Sunday, February 17, 2013

Martin's AFR powerpoint

This is really very nice. Here.


Martin said...

Wow! Using my material! Neat!

Credit really goes to Jaegwon Kim, though, as this particular formulation of it is his. And William Jaworski, whose book Philosophy of Mind A Comprehensive Introduction gives nice "cliff notes" versions of these arguments along with diagrams similar to my own.

Although I added the flipping of the arrow and turned it into a direct argument for dualism, rather than just an argument against non-reductive physicalism (as Kim uses it).

Papalinton said...

I went looking for Jaegwon Kim but was generally confronted with damn paywalls or accession requirements. There seems to be a little rivalry between Dennett's emergence of consciousness and Jaegwon Kim's supervenience argument.

However I did come across this synopsis HERE

In part it reads: "In order to avoid the extreme conclusion that consciousness is absolutely irrelevant to our cognitive/intentional functioning, Kim proposes that, although individual qualia are epiphenomenal, qualia relations may have cognitive/intentional significance. However, I show that his proposal involves a paradox of conflicting dependencies, which may be characterized as supervenience collision."

A little further scouring of the net, all with the notion of due diligence foremost in mind, it generally seems while Jaegwon Kim's supervenience idea is regarded a useful treatise on consciousness it has raised only mild attention within philosophical circles.

Martin said...

I'm not sure how influential it is, but a quick rundown of his argument in a slightly different way than my diagram can be seen here.

It seems fine to me. If the brain causes the mind, and the brain obviously causes physical events as well, then the brain is the only thing doing any work and the mind is removed from the picture, unable to cause anything.

To avoid this, one can become an identity theorist. A mental event is identical to a physical brain event. Now you only have one event (not two), and mental events can once again play a role in causing things.

But now you face Putnam's multiple realizability problem. You really want to say that pain is identical to C fiber firing, and be commited to the fact that only creatures with C fibers (humans) can feel pain? You can kiss A.I. goodbye, and you would need to rule out a priori that aliens can feel pain, which seems quite presumptuous. We should meet said aliens first and investigate before deciding that they can't feel pain.

What's that you say? Pain could be realized by analogous structures in other creatures? Something that plays the same role as C fibers play in humans? OK, but now you are back to non-reductive physicalism and you can see my diagram above for why that won't work either.

ingx24 said...

Of course, identity theory has way more problems than just multiple realizability. There's also the fact that nothing we see in the brain comes anywhere near resembling a thought, feeling, mental image, etc. An alternative could be to adopt a Russellian identity theory, in which the mind is what the brain is really like behind appearances, but that seems to come with all the same problems as non-reductive physicalism (i.e. it makes mental content epiphenomenal, with only physical/spatial relations making a difference and the intrinsic mental nature of the brain being irrelevant).

Mr Veale said...

Swinburne also uses this argument against non-reductive physicalism in "Mind, Brain and Free Will". Well worth the read!


Ilari Malkki said...

An interesting and novel response to the problem of mental causation has been proposed by for example Menzies and Raatikainen (e.g. According to them, the problem can be avoided althogether if one adopts an interventionist theory of causation, developed especially by Woodward. I don´t know much of the details, but at least Raatikainen (who is a professor in my university) is very confident that this solves the problem of mental causation for non-reductive materialism.

Does anyone known the details about this? Is this solution as good as Raatikainen says it is??