would be:
Thomas is seeing a red tomato in front him. Thomas' perceptual experience of seeing a red tomato and his brain state such that he sees a red tomato in front of him are physical events. However, Thomas has a belief like, "There is a blue hippotamus over there" instead of "There is a red tomato," ironically. It's because all physical events are physical events, but all mental events are not necessarily reduced to physical events. You can think "Melania Trump is beheading Donald Trump" while you are perceptually experiencing the image of McGregor is attacking a big bus, according to anomalous monism. Thomas can have a belief "There is a red tomato" in that situation, but it's not necessarily so, because all mental events (i.e. events with subjects, attitude verbs, and subclause contents) are not nomologically reduced to physical events.
Now, dualism is the view that the mental and the physical are not identical. This means that James' seeing a red tomato (i.e. mental states) is not identical to his brain state such that he sees a red tomato. At least, anomalous monism is very different from such dualism.

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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Consul » July 17th, 2018, 10:10 am

Mosesquine wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 1:58 am
Non-reductive physicalism is not dualism. Dualism (i.e. mind-body dualism) is divided into, largely, substance dualism and property dualism.
Nonreductive physicalism isn't substance-dualistic but property-dualistic. Whether it is also occurrence-dualistic (in the sense that mental states/events/processes are different from physical ones) depends on the ontological conception of occurrences used. For example, according to Jaegwon Kim, events are states of affairs composed of objects and properties, such that two events E1 and E2 are identical iff O1 = O2 & P1 = P2. That is, Kimian events aren't identical unless the properties they contain are identical, which means that property dualism entails occurrence dualism.
But Davidsonian events are different from Kimian events, because they (elementary events at least) are unstructured "blobs" and not complex entities like states of affairs or facts. So two Davidsonian events can be identical even if the properties involved are different from one another.
Mosesquine wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 1:58 am
In Davidson's version of anomalous monism, all events are physical (monism), but not all events are mental events (anomalism).
Note again that Davidson was a nominalist/antirealist about properties! His token physicalism is a combination of event monism and concept/predicate dualism: Mental events are physical events not because they have physical properties, but because they are physically describable (by means of physical concepts/predicates).
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Consul » July 17th, 2018, 10:18 am

Consul wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 10:10 am
Nonreductive physicalism isn't substance-dualistic but property-dualistic. Whether it is also occurrence-dualistic (in the sense that mental states/events/processes are different from physical ones) depends on the ontological conception of occurrences used. For example, according to Jaegwon Kim, events are states of affairs composed of objects and properties, such that two events E1 and E2 are identical iff O1 = O2 & P1 = P2. That is, Kimian events aren't identical unless the properties they contain are identical, which means that property dualism entails occurrence dualism.
In other words: Given Kim's conception of events, type differences entail token differences; that is, you cannot have token physicalism without type physicalism.

"Here is what Fodor says about events:

if an event is simply the instantiation of a property … two events will be identical when they consist of the instantiation of the same property by the same individual at the same time. (Fodor 1974/1981: 131)

As some will recognize, this is what is called the property exemplification account of events: an event is the exemplifying of a property by an object at a time. The identity criterion under this account is exactly as Fodor puts it: x’s having F at t = y’s having G at t* iff x = y, F = G, and t = t*. And Fodor tells us to read his schematic law “S1x → S2y” as follows: “all events which consist of x’s being S1 bring about events which consist of y’s being S2” (Fodor 1974/1981: 128). Plainly, this takes events as property exemplifications. Although Fodor doesn’t explicitly say that this is his view of events, it is clear that it is an acceptable alternative to him, and that it, not the Davidsonian event, is his operative notion of events throughout his discussion.

This allows Fodor’s token physicalism to escape the predicament of Davidsonian token physicalism. Obviously, however, it lands Fodor’s favored version of physicalism in another, even more damaging, difficulty. Consider the statement below in which Fodor expresses one of his central themes in “Special Sciences”:

Even if (token) psychological events are (token) neurological events, it does not follow that the kind predicates of psychology are co-extensive with the kind predicates of any other discipline (including physics) … What I have been doubting is that there are neurological kinds co-extensive with psychological kinds. (Fodor 1974/1981: 135–36)

Take any token psychological event under the property exemplification view. It will be an object having a psychological property, P, at time t. If this is also a token neurological event, there must be a neural property, N, such that the same object has N at t, and the events, the object’s having P at t and its having N at t, are one and the same event. From the identity criterion of events as property exemplifications, it then follows that psychological property P = neural property N! On this view of events, then, token identities imply type identities, and token physicalism will collapse to type physicalism. The two supposedly distinct forms of physicalism, one stronger than the other, and one favored by Fodor and the other dismissed by him, turn out to be equivalent, and we are left wondering just what physicalist position Fodor is urging on us in his “Special Sciences.”

Our search for an intelligible thesis of token physicalism has so far yielded nothing; it has only revealed incoherence and possible contradictions. On one view of events, we lose “physicalism” from “token physicalism.” On another view of events, we lose “token” from “token physicalism.” We have yet to see a coherent and intelligible doctrine that can be appropriately called token physicalism."


(Kim, Jaegwon. "The Very Idea of Token Physicalism." In New Perspectives on Type Identity: The Mental and the Physical, edited by Simone Gazzano and Christopher S. Hill, 167-185. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. pp. 174-6)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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