Arguments agaisnt Materialism
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22-02-2017, 07:00 AM
RE: Arguments agaisnt Materialism
(21-02-2017 10:19 AM)Naielis Wrote:  I'll post more on this thread later, but here is Kripke's first argument against materialism. This can be categorized as an argument from modality and identity.

Kripke vs Materialism

"A purely logical argument was advanced by Saul Kripke against any version of the identity theory. Kripke's argument appeals to the concept of a "rigid designator." A rigid designator is defined as an expression that always refers to the same object in any possible state of affairs. Thus, the expression, "Benjamin Franklin," is a rigid designator because in the usage that I am now invoking, it always refers to the same man. This is not to say, of course, that I cannot name my dog "Benjamin Franklin," but, then, that is a different usage, a different meaning of the expression. On the standard meaning, "Benjamin Franklin" is a rigid designator. But the expression, "The inventor of daylight saving time," though it also refers to Benjamin Franklin, is not a rigid designator because it is easy to imagine a world in which Benjamin Franklin was not the inventor of daylight saving time. It makes sense to say that someone else, other than the actual inventor, might have been the inventor of daylight saving time, but it makes no sense to say that someone else, other than Benjamin Franklin, might have been Benjamin Franklin. For these reasons, "Benjamin Franklin" is a rigid designator, but “the inventor of daylight saving time" is nonrigid. With the notion of rigid designators in hand, Kripke then proceeds to examine identity statements. His claim is that identity statements, where one term is rigid and the other not rigid, are in general not necessarily true; they might turn out to be false. Thus, the sentence, "Benjamin Franklin is identical with the inventor of daylight saving time," is true, but only contingently true. We can imagine a world in which it is false. But, says Kripke, where both sides of the identity statement are rigid, the statement, if true, must be necessarily true. Thus, the statement, "Samuel Clemens is identical with Mark Twain," is necessarily true because there cannot be a world in which Samuel Clemens exists, and Mark Twain exists, but they are two different people. Similarly with words naming kinds of things. Water is identical with H20, and because both expressions are rigid, the identity must be necessary. And here is the relevance to the mind-body problem: if we have on the left hand side of our identity statement an expression referring to a type of mental state rigidly, and on the right hand side, an expression referring to a type of brain state rigidly, then the statement, if true, would have to be necessarily true. Thus, if pains really were identical with C-fiber stimulations, then the statement, "Pain = C-fiber stimulation," would have to be necessarily true, if it were to be true at all. But, it is clearly not necessarily true. For even if there is a strict correlation between pains and C-fiber stimulations, all the same, it is easy to imagine that a pain might exist without a C-fiber stimulation existing, and a C-fiber stimulation might exist without a corresponding pain. But, if that is so, then the identity statement is not necessarily true, and if it is not necessarily true, it cannot be true at all. Therefore, it is false. And what goes for the identification of pains with neurobiological events goes for any identification of conscious mental states with physical events."
Source: http://philosophyfaculty.ucsd.edu/facult...il1doc.pdf


And this is supposed to imply what exactly for materialism? This is very far from saying that materialism has no utility or heuristic value. Would you care to say more about what you think it means?

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Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
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22-02-2017, 08:11 AM
RE: Arguments agaisnt Materialism
(21-02-2017 12:09 PM)Naielis Wrote:  Not only do I understand this, I discuss this with Unbeliever all the time. The skeptic's question is how you know your perception is representing reality accurately. How do you even know your perception is representing external reality at all. It could be a figment of your imagination. But there are tons of ways out of this skeptical hypothesis.

Put simply as a non-philosophical argument.....

I line up 2 green apples, 2 red apples, and one banana. I then ask 100 other people, in turn, to each pick up and hold one red and one green apple, and throw the banana onto the floor.

The 100% success rate—according to my perception—proves it to be correct.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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22-02-2017, 08:17 AM
RE: Arguments agaisnt Materialism
At work.

*Sigh*

Are we back to the "How can we know/trust our senses?" question again?

Right, okay Naielis. ...... how do 'You' trust your senses?

What is it that allows 'You' to know/understand your senses are correct and working etc?
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22-02-2017, 08:23 AM
RE: Arguments agaisnt Materialism
Dualism doesn't explain anything any more than materialism. It just makes more assumptions.

It also produces no extra usable results whatsoever. So apart from satisfying the desire of certain people, what does it do?

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22-02-2017, 08:45 AM
RE: Arguments agaisnt Materialism
You know, this is starting to remind me of the Eric Hovind spiel, or whatever his name is.

"Could you be wrong about everything you think you know?"

"Yes, I could."

"That's because you don't have my special way of knowing things. I can't be wrong using my special way. It's God."

Replace God with dualism, and it's the same argument. Special pleading.

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22-02-2017, 08:49 AM
RE: Arguments agaisnt Materialism
Maybe he should sell shares in his special way of knowing. Make it a pyramid scheme. The more people you enlist, the less blow back they'll all get from people calling them on their bullshit.

“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”

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22-02-2017, 08:49 AM
RE: Arguments agaisnt Materialism
(22-02-2017 06:54 AM)Naielis Wrote:  Not irrelevant, not based on special pleading in any possible universe or reality ever, and completely relevant to the argument advanced.

Saying "nuh-uh" does not make fallacies magically disappear.

(22-02-2017 06:54 AM)Naielis Wrote:  Rigid designators are not incoherent drivel

Yes, they are. At best, it is a pointless and overly complex way of stating that some labels refer to specific things, while others can be more general. However, the formulation that the argument you present attempts to use is incoherent, as it attempts to assert that the name "Benjamin Franklin" is somehow inherently rigid, and could not even possibly refer to anything but the historical figure by that name.

This is nonsense and is entirely disconnected from the way language actually works, and tries to draw false equivalence between "this is what this label is commonly used to refer to" and "this label therefore necessarily always in all universes refers to this".

It is incoherent.

(22-02-2017 06:54 AM)Naielis Wrote:  Arguments from modality are completely valid in structure.

So is the statement that all humans are robots. Being sound is not equivalent to being valid.

We have been over this.

(22-02-2017 06:54 AM)Naielis Wrote:  You have to show how his definition of pain is insufficient

Accepting his own description of pain does that, since it does not include things like phantom limb syndrome. He purposefully defines pain in a narrow way, then talks about other types of it as though they are somehow a problem for materialism because they do not fit this narrow definition. It is equivalent to asserting that cooking is impossible by defining "beef" as "hamburger meat", then bringing up the existence of steak.

It is nonsensical.

(22-02-2017 06:54 AM)Naielis Wrote:  and that materialism can deal with this problem.

The existence of other types of pain are no more a problem for materialism than the first one was.

The argument fails on every conceivable level, even discarding literally all the issues with rigid descriptors.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
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22-02-2017, 08:57 AM
RE: Arguments agaisnt Materialism
(21-02-2017 12:09 PM)Naielis Wrote:  Not only do I understand this, I discuss this with Unbeliever all the time.

No. You bring it up all the time, and then ignore the answer.

(21-02-2017 12:09 PM)Naielis Wrote:  The skeptic's question is how you know your perception is representing reality accurately.

And the answer is that it doesn't matter, and borders on incoherent. See below.

(21-02-2017 12:09 PM)Naielis Wrote:  How do you even know your perception is representing external reality at all.

By definition. We have been over this.

We exist; this is inarguable. We sense something; this is likewise inarguable. We describe what we sense as "external reality"; this is semantics.

From there, unless you want to argue that our sensory input is literally random, and does not correlate in any way to the thing being sensed - which is demonstrably false - we have a sufficient basis to begin building accurate models of the universe. Literally all that is required for science to work is consistency in our senses, not "accuracy" (which is so nebulous in this context as to be meaningless anyway) or "completeness".

Since we have consistency, science works.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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22-02-2017, 09:14 AM
RE: Arguments agaisnt Materialism
(22-02-2017 01:00 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  I think Nails is being totally hamstrung by his need for consciousness to be a distinct entity. Holding a conclusion before you start is always going to warp your methodology.

I'm not sure what kind of theist he is, or whether he's religious or whatever, but it shows once again that to properly study reality you need to put aside any personal assumptions you have and start from scratch. If you can't do that, you'll be stuck forever in a loop, trying to "prove" something that is either false, or true put unprovable. This is why science doesn't deal in proofs. Proofs are for abstract systems only. Evidence is the way we find out, to the best of our ability, what kind of reality we are dealing with. Treating reality as being the same as your abstract system, and never returning to check your results, is giving up on reality. His evidence, so far, has always been "it's self evident". No dice. That just means you're assuming your model is true. You can't tell someone else what is evident to them.

As much as some people might want to, you can't dictate reality.

Sorry I didn't get the video out, but I'm actually working on a paper about alternatives to materialism. I can get it to you today though. I'm not a theist at all. I'm an agnostic. Some would call it agnostic atheist. But you're completely missing the point here. Everyone starts from presuppositions. So when you argue for evidence, you have to start with presuppositions about being able to observe reality at all. Those presuppositions are not justified in your worldview. Now when you say something is self-evidence it doesn't mean you assume anything. It means that something's very existence can serve as the justification for a belief in its existence. The mind is an example of this. The mind has direct access to itself through introspection. It has the ability to monitor its own thoughts with omniscience and infallibility. This knowledge of one's own existence is not an assumption, but a presumption. The mind's presuppositions are the foundation of every further action, mental or physical, taken by the being. The problem with a worldview in which one can only make models of reality, is that any claims about our ability to observe reality are themselves models. It's not that the foundation is weak in this epistemology; it's that it's nonexistent. Even the statement "we can only make models" is itself merely a model. It makes no claims about reality. It merely models what could be reality. The concept of reality is a model. So to argue that we must corroborate the conclusions of our abstract systems with our discoveries through science, is to fail to realize that the very concept of physical reality is itself an abstract system. The materialist aims to, in effect, check her work. She knows that her mind is capable of error, so it is within reason that she check her conclusions by observing reality. But, since observation of reality is an abstract system, the attempt to check her work falls flat on its face. Under a system in which she can only make models, she can only check her work from one model by comparing it with another model. She hasn't even entered the realm of reality yet. She's working with pure abstract systems. Here we can see that the materialist's lack of epistemological foundation leads to radical Phyrronian skepticism.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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22-02-2017, 09:24 AM
RE: Arguments agaisnt Materialism
At work.

I disagree with your statement Naielis that,

"It has the ability to monitor its own thoughts with omniscience and infalibility."

This is simply an ascertion.

How can you gauge either the supposed 'Omniscience' or the 'Infallibility' of any such 'Introspection'?
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