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Old 10th April 2006, 12:05 PM   #241
Bodhi Dharma Zen
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Damn this is fast... and I have lots of available time!
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Im too busy living, why waste my time believing?
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Old 10th April 2006, 12:05 PM   #242
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Originally Posted by LW View Post
I am attacking your reasoning. To put it more precisely, your statement:

You have not ruled out the possibility that P1 is physical but different from P2.
You haven't defined "physical". If you define "physical" as "everything which exists" then no proof against materialism could possibly worked, because you have defined it to be true.

Quote:
But what you are doing in the above is assuming that physicalism is false and then proving it false based on that assumption.
NO I DID NOT. That is what YOU are doing, except in reverse. I assumed NOTHING. I started from a set of definitions agreed upon by Paul and then tried to define "physical" in terms of those definitions.

I did not assume that physicalism is true. I did not assume it is false.

YOU, on the other hand, have EXPLICITLY assumed that physicalism is true in order to deny the proof. I am innocent of what you are accusing me of. YOU are guilty of what you are accusing me of. You are assuming your conclusion. I am not.

REPEAT OF NOTE:


NOTE: If you want to challenge this proof then you must challenge either the premises, the definitions or the reasoning. What you must not do is make some other sort of statement, which depends on an assumption that physicalism is true (thus assuming the proof fails before examining it), and claim that this means the proof is false. Any responses to this proof which take this form will be rejected on the grounds they they have nothing to do with the proof.


Quote:
You assume that if an object and an experience of an object are different, then they are so completely different that have to belong to completely separate realities.
I assumed no such thing.

Quote:
No. What I did was to show that there was one line of reasoning that you didn't address in your proof.
Oh yes I did. I posted it in RED so nobody could miss it.

It is an invalid line of reasoning because it simply assumes that physicalism is true. Since this is a thread which accuses of materialists of treating materialism like a religion, you have just demonstrated that the accusation is justified. The "one line of reasoning" you say I missed is the one which does not question materialism at all, but simply defines it to be true and rejects any evidence or argument that contradicts it. Which is what the physicalists do all the time, but cannot see they do it, even though they can see it perfectly clearly when Christians do precisely the same thing.


Quote:
If you want your proof to be waterproof, you have to address it.
Unfortunately, I can't see any way to do it except that by assuming that P1 and P2 must necessarily be different, but feel free to prove me wrong by doing it.
I did not ASSUME that P1 and P2 are different. I very carefully made sure that Paul had agreed this was the case, and wasn't going to backtrack when the proof was delivered. The proof was delivered. He backtracked.

I am not "assuming" they are different. They ARE different. Think about it.
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Old 10th April 2006, 12:15 PM   #243
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Originally Posted by Geoff
Oh dear. Are you now going to backtrack on the claim that P1 isn't P2?
No, I was saying that we hadn't agreed on what physical meant.

~~ Paul
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Old 10th April 2006, 12:21 PM   #244
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Originally Posted by Geoff
Paul, This is what physicalism is. You are DEAD RIGHT. It's patently absurd.
No Geoff, the definition is patently absurd. What does it mean to say that matter is the only reality? Isn't energy reality, too?

Quote:
Is this the definition you are going to go for? How are you going to defend it from my proof?
Geoff, buddy, pal, I'm not going for any definition of physicalism. You are the one who insisted on using it before we defined it. I do not know what the definition is.

This thread has gone to hell because you jumped the gun. Back up to post #211 and let's keep trying to define our terms.

~~ Paul
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Old 10th April 2006, 12:22 PM   #245
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Originally Posted by Geoff
I did not ASSUME that P1 and P2 are different. I very carefully made sure that Paul had agreed this was the case, and wasn't going to backtrack when the proof was delivered. The proof was delivered. He backtracked.
No, I did not. You went so farking fast that you couldn't keep track of the conversation.

~~ Paul
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Old 10th April 2006, 12:34 PM   #246
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
No, I was saying that we hadn't agreed on what physical meant.

~~ Paul
That's because you couldn't define it! And the reason you couldn't define it is part of the proof. Paul, at no point in the proof do I define what "physical" means. Instead, I try every possible way of defining it, and all of them fail. So, no, we never agreed on the meaning of physical. But that makes no difference to the proof because the proof works against all of them.
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Old 10th April 2006, 12:37 PM   #247
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
No Geoff, the definition is patently absurd. What does it mean to say that matter is the only reality? Isn't energy reality, too?
Energy is included within the conception of physical. I don't see why this is relevant.

Quote:
Geoff, buddy, pal, I'm not going for any definition of physicalism.
Then how do you except me to disprove it?

Here I stand, loaded rifle at the ready. All I want is a stable target. You keep swiping it away at the last moment. I feel like f***ing Charlie Brown....

http://www.popular.com.sg/images/product/book/42466.jpg

Quote:
You are the one who insisted on using it before we defined it. I do not know what the definition is.

This thread has gone to hell because you jumped the gun. Back up to post #211 and let's keep trying to define our terms.

~~ Paul
Fine. Go back and try to fix your definitions. It won't make any difference. I'm going to the pub.
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Old 10th April 2006, 12:39 PM   #248
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This is absurd.

You are taking advantage of some flawed definitions of P1 and P2, and comparing two different things. Thatīs why you can trash physicalism.

The contention of physicalims is that P1 and P2 are the same. But with those definitions, you are just making it impossible to prove that this is true.
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Old 10th April 2006, 12:44 PM   #249
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Originally Posted by Mary Dennett View Post
This is absurd.

You are taking advantage of some flawed definitions of P1 and P2, and comparing two different things. Thatīs why you can trash physicalism.

The contention of physicalims is that P1 and P2 are the same. But with those definitions, you are just making it impossible to prove that this is true.

Hello Q......., sorry, Mary.

The definitions of P1 and P2 came straight from Paul, so I couldn't be accused of rigging them. What's wrong with them?

Geoff
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Old 10th April 2006, 12:48 PM   #250
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Originally Posted by Geoff
Energy is included within the conception of physical. I don't see why this is relevant.
The definition I called absurd is:

physicalism ((philosophy) the philosophical theory that matter is the only reality)

No mention of physical at all. Clearly matter is not the only "reality."

Quote:
Here I stand, loaded rifle at the ready. All I want is a stable target. You keep swiping it away at the last moment. I feel like f***ing Charlie Brown....
I don't expect you to disprove "physicalism." I expect you to disprove something that you carefully define, which forces us to accept neutral monism. I don't give a crap about physicalism, especially since I don't know what it is.

~~ Paul
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Old 10th April 2006, 12:49 PM   #251
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Originally Posted by Geoff
The definitions of P1 and P2 came straight from Paul, so I couldn't be accused of rigging them. What's wrong with them?
Say what? I never defined anything called "P1" and "P2." I read your definitions and agreed they were not the same thing. Then I warned everyone to make no assumptions about whether they were the same type of thing.

~~ Paul
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Old 10th April 2006, 01:17 PM   #252
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Originally Posted by JustGeoff View Post
Hello Q......., sorry, Mary.
Are you alright?


Originally Posted by JustGeoff View Post
The definitions of P1 and P2 came straight from Paul, so I couldn't be accused of rigging them. What's wrong with them?
First, Paul does not represent physicalists.

Second, very subtly you are forcing people to accept the existence of "inherently subjective experiences", when this is precisely the moot point. This is an assertion that should be put to the test IN THE FIRST PLACE, instead of taking it as an assumption in P1.
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Old 10th April 2006, 02:52 PM   #253
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One word.

Emergentism.
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Old 10th April 2006, 03:10 PM   #254
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Quote:
(E) Physical is both (P1 and P2):

This is just plain incoherent. We’ve already agreed that this isn’t a valid option.
I think you have got it wrong, Geof. We have agreed that our perception of a chair is not a chair. We have not, however, agreed that our perception of a chair is not firing neurons in a brain. I am challenging your terms for P1 and P2.

I am no philosopher, but I think you may be committing a straw man.

"The perception of a chair != a chair, therefor P1 != P2, therefor perception of a chair != to neurons firing in a brain"

EDIT: Fixed quotation tags
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Old 10th April 2006, 03:57 PM   #255
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OK.

Let's go back to before I provided the proof. My proof wasn't off-the-shelf. I waited for Paul to provide some definitions and made a proof up ad-hoc given the definitions he gave me. He failed to define "physical" so the proof ended up using the definitions he did give me to prove it wasn't possible to coherently define "physical" in those terms.

SO let's rewind.

Anyone want to provide me with a coherent set of definitions for:

Objective
Subjective
Physical
Mental
1st-person
3rd-person
Qualia

?

Give me a coherent set of definitions and I will make up another proof againt physicalism, based on those definitions.

There is ONE rule only: You not allowed define physicalism to be true. If you do that then you are committing the crime that scientific materialism is accused of in the opening post of this thread: you have turned materialism into your own version of the Bible; defined to be true.



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Old 10th April 2006, 04:09 PM   #256
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
The definition I called absurd is:

physicalism ((philosophy) the philosophical theory that matter is the only reality)

No mention of physical at all. Clearly matter is not the only "reality."
Well, it's pretty clear to me. But there's no shortage of people who think that matter is only the reality. Well - matter and the rest of the entities of physics. I don't really understand why there is such a big deal about the difference between physicalism and materialism. "Physicalism" is just a name for post-billiard-ball physics. The only part of this that might legitimately transcend both "material" and "physical" is QM, but we're not going to resolve anything by discussing QM because nobody can agree what it means and the problems are all to do with subjective and objective!

Quote:
I don't expect you to disprove "physicalism." I expect you to disprove something that you carefully define, which forces us to accept neutral monism.
I can't do that. From my point of view, all versions of physicalism are incoherent except for eliminativism. Until YOU define your terms, I can't know which version of physicalism I am supposed to be debunking. There is no point in ME defining the terms. You'll either reject them, or say you don't understand them. I need terms you both accept and understand, otherwise you won't accept the proof. Hence, you have to supply them.
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Old 10th April 2006, 04:10 PM   #257
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Originally Posted by Ichneumonwasp View Post
One word.

Emergentism.

One word.

Incoherent.

.....

Anyone want to provide me with a coherent set of definitions for:

Objective
Subjective
Physical
Mental
1st-person
3rd-person
Qualia

?
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Old 10th April 2006, 04:18 PM   #258
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Hello Jeremy

Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
I think you have got it wrong, Geof. We have agreed that our perception of a chair is not a chair.
Good. P1 != P2.

Quote:
We have not, however, agreed that our perception of a chair is not firing neurons in a brain. I am challenging your terms for P1 and P2.
Would you like to offer me some alternative definitions?

Forget the neurons for a moment. Right now what I need is some sort of word to attach to P1 and P2.

"Brain processes" is a tricky one, which is why I have avoided it. For the moment, I am interested in the perceptions of a chair, the chair itself and how this relates to the terms "subjective" and "objective". After we have those definitions agreed we can go back and think what brain processes might be.

If it helps, we have three (not two) things that might be confused:

1) The external (to mind) thing which causes perceptions of a chair (a real chair?)

2) The experience of seeing a chair

3) The brain process that sits between them

Also, if it helps, we might want to talk about distal and proximal causes. There is a causal sequence:

"Real external chair-thing" ----> Brain process ----> subjective experience of a chair

There seem to be two "causes" of the subjective experience. The "real external chair-thing" is called the "distal cause" (because it's distant) and the brain process is called the "proximal cause" (because it's the last link in the chain).
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Old 10th April 2006, 04:25 PM   #259
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Why is it incoherent to say that example 2 is the same as example 3?
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Old 10th April 2006, 04:31 PM   #260
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Originally Posted by Mary Dennett View Post
Are you alright?
I am just hunky dory. How are you "Mary Dennett"?

Quote:
First, Paul does not represent physicalists.
No, he doesn't. But he doesn't want to accept physicalism can be shown to be wrong, either. Paul is a weird one. Somewhere deep down, it is obvious he doesn't believe that physicalism is true, but he doesn't want this to be shown logically, and he doesn't like any of the alternatives. That's how it looks to me anyway. Whatever, this certainly isn't a description of a typical physicalist.

Quote:
Second, very subtly you are forcing people to accept the existence of "inherently subjective experiences", when this is precisely the moot point.
There wasn't anything subtle about. I just asked them if there were things which existed which are inherently subjective in nature. I think there are. Do you?
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Old 10th April 2006, 04:42 PM   #261
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Originally Posted by Bodhi Dharma Zen View Post
Damn this is fast... and I have lots of available time!
I just read the page I asked you to read. Turns out Buddhism has already got a term for what I call "Zero":

http://naturyl.humanists.net/diamon.html

Quote:
Sunyata

A neutral monism based on our modern understanding of reality must take into account the fact that the "potential-filled nothingness" described not only by Eastern philosophy but also by quantum mechanics is the bedrock of the world and is prerequisite to both matter and mind. Interestingly, we find that Buddhism has an ancient term for just such a concept - Sunyata - meaning "pregnant void."
You might also remember that it was the exact same concept which ultimately toppled lifegazer's argument, which started with "There is SOMETHING experiencing a world". I claimed the "something" might be a nothing and he had no response apart from to claim that taoism was evil and Heidegger was stupid. Anyone know where he is?
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Old 10th April 2006, 04:51 PM   #262
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Originally Posted by Geoff
No, he doesn't. But he doesn't want to accept physicalism can be shown to be wrong, either. Paul is a weird one. Somewhere deep down, it is obvious he doesn't believe that physicalism is true, but he doesn't want this to be shown logically, and he doesn't like any of the alternatives. That's how it looks to me anyway. Whatever, this certainly isn't a description of a typical physicalist.
Ed, how I hate it when bozos pull out the armchair psychology on an Internet forum.

Here is what I think: If you define all monisms carefully, they will be equivalent. You can call it frogmuffin monism for all I care. The only way you are going to select one over the other is if your monism is inherently dualistic.

Quote:
I just read the page I asked you to read. Turns out Buddhism has already got a term for I call "Zero"
So does Hinduism. The idea that there is some basic "isness" from which everything arises is not all that deep.

Quote:
There is ONE rule only: You not allowed define physicalism to be true. If you do that then you are committing the crime that scientific materialism is accused of in the opening post of this thread: you have turned materialism into your own version of the Bible; defined to be true.
There is another rule: You are not allowed to define mind/mental/subjective/etc. to imply a different kind of existent from all the other stuff.

~~ Paul
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Old 10th April 2006, 04:51 PM   #263
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Quote:
One word.

Incoherent.
How about, um, no.

Your P1 and P2, from a physicalist perspective, form a causality chain. P2 is cause. P1 is effect. The simplest example is neuron firing as external observable cause, subjectivity as effect -- which you call incommensurate.

The resolution from a physicalist perspective is emergentism. The concept is well-represented in the history of ideas, so incoherence is not the issue unless you want to call that entire branch of philosophical speculation incoherent.

Your next step is clear so you can go ahead and take it.
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Old 10th April 2006, 04:54 PM   #264
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Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
Why is it incoherent to say that example 2 is the same as example 3?
It isn't, yet. But as soon as you try to give me a coherent definition of the following seven words, it will become incoherent to say that 2 = 3:

Objective
Subjective
Physical
Mental
1st-person
3rd-person
Qualia

The only coherent way to define these terms and defend physicalism isn't to claim 2 = 3. If you try to define ALL the above terms, I will prove there is a contradiction somewhere. But you can isolate the following:

Subjective
Mental
1st-person
Qualia

...and claim they either don't exist, or can be defined (eliminated) in terms of the other three. If so, you are denying the existence of minds (you are an eliminative materialist). I don't argue with people who claim this. They are logically sound, but mad.
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Old 10th April 2006, 04:58 PM   #265
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Originally Posted by Ichneumonwasp View Post
How about, um, no.

Your P1 and P2, from a physicalist perspective.....
NOTE: If you want to challenge this proof then you must challenge either the premises, the definitions or the reasoning. What you must not do is make some other sort of statement, which depends on an assumption that physicalism is true (thus assuming the proof fails before examining it), and claim that this means the proof is false. Any responses to this proof which take this form will be rejected on the grounds they they have nothing to do with the proof.
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Old 10th April 2006, 05:00 PM   #266
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Here are my definitions:

Objective: in principle perceptible by all observers
Subjective: perceptible only by me
Physical: capable of being observed
Mental: a term circumscribing certain subjective experiences
1st-person: from my point of view
3rd-person: from everyone's point of view
Qualia: ridiculous term
physicalism: undefined
eliminativism: undefined
plain incoherent: copout

~~ Paul
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Old 10th April 2006, 05:04 PM   #267
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Originally Posted by Geoff
NOTE: If you want to challenge this proof then you must challenge either the premises, the definitions or the reasoning. What you must not do is make some other sort of statement, which depends on an assumption that physicalism is true (thus assuming the proof fails before examining it), and claim that this means the proof is false. Any responses to this proof which take this form will be rejected on the grounds they they have nothing to do with the proof.
We know this, for crying out loud. Stop posting it in red. Stop repeating it. If you're going to repeat it, add the stipulation that you can't beg "nonphysicalism" either. Stop treating us like children.

~~ Paul
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Old 10th April 2006, 05:07 PM   #268
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
We know this, for crying out loud. Stop posting it in red.
It wasn't directed at you. I am sorry I have to keep repeating it. But every time someone tries to do it, I have no choice but to repeat it!

Quote:
Stop repeating it. If you're going to repeat it, add the stipulation that you can't beg "nonphysicalism" either.
OK. I will.

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Stop treating us like children.
It was directed at NON-Paul.
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Old 10th April 2006, 05:13 PM   #269
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Originally Posted by Geoff
NOTE: If you want to challenge this proof then you must challenge either the premises, the definitions or the reasoning.
Just to recap, we already told you what we disagree with:
Quote:
(E) Physical is both (P1 and P2):

This is just plain incoherent. We’ve already agreed that this isn’t a valid option.
We did not agree it was invalid and we don't think it's incoherent. Note that we are not saying P1 and P2 are the same thing.

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Old 10th April 2006, 05:13 PM   #270
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Paul

There will be no new proof till tomorrow, because I've drunk a bottle of wine and three pints of lager. I've got several questions to ask you about your definitions but one springs to mind straight away.

Physical: capable of being observed
Physicalism: undefined

Since you have now defined "physical", why is "physicalism" undefined? Why not just define "physicalism" as "Everything which exists is capable of being observed?"

Geoff
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Old 10th April 2006, 05:14 PM   #271
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Quote:
the reasoning
You don't get it do you? There is more than one form of causality in this world.

Quote:
What you must not do is make some other sort of statement, which depends on an assumption that physicalism is true
Yes, that is one of the two options I figured you would take. So let's get this straight, any answer that provides a physical explanation for the problem is by its very nature wrong? You have defined the only possible solution as a non-physical one then. You have committed an error at the very start. Our answers are not attempts to prove physicalism by recourse to physical answers. There are other ways of disproving physicalism than this example. You provided the "proof" and you obviously view it as disproving physicalism in some way. That we do not agree does not mean that we are using physicalism to prove physicalism. We are using physical explanations to disprove your proof and allow for the possibility that physical explanations may account for consciousness. It is only in your world where consciousness must not have a physical explanation, since you consider it to be an integral part of the universe, that the issues are so conflated. It is not a problem for any of us who only seek a natural explanation for consciousness, whether or not we assume a physical basis for it.

You cannot exclude any and all physical explanations from the outset unless you want to just say "it's my ball and you can't play with it".

You have one other option. Do you want to try that one now?
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Old 10th April 2006, 05:21 PM   #272
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Originally Posted by Geoff
Since you have now defined "physical", why is "physicalism" undefined? Why not just define "physicalism" as "Everything which exists is capable of being observed?"
Because that requires more baggage. I would be willing to define epistemological physicalism if you think that would help. Stimpy's already done it anyway.

~~ Paul
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Old 10th April 2006, 05:22 PM   #273
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Originally Posted by Ichneumonwasp View Post
You don't get it do you? There is more than one form of causality in this world.
That accusation could only come from someone who does not know me.

Since you have been interacting with me, I have been sitting on the fence between naturalism and anti-naturalism, and I have defined "naturalism" to mean "all causality is empirical".
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Old 10th April 2006, 05:29 PM   #274
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Wasp:

Quote:
So let's get this straight, any answer that provides a physical explanation for the problem is by its very nature wrong?
No. Any explanation that defines physicalism to be true turn physicalism into something resembling a religion. Physicalism then becomes your Bible. Not to be challenged. Defined to be true. That is the point of this thread. The opening post claims scientific materialism is equivalent to a religion and scientism is the fundamentalist version of that religion. And answer that defines physicalism to be true is equivalent to an answer that defines the Bible to be true. Worthless, but impossible to refute.

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You have defined the only possible solution as a non-physical one then.
I didn;t define the terms. I asked other people to do that, so people couldn't accuse me of what you just accused me of.

Quote:
You have committed an error at the very start. Our answers are not attempts to prove physicalism by recourse to physical answers. There are other ways of disproving physicalism than this example.
I offered to make up a proof, depending on any terms Paul gave me. He gave me some definitions. I made a proof. Now he's giving me some new ones. Are you going to have a go?

Quote:
You provided the "proof" and you obviously view it as disproving physicalism in some way. That we do not agree does not mean that we are using physicalism to prove physicalism. We are using physical explanations to disprove your proof and allow for the possibility that physical explanations may account for consciousness. It is only in your world where consciousness must not have a physical explanation, since you consider it to be an integral part of the universe, that the issues are so conflated. It is not a problem for any of us who only seek a natural explanation for consciousness, whether or not we assume a physical basis for it.
I'm drunk. Tonight this made no sense. If I read it tomorrow and it makes sense, I'll reply to it.

Quote:
You cannot exclude any and all physical explanations from the outset unless you want to just say "it's my ball and you can't play with it".
I didn't. I didn't define ANYTHING. Paul provided the definitions.

Quote:
You have one other option. Do you want to try that one now?
What option is that then?

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Old 10th April 2006, 05:32 PM   #275
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Originally Posted by Geoff
If it helps, we have three (not two) things that might be confused:

1) The external (to mind) thing which causes perceptions of a chair (a real chair?)

2) The experience of seeing a chair

3) The brain process that sits between them
I hadn't noticed this before. How odd. Could you give an example of a physical thing that the experience might be, if it is not the brain process?

~~ Paul
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Old 10th April 2006, 05:33 PM   #276
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Originally Posted by Geoff
I didn't. I didn't define ANYTHING. Paul provided the definitions.
No, I did not.

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Old 10th April 2006, 05:34 PM   #277
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Originally Posted by JustGeoff View Post
So define "physical" in terms of P1 and P2, please. Paul tried, and couldn't do it. Can you do better?
Okay. Watch closely, team.

The answer to this question is "Physical in this sense refers to everything which exists, which in these terms would include all P2s, and all P1s".

Geoff is going to say in response "You are just assuming physicalism to be true, just like I said you would. I win by stating beforehand that any answer consistent with science is begging the question".

Then I am going to respond to Geoff by saying "That's quite all right in this context, because you were seeking to construct a watertight, logical proof that the scientific worldview cannot possibly be correct no matter what. To defeat such an argument, all that I have to do is show that the scientific worldview is somehow reconcileable with the definitions of P1 and P2 we are using. I have shown this, so your argument fails to disprove that possible view".
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Old 10th April 2006, 05:37 PM   #278
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
Because that requires more baggage. I would be willing to define epistemological physicalism if you think that would help. Stimpy's already done it anyway.

~~ Paul
We aren't doing epistemology. This is ontology.
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Old 10th April 2006, 05:40 PM   #279
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post

Posted by Geoff:

If it helps, we have three (not two) things that might be confused:

1) The external (to mind) thing which causes perceptions of a chair (a real chair?)

2) The experience of seeing a chair

3) The brain process that sits between them

Paul replies:

I hadn't noticed this before. How odd. Could you give an example of a physical thing that the experience might be, if it is not the brain process?

~~ Paul
No.

Can you?
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Old 10th April 2006, 05:49 PM   #280
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Originally Posted by Geoff
No.

Can you?
Yes: The experience of seeing the chair is precisely the brain process. If you will not accept this or some other such explanation as a possible explanation, then you are assuming that the experience of seeing the chair is nonphysical, and therefore you are begging the question.

~~ Paul
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