PHIL 241 Midterm 2 Study Guide
PHIL 241 Midterm 2 Study Guide PHIL 241
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This 4 page Study Guide was uploaded by Taylor Russell on Monday April 4, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to PHIL 241 at University of Arizona taught by William Leonard in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 101 views. For similar materials see Consciousness and Cognition in PHIL-Philosophy at University of Arizona.
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Date Created: 04/04/16
Taylor Russell PHIL 241 Leonard Midterm 2 Study Guide Reductive Materialism: The causal role argument (from David Lewis) • (1) Pain = the occupant of causal role R. • (The occupant of causal role R is whatever thing is caused by cuts, bruises, burns, scrapes, stubbings, slaps, and so on, and which in turn causes wincing, crying out, taking pain killers, and so on.) • (2) Neural state N occupies causal role R. • (C) Therefore pain = neural state N. Chauvinism objection: • (1) Suppose that pain = cfiber firing. (supposition for purposes of reductio) • (2) Then if something is in pain, it must have firing cfibers. (from 1) • (3) But something could be in pain without having cfibers firing. (premise) • (C) Therefore pain /= cfiber firing. (from 13 by reductio ad absurdum) 3/22 Discussion about views: Behaviorism o to this point it is unable to explain mental state concepts, if so the analysis itself is circular an inoperable Reductive Materialism o Most recent, also known as identity theory o Mental states are identical to neural states Pain is identical to c fiber firing o Benefits of behaviorism and avoids cost of dualism Avoids analytical objection, not obvious that introspective content goes beyond reductive materialism Explanatory benefit o Arguments The species chauvinism objection Brain states may not actually be identical to neural states This is evidence to repudiate reductive materialism Explanatory of why people gave up on reductive materialism Two things can be in the same mental state, but not be in the same physical state Multiple realizablility of species chauvinism, therefore reductive materialism is false Parsimony: some mental state x is identical to some physical state y What is a state vs the mind? o Odd creatures/ aliens o Non reductive materialism asserts that “mental states aren’t material states at all” o What is a hammer? 1. If theory 1 is true, hammers are t shaped and made of steel 2. BUT hammer could be made of iron 3. Therefore it is false o This concept is multiple realizablility, if we generalize our definition of hammer we are being nonreductive materialists about hammers State of computing a sum o Different systems can have the state of computing the sum o Different materials can make an object that computes a sum 3/24 Functional characterization o State characterizes the state in terms of causal relations o Causes from outside states, causes and effects inside the state and effects outside the states o Only makes reference to functional capacities NOT physical realizations They are functional states o Role functionalism vs realizer functionalism Role: Abstract states Realizer: identical states Ramsification o The functional specification given by the Ramsey sentence Car example: Ramsey puts variables in the place of “special” terms like ignition, and creates a model Explain X and Y Different theories of what a ‘car’ is will yield different Ramsey sentences o Use science to develop a true theory then use Ramsey sentence Application of Ramsification to the mind o Does an animal have c fibers? If NO then if does not feel pain 3/29 and 3/31 Major objections and such: Behaviorism o Too liberal: Deems too much as conscious (robot, clone, really good actor) o Too chauvinistic: rules out some conscious systems (people with lockedin syndrome) Reductionism o Chauvinistic: identity theory Nonreductive Materialism o Ned block argues against functionalism says too chauvinistic and too liberal Functionalists attribute mental states to systems that don’t have any, and attribute no mental states to some systems which indeed do have a mental state Recipe for Functionalism o Psychological theory T o Translate into Ramsey sentence, R. o System has mind functional characterization R is true of it o Mental states are quantified units within R o Choice of Psychological T Priori functionalism: analyses are meanings of mental terms, folk psychology Restricted to observable behaviors (input or output) Too liberal (absent qualia argument) So it is false Pace functionalism: the system instantiates T but is unconscious Homunculiheaded robots Chinese nation case Empirical functionalism: analyses are scientific hypotheses o Appeals to inputs and outputs from psychological theories o Psychofunctionalism Duplicate...BASICALLY: duplicate may have nonqualitative mental states, but probably not qualitative states Nonqualitative are unconscious and qualitative are conscious Chauvinistic (psychofunctional duplicates could have different qualia) How to avoid chauvinism o Characterize inputs and outputs as “whatever is inputting into the system” and “however it is outputting” o This version is suuuper liberal Reductive materialism discussion: In light of the most recent topic, nonreductive materialism, I am inclined to disagree with reductive materialism. Although reductive materialism is plausible in the way that it combats the issues of behaviorism, it still has gaping holes in it’s logic. Reductive materialism progresses from behaviorist ideas inability to explain the interaction between mind and body, as well as explaining the problem of other minds. However, my understanding of multiple realizability leads me to believe that reductive materialism is not the most plausible account. In the lecture, Professor Leonard discusses the inadequacy of reductive materialism in defining a hammer. The definition of a hammer repeatedly appears insufficient when you list all the possible materials that can make up a hammer which leads use to create a better more functional characterization. Multiple realizability is a major flaw of reductive materialism, however is is accounted for in later nonreductive materialism, which I believe to be a much more suitable approach to the issue of the mind versus the body. Nonreductive materialism discussion: As we evaluate the trials and errors of trying to formulate a sufficient perspective of consciousness and the relation of the mind and body, I still believe that nonreductive materialism is not the end solution. I struggle with saying that it is fully “not plausible”, I just believe that in light of a more specific view nonreductive materialism could easily be proved “not plausible”. Although functionalism addresses issues that previous accounts encounter, such as the multiple realizability problem of reductive materialism, it seems to be too vague. Ned Block argues against the plausibility of nonreductive materialism or functionalism saying that it is both too liberal and too chauvinistic. Functionalism goes wrong in the way that it overgeneralizes mental states to objects that in fact do not have mental states, such as a robot. Additionally, it is too restrictive in the way that some systems with mental states are attributed no mental states. An example of this chauvinism is the denial of mental states of a person with lockedin syndrome. For these reasons, I believe that there is still a more optimal perspective on cognition to be discovered, at least one that I believe satisfies the criteria.
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