Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
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07-09-2015, 07:12 AM (This post was last modified: 07-09-2015 07:15 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(05-09-2015 09:58 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(05-09-2015 08:40 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  If you thought even in theory that it's reducible to pure physics, that's eliminativism. In emergence the mind is irreducible, something noted in the basic definition provided by wikipedia and everywhere else:

Well, no. Not everywhere else, in fact, because Wikipedia is often wrong.

Again, you don't understand what the words you are trying to use mean. "Emergent" is a practical consideration, not a theoretical one; take, for example, economics. Nothing in economics is non-physical, but describing economics purely via the laws of physics is unreasonably difficult, silly, and useless.

And, in order to forestall the obvious incoming objection, I will urge you to note the use of the phrase "for conceptual reasons" in the above link. Emergence does not require that there be some magical, conceptually-irreducible force that binds the smaller parts together and gives them their emergent properties. You may also be interested in reading up on reductionism, particularly noting the following:

"However, it is also considered "reductionist" to consider specifying the positions of atoms of a biological organism a specification of the organism. Some consider this reductionist because it is difficult to obtain macroscopically relevant information from this approach, or because this approach is not practical, others because of the notion of strong emergence, that there is more to a system than the specification of parts and their relationships."

There is a distinction between reduction being impossible and reduction being impractical. Emergent materialism does not necessarily ascribe to the notion that emergent properties are impossible to reduce, just that they are impractical - and reductive materialism does not disagree with this form of emergence.

So, again, the line between emergent and reductivist materialism is thin and largely semantic. This is not complicated.

(05-09-2015 08:40 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  The independence of the mind is a product of irreducibility, an irreducibility that came about though it's "emergence".

Nowhere does your quote claim that the mind is "independent". The idea is nonsensical.

And all of this is extremely silly and pointless regardless. Playing semantic games with an extremely narrow definition of emergent materialism hardly offers an answer to the question of whether or not there is a case to be made for substance dualism. Whether or not you accept the broader definition as "true" emergent materialism, it is abundantly clear that no one here is arguing that the mind cannot be reduced to the laws of physics, just that it's rather impractical to do so. The gotcha-game is going nowhere.


You're entirely confused. Elimantivism involves no practical consideration, it's not a political position, it's a not a position that requires everything to be reduced. It's view that it all can theoretically be reduced to physics. Where as for emergence the mind is irreducible. Nearly any article that elaborate of emergence points this out.

And the fact that you can't even draw a distinction between elimanativism and emergence, only shows that you're conflating the two. If you believe it can in theory be reduced to physics, you subscribe to elimantivism.

It doesn't really matter, other than you're using an inappropriate label to describe your position and epronovost, but for accuracy I will treat you both as elimantivist, and if you can't provide a meaningful distinction between elimantivism and your position, I see no reason to incorrectly refer to you as subsribicing to emergent materialism.

[quote]s. Playing semantic games with an extremely narrow definition of emergent materialism hardly offers an answer to the question of whether or not there is a case to be made for substance dualism. Whether or not you accept the broader definition as "true" emergent materialism, it is abundantly clear that no one here is arguing that the mind cannot be reduced to the laws of physics, just that it's rather impractical to do so. The gotcha-game is going nowhere.[quote]

I'm not sure what case can be made here? If you believe all things that are true can be theoretically reduced to physics, that's a position that requires a bit of leap to subscribe to. Anything that can be reduced to physics is to be negated. You don't necessarily need to know how to reduce it, but you believe theoretically it should be able to be reduced.

I don't subscribe to this belief, primarily after reading works like Rosenberg, in which this perspective starts to get weird and almost foolish at some point. None of the manifest image (our common perceptions of life) survives the eliminativist perspective, not just the soul, or substance dualism, but even rational thinking, and our capacities to decipher truth.

Aquinas substance dualism holds as true for me, because the alternative seems unfeasible, and the reluctance even by atheists to accept the viable alternative just goes to further strengthen my position.

I can't seem to hold to the idea that I or anyone else can decipher whats true, without presupposing some sort of aquinas type substance 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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07-09-2015, 07:45 AM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
@Tomasia

Unbeliever and I have given a clear difference between emergent an eliminative materialism. I don't think we need to repeat it again.
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07-09-2015, 07:50 AM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(07-09-2015 07:45 AM)epronovost Wrote:  @Tomasia

Unbeliever and I have given a clear difference between emergent an eliminative materialism. I don't think we need to repeat it again.

Did you miss the part where he is a theist? Tongue

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07-09-2015, 08:16 AM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(05-09-2015 10:30 AM)epronovost Wrote:  you’re reply is a big pile of word and nice rhetoric for very little content worth talking about. You don't want to admit that souls don't exist even though it’s evident that it's a useless concept. The soul explains nothing, represent accurately nothing and interact with nothing. You fail to admit it only because you are Christian and need to believe in a soul to stay one.

Your psychological portrait is entirely false. And I’m not sure why a point that I’ve repeated on several occasions already has flew over your head, other than presupposing that we’re a situation of trying to convince a man that the women in front of him is his own mother.

Without any cosmic consideration, when my mother speaks of my soul, it corresponds to something I can recognize about myself, distinct from other aspects of myself like my physical health. Just like if you were to speak of my character.

Even if one day I no longer believed in God, or christianity, this remains the same. Perhaps I’ll try and think more of a way to describe it not religiously, but I’ll likely be in the situation Salman Rushdie described, “I think that a lot of us, whether we are religious or not - there are no words to express some things except religious words. For instance, 'soul.’”

The soul describes an actual something about a man, regardless if one believes in a God or not. Now you may be entirely lost as to what that corresponds to regarding yourself, what part of you is this “something” referring to. And if I had the ability to go inside your head, it’s possibly that I can point out what that is for you. Regardless if you believe it’s reducible to physics, or can be likely located within some region of our brain.

Quote:Aquinas definition of soul is so vague

That vagueness you perceive doesn’t seem to be Aquinas' fault, because he goes to great lengths to describe what he’s referring to it. The vagueness seems to be a product of your inability to recognize the reference point in relationship to yourself in which he’s describing. Just like in regards to my above point

Quote: My cliff analogy was basically saying that your entire worldview is based on nothing else but itself with no way to use it outside of your theology to allow any progress on the understanding of the mind and the world and no way to even confirm its foundation.

And if you think the elimantivist position is the hallmark of progress? To me the soul is a hallmark of progress in the way we can speak of ourselves, our introspective realities. Something that can be understand between two people about themselves, though may be not for an atheists such as yourself.

The belief in a soul is ubiquitous found everywhere, a belief arising out of common human introspection. Your hurdle is trying to figure out why? And you can’t begin to understand that, unless you can contemplate what is they are referring to about themselves that they label a “soul”. What is that thing they are drawing a distinction between the rest of themselves about?

If it puzzles you, if it’s forever vague to you, the issues will likely remain irresolvable.

"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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07-09-2015, 08:28 AM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(07-09-2015 07:45 AM)epronovost Wrote:  @Tomasia

Unbeliever and I have given a clear difference between emergent an eliminative materialism. I don't think we need to repeat it again.

You an unbeliever are confused. You conflated the two, and attempt to describe the distinction as primarily a semantic one, as opposed to a substantive one. You falsely assume that these positions are distinct in regards to practical and political concerns. When in fact the distinction is a theoretical one. In the emergent view, the mind is irreducible, where is an the elimantivist position it's not. Emergence is built on a belief in irreducibility of the mind. It's not an entirely popular position, but this point if evidently clear even in a casual google search, from a variety of sources on the subject, like in this book.

You subscribe to the elimantivist position. And I'm going to continue to treat as such. And if at any point you want to distinguish yourself from that position, you let me know, and I'll reconsider it.

"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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07-09-2015, 09:38 AM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
@Tomasia

So basically you are going to use the strawman of someone else (Dennis Polis) to describe what we believe in rather than listenning to what we actually believe in. That's not very fair I would say.
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07-09-2015, 09:51 AM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(07-09-2015 07:45 AM)epronovost Wrote:  @Tomasia

Unbeliever and I have given a clear difference between emergent an eliminative materialism. I don't think we need to repeat it again.

Oh, we probably need to, but I'm not going to bother at this point.

Tomasia came into the discussion with a preconceived notion of what the word "emergent" means, and does not particularly care if other people don't use it that way. And that is fair enough; certainly the type of emergent materialism he describes is a valid form. It is not, however, the only form - but he doesn't particularly care.

And, once again, it's all irrelevant regardless, since it's just him shifting the spotlight from substance dualism to another, unrelated philosophy in order to keep himself from having to defend his position.

"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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07-09-2015, 09:59 AM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(07-09-2015 07:12 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  You're entirely confused. Elimantivism involves no practical consideration, it's not a political position, it's a not a position that requires everything to be reduced. It's view that it all can theoretically be reduced to physics. Where as for emergence the mind is irreducible. Nearly any article that elaborate of emergence points this out.

Irreducible in exactly the same sense as other emergent properties such as the behavior of a compound.
You cannot reduce the behavior of water to the behavior of oxygen and the behavior of hydrogen, nor table salt to sodium and chlorine.

Quote:It doesn't really matter, other than you're using an inappropriate label to describe your position and epronovost, but for accuracy I will treat you both as elimantivist,

Don't; it always gets you in trouble to assume someone's beliefs or position.
Just stop doing that.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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07-09-2015, 10:37 AM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(07-09-2015 08:16 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  The belief in a soul is ubiquitous found everywhere, a belief arising out of common human introspection. Your hurdle is trying to figure out why? And you can’t begin to understand that, unless you can contemplate what is they are referring to about themselves that they label a “soul”. What is that thing they are drawing a distinction between the rest of themselves about?

If it puzzles you, if it’s forever vague to you, the issues will likely remain irresolvable.

Hey, I got an idea. Why don't I just take a free course from a couple of old smart dudes who've actually studied beliefs in souls for a living instead of listening to your condescending bullshit. Wait, I already did. ... I've got an even better idea, why don't YOU take the course instead of spamming us with your same patronizing blather over and over. It's good. You'll like it. Assuming the "hurdle" isn't too high for you, that is.

Soul Beliefs: Cause and Consequences - Unit 1: Historical Foundations

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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07-09-2015, 10:48 AM (This post was last modified: 07-09-2015 11:17 AM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(07-09-2015 08:28 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(07-09-2015 07:45 AM)epronovost Wrote:  @Tomasia

Unbeliever and I have given a clear difference between emergent an eliminative materialism. I don't think we need to repeat it again.

In the emergent view, the mind is irreducible, where is an the elimantivist position it's not.
...
You subscribe to the elimantivist position.
...
And if you think the elimantivist position is the hallmark of progress?
...
but for accuracy I will treat you both as elimantivist, and if you can't provide a meaningful distinction between elimantivism and your position, I see no reason to incorrectly refer to you as subsribicing to emergent materialism.

Well at least one of you knows how to spell "eliminative" and it ain't Tommyboy. 1 misspelling is a typo, consistent misspelling is ignorance. Don't help your case if you can't even spell the fucking concept.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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