Philosophy 7 Final Study Guide
Philosophy 7 Final Study Guide PHILOS 7
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This 11 page Study Guide was uploaded by Charles Vatanatham on Sunday December 6, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to PHILOS 7 at University of California - Los Angeles taught by Normore in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 24 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Philosophy of Mind in PHIL-Philosophy at University of California - Los Angeles.
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Date Created: 12/06/15
Philosophers Descartes (Meditations) First Meditation (Concerning those things that can be called into doubt) o Senses are sometimes deceptive (Dreaming Doubt) o Things we see in our dreams are related to our experiences in real life such as objects/animals or colors o It doesn’t seem possible for obvious truths to be subject to the suspicion of being false (like 2+3=5 or squares have 4 sides) o Author believes there is an evil genius who is deceiving him – the universe, air, world is all a deception so he will regard them as not real Second Meditation (Concerning the nature of the human mind) o Author supposes that everything he sees is false o There is a supreme deceiver, thus there is no doubt that the author exists as long as he says “I am, I exist” o Author questions now, what he is o He believes “sensing” is nothing other than thinking o Wax is something extended, flexible, and mutable o Perception of the wax is an inspection by the mind alone o Perception of something cannot be achieved without a human mind o Bodies are not perceived by the senses or imagination, but by the intellect alone and not perceived by it being touched or seen but only by it being understood Third Meditation (Concerning God, that He exists) o To remove his basis for doubt, he must first inquire whether there is a God and whether he can be a deceiver o Alone ideas, without referring to anything else, cannot be false; principal and most frequent error to be found in judgments consists in the fact that I judge that the ideas which are in me are similar to or in conformity with certain things outside me o The idea that enables me to understand a supreme deity, eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipotent and creator of all things, other than himself, clearly has more objective reality within it than do those ideas through which finite substances are displayed o Something cannot come into being out of nothing, and that what is more perfect cannot come from what is less perfect o We cannot reach God as he is infinite while although our knowledge may never cease to increase, it cannot become infinite o The existence of the author and the author’s idea of a most perfect being, that is, God, demonstrates most evidently that God too exists o “…any idea that has some objective reality must surely come from a cause that contains at least as much formal reality as there is objective reality in the idea” Objective reality is what is actually represented in the picture/idea Formal reality is the picture/idea itself o There can be degrees of reality o Descartes’ idea of God has infinite objective reality and must be caused by something that has at least as much formal/actual reality. Since Descartes doesn’t have infinite formal reality, God has to exist. o If you had an actual coffee cup in front of you Objectively we would say the coffee is really hot Formally, since it’s an actual cup of coffee there is no formal quality o God is no deceiver Sixth Meditation (Concerning existence of material things, and real distinction between mind and body) o Author knows material things can exist, at least insofar as they are the object of pure mathematics, since he clearly and distinctly perceives them o Power of imagining is both the understanding of the thing and a mental representation of the thing (e.g. understanding that a triangular figure is bounded by three lines and envisaging with the mind’s eye those lines as if they were present) o Author concludes that his essence consists entirely in being a thinking thing and not an extended thing (his body) o Special modes of thinking: imagining and sensing These faculties, if they exist, must be in a corporeal or extended substance (like the mind) o Mind vs. Body First observation Body by its very nature, is always divisible Mind is utterly indivisible When author considers the mind, he cannot distinguish any parts within him Second observation Mind is not immediately affected by all the parts of the body but only by the brain, or even just one small part of the brain Third observation Nature of the body is such that whenever any of its parts can be moved by another some distance away, it can also be moved in the same manner by an of the parts that lie in between Fourth observation Since any given motion, occurring in that part of the brain affecting the mind, produces but one sensation in it, the author can think of no better arrangement than that it produces the one sensation is most especially and most often conductive the maintenance of a healthy man Crane (Elements of the Mind) Perspectives/point of views on the world Questions whether something has a mind Intentionality (mind’s directedness on something) Aspectual shape (things presented under a certain aspect) In an intentional state, something is presented to the mind The intentional object is the presented thing Intentional content is our thoughts Intentional identity is having a common focus on something whether or not it’s actually there Intentional mode is one’s position to the contents of their intentional states (ex. desire, love, fear) Putnam (Brains in a Vat) What is necessary for representation is intention A self-refuting supposition is one whose truth implies its own falsity Criticizes magical theory of reference (intrinsic intentionality) There needs to be a causal connection, or some intentionality, in order to be able to refer to something Brains in a vat cannot think or say they are brains in a vat or else they’d be referring to the wrong brains and vats or their statement is false Dennett (A Visit to the Phenomenological Garden) Phenomenology is the descriptive study of any subject matter Phenom divided into three parts: external, internal, and affect (emotions) Experience of the external world: visual, auditory, taste, smell Experience of the internal world: inner sights, recollections, ideas, fantasy images Experiences of emotion or “affect”: bodily pains, hunger, joy, hatred, astonishment Phenomenal states are clear to us but difficult to explain Nagel (What is it like to be a bat) Consciousness makes the mind-body problem intractable Since organisms have consciousness, there is something it is like to be that organism Subjective phenomenon is essentially connected to a single point of view whereas an objective point of view abandons that point of view Human experiences would not be the same as animal experiences Point of view is not one accessible to a single individual but a type such as humans (we may be able to understand another perspective of a similar type but not a different type) The process of reductionism is a move towards greater objectivity; however understanding the real nature of human experience is unlikely through reductionism Currently we cannot think about the subjective character of experience of another person without imagining the point of view of the subject Denies reductionism but opens up the possibility of explanation in the future Chalmers (Facing up to the Problem of Consciousness) Introduces the idea of easy problems and hard problems of consciousness Easy problems are associated with the notion of consciousness, when there is no real difficulty to verbally report or internally access them (physically explainable things) Hard problem of consciousness is experience, there is something it is like to be in that state (states of experience) Hard problem is hard because it is not a problem about the performance of functions To explain the performance of a function, we specify the mechanism that performs the function like in explaining the gene we specify the mechanism that stores and transmits hereditary information For conscious experience, this explanation doesn’t work There is an explanatory gap between the functions and experience Crick and Koch hypothesize that the neural oscillations in the cerebral cortex are the basis of consciousness – this doesn’t tell us why the relevant contents are experienced Baars’ theory talks about cognitive accessibility and is not an explanation of experience Most popular “extra ingredient” is quantum mechanics due to both experience’s and quantum mechanics’ mysteriousness Reductive account cannot succeed in explaining conscious experience Psychophysical principles are principles connecting the properties of physical processes to the properties of experience Author’s candidates for the psychophysical principles that might go into a theory of consciousness: o Principle of structural coherence (non-basic principle: involves with high-level notions such as awareness) Contents of awareness are information contents accessible to central systems Direct correspondence between consciousness and awareness Because the structural properties of experience are accessible and reportable, those properties will be directly represented in the structure of awareness Given coherence between consciousness and awareness, it follows that a mechanism of awareness will be a correlate of conscious experience o Principle of organizational invariance (non-basic principle) What matters for emergence of experience is not the specific physical makeup of a system, but the abstract pattern of causal interaction between its components If argument goes through, we know that the only physical properties directly relevant to the emergence of experience are organizational properties o Double-aspect theory of information (basic principle) This principle stems from the observation that there is a direct isomorphism between certain physically embodied information spaces and certain phenomenal information spaces Where there is information, there are information states embedded in an information space We can find the same abstract information space embedded in physical processing and in conscious experience Centrally involves the notion of information Natural hypothesis that information has two basic aspects: a physical aspect and a phenomenal aspect Block (On a confusion about a function of consciousness) Consciousness must have a function of somehow enabling information represented in the brain to be used in reasoning, reporting, and rationally guiding action Introduces two types of consciousness o A-consciousness (or access consciousness) A state is A-conscious if its content can be poised for reasoning, rational control of action, and rational control of speech Essence of A-conscious content to play a role in reasoning, and only representation content can figure in reasoning A-conscious contents are ‘representational’ o P-consciousness (or phenomenal consciousness) Doesn’t do any information processing P-conscious properties are experiential including sensations, perceptions, and feelings Feeling of what-it’s-like to be in that state P-conscious contents are ‘phenomenal’ o Purpose of distinguishing between the two is to reveal the fallacy of target reasoning which says since a person lacks consciousness of stimuli in their blind field, he cannot use information he has about these stimuli A-consciousness without P-consciousness o Being able to verbally report about stimuli without experiencing it o This brings up the possibility of a phenomenal zombie who appears like us and responds like us but doesn’t actually experience the world like us A limited example is the superblindsighter who has A-con. without P- con. in only their blind field They would be able to fully describe a stimuli in their blind field but not experience it o Unsure if it exists P-consciousness without A-consciousness o Experiencing stimuli without being able to verbally report or reason about it An example is when you are studying in your room and there was someone making noise outside; you were experiencing the noise when you were studying but you didn’t realize you did until afterwards A-consciousness and P-consciousness often act together but that should not blind us to the difference Lewis (Argument for Identity Theory) Idsttity theory is hypothesis that every experience is identical with a physical state 1 Premise: definitive characteristic of any experience is such as its causal role (like the definitive characteristic of a lock being unlocked as a result of the causal role which is alignment of slots) o Author’s principle improves upon the original behavioristic embodiment of discovery that the causal connections between an experience and its nd manifestations somehow contain a component of analytic necessity 2 Premise: there is some unified body of scientific theories, which together provide a true and exhaustive account of all physical phenomena (i.e. all phenomena describable in physical terms) o This premise doesn’t deny nonphysical phenomena; rather it denies that we need ever explain physical phenomena by physical ones Conclusion: none of the nonphysical phenomena can be experiences o Experiences are either physical phenomena or other o Experiences could be nonphysical epiphenomena (precisely correlated according to a causal law) Crick (The Astonishing Hypothesis) Astonishing Hypothesis: the brain can be explained by neural states and nerve cell interactions 3 things about Astonishing Hypothesis that make it strange o First is, many people are reluctant to accept the ‘reductionist approach’ – that a complex system can be explained by the behavior of its parts and their interactions with each other There have been a number of attempts to prove that reductionism cannot work or involves a “category mistake” (assessing the wrong categories in a connection between two things) o Second reason is the nature of consciousness Philosophers have been concerned with the problem of qualia – how to explain redness of red One may conclude that in order to understand the various forms of consciousness, we need to know their neural correlates o Third reason comes from our undeniable feeling that our Will is free How do we prove that our Will is free? Much of the behavior of the brain is ‘emergent’ o Two definitions of emergent First has a mystical overtone: an emergent behavior cannot be understood simply by the sum of its parts Author believes the scientific meaning of emergent is that while the whole may not be the simple sum of its parts, its behavior can be understood from the behavior of its parts PLUS knowledge of how these parts interact Reality of the outside world (is our world real?) o Author’s hypothesis is that there is indeed an outside world, and that it is largely independent of our observing it Jackson (What Mary didn’t know) Mary confined and educated in a black and white room; knows all physical things about the world If physicalism is true, she knows everything about the world Jackson poses a knowledge argument against physicalism: Mary doesn’t know what it’s like to experience red o She could not imagine what it is like to sense red o She had all physical knowledge but doesn’t have knowledge of experiencing red o She learns knowledge about the experience of others, not about her own (she learns what it’s like for others to experience red) Argues against Churchland o Churchland believes sensations and their properties are not the same as brain states and their properties o Jackson states that Mary, though, knows everything physical about other people but does not know everything there is to know about other people o This leads to the idea that there are truths about other people and herself that isn’t only physical Physicalists’ Arguments o They may argue that Mary knew everything about experiences of others before release but simply lacked an ability until after release o Author states that the knowledge argument is valid from plausible, but not demonstrable, premises to the conclusion that physicalism is false o Lecturing on physicalism is possible but not possible to explain qualia o If Mary’s knowledge was defective (even though she knew all there was about physicalism), then physicalism is false Lewis (again) (Mad Pain and Martian Pain) Madman – man whose pain feels differently and causes us to do/think different things Martian – who sometimes feels the same pain as us but causes different internal changes (such as inflation of small cavities in the feet) Ideas o Materialists want to characterize pain as a physical phenomenon o But lesson of mad pain is that pain is associated only contingently with its causal role o Lesson of Martian pain is that pain is connected only contingently with physical realization Theories o A simple identity theory solves mad pain but not Martian pain o A simple behaviorism or functionalism theory solves Martian pain but not mad pain o Solution? We need a mixed theory that tells us that madman and Martian are in pain but for different reasons Madman because he is in right physical state Martian because he is in a state rightly situated in the causal network Author’s beliefs o Concept of pain is a non-rigid designator o Occupant of role of pain could have been something else; pain might not have been pain, another state could have been pain o If a state occupies a certain role, then it is pain. But pain is not in itself that state. A different causal relation could have led pain to be applied to a different state o The thing to say about Martian pain is that the Martian is in pain because he is in a state that occupies the causal role of pain for Martians, whereas we are in pain because we are in a state that occupies the role of pain for us. o The thing to say about mad pain is that the madman is in pain because he is in the state that occupies the causal role of pain for the population comprising all mankind. He is an exceptional member of that population. The state that occupies the role for the population does not occupy it for him. o Armstrong and the author claim to give a schema that, if filled in, would characterize pain and other states a priori. If the causal facts are right, then we also characterize pain as a physical phenomenon. o To have pain and to feel pain are one and the same. Designators o Rigid designator – picks out a particular thing (like Benjamin Franklin picks out Benjamin Franklin) o Non-rigid designator – accidentally picks out something (like inventor of bifocals doesn’t guarantee that the inventor is Benjamin Franklin) Kripke (Naming and Necessity) Theoretical identities are identities involving two rigid designators and therefore are examples of a posteriori o A posteriori – requires some sort of experience to know (like George Orwell is Eric Blair) o A priori – doesn’t require experience to know (like H O is H O) 2 2 Identity theorists have been concerned with several distinct types of identifications: person with body, particular sensation with particular brain state, types of mental states with corresponding physical states Author’s ideas o Kripke distinguishes between the sensation of something and its physical property (for example sensation of heat is different from property of heat which is molecular motion) o He believes, if true, that there is a necessary connection between pain and the stimulation of C-fibers but is unsure about C-fibers o With this ideology, he separates sensations from the physical Lewis believes neural states could be present without being felt, but Kripke argues against unfelt pains Some confusion o The sensation of heat (S) could be caused differently in different sentient beings o Could stimulation of C-fibers exist without being felt as pains? However, for it to exist without being felt as pains, there isn’t an existence of pains there. o The connection between the mental state and the corresponding brain state cannot be explained by some qualitative analogue as in the case of heat o Heat is picked out by the accidental property of producing sensation S; however pain is not picked out by one of its accidental properties, rather it is picked out by property of being pain itself o Whenever there is sensation of pain, the phenomenon is pain and cannot be something else (in contrast to sensation of heat which can be caused by different things) Bringing in God o God must create beings that can feel sensations for them to sense (as an example sensation of heat) o He need only create molecular motion for heat to exist o On the other hand, if the phenomenon of pain exists, no further work must be done to create pain Conclusions o Correspondence between a brain state and a mental state seems to have a certain element of contingency o If the identity thesis were correct, the element of contingency would not lie in the relation between the mental and physical states (cannot lie between the phenomenon of heat=molecular motion and sensation S, since in the case of mental phenomena there is no ‘appearance’ beyond mental phenomenon itself) o Reverse possibility of mental states without the physical state also presents problems for identity theorists which cannot be resolved by appeal to analogy of heat and molecular motion o Author believes materialism must hold that a physical description of the world is a complete description of it Lucas (Minds, Machines, and Godel) Incompleteness theorem: can’t turn minds into machines Thesis o All effectively computable functions are computable by a Turing machine Godel’s theorem o In any consistent system which is strong enough to produce simple arithmetic, there are formulae which cannot be proved in the system, but which we can see true Claims and Arguments o Lucas claimed that for any Turing machine/axiomatic system/recursive function there is a mathematical truth that it cannot prove but that a human can ‘see’ is true o Lewis and others argue that we have no good reason to think humans can prove them all either o Normally we program a machine, so there is no way it acts on its own o Machines can solve operations indefinitely but they only have definite types of operations o The Godelian formula is the Achilles’ heel of the cybernetical machine and therefore we cannot hope ever to produce a machine that will be able to do all that a mind can do Turing provides a counter-argument in saying that the limitations of a machine don’t amount to much o This is not Lucas’s point though; he wants to focus on whether minds and machines are the same o In a competition between minds and machines, another machine could improve upon the past machine in its mistakes o However, the author wants to know whether there is a single machine that could do all that a mind can do (this is his main argument) Godel’s theorem o His theorem only applies to consistent systems o Consistency signifies a system which doesn’t produce a contradicting output (mistake) o But there is no way to prove in a consistent system that it is consistent o There always remains the possibility of some inconsistency not yet detected o Godel’s second theorem shows that a man cannot assert his own consistency o So Hartley Rogers argues that we cannot use Godel’s first theorem to counter mechanist thesis unless we say that there are distinctive attributes which allow a human being to transcend this last limitation and assert his own consistency while remaining consistent o Putnam argues that humans are inconsistent machines Modus ponens o The rule of logic stating that if a conditional statement (“if p then q ”) is accepted, and the antecedent (p) holds, then the consequent (q) may be inferred. Escaping inconsistency o We are determined to not be inconsistent and are resolved to root it out o Although we can never be completely free of the risk of rethinking our mathematics out, the ultimate position must be one of two: Either we have a system of simple arithmetic which to the best of our knowledge and belief is consistent OR There is no such system possible Consciousness o Conscious beings know certain things and can know that they know certain things, leading to an infinite sequence o A conscious being can respond to Godelian questions a machine cannot Back to Turing o Turing suggests that above a certain complexity, the super-critical machine will cease to be predictable o In this case, it beings to have a mind of its own o It would be performing things we recognize as intelligent, and not just mistakes, but do things we had not programmed into it o Lucas states that if a mechanist constructs a machine which is so complicated, then we should say rather he has created a mind o This leads to two ways of bringing minds into the world: traditional way of children born and a new way of constructing complicated systems o However, through the latter method, one must understand that this is not a machine because it is not the total of its parts; we are unable to know what it was going to do merely by the way it was built (one could not even tell the limits of what it could do) Ross (Immaterial Aspects of Thought) Larger and bolder project of epistemology is to explain human thoughts in terms available to physical science, particularly the aspects of thought that carry truth values and have formal features, like validity or mathematical form The difficulty is that such truth-carrying thoughts cannot be wholly physical because they have features that no physical thing or process can have at all Argument: Some judgments can be neither wholly physical processes nor wholly functions among physical processes I. Determinateness of some thought process o The function that has to be realized in every case is the one wholly realized in the single case (for example N x N = N must also give 4 x 4 = 16) o The ability of adding is a form of understanding o This is a claim about the ability exercised in a single case, the ability to think in a form that is sum-giving for every sum, a definite thought form distinct from every other o Main argument: that a necessary consequence of even a single case of such thinking is something that is logically impossible to be a consequence of any physical process, or function among physical processes II. The indeterminacy of the physical o Need reasons why no physical process or function among physical processes can determine “the outcome” for every case of a “pure” function o Whatever the discriminable features of a physical process may be, there will always be a pair of incompatible predicates, each as empirically adequate as the other, to name a function the exhibited data or process "satisfies." o For any outputs to be sums, the machine has to add. But the indeterminacy among incompossible functions is to be found in each single case, and therefore in every case. Thus, the machine never adds o The machine cannot physically do everything it actually does and also do everything it might have done o Conclusion is that a physical process cannot realize an abstract function; it can at most simulate it III. Retreat from people o To avoid the argument, someone will say: we do not really add, we just simulate addition o The machine cannot in principle add. We can be sure of that. And we can, and do add, and conjoin and reason syllogistically o To say, "We do not know whether we ever perform a formally determinate function," is to say either (a) we are in a cognitive state, "uncertainty as to whether we are really adding, squaring, or conjoining," although we do not experience uncertainty, when we produce sums, squares, and simple arguments; or (b) we are always mistaken when we are certain we are adding, conjoining, etc., because at most we simulate. o If we are always only simulating when we think we are doing something formally definite, then it is never determinate what we are doing at all IV. Functional States o Kripke realized that functionalism would fail because “any concrete physical objects can be viewed as an imperfect realization of many machine programs”; but to author it looks like he was about to draw the wrong conclusion (because concrete physical objects don’t perform any program whereas humans add) o Since we can add, we know our thought process is not the same as any function among brain states because no such function is determined by physical states V. All thought is Abstract o Main argument is that some thought is determinate, among incompossible functions, the way no physical process, series of processes, or physically determined function among processes can be o The result is that such thought is never identical with any physical process or function (Nor can it really be either, thought it may, for all we may have said, have a material medium, like speech) o By its nature, thinking has “other cases” and is therefore always of a definite form (which may not be articulable by us, as are mathematical and logical forms) o The conclusion is that no physical process or sequence of processes or function among physical processes can be adding, squaring, asserting, or any other thinking at all De Sousa (Why Think?) Any representation is bound to omit the greater part of the represented item’s characteristics Two types of principle govern process of sorting features to be represented in any abstraction from those that get left out o First, the structures and capabilities of the brain itself will favor certain categories of information o Second, and too easily forgotten, there is a repertoire of emotional factors that favor schematic simplifications in the way we perceive situations Frame Problem o The problem of building a machine that can tell what’s relevant to the sorts of activities it’s carrying out o How could we program a robot to pick out just the relevant consequences of any action? o Another problem is how we are to know whether a conclusion is relevant before we bother to draw it? The Axiological Empire o The frame problem does not exist for sensory modules, because for the most part, these are isolated from one another o However, the frame problem is exacerbated, if not created, by the proliferation of possibilities of representation made possible by language o Author has a partial answer, I suggest, lies in our emotions o Emotions constrain and focus our attention and help us evade the information gridlock threatened by the frame problem o To be in the grip of an emotion is in some sense to apprehend a value An old question raised by Plato: is the apprehension a perception of some external reality or a projection of emotion For example, do we value and aspire to what is good and beautiful because it really is so or are “beautiful” and “good” merely labels for whatever we value and aspire to o Two specific examples of plausible principles of emotional rationality over time Philebus principle – irrational to take great pleasure in the expectation of something that one knows will bring little or no pleasure when it comes Conversely it seems quite reasonable to dread the prospect of future suffering Aspectual principle – recommends that we appreciate our pleasures as they take place in time, as distinct from having enjoyed them Author thinks both principles aren’t reducible to any straightforward precept either of practical or of epistemic rationality (both rest crucially on their emotional appeal) In this they illustrate the relative autonomy of the axiological domain o Only our emotional sensibility is up to the task of judging – with the aid of reasoning, evidence gathering, and reflection that our intellectual faculties afford
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