Reply to an old response from Doctor Logic
There was an important response from Doctor Logic a month or so back which requires a response.
On to your main argument...Science was free to analyze what was quantitatively analyzable through mechanistic analysis and treat everything else as mental.I think the distinction that was made was between the objective and the subjective, not between mind and matter. I wrote a long response about this, but I think I can summarize it very briefly.Science is about isolating properties of things from biases of observers. That is, isolating properties are part of the thing itself rather than accidental side-effects of interactions with particular observers.An objective property of a system is a property that inheres in the system itself, independent of knowing anything about the external observer.I cannot say that music is objectively pleasant until I specify who is listening to it (i.e., put an observer in the system). So, I could say that Beethoven's 6th is objectively pleasant to me but not objectely pleasant in and of itself. Hence, pleasantness of music is subjective.However, by using instrumentation and external verifiers, we can show that sodium is objectively explosive in contact with water. We don't need to know anything about the experimenter to state this fact.Now, historically, it may be the case that some regarded the objective-subjective distinction as a mind-matter distinction (I don't know if it is or isn't the case). However, that's not necessary to the success of reductionist science. What's necessary is an objective-subjective distinction for systems.This would be my answer to your question "how did that work back then?"
VR: Here’s the problem I have with this. So long as we can include both subjective and objective features of reality as part of the furniture of the world, you can make a distinction between subject and objective features of the world that the early reductions required. The problem is that if reality is ultimately physical, then in the last analysis nothing is really subjective. In the last analysis subjective states are not subjective after all. What is ultimately real are physical states and combinations thereof. What is real are physical states and states that are logically entailed by the existence of those physical states. The subjective is expunged from orthodox physical descriptions, and there is no entailment from physical states to subjective states. Hence the “siphoning off” that was so essential for the early reductions will not work for mental states, and as a result the very thing that made a reduction of temperature to the mean kinetic energy of gases plausible makes the reduction of the mental to the physical implausible.