This is a blog to discuss philosophy, chess, politics,
C. S. Lewis, or whatever it is that I'm in the mood to discuss.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
The laws of logic and the laws of physics
To reason is to hold a belief governed by logical relations and logical laws. But matter is governed by the laws of physics, not the laws of logic. A entailing B, or A's being evidence for B, has to at least some of the time be causally responsible for S's believing B. But if the laws of physics determine everything, the laws of logic and evidence are inoperative in the formation of belief. How are the laws of logic, laws that are not spatiotemorally local, have anything to do with the formation of beliefs, when all the causes of what anyone believes are spatiotemporally local?
Attempts to "naturalize" the mind always fudge categories.
Any attempt to reduce intentionality to something nonmental will always fail because it leaves out intentionality. Suppose for example that you had a perfect causal account of the belief that water is wet. This account is given by stating the set of causal relations in which a system stands to water and to wetness and these relations are entirely specified without any mental component. The problem is obvious: a system could have all those relations and still not believe that water is wet. This is just an extension of the Chinese Room argument, but the moral it points to is general: You cannot reduce intentional content (or pains, or "qualia") to something else, because if you did they would be something else, and it is not something else." (Searle, Rediscovery p. 51).