Thursday, October 15, 2009

Willard on Searle on non-reductive materialism


Edward T. Babinski said...

Exactly! Nonreductive materialism and the emergent view of consciousness does not mean supernaturally functioning (and supernaturally preserved) minds exist.

J said...

And Searle has nothing whatsoever to say about how the micro states of the brain, being what they are, go about producing the alleged states of the brain which make up the conscious life of the individual, being what it is. This surely is because in all the astonishingly active field of brain research there is nothing available on this point. Quite naturally, then, Searle himself doesn't even try. What might mislead one is the fact that we are finding out more and more of what goes on in the brain, and of what is happening when certain mental events are occurring (or mental properties are being instanced).

Doc Willard in da House! Willard's not on our list of must-read philosophasters, but he's correct that Searle often makes obvious generalizations without considering the details; those generalizations may be sound, but don't seem to advance the discussion much. Like how does perception--say reading something--become a thought? How are letters, bits of ink, transformed into thoughts and concepts? Searle & Co don't have much to say on the neurophysiological specifics. And consciousness maybe bio-dependent, yet it is not "just so" really--

Blue Devil Knight said...

Searle pretty much thinks we need to leave it to the neuroscientists to tell us how it works. He has laid down his general bionaturalistic framework, but if that is true then it becomes an empirical question how the details will work, and he doesn't pretend to be able to pull that off.

All of that seems right to me.