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- What do we think about Descartes understanding of cognition?
- First argument: "The properties of mind and matter are opposite to each other, and they belong to two different kinds of stuff." Cartesian/Substance Dualism. Not deductively valid, because it needs an exhaustive list, which is impossible because changes over history. Descartes conclusion of 2 separate types of matter was the inference to best explanation at the time. Mind-Body problem messes with this though, and "throws a wrench in." We have too much evidence of brain causing mental events and vice versa. Descartes tried to solve this with the proposal of animal spirits (very weak!), the idea that there's a special kind of "transparent" matter. Didn't answer it! Looked at God, but God is too controversial (Premise is too controversial than the conclusion.) Then, its stated that we cannot distinguish between causal and correlation; Pre-established harmoney. However, God comes into this, so it doesn't work, and Cartesian Dualism ultimately fails. Enter property dualism: We don't have a separate/separable substance thing called mind/soul that exists independently than the brain; we have mental properties that are not reducable to physical properties. Emergence- Mental Properties are emergent from physical properties of the brain. Same way that the "Wetness" of water is from hydrogen and oxygen. The mind is to the brain as the wetness of water is to Hydrogen and Oxygen. The wetness of water cannot be independent of Hydrogen and Oxygen; the properties are emergent. This relies on equivocation; Weak and strong emergence. The ontology of physics greatly outweighs materialism. Physics is accessible because there is a physical explanation of it; this is what gives property dualism its legitamicy. This then extends to the mind; but this is where it breaks down! The property dualist evokes strong emergence; that there is no explanation for how the properties emerge, so the analogy does not hold. It only works on equivocation. One way out: To propose elemental property dualism, elemental properties are just as fundamental and therefore there is nothing that can explain the relationship between mental and basic physical properties, dont worry about lowest level mental properties. However, arguments! Should information be considered? Implies pansychism: need independent properties for mental properties about a table; not what I have, but what it would have if humans did not exist. Need a new explanation of how the non-consciousness and non-cognitive generating properties of the table are different from the non-conscious, non-cognitive properties of the brain. Other Descartes arguments we'll come back to about descartes for original meaning etc.! The "Stupid" argument for dualism: I am aware of my mind, I am not aware of my brain, so the mind is not the brain. Why is this bad? Take this example: I am aware of Superman, I am not aware of Clark Kent, therefore Clark Kent is not Superman. The intentionalists fallacy (also the introspective fallacy) are invoked here.
- Dualism is done for now (But not Descartes!)
- Now! Talks about physicalism and mentalism! Reject dualism, pick up physicalism. Loosely (and incorrectly) called materialism, however! Physicalism states that what really exists is the ontology given to us by physics. First, we need to look at a different position. It argues that the mind/brain problem, should not be solved but rather dissolved. That, the task of the philosophy of mind is not to find a solution that explains physical and mental, but to see that the question is a malformed one. Wittgenstein started this: Essence to a game, etc. He says that many of our philosophical problems should not be solved; we are violating the principles of how language is properly used. There are questions that sohuldn't be answered, but should be dissolved because it breaks the rules of how we make questions. For example. what time is it on the sun? It doesn't make sense, because what time it is is relevant to where you are on the Earth. When asking about the mind and the brain, we are making this kind of mistake. "Category mistake": using the terms in the wrong way! When I'm moving, it's relative to the Earth. The Earth itself cannot be moving, then. We need to change the meaning of motion, so it can apply to things like the Earth. The problem is that the status is not clear; On one end, we should dissolve the question "What time is it on the sun." Pseudo-questions like this make category mistakes. On the other side, we have arguments that make us change the meaning of terms. For example, old version of "computer" was just people. We changed what is meant by a computer! Is the mind-brain question a pseudo-question? Or do the definitions need to be changed? Ryle says he thinks that the cartesian position is generated by making a series of cactegory mistakes. We have a verb: Believe. We take it to refer to an action! The problem is, we dont see any action when people are believing. You dont seem to be doing anything, therefore it must be a "secret" action, in a "secret" place. A special place called the mind, where special unobservable actions are ocurrinng. Ryle says that we are not paying attention to how the word is used; and makes a distinction! The distinction is between dispositional (Trait) and occurent (State) terms. Ocurrent processes are where you can tell me when/where it started. It makes sense to say that it was interrupted, resumed, ended. Dispositions don't work like that, though! For example, salt is soluble in water. Salt is not dissolving in water all the time; it is describing a conditional relationship. If you put salt in water, it will dissolve. Another example: Nouns! Heres a substance, and it is poison. Poison on my shelf is not always poisoning; to say it is poison is to describe a condition. If someone ingests it, they will suffer harm/be poisoned. If ___, then ___. Conditional relationships! When we do this move from believe -> action -> Secret, then belief is occurrent; an ocurrent process. However, belief is dispositional! You are not stating an occurrent process, you are stating a disposition; a multi-track disposition. Ryle says that the whole idea that mental terms refer to secret terms/secret processes is to treat mental terms as if they are occurrent, when they are dispositional! All mental terms are just ways of talking about behaviour! Mental terms are talking about dispositions. This is known as logical or philisophical behaviourism (The idea that there is no need to display a relationiship between mind and brain), because there is no set of properties c alled "mental". It is a category mistake. All mental terms are ways of talking about our disposition to behave. There is no mind-brain problem, Descartes just misled us! This argument presupposes that the language is unproblematic. Now, lets look at how this move is problematic. Belief itself is a problem; compare it to imagining! Problem 1: Some of our cognitive processes are ocurrent, so it's not wrong to look for what causes them! Problem 2: If I believe its raining, what would I do? What are the if/thens if it's raining? It's unlimited! UNCONSTRAINED! Third problem: When you take a mental term, you should be able to replace it/transofrm it into dispositional statements with no mental statements in it, a process called discharging. i believe it is raining, so I close the window. Why did I close the window? I do not want to get wet. Is "want" a physical or mental term? Mental! I only closes when I don't want it to get wet, but I believe it is raining. If I believe, I want. If I want, I believe. It doesn't get rid of mental terms! Super actor super spartan problem: A super spartan has no change when pain. Super actor is the most convincing actor of all time; they can act as if they are in pain, or not. Can generate all behaviour without having pain. The super spartan has the mental state pain, and generates nothing. The super actor generates all the behaviour, and has none of the state. You acnnot talk about how your "brain" is behaving, because brains are not behavors. People are behavors. Double Dissociation: can have state without behaviour, can have behaviour without the state. When this occurs, this is good evidence that they are different! If x varies independent of y and y varies independent of x, then x and y have strong evidence to be different. Similarily, you cannot translate mental terms to behavoiural terms. Third problem: Perceptrons cannot invoke stimulus! Behaviourism has been disproved. Most people say that Ryle is partialy right; right about belief, but to say the mind-brain problem is a pseudo-argument collapses. Philosophical behaviourism has been rejected. Now, central state materialism arose. People use a different term nowadays though (But its misleading!): The identity thereom. Why is this problematic? any position that does 2 things is some version of the identity theory. When philosophers use this, they use it to refer to a specific proposal. Mental properties are physical properties, we just dont realize it. If I say that lightning is a kind of electricity does not mean that all electrical events are related. What happened? We know that we have a theory of lightning. A folk theory of lightning: a bright flash, causes thunder, hot, etc. This theory goes through theoretical reduction: We can explain everything that was happening to explain features of lightning. Lightning can be completely explained as being a kind of electricity. We can think of heat as molecular motion. We can reDeafduce heat and pressure, and explain the relationship between them with the theory of molecular motion. This theory explains a lot more than a lot else. Theory reduction to the theoy of electricity can explain lightning, and a bunch of other stuff! Lightning is just a kind of electricity. Heat/Pressure is just a kind of molecular motion. What am I not saying? There's no such thing as lightning; that's ridiculous! Non-Physical theories can be completely reduced to physicla theories. We also have a folk theory of mind: Belief, memories, all these terms! The claim is that this will be theoretically reduced to neuroscience. Beliefs/memories/desires are just kinds of neurological processes. This does not mean that "Love is just a neurochemical process" and love does not exist; thats liek saying light is just electricity, therefore lightning does not exist. An identity argument is an identity argument: If the thing you're identifying love with is real, then so is love, because love is identical with something that is real. Argument by Analogy: A promisary theory. Promising that a folk theory of mind will be of neuroscience, because of the folk theory of lightning caused the theory of electricity. Evidence for: We have mental states, but evolved from organisms that didn't. Evolution is a physical process; a physical process coming from physical things should only result in a physical thing. Babies: started non-mental, went through a physical process, and now are here. (Was a soul inserted? No! Rejected dualism.) A physical process of a physical thing should result in a physical thing. Next: increasing success of neuroscience! Explaining more and more through brain states. If you reject dualism and embrace physicalism, then you will kind of think in some sense the mind is a physical thing. Pain = C fibres firing: Equating a physical state and a mental state. What's the problem with this? These are theories of our subjective experience. Lightning is a subjective experience of electricity. Similarily, the mind is a subjective experience of the brain. The issue: The mind is having the subjective experience of the brain. Who's having the subjective experience? Another mind! Mind+. What's going on? (Go over this! around 2 hours in.) Most people reject Identity theory, because the analogies are hard to make work, and because of the success of artificial intelligence. Not true to say that love is a biochemical event! Computation functionlaism replaced this: Mental states are computational states.
- Now, back to Descartes arguments to Hobbes!
- Argument around Qualia: Secondary quaities that exist just in the mind and not in the
- Arguments that computational functionalism is not just qualia:
- The inverted spectrum argument. Says that a mental state is identical to the computational functions that are implementing it. Qualia? The subjective experience. Lets chose colour qualia: Red and green are not frequencies of electromagnetism; the frequencies have existed without redness and greenness existing. Imagine fred and susan: Wherever Fred is experiencing greenness, susan is experiecing redness and vice versa. They think it's the same though (Green is red, red is green.) It's functionally identical, but are the exact opposites.
- Another: The absent qualia problem.
- In the middle of the night, government people do things to someone. They experience big pain, and it gets mapped out. Then, they get all the people of the country and give them cards; 1 and 0. 1 means a neuron is firing, 0 is not firing. How frequently you hold a card is how frequently it is firing. They perfectly replicate what is going on in the brain. Is there pain spread out across the country? No! but why? One has qualia, the other doesn't. If two states are equivalent but have different qualia, one has qualia one doesnt, computational functionalism cannot explain qualia. Philosophical zombie is the problem: Phenomenon called blind sight. People have the subjective experience of blindness; no visual qualia. You bring a bottle in the room, they dont know where it is. Functional ability to respond, but no experience. Deaf hearing is similar. Numb touch is similar. Philisophical zombie: can do something withotu having conscious experience of it.
- Nagel: what's it like to be a bat? bats echo-locate. we can explain everything, but don't have the qualia to be a bat. People have been trained to do this, and they have qualia. Theres a space in front of them
- Next problem: Mary has monochromatic vision (Black and white.) Studies colour vision, until she becomes the worlds authority on colour vision, and can explain it better than anyone else. She can suddenly see red due to a medical explanation! Mary knows something she didnt know; the qualia of red. Distinct from knowing the functional explanation of red.
- Arguments are opening an explanatory gap: Makes the problem of qualia a hard problem! Once we give the best functional explanation, they will not have explained qualia at all. Qualia make no functional difference; its not just you cant explain that they cant interact, its that they cant possibly interact. If the qualia makes no difference on fred+susans behaviour, it has no impact on their behaviour; no causal functional role.
- Epiphenomalism: The idea that qualia are always effects, but not causes. The noise the car makes; the noise is an effect of the motor, but has no causal or functional role. cannot fix the car by working on the noise. Epiphenomena: Effect that has no causal functional role. Qualia do nothing. Do not affect life; just like how noise of a car has no role on how it operates. Tension between advocating for non-physicality of qualia, and the consequence of ephiphenomalism. You shouldn't care if all of your qualia is gone because it makes no difference, according to this argument. Qualia are just around; hanging around, doing nothing. All these arguments require that someone has qualia: and that they are true. Problematic? People know that they have qualia. How do you know something that has no causal power? How can something exist in actuality (act) if it has no causal power? How can you know it if it has no causal power? No sense! Doesn't make sense at all. If to know something is to have qualia, do you know your qualia? do you have qualia of your qualia?
- Dualism is bad, physicalism isnt doing as well. Logical behaviour is rough! Identity theory has been undermined by the progress of AI, Computational Functionalism has the problems we've seen. When we put it together, we get something as problematic as the problems themselves.
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