Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Dennett Denied

This is Angus Menuge's critique of Dennett.

3 comments:

Edward T. Babinski said...

The naturalist has no explanation? In general they have one, that the brain is a unique organ, and they are willing to continue to study it, including studying various components of consciousness and different types and levels of consciousness, because "consciousness" is not all simply one thing simply because a single word is used to describe it. Even linguistic philosophers recognize that words are not equivalent to things, and maps are not equivalent to territories.

What about the supernaturalist? Do they have an exacting explanation of how everything works in the brain/mind, or only an explanation in general? Do they know how something supernatural interacts with something natural? Do they have an explanation for how thoughts and reasoning occur in and of themselves? Or is their explanation merely the invocation of a bigger mystery to explain the mystery of consciousness and intentionality and reasoning?

Anonymous said...

is their explanation merely the invocation of a bigger mystery to explain the mystery of consciousness and intentionality and reasoning?

Suppose rational consciousness is ontologically basic (which, in a way, is what theism postulates). Then it won't be the case that it is explainable in terms of something else. Demanding that it must be so explainable begs the question against theism.

Similarly, the physicalist refuses to countenance explanations of the physical in terms of the non-physical. For the physicalist, the material world is ontologically basic. So s/he would scorn the idea that invoking the material world is to invoke something more mysterious than the phenomena of mind.

Yet I think it's arguable as to which candidate for being ontologically and explanatorily more basic--mind or the material world--is more plausible, or more 'mysterious'. It seems that in order to probe the material world one's mind needs to be capable of very sophisticated mathematical reasoning.

Anonymous said...

"The naturalist has no explanation? In general they have one, that the brain is a unique organ, and they are willing to continue to study it,"

So the naturalist has a faith project?