Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
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03-09-2015, 05:45 AM (This post was last modified: 03-09-2015 06:03 AM by Tomasia.)
Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(02-09-2015 04:43 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(02-09-2015 10:00 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I don’t believe in a soul because I believe in substance dualism. I believed in a soul long before I even knew what dualism even meant. It’s because I believe in a soul, and variety of other things that I believe in substance dualism, not the other way around.

You do realize you are describing a classic case of confirmation bias. I hope.

If you are going to employ substance dualism to support your belief you will have to defend substance dualism. Which has long been regarded as completely untenable and indefensible by like, well everyone who has seriously considered it. You're probably better off just saying you believe in a soul just because you do and not resort to clearly untenable positions to justify your belief. It diminishes your position.

I should clarify that I don't subscribe to Cartesian Substance Dualism, but an Aquinas view, which is somewhere in the middle of property dualism and substance dualism.

Here's a good article that distinguished between the two: https://jmatthanbrown.wordpress.com/2009...n-dualism/

So if I'm defending my position what position I'm defending it against? Property dualism? Physiciallism? If it's property dualism, then it would difficult for folks to amount an argument against my views, because whatever criticism would like apply to both.

If it's Physiciallism, it has its own problems, hence the poor reception of Rosenberg's views.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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03-09-2015, 06:09 AM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(02-09-2015 04:34 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(02-09-2015 10:00 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Sure, property dualism and Materialistic Monism are not the only two choices, they just tend to be the predominant options. There’ a variety of other categories as well, which accommodate a variety of different options. So you could have answered I don’t subscribe to either, I subscribe to neutral monism.

The only rational position for a skeptic is idealism. Immanuel Kant would be so disappointed.

I'm not familiar with idealism. But would the objection of a idealist be to a physicalist? Or a property dualist?

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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03-09-2015, 06:29 AM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(02-09-2015 04:36 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(02-09-2015 09:36 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Hell, we can even take big magnets and simulate NDE's (near death experiences) and out of body experiences because it is all happening in the brain, not outside the brain.

must resist must resist must resist ... do not try do not try do not try do not do try do

Sorry, we can produce the necessary changes in brain chemistry to invoke the sense of NDE's and out of body experiences. Indicating that they aren't actually anything other than alterations in brain chemistry and are not actually metaphysical in any way.

Better, Girly?

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03-09-2015, 06:47 AM (This post was last modified: 03-09-2015 06:50 AM by epronovost.)
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(03-09-2015 05:45 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(02-09-2015 04:43 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  You do realize you are describing a classic case of confirmation bias. I hope.

If you are going to employ substance dualism to support your belief you will have to defend substance dualism. Which has long been regarded as completely untenable and indefensible by like, well everyone who has seriously considered it. You're probably better off just saying you believe in a soul just because you do and not resort to clearly untenable positions to justify your belief. It diminishes your position.

I should clarify that I don't subscribe to Cartesian Substance Dualism, but an Aquinas view, which is somewhere in the middle of property dualism and substance dualism.

Here's a good article that distinguished between the two: https://jmatthanbrown.wordpress.com/2009...n-dualism/

So if I'm defending my position what position I'm defending it against? Property dualism? Physiciallism? If it's property dualism, then it would difficult for folks to amount an argument against my views, because whatever criticism would like apply to both.

If it's Physiciallism, it has its own problems, hence the poor reception of Rosenberg's views.

You are defending your position on its own merits not on others weakness. Doing so would be committing an argument from ignorance and/or incredulity which are both fallacious and doesn't make substance dualism a better option.

If you want to make this a point match, there is two common arguments against physicalism: philosophical zombies (which are themselves debated) and irreducible complexity of matter interaction (which is flirting with an argument from ignorance). On the other side, substance dualism faces the following arguments against it: argument from neuroscience, argument from brain damage, argument from evolutionary biology, argument from physics, argument from chemistry, argument from idealism, argument from causal interactions, argument from simplicity. All these are much more supported and stronger than the two opposing physicalism. In other words, all philosophical theories on «matter» face issues that could ultimately discredit them in the future, but substance dualism has already been demonstrably discredited.
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03-09-2015, 07:28 AM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(03-09-2015 06:47 AM)epronovost Wrote:  You are defending your position on its own merits not on others weakness.

So it’s not really a debate in which, both individuals have two competing positions they hold, but more like a paper that I’m submitting to my professor to critic and find flaws in?

I’ve already linked to article highlighting the Aquinas view that I subscribe, which is not the same as Cartesian Dualism, in fact it’s position that would reject the Platonic, and Cartesian perspective here, and aligns more with Aristotle. And may have more in common with property dualism than the Cartesian Dualism. Now what? Are you just going to list articulate flaws in that position?

Here’s another article describing Aquinas position, if you’re not familiar with it:

http://www.academia.edu/1613709/Thomas_A..._Afterlife

And the one previously posted:

https://jmatthanbrown.wordpress.com/2009...n-dualism/

Quote:Doing so would be committing an argument from ignorance and/or incredulity which are both fallacious and doesn't make substance dualism a better option.

So what is the best option here then? Is it to just to believe in nothing, to a lack a belief? Because hey, lacking a belief can’t have flaws?

Quote:. In other words, all philosophical theories on «matter» face issues that could ultimately discredit them in the future, but substance dualism has already been demonstrably discredited.

You mean Cartesian substance dualism? If so than I don’t think the criticism equally applies here. Where as criticisms to property dualism are more likely to affect mine, than criticisms of the Cartesian perspective.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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03-09-2015, 08:32 AM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
@Tomasia

It cannot be a debate. A debate would imply that substance dualism wouldn't be completely discredited already. It's like if you were maintaining the position that Rome was founded by Atlantean refugees led by Aquaman ancestors in a debate on the origin of the Roman civilisation. Has for Aquinas and Aristotle position, its plausible, but anachronic. These men knew nothing about neurochemistry or chemistry at all. Neither did they understood simple human biology. Both men had no idea how babies were born or what menses were. They had no clue on what caused mental illness neither did they understood the effect of drug on the brain. They used contemporary concept like soul/spirit to explain how the mind worked, but redefined them in such a way that now we identify them has process of the brain. Believing in Aquinas or Aristotle philosophical construct today, in light off our discovery on the brain, chemistry and physics would be committing a fallacy of stolen concept by using an older usage of the word soul to make a false equivocation. If you allow me a small historian fallacy (I know I should not), I would believe that if Aristotle or Aquinas were alive today they would probably be physicalists and probably a form or another of atheist based on the fact that they believed in the unity of mind and body. They simply didn't understood the body enough to go one step further.

Has for what's the best option, I would say it would be to subscribe to a form of idealism or physicalism of your choice. They are the philosophical school that hold the greatest explanatory power, the most material evidence to demonstrate them and the most complete and open to further development. You could still maintain Property dualism, but I would refrain from inserting the concept of soul/mystic energy in it. In the end, it's your choice to decide what to believe in light of what we know. You can continue to believe in substance dualism or the soul in general, but that would be holding on to a dream.
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03-09-2015, 08:52 AM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(31-08-2015 09:37 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  People believe in substance dualism, because it’s intuitive.

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03-09-2015, 09:03 AM (This post was last modified: 03-09-2015 09:12 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(03-09-2015 08:32 AM)epronovost Wrote:  It cannot be a debate. A debate would imply that substance dualism wouldn't be completely discredited already. It's like if you were maintaining the position that Rome was founded by Atlantean refugees led by Aquaman ancestors in a debate on the origin of the Roman civilisation. Has for Aquinas and Aristotle position, its plausible, but anachronic. These men knew nothing about neurochemistry or chemistry at all. Neither did they understood simple human biology. Both men had no idea how babies were born or what menses were. They had no clue on what caused mental illness neither did they understood the effect of drug on the brain. They used contemporary concept like soul/spirit to explain how the mind worked, but redefined them in such a way that now we identify them has process of the brain. Believing in Aquinas or Aristotle philosophical construct today, in light off our discovery on the brain, chemistry and physics would be committing a fallacy of stolen concept by using an older usage of the word soul to make a false equivocation. If you allow me a small historian fallacy (I know I should not), I would believe that if Aristotle or Aquinas were alive today they would probably be physicalists and probably a form or another of atheist based on the fact that they believed in the unity of mind and body. They simply didn't understood the body enough to go one step further.

Has for what's the best option, I would say it would be to subscribe to a form of idealism or physicalism of your choice. They are the philosophical school that hold the greatest explanatory power, the most material evidence to demonstrate them and the most complete and open to further development. You could still maintain Property dualism, but I would refrain from inserting the concept of soul/mystic energy in it. In the end, it's your choice to decide what to believe in light of what we know. You can continue to believe in substance dualism or the soul in general, but that would be holding on to a dream.

lol, I think you might have forgotten that Aquinas serves as foundational teachings of Catholicism. In fact the Aquinas of our age would be the late Jesuit theologian Herbert Mccabe, who studied Chemistry along with Philosophy at Manchester. He expounded on Aquinas a great deal, remaining faithful to Aquinas views, and hardly any of it is negated by current understanding of neurology. In fact much of Aquinas picture is faithful to these understandings. Though I'm not a catholic myself, my views here and a wide variety of subjects share an affinity for Catholic, Thomsian perspectives.

And it should also be noted that folks with an affinity towards Aquinas, like Charles Taylor, Rene Girard, Alasdair Macintyre, don't tend to be atheists, they tend to be Christians. So the argument that folks like Aquinas would have been atheists, is more wishful thinking on your part. But it does reveals that their perspectives are not all that disagreeable to you, unlike Descartes.

Aquinas didn't require a miracle on his part, but just an acute observations of human beings, without knowing much of anything of their biological parts. I understand the habits, and tendencies of my wife quite well, I can't attribute that to the studies of neuroscience. Darwin expounded on the theory of evolution, by a series of physical observations, without any real knowledge of modern biology or neuroscience. None of these latter discoveries negated his perspective, if anything they supported it.

So if the only criticism you can amount is that Aquinas didn't know anything about neuroscience, I'm not sure why that would be a meaningful one, anymore so than criticizing Darwin because he didn't know about genetics.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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03-09-2015, 09:23 AM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
@Tomasia

I agree that talking what Aquinas would think about today is pointless hence why I mentioned it was fallacious to use this has an argument. It's just a bit of science fiction there.

The criticism to Aquinas isn't about his lack of knowledge on the subject of biology, but on the fact that, because of our expending knowledge, Aquinas vision of dualism between body and mind is now anachronic and no longer relevant or necessary. That's why using their philosophy back then was innovative and solved several issues of substance dualism and refined it, but now is obsolete in light of our new knowledge of human biology. To make a comparison, Aquinas and Aristotle produced something akin to the compound bow, the peak of military technology in Antiquity and during the first half of the medieval era, but a simple, obsolete invention in modern warfare. That's why the critique isn't on their ignorance of biology, but on the fact that your usage of their philosophy commits the fallacy of stolen concept. The function and nature of the soul in Aquinas and Aristotle form of dualism has been demonstrated to all be functions of the brain, making the distinction between soul and body pointless. Thus Aquinas philosophical construct wasn't vindicated by further observations but dismissed by it unless you consider Aquinas has the starting point for what would later become physicalism which, to a certain extent, wouldn't be false in my opinion.
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03-09-2015, 10:08 AM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(03-09-2015 09:23 AM)epronovost Wrote:  
Quote:Thus Aquinas philosophical construct wasn't vindicated by further observations but dismissed by it unless you consider Aquinas has the starting point for what would later become physicalism which, to a certain extent, wouldn't be false in my opinion.

I think you're confused. Property Dualism has a great deal in common with the perspectives of Aristotle and Aquinas, and is just down the road from scholastic theism. Not physicalism.

Compare a nearly complete Physiciallist perspective like the one in Alex Rosenberg’s The Atheist Guide to Reality, to that of Aquinas, and you’ll see almost nothing in common. The problem facing Physiciallism is the difficulty in reconciling the manifest image (common sense conceptual framework), with the scientific image, and in Rosenberg’s view irreconcilable.

This would be non-issues for Aquinas, and likely for Property Dualist as well.

[quote]hat's why using their philosophy back then was innovative and solved several issues of substance dualism and refined it, but now is obsolete in light of our new knowledge of human biology.

I don’t think Aquinas was in the business of solving issues with substance dualism, since the issues didn’t really exist for him at the time.

Quote:hat's why using their philosophy back then was innovative and solved several issues of substance dualism and refined it, but now is obsolete in light of our new knowledge of human biology.…To make a comparison, Aquinas and Aristotle produced something akin to the compound bow, the peak of military technology in Antiquity and during the first half of the medieval era, but a simple, obsolete invention in modern warfare.

Well it might make sense to speak of technological advancements, but unlike you I don’t particularly believe our understanding of what it means to be human is superior to men in the past. I don’t find Jerry Coyne's perspectives to be superior to Aquinas perspective, in fact I find it naive and dimwitted in comparison. I'll take the observations of black slaves on what it means to be human, over their far more educated slave owners.

Our age is not marked by a greater sense of what it means to human, if anything it’s marked by an overwhelming confusion.

Quote:t. The function and nature of the soul in Aquinas and Aristotle form of dualism has been demonstrated to all be functions of the brain, making the distinction between soul and body pointless

I think you might be confusing Cartesian dualism, with Aquinas and Aristotle perspective. Because they don’t attempt to separate the two to the extent that you imagine. I think you also forget that in the Christian eucharist, it’s not “the soul of Christ broken for you”, but the “body of Christ”.

But as I said there’s more in comparison here to Property Dualism, than Cartesian Dualism.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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