[Serious Phil] Brain/Experience Identity or Non-Identity
jpolanik at nc.rr.com
Tue Aug 7 12:28:03 CDT 2012
>Joseph Polanik wrote:
>>>My view, which you seem to have taken issue with: The features we
>>>call, in the aggregate, "mind" or "consciousness" are outcomes of
>>>those processes performing the requisite functions. The actual
>>>instantiation of the processes as observable physical phenomena are
>>>NOT the features that we call, in the aggregate, "consciousness,"
>>>but, just as a smile requires a face, the features in question
>>>require physical instantiation. I have offered a functionalist
>>>account of consciousness which treats the system as the coin.
>>>>As PDJ has pointed out like 37 times, what you mean by 'referent'
>>>>seems to be based on some kind of mixture or conflation of Fregean
>>>>sense and Fregean reference.
>>>As I have responded at least as many times, that is false. I mean
>>>nothing more by "referent" than what Frege's use allows as we have
>>>seen in these discussions and in that SEP article.
>>>>... you can't really say that "same thing but different referents"
>>>>makes any sense from a Fregean point of view.
>>>What I say is that it doesn't contradict Frege's usage, contra your
>>>claim and PDJ's. Being a referent is a function of being a thing one
>>>picks out with one's terms. That's it. Nor does Frege suggest
>>>otherwise. Sometimes, if the question is what is the cause of X, then
>>>the cause is the referent. But that doesn't mean that only causes can
>>>be referents. Nor does it mean that an idea like the one I've
>>>floated, that consciousness and the physical events in the brain can
>>>be understood as two sides of a common coin, where each side is
>>>referred to separately (and the coin is seen as a system), implies a
>>>logical identity between the two sides.
>>>But you're always free to take another poll.
>>it would be simpler if you just told us whether you are asserting
>>brain/experience identity or brain/experience non-identity?
>>[where 'identity' means true, Leibniz's Law Observing identity]
and what does 'causation' mean this time?
[NB: I'm not asking for a list of all the meanings that you think can
be conveyed by 'causation', I'm asking for which meaning you are trying
to convey *this time*.]
>Identity is a function of reference, that is, it's a logical relation
>between certain kinds of statements (made about things, of course,
>since all statements are made about things, including, but not limited
>to, physically observable phenomena in the world).
the identity relations with which we are concerned are all empirical
claims; hence, the term contingent identity.
identity as a logical relation is utterly non-controversial; for
example, an equilateral triangle is an equiangular triangle. quite true
but no controversy.
>Causation, on the other hand, is not a logical relation since it is not
>discovered logically, in terms of how language works (although it is,
>indeed, an imputed relation, assigned by observers, using language, to
>elements in the world, based on observed occurrences in the world).
>Causality and identity are thus in different conceptual categories and
>so are not, in principle, mutually exclusive.
true causality and identity are indeed in different conceptual
categories, doing and being, respectively. that makes them mutually
exclusive. A causes B precludes A is (identical to) B.
constitution (your ersatz causality, most likely) are both in the same
conceptual category, being. that's what makes them hard to distinguish.
>Of course, some instances of causation (as when X moves Y) do preclude
>assignment of identity (at least at the level of observation at which
>we operate). But others (such as X produces Y) do not (as in wetness is
>caused by the molecular behavior of water's atomic level constituents,
>the hardness of a rock by the molecular behavior of its atomic level
>constituents, etc., etc.).
the use of 'produces' here is misleading; and, might even indicate
conflation and equivocation involving the active voice from (true)
causes, an action verb, vs the passive (or perhaps middle) voice from
the stative verb is/constitutes.
remember, according to Searle, in cases like molecular motion and
liquidity, there is an ontological reduction (in this case, of liquidity
to molecular motion); and, therefore, an identity relation is involved.
it is only in the case of the brain/experience relation that, in
Searle's view, there is no ontological reduction of experience to that
from which it emerges.
Nothing Unreal is Self-Aware
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