The Instigator
Center_for_Rationality
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
socialpinko
Con (against)
Losing
4 Points

Dualism is likely true.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Center_for_Rationality
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/5/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,944 times Debate No: 28900
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (4)

 

Center_for_Rationality

Pro

Resolution: Dualism is likely true.

Dualism:the theory that the mental and the physical—or mind and body or mind and brain—are, in some sense, radically different kinds of thing

Substance: a bearer of properties capable of undergoing change(Thanks to popculturepooka)

BOP is shared, with the Negative/Con arguing for Physicalism.

No semantic arguments.

No intentionally fallacious arguments.
socialpinko

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Center_for_Rationality

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate and hope we have a good discussion between physicalism and dualism, a important issue no doubt. I will be taking the view that two different substances exist: physical and non-physical.

physicalist: A person holding that any physical event that has a cause at time t has a physical cause at t


Naturalism: entities that exist are those discoverable, in theory, by the sciences


I will offer two primary arguments for Dualism:

1. The Knowledge Argument/Zombie Argument[1]
2. Argument from Reason

The Knowledge Argument[2]
(1) Mary knows all the physical facts concerning human color vision before her release.
(2) But there are some facts about human color vision that Mary does not know before her release.
Therefore
(3) There are non-physical facts concerning human color vision.

"The sensation of colour cannot be accounted for by the physicist's objective picture of light-waves. Could the physiologist account for it, if he had fuller knowledge than he has of the processes in the retina and the nervous processes set up by them in the optical nerve bundles and in the brain? I do not think so." Erwin Schrödinger[4]


This argument is logically valid if the premises hold true the conclusion naturally follows. I have attempted to refine the thought experiment to prepare for possible rebuttals but note I will not be attacking any straw men. Imagine a brilliant neurosurgeon named Mary. Now Mary being brilliant knows everything there is to know about human color vision and she sits all day and night studying human color vision. Their is simply one problem, Mary is monochromatic. She can only see grey. So one day undergoes a surgery in order to gain the ability to see colors. So when she awakes she can see all colors of rainbow, and she has gained new knowledge but how can this be? Presupposing physicalism is true she gains no new knowledge when she sees the color red since all that exists are physical facts. However because she does gain new knowledge(namely what is it like to see the color red) we know this knowledge is ultimately immaterial. Now this type of information is what philosophers of the mind call Qualia. Qualia, if it exists, is the ultimate defeater for physicalism because if Qualia exists than ultimately some knowledge is beyond physical facts. Another argument that supports the nature of Qualia is the philosophical zombie argument which basically states that if zombies are possible after all would therefore show that conscious experience are not redescriptions of the physical facts. I will quote a argument from David Chalmers:
1.According to physicalism, all that exists in our world (including consciousness) is physical.
2.Thus, if physicalism is true, a logically-possible world in which all physical facts are the same as those of the actual world must contain everything that exists in our actual world. In particular, conscious experience must exist in such a possible world.
3.In fact we can conceive of a world physically indistinguishable from our world but in which there is no consciousness (a zombie world). From this (so Chalmers argues) it follows that such a world is logically possible.
4.Therefore, physicalism is false. (The conclusion follows from 2. and 3. by modus tollens.
Conceivability entails possibility, at metaphysically. As long as something is possible metaphysically a thought experiment is possible to be run with it. If it is a metaphysical impossibility than it cannot.
2. Argument from Reason[5][6]

If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true ... and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. —J. B. S. Haldane, Possible Worlds, page 209

1) Naturalism is true
2) Naturalism entails that there is not an original purpose, or aboutness (intentionality) of the universe.
3) But there is aboutness (intentionality) now.
4) Either aboutness “emerged” or it did not.
5) Aboutness did not emerge.
Therefore, Naturalism is not true

This is a reformulation done by the blog Rational Perspectives. This argument is also deductively sound, if the premises are true the conclusions naturally follow. Now premise one is assumed for argument, I am not making the biggest concession ever :). Now naturalism will fundamentally entail that there is no purpose or teleological explanation about the universe, no intentionality, no Qualia, etc. Now this apart of the definition of Naturalism along with what it entails because such things could not be discovered by sciences at least in principle. It would be a strange form of physicalism/naturalism, in deed not one worth the name, that conceded that there exists purpose in the universe while similarly affirming that their aboutness existed along with intentionality without affirming dualism. You see intentionality is the ability for something to about something else, for example I might have beliefs about the cake(its a lie) I have a representation of reality that is either true or false. However physical states aren't really about anything. For example, a rock lying in the sun isn't really about anything. So aboutness exists now, we know simply by having true beliefs or meaningfully asserting something. The denial of which is self-defeating, if your beliefs are not about anything then they do not have determinate content and therefore we cannot know whether they are true or not. To illustrate that point I will give a example. 1 + 1= 2 this belief is about mathematics. If one is to deny intentionality it really isn't about mathematics. Its not about anything specifically. Therefore, how do we know the concept always applies? Concepts such as formal logic and mathematics fall apart if intentionality is false. Now if that's true, aboutness exists now and it cannot have been here since the beginning of universe as Naturalism entails no initial purpose or aboutness exists for the universe. But Aboutness couldn't have emerged, because it would be unreasonable to affirm it emerged, there is no coherent possibilities on how this could happen and non-rational sources do not produce intentional causes. Non-reason cannot produce reason. Humans are the result of billions of years of random and mindless processes working through natural selection. Why should we think that these mindless processes have been able to yield a being who is able to think rationally? How can we meaningfully say that intentionality simply emerged on Naturalism. Unless my opponent can justify Aboutness emerged, then this argument stands and Naturalism is false.

Conclusion
I thank my opponent for this debate, I hope we have a good discussion. I have introduced two primary arguments to support dualism I hope you will consider voting in the Affirmative today. If either one of my arguments hold then it follows that the mind is immaterial. Now off to Negative :)

Sources:http://tinyurl.com...
socialpinko

Con

Knowledge/Zombies.


First, Pro makes the mistake of jumping to a conclusion that he couldn't possibly arrive at simply given that he doesn't possess the amount of knowledge that the hypothetical "Mary" does. If he did he could give us a perfect answer to the problem of qualia. However, since he doesn't, his argument is simply circular. Pro is essentially arguing that if we had knowledge of all physical facts, then we wouldn't have knowledge of the sensation of color *because* color isn't contained within the set of physical facts. One can't actually know what Mary would be able to understand and what she wouldn't because the hypothetical scenario is as yet incapable of coming to fruition.


On the zombie argument Pro makes, he is again guilty of arguing circularly. His whole concept of metaphysical conceivability rests on the presupposition that physicalism is false. If physicalism is true though than zombies aren't conceivable without contradiction. So Pro is really just guilty of presupposing the falsity of the position in order to argue against it.


Reason argument.


Pro's argument, even if successful, doesn't affirm dualism since physicalism isn't the only non-dualist metaphysic. On the contrary, pantheism[1] (the view that God and the world are essentially the same substance), panpsychism[2] (the view that the world is made up of one substance, that being mind), and neutral monism[3] (the view that one substance permeates the world, being neither mental nor physical) are all still alternatives to dualism in the case that Pro is successful in his refutation of physicalism. To put it simply, I can completely concede this argument yet still maintain that dualism is false.


===Sources===


[1] http://plato.stanford.edu...
[2] http://plato.stanford.edu...
[3] http://plato.stanford.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
Center_for_Rationality

Pro

There are several problems with my opponents case. Most notably, since burden of proof is shared he must offer a argument in favour of physicalism or else lose the debate as well. My opponent has not given us a single reason to accept physicalism.


Argument from Reason: Did I just win?

My opponent has, at least on the face, seemed to concede the validity of the Argument from Reason. Now as per the rules my opponent has lost this debate. The moment he concedes this physicalism falls along with Naturalism. Why is this a problem for my opponent? Because my opponent agreed upon starting this debate that he was arguing for physicalism, see the rules. While my opponents assertion maybe true, it is simply put a red herring. I don't need to refute any other thesis other than physicalism.

My opponent clearly has lost this debate with concession of the Argument from Reason lets move on to the arguments from qualia.


Zombie Argument: Does my opponent know what I am supposing here?

My opponent is arguing that my case says since Zombies are possible, physicalism is false assuming that physicalism is false. This is wholely inaccurate and anyone reading this debate should scoff at the very nature of this argument. My opponent clearly doesn't understand the argument from metaphysical conceivablity, I was saying because metaphysically conceivability entails possibility. My opponent argues that zombies are conceivable without contradiction on physicalism. That validates P2 and he agrees with P1. Chalmers argument since it is valid from modus tollens makes physicalism false. My opponent has fundementally conceded the truth of premises and yet denies the conclusion but the argument is logically valid. He has not accused me of any formal fallacies. While he argues that physicalism supports the idea of zombies, he accuses me of presupposing a problem which isn't there, he proposes its consistant even. But if he concedes zombies are possible and he maintains physicalism is true then it naturally entails(from Chalmers argument) a contradiction. Therefore my opponent must concede the objection and lose the debate or deny zombies after conceding their validity previously.

My opponent accuses me of circular argumentation again, but this is false and misleading. My opponent has given me accusation that simply because I do not know doesn't mean Mary wouldn't know. I am not at all suggesting that, there is simply nothing in physical facts or physical descriptions of the world that tell us sensation of color. Or what it looks like for that matter. My opponent is saying the equvilent of "Your not a blind person, how do you know that if they didn't know all the physical facts about seeing, they wouldn't know what its like to see" its because nothing in physical facts or descriptions tell us what seeing is exactly like. My opponent attacks P2 of the argument with unconvincing refutation.


My opponent has not brought a case to the table. And I really want to make my argument longer but my opponent hasn't given me a case to refute. This seems rather unfair since we have a shared burden-of-proof. My opponent may make a case next round but remember voters I only get one round to refute his case if he does and never get to respond to his answers. Please consider voting in the affirmative today.



socialpinko

Con

I apologize to Pro, I must forfeit the debate. Undertaking it I had no intention of defending physicalism and missed the BoP section in R1.

Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
Center_for_Rationality

Pro

I thank my opponent for at least taking the debate, I got to hear new perspectives on my arguments.

Vote Pro :)
socialpinko

Con

Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by The_Fool_on_the_hill 4 years ago
The_Fool_on_the_hill
The Fool: not Bad. Center_for_Rationality.

Nicely Nit.

@ Socio- I personally have nothing against you, I pick on the philosophers the most. Only in a initiation sense. I am trying to get you defend yourself with Rational arguments. I hope you make it out of Ideo-land, so we have progressive philosophic arguments.

WHERE IS THE POC? It should be mandatory in all philosophical debates.
Its would be nice if we can customize them for philosophy instead of them all being political Style.

There was a few flaws in Centers work, which would could have been better to attack.. I would have picked on the argument Of science not being about anything. I can fix your argument in my mind, but because it is not your own argument. I think you would have had a hard time fixing it.

@socialpinko: You went too low brow on him. Low brow is for politics! The Plebs may not notice. But I DO!.
It was to much of you to hold COR to a perfect solution to the mind/body problem. The Mary argument is as sound as it gets. AKA we can tell a blind person about the formal essence of math/logic, But that alone won't help him know what it is "LIKE" to actually See COLORS. There is a difference between indirect formal Essence and Direct conscious of the colors. The same way a child could know that it is "Like" to See Blue, without knowing nothing about math/logic.
The True Philosopher values Truth Over sophism. If someone believes what you have said. You would be guilty of spreading False knowledge to you fellow pupils. Tisk tisk.
Posted by philochristos 4 years ago
philochristos
My bad! :-)
Posted by Center_for_Rationality 4 years ago
Center_for_Rationality
DON"T QUESTION MY LOGIC!!
:) sorry lol
Posted by philochristos 4 years ago
philochristos
Why not just post your sources in the comments of this debate instead of starting another debate just to post the soruces?
Posted by Center_for_Rationality 4 years ago
Center_for_Rationality
This should work better: http://www.debate.org...
Posted by Center_for_Rationality 4 years ago
Center_for_Rationality
Grrr... I was using easybib.com to create a biblography it seems to have failed on me.
I fix this situation.
Posted by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
oh, awesome!!
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by AshleysTrueLove 4 years ago
AshleysTrueLove
Center_for_RationalitysocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter on Devil because sources were clearly superior on Center's side however due to honorable forfeit, pinko gets conduct. This convinced me to abandon my Christian Materialism.
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 4 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
Center_for_RationalitysocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: conduct to con 4 his proper & honest F.F. The rest is self explanitory.
Vote Placed by DoctorDeku 4 years ago
DoctorDeku
Center_for_RationalitysocialpinkoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.
Vote Placed by Xerge 4 years ago
Xerge
Center_for_RationalitysocialpinkoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit by Con