Friday, May 10, 2013

The Trouble with Materialism

A redated post.

This is a follow-up to my previous post, The Concept of Matter

I see a fundamental problem that is going to plague any materialist account of the mind. Materialists often piggy-back the case for materialism on the success of reductive analyses in science. But let's take one of the most successful scientific reductions, the reduction of heat in a gas to the mean kinetic energy of that gas. From one perspective, this reduction appears to explain heat away, in particular the element of heat that feels warm. By knowing that the air molecules are moving faster we can infer nothing about the fact that people are more likely to take their jackets off when that happens. They also feel warmer. But that, says science, is not an intrinsic feature of heat that is what happens to human minds in the face of heat. By siphoning off secondary qualities to the mind, the mechanistic reduction of heat is enabled. But when we get to the mind, we have no place to siphon of the "mental" properties.

Edward Feser writes:

One result of this is that materialists have, in the view of their critics, a tendency to give accounts of mental phenomena that leave out everything essential to them: qualia, consciousness, thought and intentionality get redefined in physicalistic terms, with the consequence that materialist analyses convey the impression that the materialist has changed the subject, and failed genuinely to explain the phenomenon the analysis was supposed to account for. This is arguably the deep source of the difficulties that have plagued materialist philosophies of mind. If the materialist conception of explanation entails always stripping away from the phenomenal to be accounted for anything that smacks of subjectivity, meaning, or mind-dependence, then a materialist “explanation” of the mind itself will naturally seem to strip away the very essence of the phenomena to be explained. Being, at bottom, attempts to explain the mental in terms that are intrinsically non-mental, such would-be explanations appear implicitly to deny the mental; that is to say, they end up being disguised forms of eliminative materialism. Some professedly non-eliminativist philosophers of mind come close to admitting this: Fodor, for instance, has famously written that “If aboutness (that is, intentionality) is real, it must really be something else.”

A Short Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind (Oxford; Oneworld, 2005) pp. 172-173,

This results in an interesting phenomenon; materialist philosophers attempt to give an account of some mental phenomenon. But either they implicitly bring in the very concepts they are trying to explain materialistically, or they give an account of the mental phenomenon in which the phenomenon to be explained isn’t recognizable. A good example would be Richard Carrier’s critique of my book where time after time he claims that intentionality can be explained in physicalistic terms while using one intentional concept after another to explain intentionality!

57 comments:

shulamite said...

Why doesn't anyone bother to define matter in this debate? There is a continual confusion between "matter" which is a certain potency out of which something can be made, and "a material thing" which is something made out of matter and another principle.

Joe Markus said...

The physicalist also seems to run into trouble even arriving at a concept of "physical"---see Hempel's dilemma.

There's a nice little discussion here:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/physicalism/

Jason said...

I have some difficulty seeing a philosophical materialist considering "matter" to be a _potency_ (which seems like a potentiality rather than an actuality); and an extreme difficulty seeing a dedicated materalist considering "a material thing" to be made out of matter _and_ a "principle" (much less out of "another principle" which would imply that matter is itself a "principle"). Most materialists are not fond of Platonic idealism, which this is going to necessarily resemble.

Granted, a non-eliminative materialist might accept something of this sort (at least in regard to principles); but then he's going to have a hard time accepting the independent existence of fundamental rationalities, which is the only thing a 'principle' in this case can be, _while also_ going on to deny supernaturalism and/or theism of some sort. (Which in turn is why non-e-mats insist pretty rigorously that principles are double-derivative realities at least: derivative from human perception, itself derivative from-and-only-from material reactions.)

In any case, I think most materialists accept a scientific definition of matter: energy reacting and counterreacting in particular complex ways. The real fun comes in trying to define energy. {g}

Anonymous said...

"Matter" is a concept; that is it is an intellectual abstraction. If science is empirical it should stick to percepts rather than forever trying to elaborate on intellectual contructs like "matter."

We arrived at the notion of matter by abstracting from sensory experience. How can we explain matter by explaining away the very experiences that gave birth to the concept in the first place?

Steve Lovell said...

I'm interested in the idea that secondary qualities are "siphoned off" into the mind, and that intentionality , qualia and the like are secondary qualities. According to Victor, since these are mental phenomena, there is nowhere to siphon them off to ...

This is a nice way of putting things and highlights the difficulties in getting your head round these matters.

C.S. Lewis has two relevant contributions here:
(1) The Looking At - Looking Along distinction, formulated in his "Meditation in a toolshed"
(2) His paper "The Empty Universe".

Peter Williams has used the latter extensively in his critiques of Naturalism. If you search for him on this blog you should find some interesting material.

As far as I can tell, very little serious philosophy has been written on (1). Allow me to explain the distinction ...

Lewis imagines being in his tool shed and noticing there a beam of light coming in through the door. Now, looking-at the beam of light is quite different from stepping into that beam and looking-along it to the world outside. Lewis makes the case that neither type of experience can be assumed more "correct" or "true to reality". If, when looked-at, the experience of being in love appeared to be just a certain chemical oddity in the brain , this would in no way undermine the reality of what it is to look-along this experience, that is to actually be in love.

For certain obvious reasons, looking-along cannot be eliminated from our understanding of "experience" as to look-at something is always to look-along something else. How does one avoid looking-along one's eyes?

Now to me it is unclear whether this Lewisian distinction favours the Naturalist or the anti-Naturalist.

The Naturalist's Side
If the sun-beam is just a physical thing, and yet is capable of being experienced in both these ways then might not intentionality or qualia be the same?

The anti-Naturalist's Side
Looking-Along cannot be eliminated. But when analysed, Looking-Along seems to depend on the existence of something having a "perspective on the world". Looking-Along is a triadic relationship between
(a) The agent doing the looking
(b) The thing(s) looked-along
(c) The thing(s) looked-at
Without (a) there can be no looking-along. Talk of reducing the relationship to a diadic one (by reducing a) to (b)) appears nonsensical.

Sometimes I find one line of thought the more persuasive, sometimes the other. Any thoughts Vic? Or Anyone Else?

Jason said...

{{If the sun-beam is just a physical thing, and yet is capable of being experienced in both these ways then might not intentionality or qualia be the same?}}

I'm not sure it's possible to talk even coherently about qualia without bringing in intentionality. And I consider the question of intentionality vs. non-intentionality to be something that requires settling _before_ going to examples of this sort.

Put it this way: if the sun-beam is just non-intentional behavior, and yet is capable of being experienced by intentional behavior, then might not intentional behavior be the same thing (i.e. just non-intentional behavior)? The answer to this seems abundantly clear enough.


The two sensory perceptions of the toolshed example shouldn't be pushed too far in themselves--Lewis was well aware that _both_ of these are sensory effects, and his point was to simply use the difference in _results_ as an _illustration_ of how information can be missed depending on perspective. (Conceptual perspective is what he was really talking about, but he used a physical example for analogical illustration.)

Jason Pratt

Zach said...
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ingx24 said...

Being, at bottom, attempts to explain liquidity in terms that are intrinsically non-liquid, such would-be explanations appear implicitly to deny liquidity.

Clearly more is needed than these blatant fallacy-of-division pulling boners. There are more direct metaphysical arguments to be had for dualism.


And what do you propose as these "direct metaphysical arguments"? Let's see them, if they're so good.

Zach said...
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Crude said...

I don't want to derail the thread with my own positive arguments. I'll put them at my site.

And what's the ETA on that, Zach? Wouldn't happen to be measured in years, would it? ;)

Crude said...

Let's sweeten the pot here.

Victor says: From one perspective, this reduction appears to explain heat away, in particular the element of heat that feels warm. By knowing that the air molecules are moving faster we can infer nothing about the fact that people are more likely to take their jackets off when that happens. They also feel warmer. But that, says science, is not an intrinsic feature of heat that is what happens to human minds in the face of heat. By siphoning off secondary qualities to the mind, the mechanistic reduction of heat is enabled. But when we get to the mind, we have no place to siphon of the "mental" properties.

Are you accusing Victor of the fallacy of division, Zach? Was his criticism of Carrier invalid?

It's an on-topic question. I'm sure you're more than willing to answer it.

ingx24 said...

The difference between explaining liquidity in non-liquid terms and explaining the mental in non-mental terms is that, given the lower-level facts about particle movement, the facts about liquidity logically follow. This is a paradigm case of a successful reductive explanation: ontologically, all there is to liquidity is the way the particles composing a substance move. The only thing that is lost in the reduction of liquid to non-liquid is the concept "liquid". But when it comes to the mind, all the information in the world about the electrical impulses, releases of chemicals, etc. in someone's brain won't tell you *anything* about that person's current mental state unless you already know beforehand which brain states are correlated with which mental states. The information about the neurological leaves the state of the mental logically undetermined.

And there is a reason for this: mental states must be ontologically irreducible to anything else. Mental states are not just concepts like "liquidity" that can be ontologically reduced to something more basic - they are directly experienced states that cannot be, to use Fodor's term, "actually something else". Functionalism tries to make the ontological reduction of mind to brain plausible by redefining mental states as causal role concepts, making an ontological (even if not conceptual) reduction to brain processes trivial. But in this case, all the materialist has done is changed the subject.

Zach said...
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Crude said...

Zachary,

Crude: I addressed the Feser quote, not the entire post. Try to keep up.

Which Victor cited approvingly, and related to his own arguments. Lovin' that reading comprehension of yours.

As for the rest, it is a throwaway line from Victor referring to something about Carrier, with no link, and no specifics.

Actually he says: "This results in an interesting phenomenon; materialist philosophers attempt to give an account of some mental phenomenon. But either they implicitly bring in the very concepts they are trying to explain materialistically, or they give an account of the mental phenomenon in which the phenomenon to be explained isn’t recognizable. A good example would be Richard Carrier’s critique of my book where time after time he claims that intentionality can be explained in physicalistic terms while using one intentional concept after another to explain intentionality!"

The reference to Carrier is given as an example of what Victor is saying, Zachary. What Victor says is clear.

But just to help you out, I'm going to include Victor's reply to Carrier, which should provide you with the relevant information to estimate his argument.

I'm going to guess your reply to Victor is going to be like your reply to my request for the ETA on your earth-shattering arguments: not forthcoming.

By all means, let's see your reply to ingx24 while you're at it. He just knocked your 'liquidity' reply - I'm sure you have a rejoinder. ;)

Zach said...
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Zach said...
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Crude said...

Note I do realize there exist very good arguments against materialist views of consciousness.

And they are..?

While we're waiting for the ETA, Zach, can you even tell us the names of those good arguments against materialist views of consciousness? Surely you can do that. Or are you going to say your takedowns (which you have yet to provide) are entirely original to you?

Crude said...

Crude I'm sorry you are still not understanding things, or how blogs and blog comments work.

Poor Zach. I understand you're scared here - you're afraid of criticizing Victor directly, since he's actually likely to respond to you and then, gosh, you just don't know what to do. And with your 'I don't understand the context' retort removed as a viable option, I'm just making things so, so difficult for you. Better kick up that dust and hope you're fooling people! (Hint: You are not. ;)

Same as ever from you, Zach. Inept reading comprehension, blunders, and a repeat of the famous "I have arguments that totally smash materialism - I just haven't given them yet, it would be a derail to do so, I'll need a year maybe" line.

Don't worry, Zach. I'm sure, one day, you'll stop fleeing from requests to provide arguments and actually follow through. Better get on that plane! I'm sure you'd destroy materialism right before our eyes if it wasn't for that. ;)

Zach said...
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Crude said...

Crude again I'm sorry you are not following things. I mentioned Bertrand Russell, and his argument is well known. Good luck, I'll keep rooting for you to get it!

Poor lil' guy, I'm sure this is all difficult for you. After all, you've been smacked around so many times in debate you're starting to get quite gunshy. Buck up, kiddo! Someday - with a whole lot of practice, and maybe some therapy - you'll recover.

I'm glad you concede that Feser is correct about Russell's criticisms of materialism, however. It's nice to know that, despite your emotional problems with him, you're able to admit the arguments he presents (such as, in fact, Kripke's and Frege's) are valid after all. Mature of you!

You set the example for the rest of us to follow.

It's my pleasure to make an example out of you, Zach. I'm glad you finally appreciate it. You're growing up!

Better catch that flight. ;)

Crude said...

Anyway, for those of you who aren't interested in my mocking Zach (and really, it gets old fast - it's like beating a dog at chess), I actually recommend checking out the three Feser links I posted. He gives some overview of some of Kripke, Frege and Russell's thoughts on these matters.

Probably old news to regulars here, but hey, worth a read if not.

Papalinton said...

"Anyway, for those of you who aren't interested in my mocking Zach (and really, it gets old fast - it's like beating a dog at chess) ..."

What's the reason for calling yourself a dog?

Crude said...

Another interesting one - though this screws up the 'trouble with materialism' line - would be Galen Strawson's writings.

Warning: links to a .doc file, not a website.

Ilíon said...

Zach: "There are more direct metaphysical arguments to be had for dualism."

ingx24: "And what do you propose as these "direct metaphysical arguments"? Let's see them, if they're so good."

Regardless of what Zach does or does not present, on whatever schedule, ingx24, you appear to be playing a game that materialists (yes, I know, you're certain you're not a materialist) often play so as to shield their commitment to materialism from critically evaluating, and thus rejecting, it. The game goes like this --

Anti-materialist: "Materialism is false, for reasons X, Y and Z."

Materialist: "---!" (that represents "crickets chirping" in the emphatic mode)

Anti-materialist: "So, knowing that X, Y, and Z are true (and thus that materialism is false), is there any other knowledge else we can explicate?"

Materialist: "Ah! So, you're faulting materialism and you don't even have anything better to offer in its place?!"

Anti-materialist: "What? I just showed you that materialism is false: let's see if we can discover what is true."

Materialist: "Just as I thought! You have nothing beter than materialism. Therefore, I win (i.e. I don't need to critically evaluate, and on the basis of having done so reject, my materialism)!"

Crude said...

That doesn't seem like the case at all, Ilion. Zach has a habit of hastily insisting everyone else's arguments against materialism not only fail, but are terrible and horrible, and there are better arguments out there and he can destroy materialism all on his own.

And when you ask to see his demonstration, oops, he has to run, it would be a derail, he'll post about them on his blog someday.

It's boring bull.

Now, for all your faults - and good God do you have 'em - you don't play that game. You said you had a knock-down argument against materialism, and when people asked to see it, you cut the shit, presented your argument and invited people to take cracks at it.

That's what we're waiting for. So far, the only thing Zach has vaguely gestured in the direction of are the very arguments that the people he condemns already offer up.

Trying to cast ingx24 as the materialist, when ingx24 actually defended an argument against materialism in this thread, is just odd. I imagine you'd be critical of his agnosticism, but that hasn't come up.

Ilíon said...

(people who can't be bothered to read/comprehend get boring really fast)

Crude said...

(people who can't be bothered to read/comprehend get boring really fast)

ingx24 is not playing a materialist game, Ilion. He does not fit in the dialogue you wrote out. Even Zach doesn't fit.

Gentle reader deserves better than this.

Crude said...

While Ilion tries to decide whether to be passive aggressive or active aggressive towards me, I link the argument he made. As I said, at least when he says he has an argument, he delivers it.

Ilíon said...

(as the fool knows, Ilíon does his best to be *nothing* towards him -- Ilíon strives to limit and eliminate interaction with fools)

Zach said...
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ingx24 said...

Zach,

It's interesting that you accuse me of conflating ontology with semantics, considering that my entire argument depends on the distinction between ontological and conceptual reduction. It sounds like you're attacking a straw man.

My point is that, in the case of liquidity, a description of a liquid in terms of the motion of the particles making it up just is a description of the liquid itself. Given the way the particles making up a liquid are moving, it cannot help but be a liquid. This is because "liquid" is essentially a concept - a way of describing what is, at bottom, the motion of particles. We may lose the concept "liquid" when we reduce a liquid to particles in motion, but we are describing the same thing ontologically. Liquidity is ontologically, but not conceptually, reducible to the motion of particles.

Now, if mental states were ontologically reducible to brain states, we would expect that a full picture of the state of someone's brain would logically necessitate that person's mental state. If the mind is just a higher-level description of the brain, then a full description of the brain should constitute a full description of the mind. But this is in fact not what we find - a full picture of someone's brain state tells us absolutely nothing about that person's mental state. And this is because "mind" is not just a concept, or a higher-level way of describing brain states. That's why functionalism is such a widely held position by materialists - it tries to redefine mental states as causal-role concepts so that a full description of a brain state does tell us everything about a mental state.

BeingItself said...

Chalmer's recent poll reveals that most philosophers are physicalists.

Why do you suppose this is so?

BeingItself said...

Also interesting. Among philosophers who do not specialize in philosophy of religion 87% are atheists.

The trend toward atheism among scientists and philosophers continues.

Why do you suppose this is so?

Crude said...

Ilion,

I see the choice shall be 'passive aggression'!

Your imaginary discourse was poorly applied here. Please, stop misleading Gentle Reader.

Zach,

I guess the plane to the Bahamas hasn't left quite yet, eh?

I don't need you to explain anything to me, Zach. What I'd like is for you to provide these much promised 'total takedowns' of materialism, that you always refer to, yet never, ever seem to provide. As my link to Feser showed, he already makes use of and endorses the arguments from Russell, Frege, Dretske, among others.

And as my interaction with you shows - you got nothin'. You've been promising a takedown of materialism at your little website for ages. But we both know if you ever do it, you'll either A) be repeating arguments Feser, myself, and others have cited, or B) do a terrible job. As ingx24 is helping demonstrate here.

Now, get on that plane! You don't want anyone to think the whole "I can't present my arguments because I have a trip to go on and also there's no internet there!" bit was some schoolkid level lie, eh?

Crude said...

Regarding the Philpapers survey:

Regarding philosophy of mind, those accepting or leaning towards physicalism is at 56.5%.

And on metaphysics: 49.8% accept or lean towards naturalism.

Atheism/theism among philosophers generally is 72.8%/14.6%. In Philosophy of Religion, it's more like 80+% theism.

Of course, there's also questions about institutional and cultural biases being in play (if you restrict the search to 'undergraduates', you're going to see some pretty similar results), not to mention questions about how physicalism or materialism is being defined (Strawson treats panpsychism as materilaism.)

But apparently, if we're going to use the results as a guide, skepticism about materialism and naturalism both is in order.

BeingItself said...

"skepticism about materialism and naturalism both is in order"

Amen. And from that it follows that skepticism about supernaturalism and non-physicalism are even more in order.

So maybe you guys should be less scornful of your opponents.

Also, a common theme seems to be that atheists just need to learn more philosophy and they will be cured of their atheism. As the facts reveal, philosophical education tends to corrode theism more. By a wide margin.

Crude said...

I may as well tack on: among scientists generally, at least in the US, you have these results. 33% believing in God, 18% in a universal spirit or higher power.

Among American professors, you see 51.5% belief in God, 9.8% atheist, 13.1% agnostic.

Of course, the 1998 NAS poll has its members (a subset of scientists) at only 7.9% of NAS scientists who believe in a God who "believe in a God in intellectual and effective communication with humankind, i.e., a God to whom one might pray in expectation of receiving an answer. By "answer", I mean more than the subjective psychological effects of prayer." 72.2% disbelief, 20.8% agnosticism or doubt.

ingx24 said...

I developed my earlier thoughts in this thread into a blog post, if anyone is interested.

Crude said...

BI,

Amen. And from that it follows that skepticism about supernaturalism and non-physicalism are even more in order.

How is it 'even more in order' when, according to the poll, belief or leaning towards naturalism doesn't even top 50%? ;)

So maybe you guys should be less scornful of your opponents

Who here is scornful of atheists or agnostics generally? I'm certainly not - I take care to single out the Cult of Gnu as being absurd hate-mongers, and they are.

I take it you think atheists and agnostics should emulate this attitude, and not be scornful of religious people or theists generally?

Also, a common theme seems to be that atheists just need to learn more philosophy and they will be cured of their atheism. As the facts reveal, philosophical education tends to corrode theism more.

First - who says this? What's typically said is that atheists and agnostics are ignorant of philosophical arguments. Among the Cult of Gnu, that much is not only true, it's shown over and over again.

Second, in philosophy of religion - you know, the field where theistic arguments are actually discussed and criticized - theism is over 80%.

But third - and this is a common mistake - you seem to think that, say... people who pursue a career in philosophy of totally representative of the population (high theism), but deconvert as they learn philosophy. But take a look at the philosophy undergrad stats for just a glimmer of why this is a terrible way to read the data. In fact, you're likely going to deploy a 'built-in bias' charge regarding PoR's results - otherwise, you'll be conceding the point.

You gotta think these things through more, BI.

BeingItself said...

non-physicalism 27.1%

non-naturalism 25.9% (I take that to be supernaturalism)

Get your facts straight.

I agree that folks who go into philosophy tend to be atheists to start with. Just as those that specialize in religion tend to be theists.

My overarching point remains. These data, along with data from scientists, ought to make the supernaturalist skeptical of her world view.

http://philpapers.org/archive/BOUWDP

Ilíon said...

"Note also that Ilion is right on with the typical dynamics at play here."

I long ago realized that it's far too much to expect that most others will actually read what one has actually written -- and moreso once someone has started misrepresenting what one has written.

It's amazing, really -- it's right there is black and white, and yet nearly everyone will go with the misrepresentation, even if one were to waste one's time trying to correct them.

Crude said...

non-physicalism 27.1%

non-naturalism 25.9% (I take that to be supernaturalism)

Get your facts straight.


Again, BI:

Accept or lean toward: naturalism 464 / 931 (49.8%)
Accept or lean toward: non-naturalism 241 / 931 (25.9%)
Other 226 / 931 (24.3%)


Not even a majority endorse naturalism (and this before noting the usual problems with 'naturalism'.) There is no "supernaturalism" on the poll.

My overarching point remains.

No, it doesn't. Here was your claim: "As the facts reveal, philosophical education tends to corrode theism more."

But the PhilPaper survey doesn't show that. In fact, going only on the undergraduate data (which is the best we can do here), it looks like it has little, if any, effect. And learning Philosophy of Religion seems to not only have no corrosive effect, but quite possibly the opposite.

These data, along with data from scientists, ought to make the supernaturalist skeptical of her world view.

Why? The majority of scientists in the US believe in either God or a higher power according to the poll I provided - and, considering the existence of God is not a scientific question to begin with, it's hard to see what the relevance is.

That's like saying atheists should doubt their atheism on the grounds that most doctors believe in God or the afterlife, or that most professors are religious.

And I take it you believe, based on what you said, that Cult of Gnu style atheists should be more skeptical of their views, and more charitable towards theists and religious people, yes?

BeingItself said...

Am I not permitted to decide what my overarching point is?

I acknowledge that I overstated the effect philosophical education has on theism. That data is not available.

But I know where I would place my bet.

Crude said...

Am I not permitted to decide what my overarching point is?

If you seem to be moving the goalposts, am I not permitted to call you out?

I acknowledge that I overstated the effect philosophical education has on theism. That data is not available.

But I know where I would place my bet.


That's great. Seriously, I mean that. I'm glad you can say as much.

Ilíon said...

Meanwhile ...

Ilíon said...

... even though I didn't say what some fool said I said, had I said what I am accused of having said, I'd still have been right.

Dan Gillson said...

I'm going to bring this discussion back to the OP:

As I see it, the problem that is fundamental to a materialistic account of mind is the same one that is fundamental to a dualistic one, viz., that objectivity consists in its being wholly other from subjectivity: that there's an impermeable barrier between human thought and the world. On such a conception of the subjectivity/objectivity split, we are left with the dilemma of choosing a crude form of materialism, which mistakenly reduces "thought" to "the world", or a crude form of dualism, in which we tack on to "the world" another realm in which "thought" can subsist. One can recoil from this picture without becoming a full-blown anti-realist. Cf. "A Sensible Subjectivism" by David Wiggins, "The Reality of the Past" by John McDowell, and "Questions Concerning Certain Faculties Claimed for Man" by Charles Peirce.

Crude said...

Dan,

Are you saying that the reason you think we have some of the problems we do in philosophy of mind is due to a faulty conception of matter?

Dan Gillson said...

Crude,

No: I'm saying it's due to a faulty conception of 'realism' or 'objectivity'.

Zach said...
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Zach said...
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Crude said...

Crude as always just trying to score hits any way possible without regard to truth or charity.

Hi Zach! I see you managed to get online despite your sudden Bahamas trip. I'm sure that excuses you, yet again, from being able to provide your supposed arguments while still allowing you to comment. That's convenient!

But I particularly love that bit earlier about how you were going to give me the last word. I mean, it was a blatant bit of copycatism, but the cherry on top of that fail sundae was your saying it - and then coming back here, repeatedly, to flail.

From the freaking Bahamas.

I've said repeatedly you have some strange, emotional obsession with me. What you have done now is the equivalent of getting a brass plaque made admitting as much, and bolting it to your chest.

Thanks. ;)

Crude said...

Dan,

No: I'm saying it's due to a faulty conception of 'realism' or 'objectivity'.

Interesting. I'll have a look at your references and see what I make of it.

Dan Gillson said...

Crude,

I botched the titles of two of the essays--I was going off of memory. The title of David Wiggins article ends with a question mark, and the McDowell essay is titled "On 'The Reality of the Past'"--it's a response to Michael Dummett's essay, "The Reality of the Past".

Crude said...

Dan,

That's fine, that's not bad enough of a botching that Google couldn't make sense of it right away. Thanks again.

Zach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crude said...

Zach, I have news for you. When you are so emotionally attached to someone that you cannot help but send them angry, insulting and otherwise contentless messages not only the moment you get to the Bahamas, but for the duration of your stay there, calling THEM the stalker becomes a clear case of projection.

It is flattering though, I'll give you that. Thanks again for the plaque. ;)