Chapter 2 (Philosophy of Mind)
2.1 Cartesian Dualism: Ms <---> Nonphysical substance that interacts with the body. Body and mind and different substances. Conclusion: Descartes deductive arguments are valid but unsound. Empirically speaking there is no immaterial substance. Thus, Cartesian theory as it stands is not viable.
Logical Behaviorism , behavioral dispositions: MS <---> BhS, where BhS are behavioral dispositions. C/E "Perfect pretender", "Super Spartans." Qualitative content (qualia = the unique, private feeling of our mental states). Conclusion: Logical Behaviorism is a materialist theory because it doesn't postulate the existence of non-material entities. It's areductive theory because it holds that mental states can be translated into behavioral dispositions. But it doesn't account for the quality of mental states and the translation between behavior and mental states that it envisions cannot be performed.
Identity Theory: MS <---> BrS, where BrS is the passing of electro/chemical signals from cell to cell. C/E "Nagel's Bat" and "Lewis Pained Martian." (You must be able to grasp and understand these counterexamples and derive conclusions). Conclusion: Identity theory is superior to behaviorism because it can explain mental causation. But there is reason to doubt that mental states and identical to brain states because brain states are knowable by empirical investigation while mental states are not. Moreover, having a brain doesn't seem to be a necessary condition for having a mind (since an alien or a computer could have a mind).
Conscious experience: Nagel's bat experiment shows that mental states have this characteristic that can be felt from the "inside" from a first person POV. But physical properties can all be known from the "outside" --from a third person POV. Since complete knowledge of physical properties cannot yield knowledge of mental properties, the mind cannot be identified with the brain.
2.3 Functionalism: MS <---> FS. According to functionalism, to have a mind is to have the ability to perform certain functions. C/E "Lewis Pained Madman and Putnam's inverted spectrum (imagine a color-blind driver driving like we do, only he inverts green with red). "Turing Test for Intelligence: C/E Searle's Chinese Room. Intentionality (the ability of mental states to be "of" or "about" anything).
2.5 Property Dualism:
... is the view that non-physical, mental properties (such as beliefs, desires and emotions) inhere in some physical substances (namely brains).
Primitive Property (intentionality as a primitive property).
Emergent Property and Downward Causation.
Causal Determinism (every event has a cause that makes it happen + laws of nature) and Hard determinism (the doctrine that there are no free actions). Hard determinism assumes that if CD is true, then there are no free actions because as our bodies made up of matter, we must be subjects to the same laws of causation. In class we discussed an argument to problematize HD. If HD is true, then there is no human responsibility: i.e., if we are not free, we cannot be responsible for our actions (since one is responsible if and only if one can make choices).
Indeterminism: Is the view that certain events are not caused deterministically. That is, since the advent of quantum mechanics and according to the Copenhagen interpretation, the most basic constituents of matter can behave in deterministically. But if that was the case, there is not freedom either, that is, if my brain event is caused by a probabilistic event, and not my own causing it.
Compatibilism is the belief that free will and determinism are not mutually exclusive.
Soft determinism: Determined actions can nevertheless be free. One "soft" theory is Traditional Compatibilism (Free actions are 1- caused by one's will and 2- not externally constrained). The reasoning is this:
Principle of alternative possibilities: one can be held responsible for doing something only if one could have done otherwise. "could have done otherwise" means "if you had chosen otherwise, then you would have done otherwise." Think of our "fork-example" of a student being late for class. He chooses ( A) "having coffee with lots of traffic," instead of (B) "not having coffee and no traffic." For Traditional Compatibilism the student is responsible for being late since "if he had choosen (B) instead of (A), he would have been on time for class.
C/E "Taylor's Ingenious Physiologist. In class we discussed how TV can "plant" desires. So in a way is a kind of ingenious physiologist.
"Hierarchical Compatibilism: First and Second Order Desires; Second Order Volitions. Remember: A first order desire is directed to an object or state of affairs, a second order desire is a desire about a desire, a second order volition is a second order desire one decidedly acts upon. Harry Frankfurt's three drug addicts:
(Let's call a first order desire: FOD, a second order desire: SOD, a second order volition: SOV) So we get the following:
Wanton addict: FOD, not SOD, not SOV, not free.
Happy Addict: FOD, SOD, SOV, free.
Unwilling Addict: FOD, SOD (only this desire is against his taking the drug, not SOV, not free). C/E to Hierarchical Compatibilism: Slote's Hypnotized patient and The Willing Bank Teller. One proves that SOV can be manipulated from the inside. The other shows rthat SOV can be manipulated beyond our control.
Punishment: How do compatibilists see punishment? p. 203. Punishment cannot be retributive (eye-for-an-eye). The only legitimate way of punishment is rehabilitation and deterrence. Criminal actions are dictated by genes and habits (nature and nurture). Retributive punishment makes sense if it's deserved. But nothing people do is up to them.
Event and Agent Causation. Event---> event or Agent---> event.
Libertarianism holds that agents can cause events. How? remember we talked about the possibility that the mind causes the brain. There are two arguments:
Argument from Experience. Argument from deliberation.
Libet's Neurophysiological challenge: it seems to show that consciousness of a decision arises only after the decision has already been made (the 300 millisecond gap between the decision to press the button and the brain signal). Rebuttal by libertarians: There's a difference between making a "conscious decision" and a "meta-conscious decision" (meta-conscious awareness is second order). For the libertarian, the subject in Libet's report is not having a "conscious" but a "meta-conscious" decision. So it's no surprise that it happens "after" the conscious decision was made.
Radical Libertarianism (Existentialism): Jean-Paul Sartre's kind of libertarianism (known asExistentialism) holds that the self is essentially free. When he says: "L'existence précède l'essence" he means that we exist first, and are "defined" later. Sartre puts it as such: "il n'est rien d'autre que ce qu'il fait de sa vie."
We cope with this heavy "weight" of our own FREEDOM by creating fictitious justifications, what Sartre calls mauvaise foi or "bad faith". We're always responsible for our actions, because even when we think we don't choose, we choose. The only possible constraint is our facticity (the stuff we don't choose, like being born and having a certain name and parents). "La mauvaise foi" in a practical sense means that what counts is the intention (" c'est l'intention qui compte"). Sartre rejects the freudian "unconscious" as well as other forms of determinisms. As he puts it: "L'homme est condamné à être libre."
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