The Instigator
Genghis_Khan
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
n7
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points

Substance Dualism is true

Do you like this debate?NoYes+4
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
n7
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/16/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,569 times Debate No: 73595
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (21)
Votes (1)

 

Genghis_Khan

Con

"Substance dualists typically argue that the mind and the body are composed of different substances and that the mind is a thinking thing that lacks the usual attributes of physical objects: size, shape, location, solidity, motion, adherence to the laws of physics, and so on. Substance dualists fall into several camps depending upon how they think mind and body are related. Interactionists believe that minds and bodies causally affect one another" [http://www.iep.utm.edu...]

Pro's burden of proof is to affirm that substance dualism is probably true.

Pro should present their opening argument in the first round, but they don't have to waive the final round.

I look forward to a fun debate.
n7

Pro

I thank my opponent for setting this debate up. I’ve never done a devil’s advocate debate for dualism before, but I hope to be able to defend the position. As Con quoted dualists fall into different camps. I will simply defend the thesis that the mind and the body are two different, distinct metaphysical entities.


The Zombie Argument


This argument here can be formed in this syllogism.



(1) If P-zombies are possible, then the mind isn’t physical.

(2) P-zombies are possible

(3) The mind isn’t physical.

C. Substance Dualism is probable.



In philosophy, zombies are hypothetical creatures that act like conscious beings, but aren’t. Chalmers describes zombies as “physically identical to a normal human being, but completely lacks conscious experience. Zombies look and behave like the conscious beings that we know and love, but "all is dark inside." [1]. The important part about P- zombies is that if they are possible, then it would follow that that the mind doesn’t have physical properties.


Premise 1


Why is that the case? Think of it this way, if Mr. Barack and Mr. Obama refer to the same thing, does this mean it’s possible for Mr. Barack to be someone else other than Mr. Obama? No, it’s contradictory by definition. If it’s possible, then Mr. Barack must not have been Mr. Obama in the first place.


This is the basic Law of Identicals drawn out by Leibniz. Which states [2]


“(i) Ifx is identical to y, then for any property x has, y has and for any property y has, x has.

“(ii) If for any property x has, y has, and for any property y has, x has, thenx is identical to y.”


If x= the mind and y= the physical we can understand why the first premise is true.


Furthermore, Dr. Torin Alter states that


“And most [philosophers] agree that if zombies are metaphysically possible, then physicalism is false” [3]


Greg Restall and Francesca Poggiolesi also write in "New Waves in Philosophical Logic” that there is a wide consensus in philosophy about the systems of modal logic and the correctness of Kripkean interpretations. What’s debated is the way to understand what it means to prove statements [4]. The important part is that premise one follows from Kripkean modal logic [5]. Source [5] also states that even people who don’t agree with the conclusion of this argument nonetheless have a “Kripkean backdrop” [ibid], therefore they accept premise 1.


This is a valid appeal to authority [6] ,as the authors meet the qualifications for such an argument [7][8][9].


Premise 1 is justified.


Premise 2


This premise seems to be a modest claim. What it means to be possible is


“Able to be or become; potential:” [10]


It seems that there could be p-zombies, since there’s no contradiction in the idea. In order for something to lack potential is for something to be contradictory. If nothing is restricting some proposition, it is able. If there existed every possible reality, there doesn’t seem to be any reason why there wouldn’t exist p-zombies in one of them. This means philosophical zombies are possible.


Premise 2 is justified.


Premise 3 & conclusion.


Premise 3 therefore follows from the previous 2 premises. The final conclusion also follows, as it would mean the mind and body are two separate things.


The resolution is affirmed


The Knowledge Argument


The knowledge argument presented by Frank Jackson details a story about Mary [11]. She is a neuroscientist who has spent her whole life in a black and white room. She has come to learn everything there is to know about the neuroscience of color. Looking at your brain scans, she can tell if you’re looking at color and what color you’re looking at. All physical facts about color are known to her. However, we notice, she doesn’t actually know what color is. When she frees herself from this room she learns something new, what color actually is. If the mind and physical were the same thing, she should’ve already known what color is, as she had all physical facts about color. Since she clearly didn’t know what color is, we can conclude mental information isn’t physical. The argument can be formulated like this [12]


(1) Mary has all the physical information concerning human color vision before her release.


(2) But there is some information about human color vision that she does not have before her release.


(3) Therefore, not all information is physical information.


The resolution is affirmed.


Now to Con.


Sources


[1] http://consc.net...

[2] http://www.oberlin.edu...

[3] http://www.disputatio.com...

[4] Restall, Greg, and Gillian Kay Russell. New Waves in Philosophical Logic. Chapter 3 Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. Print.

[5] http://plato.stanford.edu...

[6] http://www.nizkor.org...

[7] http://philosophy.ua.edu...

[8] http://shaps.unimelb.edu.au...

[9] https://sites.google.com...

[10] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

[11] http://home.sandiego.edu...

[12] http://ocw.mit.edu...

Debate Round No. 1
Genghis_Khan

Con

Thanks to n7 for his argument! I am trying to decide my stance on this issue, and I'm sure that this debate will help me in my decision. I can only hope that I will be able to pose a worth-while challenge to my esteemed opponent :)
In this round, I will be putting forth my own arguments as well as rebutting my opponent's.

-----------------------------------
The Case for Physicalism
-----------------------------------

Simply put, there is no need for mind to exist apart from matter because neurological science already explains the vast majority of functions of the mind in materialistic, physical terms. It has become common knowledge among neuroscientists that emotions are a result of complex electrochemical reactions in the brain, with various neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin interacting with neurons in the frontal cortex [1]. Our sense of empathy, our ability to relate to other human beings, and many of our learned behaviors are now entirely attributed to mirror neurons in the brain, which, whenever we observe someone doing something, activate along the same exact neural pathways that they have active [2]. Theories of consciousness, too, have been gaining support in the scientific community; neurologists have discovered a certain area of the brain which appears to be responsible for weaving together the vast amounts of sensory and cognitive input we process into the "seamless web" of first-person experience which we perceive as consciousness [3].

These materialistic explanations of mind processes are given further credence by the fact that physical injuries and impediments to various portions of the brain result in the hindrance of those mind-processes. For example, scientists have discovered that autism is linked to structural problems in people's mirror neurons -- thus explaining autistic people's lack of empathy, inability to relate to other people, and difficulty with learning [2]. Another example: stroke victims tend to suffer permanent damage to certain parts of their brain due to the extended periods of time that they were deprived of oxygen, and one common effect of that is profound changes in personality and emotion [4]. This effect is also seen in patients with frontal lobe injuries, because it hosts so many of the electrochemical processes which are responsible for emotion [5]. The point of all this is that, if functions of the mind were really the responsibility of a wholly separate metaphysical entity, then we wouldn't expect these changes to the physical brain to result in such large changes to those mind-functions.

In conclusion, the only metaphysical substance which we have ever had any experience with is that of matter, so we need positive reasons to believe that a completely different metaphysical substance also exists. However, all empirical investigation into the workings of the mind reveals that it is entirely a product of physical processes within the brain. Therefore, we have no rational basis for the belief that mind exists as an independent entity, and so substance dualism is false.

--------------------------------
Problem of Interaction
--------------------------------

Substance dualism is self-refuting. It would be plainly absurd to suggest that the physical brain has no part to play at all in the functions of the mind (as that would basically negate the entire field of neurology), so dualism forces us to assume that mind and matter somehow interact in order to produce the the processes of the mind as we know them. But how is it possible for two substances of fundamentally different metaphysical natures to interact? It is not possible for the mind to have physical properties, and it is not possible for matter to have mental properties. It is akin to trying to get alkaline metals to react with noble gases -- except mind-matter interaction is even more improbable because it has to surmount ontological differences, which are so fundamental that they make mere chemical differences seem rather superficial. In other words, substance dualism requires something which is impossible according its own claims, thus making it self-refuting.

-------------------------------
Philosophical Zombies
-------------------------------

(1) If P-zombies are possible, then the mind isn"t physical.
(2) P-zombies are possible
(3) The mind isn"t physical.
C. Substance Dualism is probable.

The only premise I can object to is the first one, and to be honest, I do not really understand Pro's justification of P1 at all, as it seems to be an enormous non-sequitur. He talks about the laws of identity, makes an appeal to authority, and then goes on to explain why kripkean modal logic is sound. Aside from the appeal to authority, the only time he says anything of relevance to the premise at hand is when he attempts to link the laws of identity to dualism: "If x= the mind and y= the physical we can understand why the first premise is true." Pro is going to need to elucidate more clearly why this is the case, because at present it is nothing but a bare assertion.

Meanwhile, the only other thing I can address is the appeal to authority regarding the majority of philosophers agreeing with P1. Contrary to Pro's claims, that is *not* a valid appeal. If appealing to expert consensus like that could determine truth, then Geocentrism would have been true in 700 years ago but false today. Logical Positivism would have been true in the 19th century but false in the 21st. Young Earth Creationism would have been true before Darwin was born but false after he died. Of course, all of those are absurd, because such propositions about reality are meant to be objective -- not dependent upon what the majority of experts believe at the time. If expert consensus determined truth value, then new scientific theories would automatically be false because they invariably conflict with what the majority of the field already believes. It is simply not tenable to assume things based on appeals to authority like the one Pro has put forth. Pro's only real support for his first premise fails, and thus the conclusion remains unwarranted.

-----------------------------
Knowledge Argument
-----------------------------

(1) Mary has all the physical information concerning human color vision before her release.
(2) But there is some information about human color vision that she does not have before her release.
(3) Therefore, not all information is physical information.

The problem with this argument is that premise 1 is plainly false. By learning all there is to know about the physics of color, Mary did *not* actually have all the physical information concerning human color vision. She only had mechanical, third-person information on what color is; she did not have *sensory* information about human color vision -- which is inherently first-person -- hence why she felt that she was learning for the first time "what color actually is". Since sensory information is a category of physical information, and Mary did not have sensory information of human color vision, the first premise is false and Pro's syllogism is unsound.

.
.
.

== Conclusion ==

I have put forth two arguments showing that physicalism accounts for the mind far better than substance dualism does: (1) the explanatory power of modern neuroscience, and (2) the self-refuting nature of substance dualism. Meanwhile, neither of Pro's arguments for dualism hold up to scrutiny. The resolution is negated. Back to you, Pro!

.

[1] http://www.neuroanatomy.wisc.edu...
[2] http://greatergood.berkeley.edu...
[3] http://www.livescience.com...
[4] http://www.strokeassociation.org...
[5] http://www.neuroskills.com...
n7

Pro

Thanks Khan. Deciding on a philosophy of mind is definitely a difficult and confusing thing to do. Hope to be of some help.


Mind/Body Correlations

Con’s first argument has to do with the mind/body correlations we’ve observed in neuroscience. At best, this is an argument against interactionist dualism. The problem with this is, not all dualist philosophies are interactionist. Epiphenomenalism, for example can take a substance dualist form. Stating that the mental substance is caused completely by the physical as a by product. Like a shadow of the brain, separate from it, yet still caused by it [1]. Con’s argument only attacks a specific type of dualism, not dualism in general.


However, the argument itself doesn’t refute interactionist dualism either. Descartes himself thought the such correlations may exist [2]. Descartes gave the analogy of a violinist, if his violin is broken it would appear his skill is poor. However, it’s not that the violinist is a bad player, but the way he produces his skill is broken. The brain is just a way we produce our abilities. If it’s damaged, then of course we wouldn’t be able to function. There’s also ways that interaction can still occur, which I will get to when that section comes.


I had another argument in this section, but due to space limitations I couldn't include it.


The argument is refuted.


Problem of Interaction


Con presents the infamous problem of interaction. As I’ve said before, there’s philosophies of dualism that don’t accept interaction. Like the above argument at best an argument against a specific type of dualism. However, interactionism could perhaps be saved. I will present three possible solutions, only one need succeed for the problem of interaction to no longer be a problem.


One, the mind and body may not interact in the way say billiard balls moving interact with each other, but they can still interact with each other by reacting to each other. If we imagine a person seeing a snake and flinching we notice there isn’t some connection with the snake the person has that made him flinch. The person was caused to flinch by the snake by way of reacting, not by way of interaction like physical objects moving into each other. Another example is something like a motion sensing device such as the Xbox Kinect. You’re not causing through some similar link with such a device to move your character, but the device senses you and reacts. The mind and body interact with each other, not because of some connection, but because they’re reacting to each other.


Two, one key component to the problem of interaction is the idea that in order for two things to interact, there must be some fundamentally common connection between them. This intuition is challenged by quantum mechanics. Quantum entanglement is where “multiple particles are linked together in a way such that the measurement of one particle's quantum state determines the possible quantum states of the other particles.”[3] The interaction’s speed happen at 10,000 times the speed of light [4]. This means there cannot be any connection between the particles or else they would entail contradictions in relativity [5]. The mind and brain might interact just like quantum entanglement, no connection between the two, but still in interaction with each other.


Three, William Lycan points out the problem of interaction assumes a specific theory of causation [2]. Under certain theories like David Lewis’ counterfactual theory there doesn’t appear to be any problem. The counterfactual theory states that “An event E causally depends on C if, and only if, (i) if C had occurred, then E would have occurred, and (ii) if C had not occurred, then E would not have occurred.” [6]. Basically, a fire causes a house to be burnt down because if the fire didn’t exist, the burnt house wouldn’t exist and if a house is on fire, a burnt house would occur. Lycan goes on to state “no reason has been given why physical events could not depend counterfactually on Cartesian mental events.” [2].


Interactionism can still be saved, as it may be that the mind and body react to one another, interaction doesn’t need a common link, and there’s other theories of causation that allow for remove the problem. Furthermore, this also solves the problem Con mentioned in the above argument.


The argument is refuted.


The Zombie Argument


Con here says he doesn’t understand my justification for premise one. I’m sorry if I didn’t make it clear enough, as I thought filling in Leibniz’s law of identicals would make sense. In a nutshell, if the mind = the brain then any property the mind has the brain has and visa versa (that’s tautological). Just like any property Mr. Obama has Mr. Barack has. If it’s possible for the brain to function like it has a mind, but not really be conscious then there can exist a property that the mind has that the brain doesn’t. It would then follow that the mind =/= the brain.


Con strawmans my appeal to authority. I am claiming it supports premise one, not that it positively makes it true. A valid appeal to authority is only ever a probabilistic argument [7]. Furthermore none of his parody arguments match a valid appeal to authority. Geocentrism and Young Earth Creationism fail to meet criteria 5 “The area of expertise is a legitimate area or discipline.“[ibid] Neither discipline had nearly inductive content to be considered legitimate. Young Earth Creationism also fails to meet criteria 1 “The person has sufficient expertise in the subject matter in question.” as it’s roots are in religious traditions [8]. I also can't find any evidence that YEC was ever widely accepted by experts. The father of geology held that the Earth was infinite [9] so I’m not sure where Con got that idea. Also Darwin had nothing to do with the Old Earth Theory, Hutton came up with it and Lyell popularized it [10]. Finally Logical Positivism never met criteria 3 “There is an adequate degree of agreement among the other experts in the subject in question.” as there were numerous internal debates within the movement. [11] I also couldn’t find evidence that it was ever widely accepted in philosophy.


I have restated my justification for P1 and have shown how Con’s attempt to refute my appeal to authority fails.


The Knowledge Argument


Here it seems Con is advocating for a type of non-reductive physicalism. Con is saying that first person experience cannot be derived from third person information. I agree with this, where I disagree with Con is where he says that first person information is physical. This presents some questions for Con such as why can’t first person information be reduced to the scientific third person information if it’s fundamentally the same? How is first person experience physically different from the third person? Why is consciousness the only thing that is non-reducible? This would also seem to present a problem of causal overdeterminism (two causes for one event). Events would be caused in a first person sense and in a third person sense. Sensory information is caused in a third person sense by wavelengths of light entering the eyes and in a first person qualia sense. We would have two distinct causal events neither reducible to the other. This is absurd, as it’s like two privately funded snipers hired to take out the same target and both kill the target at the exact same moment.


Con’s model fails under scrutiny.


The resolution is affirmed. Back to Con



Sources in comments due to space limitations.

Debate Round No. 2
Genghis_Khan

Con

Thanks, n7.

I'd like to start out by addressing Pro's technique of bringing up "epiphenomenalism" in response to both of my arguments against substance dualism. I contend that it is only fair for Pro to be limited to a single advocacy, just as I have limited myself to one (physicalism). It is unfair to allow him to defend more than one because that means that every time I refute one version of dualism, he can just say "oh but Con hasn't refuted THIS version yet", thus making it impossible for me to ever fulfill my burden of proof within the space of this debate. Moreover, by defending two mutually exclusive views of dualism, Pro automatically loses because the two views refute each other simply by virtue of being true. Since Pro has spent the bulk of his round defending interactionist substance dualism, I will assume that to be the advocacy he is sticking to.

-------------------------------
Case for Physicalism
-------------------------------

Pro puts forth a very interesting analogy comparing the mind to a violinist and the brain to a violin. However, the analogy doesn't really accurately reflect the situation. To put this into the terms of Pro's analogy, my case demonstrates that the violin is *fully mechanized* and is capable of playing itself without any external help; therefore we have no reason to assume that a violinist exists at all. All Pro has done is provided a rationale for why the existence of the mind is still compatible with modern neuroscience; he seems to have conceded that the brain is, indeed, fully capable of accounting for human mind-functions on its own. Yes, I agree that even if the violin is fully automated, there still could technically be a violinist holding onto it and pretending to be the one playing the music. However, that view of substance dualism renders the mind to essentially be unnecessary baggage to the independently functioning brain. Via the Principle of Parsimony, an explanation which includes such unnecessary baggage should be rejected in favor of an explanation without it. In other words, we have positive reason to reject Pro's minimalist interpretation of substance dualism and instead favor the physicalist view that the brain alone is responsible for all mind-functions.

---------------------------------
Problem of Interaction
---------------------------------

1) Pro argues that the mind and the brain could interact via indirect reaction to each other. The only way in which he has tried to show *how* this would actually occur is through example. However, in all of his examples, the only reason the objects in question are able to "react" to each other is through the transmission and reception of electromagnetic waves (e.g. the person perceiving light waves reflected off the snake, the Xbox motion censor catching infrared waves reflected off the players). To translate this into the context of mind-brain interaction, Pro is essentially introducing some *third* substance into the equation! But this is just begging the question. What is this third substance? How can it interact with mind? How can it interact with matter? Pro's "solution" to interaction creates far more problems than it solves.

2) Pro claims that objects need not directly connect in order to interact, citing the phenomenon of quantum entanglement to back up his assertion. However, he never actually explains why we should assume that such a property, which has only been observed to occur between virtually identical particles of matter, can also occur between different metaphysical substances; that is an enormous leap in logic. It is akin to claiming that because a tiger and a lion can mate to produce a viable offspring, we should accept that an elephant and an ant can do so as well -- except that Pro's assertion is even more radical because ontological differences are so fundamental that they trivialize reproductive barriers.

3) Unfortunately, I must once again request that Pro elaborates on how exactly his alternative "counterfactual" theory of causation solves the problem of interaction; it is not enough to simply propose some random philosophical concept and then state that it serves as a valid rebuttal -- Pro must elucidate on *why* it serves as a valid rebuttal. Based on his example, it would seem that counterfactual causation still requires some sort of direct contact or link, so it doesn't really escape the problem of interaction.

---------------------------------
Philosophical Zombies
---------------------------------

Thanks to Pro for elaborating on this argument. With this new understanding of his argument, I shift the focus of my rebuttal to the second premise of the argument -- attacking the notion that it is possible for "the brain to function like it has a mind, but not really be conscious". Pro is correct in stating that it is my burden of proof to provide a defeater for the possibility of philosophical zombies existing, so i shall provide one: neuroscience dictates that if a human brain has all of its components and is fully functioning, then it *will* invariably produce cognition, emotion, consciousness, and all the other functions associated with the mind. Consider the following thought experiment: "... imagine that engineers have invented a tiny computer that simulates the action of an individual neuron. What would happen if we replaced one neuron at a time? Replacing one would clearly do nothing to change conscious awareness. Replacing all of them would create a digital computer that simulates a brain" [1]. Point being, that a human brain, by definition, contains faculties which produce the functions of the mind, thus making philosophical zombies (i.e. beings that have brains but no real mind-function) impossible.

--------------------------------
Knowledge Argument
--------------------------------

Pro is mistaken in believing that first-person sensory information is "fundamentally the same thing" as third-person descriptive information. Both are physical, yet they are fundamentally *different* in that the former can only be attained through direct perception of an object, whereas the latter is ultimately derived through people translating the former (sensory information) into symbols (i.e. language, imagery, etc). In other words, third-person information cannot be reduced to first-person information because it is in essence just a second-hand representation of first-person information. Unfortunately, I have only a couple more minutes left to post my argument, so I'll have to leave it at that.

.

Over to Pro :)

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
n7

Pro

Con argues that it’s not fair to bring up epiphenomenalism in the debate. I see no such reason why. Con defined substance dualism such that I’m not bound to any specific philosophy. I clearly said in my first round that “I will simply defend the thesis that the mind and the body are two different, distinct metaphysical entities.”. Con showed no objection to this. If Con wished me to only stick to interactionism the fault is his for not setting up the debate like so. You cannot change the parameters mid debate to suit your case. He also states that I’m giving him an impossible to fulfill BOP. Although it’s an increased burden it’s far from impossible. I know because I’ve made an argument that required me to present arguments against interactionist, epiphenomenal, and property dualism. Which I did in only three paragraphs [1]. Maybe these two versions are contradictory, but that misunderstands the point. They both fit with the thesis that the mind and body are separate and that’s what matters.




Mind/Body Correlations


Con has agreed that his argument doesn’t necessarily show dualism is false (as he was advocating for in the last round). He is now saying it shows dualism unnecessary. I’m not sure why Con thought I agreed that the brain can account for the mind because I said no such thing. Nonetheless Con is far from showing the violin is self playing. He is committing a category mistake, as correlation doesn’t entail identity. All Con has showed that the brain is correlated with the mind, this is very very far from showing the brain is mind. Gravity and mass are correlated with each other, but this doesn’t entail that gravity is mass, nor does it refute a dualism between the two. A conductor and his symphony are correlated with each other, but this doesn’t mean the conductor is his symphony.


Just as mind/body correlations don’t show an identity relationship. That idea is nonsensical. If a burglar left footprints we say the footprints correlates with the burgerlear (two separate objects) we don’t say the burglar is correlated with the burglar. Dualism isn’t unnecessary. Furthermore, the principle of parsimony is only used when we have two equal theories [2] , but we’re arguing one has superior evidence than the other thus Con’s argument only amounts to showing materialism is the default hypothesis if my arguments fail. That’s only a case if all else fails, not a case in and of itself.


The argument is refuted.


Problem of Interaction


1: The problem with Con’s argument is he’s taking the analogies too far. Every analogy breaks down somewhere, the point was to help us understand this mode of interaction via reaction, not to take the analogies as literal gospel. Con’s only objection is that this model introduces a third substance, but this is a strawman as I’ve said no such thing. Con really has no argument attacking the core idea of the premise.


2: Con entirely misunderstood this argument. The purpose wasn’t to propose some in depth model, but to attack a fundamental basis of the problem of interaction. If it’s possible for two things to interact without a causal link the initial basis of the problem of interaction has failed. My argument isn’t the strawman that Con has attacked. I’m not claiming that since quantum entanglement can interact with each other this proves the mind and body do the same, I’m claiming it erodes the foundation of the problem which opens up the possibility of the mind body interaction.


3: Con states I must elucidate more on this. However since Con is arguing for the problem of interaction it’s his job to show how counterfactual theories don’t allow dualism to flourish. His only argument for that is that it seems like there still needs to be a direct link. This is a misunderstanding since Con (and most materialists) are assuming anti-Humean causal theories [3]. Counterfactual theories don’t care about substances in question. All that needs to be true is that if the Cartesian mental event of willing a hand to raise exists, then a raised hand would occur. That’s all, where’s the relevance of different substances?


My argument remains.


The Zombie Argument


Con has dropped his previous argument against my appeal to authority, so I’m guessing he concedes on that point.


Con’s argument here is an extension of his first argument. However in modal terms his argument is even worse here. Con is now attempting to argue neuroscience shows the mind is the brain therefore zombies are incoherent. However, no matter what neuroscience comes up with one can always imagine the event happening without the second correlate. As I said before neuroscience only shows there exists correlations, this is even farther from showing dualism is incoherent. For example a conductor’s movements are correlated with playing musical instruments, but this doesn’t entail that a possible world without a conductor and with playing instruments is somehow contradictory. Or if clapping of the hands is correlated with a crying child doesn’t mean there’s something contradictory with the idea that the child might not cry when the hands clap or he might cry when the hands don’t clap. Just like something like say C fiber firing is correlated with the feeling of pain doesn’t entail there’s something wrong with saying C fiber firing might cause no feeling at all.


Con’s rebuttal here fails.


The Knowledge Argument


It’s very very difficult to understand what Con is saying here, as he’s misusing terms left and right. The third person/first person distinction in philosophy of mind has to do with science (third person) and qualia (first person) [4]. However Con is using it in terms of people translating information into things like language and imagery. Furthermore fundamentally is about the core or base of something [5] saying two things are fundamentally different but both physical is a contradiction since physical refers to something fundamental.


What I get from Con's argument is that people translating first person information for Mary doesn’t give her complete information. However no where did I say people translated all of Mary’s information for her. She would’ve learned her information not from other people’s mouths but from the brain states of people. This makes Con’s argument a strawman



The resolution is affirmed. Now to Con for his final.



Sources


[1] http://www.debate.org...

[2] http://math.ucr.edu...

[3] Lycan, William (2009). Giving dualism its due. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):551-563.

[4] http://consc.net...

[5] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

Debate Round No. 3
Genghis_Khan

Con

Thanks to Pro for what has been a fascinating debate!
Unfortunately, I have to drop the discussion about debate theory due to a lack of characters, and instead use the space for more important issues. As I'll be expanding on later, epiphenomenalism is wrong for the same reason as substance dualism -- the Principle of Parsimony mandates that when you have two experimentally equivalent explanations of the same event, the one with unnecessary addendums (such as the mind being a function-less "shadow" of the brain) should be rejected.

== Case for Physicalism ==

Pro keeps saying that all I did was show "mind/body correlations". However, that blatantly misrepresents what I was trying to argue here. I did not merely show that mind-functions are "correlated" with brain activity; it showed that mind-functions are *caused* by brain activity -- they originated entirely from physical processes within the material brain. The electrochemical mechanisms which are responsible for mind-functions like personality and emotion have been clearly mapped out as being wholly materialistic in nature. Out of all the mind-functions, only the faculty of consciousness has any room for entertaining the notion of non-physical causes, and even that gap is quickly being closed by the latest developments in neuroscience, which indicates that a certain portion of the brain is responsible for integrating all our sensory input and cognitive processes into a single, seemingly-irreducible web of conscious experience. I have already explained all this in my first round, yet Pro is making me waste characters on repeating it by insisting that I have only showed "correlations". I have demonstrated that all scientific evidence leads us to the conclusion that the analogy's violin is, indeed, automated and self-playing.

Pro's analogies are inapplicable because they assume that I was presenting correlation, when in fact I was demonstrating direct evidence of identity. That all being said, Pro is correct in stating that I must address his positive arguments for dualism in order for the principle of parsimony to actually select physicalism as the superior philosophy of the mind. However, this means Pro is conceding that if I can show that both of his arguments are probably unsound, then I have automatically won the debate.

== Problem of Interaction ==

1. Pro tried to use the examples of objects & electromagnetic waves as evidence that mind and body can react to each other without directly interacting. I objected that there is no equivalent for electromagnetic waves in the analogous context of mind/brain interaction. His only response is that I'm "taking the analogies too far". I'm not really sure how to respond; the *only* way that any of the objects in his examples were able to "react" to each other was through a third substance, so if he is using those examples to demonstrate the indirect reaction is also possible between mind and brain, then it is only reasonable to assume that mind and brain also would need a third substance to interact. My criticism stands.

2. Firstly, I would like to observe that quantum entanglement is a scarcely understood phenomenon; scientists have very little understanding of *how* particles are able to transmit information non-locally. Many scientists have even began to turn to deterministic versions of quantum mechanics which are more consistent with the rest of reality, such as the Many Worlds interpretation and hidden variables theory, neither of which involve such strange non-interactionist interaction between particles. Secondly, my original criticism stands as well; even if quantum entanglement is a result of non-local interaction, that *only* occurs between identical particles under specific circumstances -- there, is no reason at all to believe that can also occur between ontologically different substances. "Possible" does not translate to "probable", and Pro needs to demonstrate that this form of interaction is *probable* in order for his rebuttal to hold up. My argument still functions to negate the resolution if it can show that metaphysical substances *most likely* cannot interact.

3. Pro says that it is my burden of proof to show that counterfactual causation doesn't allow for inter-substance causation, rather than his burden of proof to show that it does. However, at present, Pro's argument isn't even coherent enough for me to refute. From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: "the basic idea of counterfactual theories of causation is that the meaning of causal claims can be explained in terms of counterfactual conditionals of the form 'if A had not occurred, C would not have occurred'". Pro does not explain how it logically follows that "if the Cartesian mental event of willing a hand to raise exists, then a raised hand would occur." What do those two concepts have anything to do with each other? Pro leaves it a mystery...

== Philosophical Zombies ==

Like I've already clarified, my "case for physicalism" did not merely show "correlations" -- they showed identity. All of modern neuroscience supports the proposition that functions traditionally attributed to the "mind" actually *originated* within the brain. The "mind" is nothing more than a name which we have given to the agglomeration of characteristics which the processes of the brain produce in human beings -- it has no independent existence of its own. A functional brain, by virtue of its structure, necessarily produces the processes which we associate with the "mind". Thus, the idea of a functional brain which does not produce these processes is every bit as incoherent as a spherical cube.

Pro's argument is circular. He claims that because it is possible for a functional brain to not produce mind-processes (i.e. for philosophical zombies to exist), the mind and the brain are metaphysically distinct substances. However, the only justification he gives for a functional-yet-non-functional brain being possible is the assertion that the mind and the brain aren't the same metaphysical substance! Unfortunately for Pro, my case for physicalism was much stronger than the string of correlations which he purports it to be. The only way one can "imagine" a philosophical zombie is by blatantly ignoring the structure and function of the brain, and by doing that they aren't really imagining a "philosophical zombie" anymore because philosophical zombies must, by definition, be structurally and functionally identical to human beings.

Consider the statement "If X then Y". If true, then there IS something wrong with saying that it is simultaneously possible for the statement "If X then not Y" to be true. Similarly, there IS something wrong with claiming that a C-fiber firing doesn't cause pain, OR that a functioning brain doesn't entail mind-function: because both of these things *do* cause their respective functions to occur.

== The Knowledge Argument ==

My rebuttal to this argument was that first-person sensory knowledge and third-person descriptive knowledge are not interchangeable -- that they represent distinct aspects of the totality of knowledge which one can learn about any given object. When two things seem blatantly dissimilar, it is the BoP of the person claiming that they are the same to demonstrate that to be true; the only place where Pro has tried doing this is R2, and his explanation ultimately seems to boils down to the bare assertion that it is impossible for experience to simultaneously be a result of first-person and third-person causes. I fail to see why this is the case: in physics, if two forces are simultaneously exerted on the same object, then the object's resulting movement will account for both of its causes. This is no different. Having two independent causes of the same event is certainly possible. 1st person and 3rd person knowledge are clearly distinct, and thus Mary did not have complete information on human color vision.

.

The resolution is negated.
Vote Con!
n7

Pro

Con has allowed me to take the last round.


Mind/Body Correlations


Con states he didn’t merely show there existed correlations, but there existed causation too. I see no importance. Even if this is important, my arguments still stand, more so than ever since causation clearly doesn’t entail identity. Mass may cause gravity, but this still doesn’t entail that mass is gravity.


By definition you cannot have a cause without a correlation, since a correlation is “A mutual relationship or connection between two or more things”. My arguments are stating that a relationship between the mind and body don’t entail identity. If that relationship is causal, nothing changes, as causation still exists with correlation. Con’s argument is simply a red herring. This is much like arguing that someone stating that metal will conduct electricity doesn’t apply to your position because you have steel.


His objections here are in error since they’re not relevant and don’t address the my argument.




Problem of Interaction


1: Con still contends that a third substance is needed. Con still hasn’t shown why it’s not possible for the brain to be able to sense the mind. Taking the snake analogy, although sensory input is there the sensory input doesn’t cause the person to flitch. Since sensory input is neutral, there must exist an interaction by reaction that’s not connected with any other substance.


2: Con states there’s other interpretations of quantum mechanics, then asserts without citation that many scientists are accepting them. First, the most comprehensive survey of accepted interpretations shows that the Copenhagen interpretation is the most accepted [2]. Second, I gave a positive reason for not accepting interpretations that claim there is a connection, since any connection would violate relativity. Con defends himself from my argument by arguing “"Possible" does not translate to "probable", and Pro needs to demonstrate that this form of interaction is *probable* in order for his rebuttal to hold up”


However, Con has unknowingly conceded his argument is unsound. All that needs to be true is that this type of interaction is possible, since Con’s argument hinges on the claim that dualism is self refuting and thus impossible. Con states at the beginning of the second round “substance dualism requires something which is impossible according its own claims” but now Con is claiming interaction is possible, just not probable. Which is an new version of his original argument. Nonetheless, even his probable argument is irrelevant. As I stated before, the argument is attempting to destroy the problem’s foundation, not propose an in depth model of interaction. Therefore my argument still stands.


3: Con’s problem here is just like Lycan said, he cannot separate causal realism from semi-Humean causal theories like counterfactual theories. Con wants to know what Cartesian events and physical events have to do with each other, but that itself is question begging against the counterfactual theory [3]. Physical events counterfactually depend on mental events, asking what those two things have to do with each other is irrelevant and question begging. Con’s entire argument here akin to “Under my theory, your theory is wrong, therefore your theory is wrong.”

My argument remains and Con himself unknowingly conceded that his own argument fails.


The Zombie Argument


Again, arguing for causation is irrelevant, as I’ve pointed out. Causation still doesn’t entail identity.


Con then argues that my argument is circular. He states I have to assume dualism in order to argue that zombies are possible. However, Chalmers points out


“ ….I don't think this is quite right: the point here (roughly that if A=B, imagining A entails imagining B) applies to 2-conceivability but not to 1-conceivability, so no relevant question is begged in asserting the 1-conceivability of zombies” [4].


1-conceivability has to do with conceivability that is accessible a priori whereas 2-conceivability has to do with necessity [5]. Showing zombies aren’t necessary doesn’t have any relevance on their a priori conceivability.


Con tries to show there is something wrong with the idea of dualism by arguing that "If X then Y" is true then there’s something wrong with the negation. This only deals with possibility in worlds themselves, not across possible worlds. Showing “If X then Y” is true doesn’t mean it couldn’t have been the case that the negation is true. It only shows that in one possible world “X then Y” is true, not in all possible worlds “X then Y”. Making that argument irrelevant.


The Knowledge Argument


Here, Con still doesn’t respond to my questions I proposed. Such as why can’t the first person be reduced to the third person? He also straw manned my argument, as Mary doesn’t have merely descriptive knowledge. Not all knowledge she gained was by other people describing color to her, she got it from studying the brain states of those who are experiencing color. He also straw mans my argument against causal overdeterminism. Nowhere did I say overdeterminism was impossible. I clearly said it was absurd and it still is. Con is advocating for the idea that every event in the mind just happens to agree with every event that’s happening in the body. Maybe it’s likely for one event to have two causes, but constant events all having two independent causes all the time is extremely absurd.


Finally, I’m not arguing that first person and third person knowledge is dissimilar as that would clearly contradict dualism. I’m arguing it’s absurd to hold this view and hold physicalism.


Conclusion


Con’s first argument is only true if my two arguments fail. Con makes an irrelevant distinction between causation and correlation. He contradicts himself with the problem of interaction and begged the question when it came to counterfactual theories. He misunderstands modal logic in the zombie argument. Making a category mistake between two different possibilities and fails to distinguish possibility in worlds with possibility across worlds. He never makes a coherent argument against the knowledge argument. He argues third person knowledge is different from first person knowledge. I argued that physicalism is very difficult to defend when you take this position. He straw manned my argument by claiming I’m arguing the two are dissimilar. He also takes the absurd view that causal overdeterminism is sound which heavily hinders his position


The resolution is affirmed.


The end.



Sources


[1] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

[2] Schlosshauer, Maximilian, Johannes Kofler, and Anton Zeilinger. "ArXiv.org Quant-ph ArXiv:1301.1069." [1301.1069] A Snapshot of Foundational Attitudes Toward Quantum Mechanics. Eprint ArXiv:1301.1069, Jan. 2013.

[3] Lycan, William (2009). Giving dualism its due. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):551-563.

[4] http://consc.net...

[5] Chalmers, David John. "Foundations." The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory. New York: Oxford UP, 1996. Print.

Debate Round No. 4
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Romanii 1 year ago
Romanii
Your RFD sucks.
Posted by Philosophybro 1 year ago
Philosophybro
I can answer any questions about the RFD tomorrow Im going to bed right now.
Posted by Philosophybro 1 year ago
Philosophybro
Sources:Pro: Everyone was good the first few rounds. But then Genghis cited a wikipedia page about the chinese room. I dont have a problem with the wiki but I dont understand how the chinese room is relevent. I read that wiki when debating n7 about that argument and its not a good representation of it. Stanford is way better there. The quantum mechanics thing also gets Genghis. He had no citation for that. I like that Pro cites the first hand philosophical and scientific papers. Genghis cites second hand citations ie: Livescience neruoskills. Nothing wrong with that but more reliable sources would be the first hand papers.
Posted by Philosophybro 1 year ago
Philosophybro
Conduct: I dont know, maybe Pro or Con could get it for the debate theory thing but I dont know if thats worth a conduct point . Im leaving it tied

Spelling/Grammar: Everyone was good here. Tied.

Arguments: Pro: Both went in circles about Genghis first argument both said that it was only good if n7's arguments failed. Funny because Genghis would already win if n7's failed I dont see the point in making that case in the first place :p

N7s first response to the interaction problem doesnt make much sense. Interaction by reaction? Without a connection? I think Genghis is right here.

The second response is a cool one and I think convincing. Argue against the foundation. I dont think Genghis got that idea he said "why we should assume that such a property, which has only been observed to occur between virtually identical particles of matter" the point was lost on him. And Genghis hurt himself saying it was possible because eariler he said theres no possible solution.

The zombie argument is hard to grasp. Genghis didnt argue his first set of arguments against it like the appeal to authority that hurts his case. His argument is the same as the first. From what I get about modal logic Genghis didnt respond to the argument well. Neuroscience doesn't work when expanded to possible worlds.

Im having difficulty with Genghis's knowlegde rebuttal. I dont know what he means by third person and first person is it like n7 said about science and qualia or descriptions? He doesnt make it clear and two events having the same cause all the time violates parsimony. Thats enough to dismiss his rebuttal.
Posted by n7 1 year ago
n7
Ha, I saw that episode a few months ago.
Posted by Philosophybro 1 year ago
Philosophybro
lol n7 when you were talking about how the conductor can exist without a symphony I kept thinking of this
Posted by Genghis_Khan 1 year ago
Genghis_Khan
haha I look forward to seeing your response ;)

btw would you mind giving me some constructive criticism on my performance in this debate after it's finished?
Posted by n7 1 year ago
n7
I actually think you're on the right track to providing a good refutation of it. Formulate your argument in a slightly different way and I would have a very very hard time responding to it.
Posted by Genghis_Khan 1 year ago
Genghis_Khan
damn the "knowledge argument" -_-
Posted by Philosophybro 1 year ago
Philosophybro
like johnlubba can you guys let me know when this is finished. I looked at the first two rounds they look good.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Philosophybro 1 year ago
Philosophybro
Genghis_Khann7Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Comments