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If Idealism Is Possible, Physicalism Is False

Rational_Thinker9119
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6/25/2016 1:38:30 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
The mere metaphysical possibility of Idealism being true entails Physicalism cannot be true. This is because if the mind has a property that nothing physical can have, then clearly the mind cannot be anything physical. So if the mind has the property of:

"Existing in possible world W in which Idealism entails"

Then Physcialism is false, as nothing physical can have that modal property.

Therefore, if there is a possible world in which our minds exist in an Idealistic reality, then Physicalism cannot be true.
philochristos
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6/25/2016 5:20:24 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
That is interesting. I heard Alvin Plantinga give a similar argument against physicalism one time. He said if there is something that is true about me that is not true about my body, then I am not my body. And he said it's possible for me to exist without my body, but it's not possible for my body to exist without my body. So I am not my body.

I think the weakness in Plantinga's argument was that he was equivocating on the word, "possible." There is epistemic possibility and metaphysical possibility. Epistemically, it may be possible for me to exist without my body, but that may not be true metaphysically. When Plantinga says there is a possible world in which I exist but my body doesn't, he can only imagine that because he's imagining me being something other than my body. So it's kind of question-begging.

I think your argument has a similar problem. Idealism may not be metaphysically possible. It's only possible as far as we know. In other words, it's epistemically possible. But epistemic possibility is not enough to support the premise that there is a possible world in which idealism obtains, and I exist.

But if you grant the metaphysical possibility of idealism, then I think your argument is solid. It seems that granting metaphysical possibility to idealism is equivalent to granting that the mind is not physical since idealism would only be possible if the mind were not physical.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
keithprosser
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6/25/2016 9:44:38 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
Is the argument essentially that because it is conceivable that idealism is true then physicalism s certainly false?
Rational_Thinker9119
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6/25/2016 1:01:04 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/25/2016 5:20:24 AM, philochristos wrote:
That is interesting. I heard Alvin Plantinga give a similar argument against physicalism one time. He said if there is something that is true about me that is not true about my body, then I am not my body. And he said it's possible for me to exist without my body, but it's not possible for my body to exist without my body. So I am not my body.

I think the weakness in Plantinga's argument was that he was equivocating on the word, "possible." There is epistemic possibility and metaphysical possibility. Epistemically, it may be possible for me to exist without my body, but that may not be true metaphysically. When Plantinga says there is a possible world in which I exist but my body doesn't, he can only imagine that because he's imagining me being something other than my body. So it's kind of question-begging.

I think your argument has a similar problem. Idealism may not be metaphysically possible. It's only possible as far as we know. In other words, it's epistemically possible. But epistemic possibility is not enough to support the premise that there is a possible world in which idealism obtains, and I exist.

But if you grant the metaphysical possibility of idealism, then I think your argument is solid. It seems that granting metaphysical possibility to idealism is equivalent to granting that the mind is not physical since idealism would only be possible if the mind were not physical.

Well to be fair the argument isn't that Idealism is metaphysically possible, the argument I brought forward only states that IF Idealism is metaphysically possible then Physicalism is false. Of course conceivability doesn't entail metaphysical possibility necessarily, but it does provide good evidence of it (if it was metaphysically impossible, why is it so easy to conceive of, unlike a round square?). Yes, there could be some unknown fact making Idealism impossible even though it seems possible, but a wise man once told me that the logic of denying what seems to be the case just because there could be some unknown fact making it false puts a damper on all knowledge. I think his name was Philochristos lol
CaptainBallarms
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6/26/2016 3:12:08 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/26/2016 12:27:45 AM, rross wrote:
How could the mind not be physical? I don't get it.

How does experience adequately map out to third person descriptors?

If it doesn't then physicalism(reductive) is false.
rross
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6/26/2016 3:16:12 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/26/2016 3:12:08 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
At 6/26/2016 12:27:45 AM, rross wrote:
How could the mind not be physical? I don't get it.

How does experience adequately map out to third person descriptors?

If it doesn't then physicalism(reductive) is false.

What are third person descriptors and why should experience map to them?
CaptainBallarms
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6/26/2016 3:25:19 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/26/2016 3:16:12 AM, rross wrote:
At 6/26/2016 3:12:08 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
At 6/26/2016 12:27:45 AM, rross wrote:
How could the mind not be physical? I don't get it.

How does experience adequately map out to third person descriptors?

If it doesn't then physicalism(reductive) is false.

What are third person descriptors and why should experience map to them?

Third person descriptors are things like, "The chair is in my room, it is composed of atoms." However normal experiences is not like this. For example, I know from Science that my chair is composed of atoms but in everyday experience it is simply a chair which I sit on.

The feeling of sitting on a chair is a subjective experience even though positioning myself on a chair is not in-of-itself the same thing. That is, there is an explanatory gap between the feeling of sitting on a chair and sitting on a chair.

Now one could say this derives from sensory perceptions ultimately, quite so. However, all physical phenomena that can be expressed in language is via third person language, while all experiential phenomena is expressed in language via first person language. This shows the phenomena is not fundamentally the same.

Now philosophers tend to think about things which cannot be attributed to physical causes or third person behavior. These things include what it is like to sit in a chair, the description of the color red, and intentions.

They can be explained only in terms of first person experience or relational expressions. For example, one might say Green is between Yellow and Blue but that only explicates useful information if you know what yellow and blue are and thus what it is like to see them.

Thus at least some facts appear not to be physical but mental in nature.
rross
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6/26/2016 3:52:08 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/26/2016 3:25:19 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
At 6/26/2016 3:16:12 AM, rross wrote:
At 6/26/2016 3:12:08 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
At 6/26/2016 12:27:45 AM, rross wrote:
How could the mind not be physical? I don't get it.

How does experience adequately map out to third person descriptors?

If it doesn't then physicalism(reductive) is false.

What are third person descriptors and why should experience map to them?

Third person descriptors are things like, "The chair is in my room, it is composed of atoms." However normal experiences is not like this. For example, I know from Science that my chair is composed of atoms but in everyday experience it is simply a chair which I sit on.

The feeling of sitting on a chair is a subjective experience even though positioning myself on a chair is not in-of-itself the same thing. That is, there is an explanatory gap between the feeling of sitting on a chair and sitting on a chair.

Now one could say this derives from sensory perceptions ultimately, quite so. However, all physical phenomena that can be expressed in language is via third person language, while all experiential phenomena is expressed in language via first person language. This shows the phenomena is not fundamentally the same.

I don't understand this point. First person and third person is just a convention of language so how can that prove anything?

Now philosophers tend to think about things which cannot be attributed to physical causes or third person behavior. These things include what it is like to sit in a chair, the description of the color red, and intentions.

They can be explained only in terms of first person experience or relational expressions. For example, one might say Green is between Yellow and Blue but that only explicates useful information if you know what yellow and blue are and thus what it is like to see them.

Thus at least some facts appear not to be physical but mental in nature.

I think I understand what you mean. Some subjective events (ideas, emotions etc.) don't seem to be directly connected to physical experience.

I suppose I have trouble understanding the distinction, because everything is subjective to the extent that everything is perceived and constructed mentally. For example, if I stub my toe, then I'm using ideas like ME and toe and pain to understand the situation. And how is that not physical? Sure, we can make categories distinguishing between abstract and concrete ideas or first and third person, but those are categories we've constructed, and what does their existence prove?
CaptainBallarms
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6/26/2016 4:03:12 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/26/2016 3:52:08 AM, rross wrote:
At 6/26/2016 3:25:19 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
At 6/26/2016 3:16:12 AM, rross wrote:
At 6/26/2016 3:12:08 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
At 6/26/2016 12:27:45 AM, rross wrote:














I don't understand this point. First person and third person is just a convention of language so how can that prove anything?





I think I understand what you mean. Some subjective events (ideas, emotions etc.) don't seem to be directly connected to physical experience.

I suppose I have trouble understanding the distinction, because everything is subjective to the extent that everything is perceived and constructed mentally. For example, if I stub my toe, then I'm using ideas like ME and toe and pain to understand the situation. And how is that not physical? Sure, we can make categories distinguishing between abstract and concrete ideas or first and third person, but those are categories we've constructed, and what does their existence prove?

I think you are having a bit of a problem with understanding, as it seems your response is a bit non-sequitur. However, I will do my best to communicate effectively.

Well they are not just constructed categories we construct. For example, I can experience red at a time when you are not experiencing the same red. Or I can think a thought while you do not. These are not merely ideas, this is the way experience works. Sometimes we do the action, sometimes the action is being done in the world. The key distinction is objective experiences, everyone has access to(thus third person). Subjective experiences only you have access to.

Understanding is completely irrelevant to the situation, the point of using language as an example is show the problem. Because even in principle, you cannot describe the pain of stubbing your toe without experiencing it. Even if you knew all the facts about stubbing your toe, you wouldn't know what it is like until you experienced it.

Now we can show that two ways, through irreductiveness of description or the gaining of new knowledge upon the stubbing the toe. But either way, that shows the experience is not the same as the physical facts. Experiential things are not reducible to this language or these facts.
rross
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6/26/2016 4:11:05 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/26/2016 4:03:12 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
I think you are having a bit of a problem with understanding, as it seems your response is a bit non-sequitur. However, I will do my best to communicate effectively.

Yes, I'm baffled! Thanks for taking the time to explain it.

Well they are not just constructed categories we construct. For example, I can experience red at a time when you are not experiencing the same red. Or I can think a thought while you do not. These are not merely ideas, this is the way experience works. Sometimes we do the action, sometimes the action is being done in the world. The key distinction is objective experiences, everyone has access to(thus third person). Subjective experiences only you have access to.

So what's an objective experience that everyone has access to? Because suppose there's a red chair in the room, that's not an objective experience. Suppose I perceive a red chair in the room, that's not an objective experience. I've already constructed it. I could say to you, "the red chair" and you would be able to select the object I'm referring to, but there's nothing objective about that. That's just shared cultural understandings and the efficiency of language.

Understanding is completely irrelevant to the situation, the point of using language as an example is show the problem. Because even in principle, you cannot describe the pain of stubbing your toe without experiencing it. Even if you knew all the facts about stubbing your toe, you wouldn't know what it is like until you experienced it.

Right.

Now we can show that two ways, through irreductiveness of description or the gaining of new knowledge upon the stubbing the toe. But either way, that shows the experience is not the same as the physical facts. Experiential things are not reducible to this language or these facts.

You can't know what it's like for me to stub my toe because you have different toes. Maybe that's a bad example.

Maybe pain in general. Your pain and my pain are different. We have different bodies and it feels different. Nevertheless we have a clumsy word, pain, to describe a particular kind of bad sensation.
The physical facts are these - pain receptors are firing, and there's a subjective event which can be communicated clumsily into language. The issue is, is the subjective event more than physical? How could it be?
CaptainBallarms
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6/26/2016 4:29:17 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/26/2016 4:11:05 AM, rross wrote:
At 6/26/2016 4:03:12 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
So what's an objective experience that everyone has access to? Because suppose there's a red chair in the room, that's not an objective experience. Suppose I perceive a red chair in the room, that's not an objective experience. I've already constructed it. I could say to you, "the red chair" and you would be able to select the object I'm referring to, but there's nothing objective about that. That's just shared cultural understandings and the efficiency of language.

You can't know what it's like for me to stub my toe because you have different toes. Maybe that's a bad example.

Maybe pain in general. Your pain and my pain are different. We have different bodies and it feels different. Nevertheless we have a clumsy word, pain, to describe a particular kind of bad sensation.
The physical facts are these - pain receptors are firing, and there's a subjective event which can be communicated clumsily into language. The issue is, is the subjective event more than physical? How could it be?

I appreciate you listening, although I would prefer vocal communication since it offers immediate response and less of me explicating and more explaining.

Okay, the relativism on language is not really helpful to the conversation and you are using it as a dodging of what the language represents. Sure language reflects the human experience and cultural but that is irrelevant to the actual experience of consciousness. It is difficult to take seriously otherwise I could simply reject your argument on the basis it has words which are constructed by man to explain thoughts. Furthermore, as I explain below, it is wrong(in this case). It is objective that we both recognize the objective object, the subjectiveness comes from the phenomenal.

I never said, what it is like for you to experience stubbing the toe, but to know what it is like in general to stub one's toe. The huge problem is the physical facts do not tell you anything about the actual experience. I can know that pain receptors are firing, the toe bends, etc. But that tells me nothing without the experience. If that is true, then non-physical facts exist. It works the same with the color red, if I know all the physical facts about red, I still don't know what red is like.

An objective experience is by definition an experience that everyone has access to. However, you have to break this between phenomenal and physiological experience. Everyone can see the red chair, but each independent sensation has a subjective element(that being the phenomenal experience of seeing the red). I can conceive that I may not have any phenomenal consciousness at all, hence it must be ontologically separate
rross
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6/26/2016 4:56:41 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
That's really interesting. What red is like.
That reminds me of those cultural studies where they showed that the boundaries of color categories are different in different cultures, So, for example, what we call green is a huge variety of shades/hues that other cultures might have several words for.

So, what's the experience of bluish-green? Is that anything except recognition/identification of a particular shade/hue? Sure, we might have emotional and other kinds of associations with it, but that's through memory and learning. Events are recalled that trigger particular sensations and other subjective events. But that's all physical too.

I mean, when you say what red is LIKE.
CaptainBallarms
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6/26/2016 5:09:34 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/26/2016 4:56:41 AM, rross wrote:
That's really interesting. What red is like.
That reminds me of those cultural studies where they showed that the boundaries of color categories are different in different cultures, So, for example, what we call green is a huge variety of shades/hues that other cultures might have several words for.

So, what's the experience of bluish-green? Is that anything except recognition/identification of a particular shade/hue? Sure, we might have emotional and other kinds of associations with it, but that's through memory and learning. Events are recalled that trigger particular sensations and other subjective events. But that's all physical too.

I mean, when you say what red is LIKE.

Simply because we represent the experience of seeing color with words doesn't make them contingent upon those words. Again it is not useful to see it in a relativist mindset.

You are making a lot of assumptions here, I am not talking about any emotional association but the phenomenal experience of red. Look at a red apple, that is what I am referring to. If it was simply physical you could explain red via third person language that would work for someone who has not seen it before. But that's impossible, go ahead and try.

Sensations are physical? How exactly do account for that? You can always say mental states are correlated to physical states but whether one causes another is mystery, lest we commit the inductive fallacy.
rross
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6/26/2016 5:21:28 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/26/2016 5:09:34 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
At 6/26/2016 4:56:41 AM, rross wrote:
That's really interesting. What red is like.
That reminds me of those cultural studies where they showed that the boundaries of color categories are different in different cultures, So, for example, what we call green is a huge variety of shades/hues that other cultures might have several words for.

So, what's the experience of bluish-green? Is that anything except recognition/identification of a particular shade/hue? Sure, we might have emotional and other kinds of associations with it, but that's through memory and learning. Events are recalled that trigger particular sensations and other subjective events. But that's all physical too.

I mean, when you say what red is LIKE.

Simply because we represent the experience of seeing color with words doesn't make them contingent upon those words. Again it is not useful to see it in a relativist mindset.

What's a relativist mindset?

You are making a lot of assumptions here, I am not talking about any emotional association but the phenomenal experience of red. Look at a red apple, that is what I am referring to. If it was simply physical you could explain red via third person language that would work for someone who has not seen it before. But that's impossible, go ahead and try.

I think that the perception of color is a cultural, learned action. It takes children years to identify colors, for example. It's not obvious straight away. They have to be taught, and the color boundaries are different in different cultures. So is there anything about "red" that is a direct experience? What is that experience apart from just recognition?

Sensations are physical? How exactly do account for that? You can always say mental states are correlated to physical states but whether one causes another is mystery, lest we commit the inductive fallacy.

I see mental events as actions. You do them. The brain is what's doing the doing. Just as when you raise your hand, that's your body doing that. When you think that your nose is itchy, that's your brain doing that. The interesting thing for me is why? Because most of what we think doesn't have any obvious purpose. You could scratch your nose without the thought "hey that's itchy", but it must have because brains are expensive in terms of energy so everything we think must have an evolutionary purpose, probably to do with communication and cooperation in groups.

Idk. I just can't see what else could be going on except the brain doing its stuff.
CaptainBallarms
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6/26/2016 5:34:13 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/26/2016 5:21:28 AM, rross wrote:
At 6/26/2016 5:09:34 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
At 6/26/2016 4:56:41 AM, rross wrote:
That's really interesting. What red is like.
That reminds me of those cultural studies where they showed that the boundaries of color categories are different in different cultures, So, for example, what we call green is a huge variety of shades/hues that other cultures might have several words for.

So, what's the experience of bluish-green? Is that anything except recognition/identification of a particular shade/hue? Sure, we might have emotional and other kinds of associations with it, but that's through memory and learning. Events are recalled that trigger particular sensations and other subjective events. But that's all physical too.

I mean, when you say what red is LIKE.

Simply because we represent the experience of seeing color with words doesn't make them contingent upon those words. Again it is not useful to see it in a relativist mindset.

What's a relativist mindset?

You are making a lot of assumptions here, I am not talking about any emotional association but the phenomenal experience of red. Look at a red apple, that is what I am referring to. If it was simply physical you could explain red via third person language that would work for someone who has not seen it before. But that's impossible, go ahead and try.

I think that the perception of color is a cultural, learned action. It takes children years to identify colors, for example. It's not obvious straight away. They have to be taught, and the color boundaries are different in different cultures. So is there anything about "red" that is a direct experience? What is that experience apart from just recognition?

Sensations are physical? How exactly do account for that? You can always say mental states are correlated to physical states but whether one causes another is mystery, lest we commit the inductive fallacy.

I see mental events as actions. You do them. The brain is what's doing the doing. Just as when you raise your hand, that's your body doing that. When you think that your nose is itchy, that's your brain doing that. The interesting thing for me is why? Because most of what we think doesn't have any obvious purpose. You could scratch your nose without the thought "hey that's itchy", but it must have because brains are expensive in terms of energy so everything we think must have an evolutionary purpose, probably to do with communication and cooperation in groups.

Idk. I just can't see what else could be going on except the brain doing its stuff.

You haven't answered my question, I want you to describe red since you are essentially ignoring my points. I can describe cultural constructs easily. Not so with conscious experiences or sensations. Appealing to a relativist mindset(read: simply defining everything in terms of a non-objective part of reality) doesn't refute the evidence I presented. Further asserting something to be physical does not make it so.

Sadly, your whole mental actions explanation is simply begging the question in favor of naturalism/physicalism negating explanatory gap that it provides. Further, this correlation you imply exists commits the inductive fallacy. You can see why it is hard to convince someone who is begging the question and committing a fallacy. The point in discussing these issues is to approach as we experience it. Not to explain away experience.
rross
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6/26/2016 5:50:39 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/26/2016 5:34:13 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
At 6/26/2016 5:21:28 AM, rross wrote:
At 6/26/2016 5:09:34 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
At 6/26/2016 4:56:41 AM, rross wrote:
That's really interesting. What red is like.
That reminds me of those cultural studies where they showed that the boundaries of color categories are different in different cultures, So, for example, what we call green is a huge variety of shades/hues that other cultures might have several words for.

So, what's the experience of bluish-green? Is that anything except recognition/identification of a particular shade/hue? Sure, we might have emotional and other kinds of associations with it, but that's through memory and learning. Events are recalled that trigger particular sensations and other subjective events. But that's all physical too.

I mean, when you say what red is LIKE.

Simply because we represent the experience of seeing color with words doesn't make them contingent upon those words. Again it is not useful to see it in a relativist mindset.

What's a relativist mindset?

You are making a lot of assumptions here, I am not talking about any emotional association but the phenomenal experience of red. Look at a red apple, that is what I am referring to. If it was simply physical you could explain red via third person language that would work for someone who has not seen it before. But that's impossible, go ahead and try.

I think that the perception of color is a cultural, learned action. It takes children years to identify colors, for example. It's not obvious straight away. They have to be taught, and the color boundaries are different in different cultures. So is there anything about "red" that is a direct experience? What is that experience apart from just recognition?

Sensations are physical? How exactly do account for that? You can always say mental states are correlated to physical states but whether one causes another is mystery, lest we commit the inductive fallacy.

I see mental events as actions. You do them. The brain is what's doing the doing. Just as when you raise your hand, that's your body doing that. When you think that your nose is itchy, that's your brain doing that. The interesting thing for me is why? Because most of what we think doesn't have any obvious purpose. You could scratch your nose without the thought "hey that's itchy", but it must have because brains are expensive in terms of energy so everything we think must have an evolutionary purpose, probably to do with communication and cooperation in groups.

Idk. I just can't see what else could be going on except the brain doing its stuff.

You haven't answered my question, I want you to describe red since you are essentially ignoring my points.

Sorry - I don't mean to ignore your points. These are ideas that I haven't really come across before, so it's hard for me to understand them right away.

I wonder what you mean about describing red, though? Like I said, children take time to learn the concept of red. It's not immediate, which makes me think that it's not something that we describe because we perceive it, but rather, we perceive it because we describe it. So, the child learns to pick up the red crayon and the red block and to put on the red shoes, and because they're required to do those tasks, eventually they learn to identify red. There is no experience of red as such independent of those tasks, including communication tasks.

So I don't know what you mean when you say the experience of red. I'm not trying to ignore your points, I just really don't know.

I can describe cultural constructs easily.

Like what?

Not so with conscious experiences or sensations. Appealing to a relativist mindset(read: simply defining everything in terms of a non-objective part of reality) doesn't refute the evidence I presented. Further asserting something to be physical does not make it so.

No, but I'm not clear about the distinction you're making. You said it's not about language, but the only difference seems to be ability to describe it in words, so I'm confused about the difference.

Sadly, your whole mental actions explanation is simply begging the question in favor of naturalism/physicalism negating explanatory gap that it provides. Further, this correlation you imply exists commits the inductive fallacy. You can see why it is hard to convince someone who is begging the question and committing a fallacy. The point in discussing these issues is to approach as we experience it. Not to explain away experience.

Well, sure, other explanations are possible, but you haven't provided any. Just as, when you lift your arm, it could be your body lifting it or there are other explanations.
I don't think that's what's being argued here.
It's VERY possible that I'm misunderstanding, but it seems to me that what's been said is that there is some quality of thought or experience that that makes it seem possible that mental events are not physical. I'm not understanding that argument.
CaptainBallarms
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6/26/2016 6:02:07 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/26/2016 5:50:39 AM, rross wrote:
At 6/26/2016 5:34:13 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
At 6/26/2016 5:21:28 AM, rross wrote:
At 6/26/2016 5:09:34 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
At 6/26/2016 4:56:41 AM, rross wrote:
That's really interesting. What red is like.
That reminds me of those cultural studies where they showed that the boundaries of color categories are different in different cultures, So, for example, what we call green is a huge variety of shades/hues that other cultures might have several words for.

So, what's the experience of bluish-green? Is that anything except recognition/identification of a particular shade/hue? Sure, we might have emotional and other kinds of associations with it, but that's through memory and learning. Events are recalled that trigger particular sensations and other subjective events. But that's all physical too.

I mean, when you say what red is LIKE.

Simply because we represent the experience of seeing color with words doesn't make them contingent upon those words. Again it is not useful to see it in a relativist mindset.

What's a relativist mindset?

You are making a lot of assumptions here, I am not talking about any emotional association but the phenomenal experience of red. Look at a red apple, that is what I am referring to. If it was simply physical you could explain red via third person language that would work for someone who has not seen it before. But that's impossible, go ahead and try.

I think that the perception of color is a cultural, learned action. It takes children years to identify colors, for example. It's not obvious straight away. They have to be taught, and the color boundaries are different in different cultures. So is there anything about "red" that is a direct experience? What is that experience apart from just recognition?

Sensations are physical? How exactly do account for that? You can always say mental states are correlated to physical states but whether one causes another is mystery, lest we commit the inductive fallacy.

I see mental events as actions. You do them. The brain is what's doing the doing. Just as when you raise your hand, that's your body doing that. When you think that your nose is itchy, that's your brain doing that. The interesting thing for me is why? Because most of what we think doesn't have any obvious purpose. You could scratch your nose without the thought "hey that's itchy", but it must have because brains are expensive in terms of energy so everything we think must have an evolutionary purpose, probably to do with communication and cooperation in groups.

Idk. I just can't see what else could be going on except the brain doing its stuff.

You haven't answered my question, I want you to describe red since you are essentially ignoring my points.

Sorry - I don't mean to ignore your points. These are ideas that I haven't really come across before, so it's hard for me to understand them right away.

I wonder what you mean about describing red, though? Like I said, children take time to learn the concept of red. It's not immediate, which makes me think that it's not something that we describe because we perceive it, but rather, we perceive it because we describe it. So, the child learns to pick up the red crayon and the red block and to put on the red shoes, and because they're required to do those tasks, eventually they learn to identify red. There is no experience of red as such independent of those tasks, including communication tasks.

So I don't know what you mean when you say the experience of red. I'm not trying to ignore your points, I just really don't know.

I can describe cultural constructs easily.

Like what?

Not so with conscious experiences or sensations. Appealing to a relativist mindset(read: simply defining everything in terms of a non-objective part of reality) doesn't refute the evidence I presented. Further asserting something to be physical does not make it so.

No, but I'm not clear about the distinction you're making. You said it's not about language, but the only difference seems to be ability to describe it in words, so I'm confused about the difference.

Sadly, your whole mental actions explanation is simply begging the question in favor of naturalism/physicalism negating explanatory gap that it provides. Further, this correlation you imply exists commits the inductive fallacy. You can see why it is hard to convince someone who is begging the question and committing a fallacy. The point in discussing these issues is to approach as we experience it. Not to explain away experience.

Well, sure, other explanations are possible, but you haven't provided any. Just as, when you lift your arm, it could be your body lifting it or there are other explanations.
I don't think that's what's being argued here.
It's VERY possible that I'm misunderstanding, but it seems to me that what's been said is that there is some quality of thought or experience that that makes it seem possible that mental events are not physical. I'm not understanding that argument.

Is it possible to communicate over Skype? It seems it would be more productive to communicate that way since you are having a hard time understanding.
CaptainBallarms
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6/26/2016 6:08:17 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/26/2016 6:04:01 AM, rross wrote:
I'm not really into skyping, but that's okay. It's an interesting topic. I'll think about it some more.

What about Google Hangout? It seems like you either don't want to for fear of being correct, or do not have the ability to.
rross
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6/26/2016 6:14:37 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/26/2016 6:08:17 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
At 6/26/2016 6:04:01 AM, rross wrote:
I'm not really into skyping, but that's okay. It's an interesting topic. I'll think about it some more.

What about Google Hangout? It seems like you either don't want to for fear of being correct, or do not have the ability to.

Nah, it's just I'm not into it. It's less anonymous, the spoken word takes longer to listen to than to read, I can't do other stuff at the same time, I'd have to put some clothes on. All that.

Also, I don't see what difference it would make. How would you saying something make more sense than typing something?
CaptainBallarms
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6/26/2016 6:16:51 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/26/2016 6:14:37 AM, rross wrote:
At 6/26/2016 6:08:17 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
At 6/26/2016 6:04:01 AM, rross wrote:
I'm not really into skyping, but that's okay. It's an interesting topic. I'll think about it some more.

What about Google Hangout? It seems like you either don't want to for fear of being correct, or do not have the ability to.

Nah, it's just I'm not into it. It's less anonymous, the spoken word takes longer to listen to than to read, I can't do other stuff at the same time, I'd have to put some clothes on. All that.

Also, I don't see what difference it would make. How would you saying something make more sense than typing something?

Well you could just connect your microphone, no need for video obviously.

No but I could clarify questions quickly. The ambiguities quickly can be sorted out without the tiresome constant responses.

For example, you could ask me a question and I wouldn't have to wait for a response and perhaps misinterpret your objection and you misinterpret my response.
rross
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6/26/2016 7:45:56 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/26/2016 6:16:51 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
At 6/26/2016 6:14:37 AM, rross wrote:
At 6/26/2016 6:08:17 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
At 6/26/2016 6:04:01 AM, rross wrote:
I'm not really into skyping, but that's okay. It's an interesting topic. I'll think about it some more.

What about Google Hangout? It seems like you either don't want to for fear of being correct, or do not have the ability to.

Nah, it's just I'm not into it. It's less anonymous, the spoken word takes longer to listen to than to read, I can't do other stuff at the same time, I'd have to put some clothes on. All that.

Also, I don't see what difference it would make. How would you saying something make more sense than typing something?

Well you could just connect your microphone, no need for video obviously.

No but I could clarify questions quickly. The ambiguities quickly can be sorted out without the tiresome constant responses.

For example, you could ask me a question and I wouldn't have to wait for a response and perhaps misinterpret your objection and you misinterpret my response.

I see what you mean. Yeah, that might clear things up, but idk. Written conversations have a different quality from real life ones. That's why I like them.
CaptainBallarms
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6/26/2016 7:49:04 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/26/2016 7:45:56 AM, rross wrote:
At 6/26/2016 6:16:51 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
At 6/26/2016 6:14:37 AM, rross wrote:
At 6/26/2016 6:08:17 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
At 6/26/2016 6:04:01 AM, rross wrote:
I'm not really into skyping, but that's okay. It's an interesting topic. I'll think about it some more.

What about Google Hangout? It seems like you either don't want to for fear of being correct, or do not have the ability to.

Nah, it's just I'm not into it. It's less anonymous, the spoken word takes longer to listen to than to read, I can't do other stuff at the same time, I'd have to put some clothes on. All that.

Also, I don't see what difference it would make. How would you saying something make more sense than typing something?

Well you could just connect your microphone, no need for video obviously.

No but I could clarify questions quickly. The ambiguities quickly can be sorted out without the tiresome constant responses.

For example, you could ask me a question and I wouldn't have to wait for a response and perhaps misinterpret your objection and you misinterpret my response.

I see what you mean. Yeah, that might clear things up, but idk. Written conversations have a different quality from real life ones. That's why I like them.

That is true but they are also more open to intellectual dishonesty. It is easy to avoid essential issues because there is a certain presumption of response to every point, substantive or not, thus creating an atmosphere which is not conductive toward truth.
rross
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6/26/2016 8:05:02 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/26/2016 7:49:04 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
At 6/26/2016 7:45:56 AM, rross wrote:
At 6/26/2016 6:16:51 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
At 6/26/2016 6:14:37 AM, rross wrote:
At 6/26/2016 6:08:17 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
At 6/26/2016 6:04:01 AM, rross wrote:
I'm not really into skyping, but that's okay. It's an interesting topic. I'll think about it some more.

What about Google Hangout? It seems like you either don't want to for fear of being correct, or do not have the ability to.

Nah, it's just I'm not into it. It's less anonymous, the spoken word takes longer to listen to than to read, I can't do other stuff at the same time, I'd have to put some clothes on. All that.

Also, I don't see what difference it would make. How would you saying something make more sense than typing something?

Well you could just connect your microphone, no need for video obviously.

No but I could clarify questions quickly. The ambiguities quickly can be sorted out without the tiresome constant responses.

For example, you could ask me a question and I wouldn't have to wait for a response and perhaps misinterpret your objection and you misinterpret my response.

I see what you mean. Yeah, that might clear things up, but idk. Written conversations have a different quality from real life ones. That's why I like them.

That is true but they are also more open to intellectual dishonesty. It is easy to avoid essential issues because there is a certain presumption of response to every point, substantive or not, thus creating an atmosphere which is not conductive toward truth.

Hmm. Well, I'm not trying to be intellectually dishonest.

I think if it seems like that to you, maybe we could change the style of the conversation? Maybe, like you say, not responding to every point but only trying to understand the essential message?
rross
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6/26/2016 8:12:21 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
I suppose the essential question is, if mind is not physical, what could it be?

But also, for me, why would you think it's not physical? Like, not physical how?
sdavio
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6/26/2016 8:58:55 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/26/2016 3:12:08 AM, CaptainBallarms wrote:
At 6/26/2016 12:27:45 AM, rross wrote:
How could the mind not be physical? I don't get it.

How does experience adequately map out to third person descriptors?

If it doesn't then physicalism(reductive) is false.

By "third person descriptors" I take it that you're getting at something like propositional form. Surely there are some things which appear independently of any description, and so not yet formulated in the form of any proposition like "X is Y". Anyone who's not a solipsist would need to make space for something like this in their metaphysics. However, the disagreement really arises in regard to how this element is framed, and what its relationship is with knowledge.

I would characterize the process by which humans formulate knowledge as being very closely tied in with how we formulate things in propositional form. If we are negating or affirming something, then we are implying the existence of a subject annexed to a predicate which can abide affirmation or negation in the first place. This creates the first and most pressing issue, which is the problem of how we can say therefore that such primordial, unformulated experiences can be said to "exist" in any meaningful sense. The other problem is that, since knowledge itself is altogether tied up with the process of formulating ideas in a structured, propositional form, such primordial appearances cannot enter into discourse as a knowledge claim, since by definition they lay outside the reach of the conditions under which knowledge is possible whatsoever.

So, while I would grant in a very restricted sense that such primordial, ephemeral experiences may occur, I also hold that since these by their very nature cannot be predicted, verified, communicated about, or even thought about coherently without losing their status as primordial and non-propositional, they are rightfully considered in the context of science and philosophy only as relevant in the form of a negative definition - they are not what knowledge is.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
sdavio
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6/26/2016 9:28:14 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
I can think of a possible exception to what I said above. Imagine a primitive man, or maybe an animal, learning to perform some task (like getting through a maze) while not knowing any language. The "knowledge" which draws them eventually to learn to consistently respond correctly to certain problems would seem to be a form of knowledge which precedes linguistic knowledge formulated in propositions, which forms the paradigm of what we call knowledge of the "physical world". However, there are a few things I think are important to note here. First, we do not assume on this account that, since the mode of representation is different, the world which is accessed is also a world which is fundamentally different from, and incompatible with, our physical one. We don't conceive it as a totally separate zone, a different dimension, which they are accessing, which is not subject to the same standards of criticism as the scientific one. In a very similar sense, while there are certainly instances in which humans have experiences which are sufficiently beyond their current intellectual grasp that they cannot provide an articulated (third-person) description, this should not mean that we set up a different standard alongside the scientific one, and posit another world called "mind" or something, totally distinct and incompatible with the physical one.

Second, I would note the different forms that such instances of "knowledge" take on, the most sophisticated they become, and therefore as the disparate set of instinct-driven responses to stimuli characteristic of animals, becomes something more akin to what we generally call "knowledge", as the structure and complexity in the relationships between ideas engendered in these responses becomes articulate enough. Even a primitive animal or plant could be thought to have some vague awareness of their surroundings. However, the more articulate an instance of knowledge becomes, the more it takes on propositional form - that is, creates a set of relationships and distinctions between ideas complex enough that it can conceive of independent objects with corresponding attributes.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
sdavio
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6/26/2016 9:33:25 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/25/2016 1:38:30 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
The mere metaphysical possibility of Idealism being true entails Physicalism cannot be true. This is because if the mind has a property that nothing physical can have, then clearly the mind cannot be anything physical. So if the mind has the property of:

"Existing in possible world W in which Idealism entails"

Then Physcialism is false, as nothing physical can have that modal property.

Therefore, if there is a possible world in which our minds exist in an Idealistic reality, then Physicalism cannot be true.

I don't see how this works. If it's possible that some or all of the world is non-physical, then it's possible that physicalism is false, since physicalism holds that everything is physical. If idealism is possible, then physicalism is possibly false, which is trivially two since the two are kind of opposites.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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6/26/2016 12:26:33 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/26/2016 9:33:25 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 6/25/2016 1:38:30 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
The mere metaphysical possibility of Idealism being true entails Physicalism cannot be true. This is because if the mind has a property that nothing physical can have, then clearly the mind cannot be anything physical. So if the mind has the property of:

"Existing in possible world W in which Idealism entails"

Then Physcialism is false, as nothing physical can have that modal property.

Therefore, if there is a possible world in which our minds exist in an Idealistic reality, then Physicalism cannot be true.

I don't see how this works. If it's possible that some or all of the world is non-physical, then it's possible that physicalism is false, since physicalism holds that everything is physical. If idealism is possible, then physicalism is possibly false, which is trivially two since the two are kind of opposites.

But if idealism is metaphysically possible then there is a modal property in the actual world which nothing physical can have. Therefore Physicalism would be false in the actual world, if idealism is true in a possible world.