Saturday, April 24, 2010

Reply to some questions from J on the AFR

Why can't matter...think, or possess intentionality of some type, to varying degrees ? (widely varying).

The problem is that something can count as material only if, at the basic level, there is no intentionality, no purpose, no normativity, and no subjectivity. If you want to tamper with that definition of matter, be my guest, but that seems to be built into the very idea. Remember Dennett's "no skyhooks" rule? Yet, somehow the truths about thinking have to follow necessarily from truths about what by definition MUST be nonmental. Such entailments, in my view, are bound to break down logically. We can hide the breakdown in pages and pages of neuroscientific analysis, but at the end of the day there is no entailment, no metaphysical glue that binds the mental and the physical together. Whatever glue we come up with, if we analyze it closely enough, has to come from a mind of some sort, and materialism fails.

In comparison to say, ants, rats seem nearly conscious.

Which of the four relevant properties do they have, or do they lack them all?

Does a rose bush think? It does know when to bloom... At least a rose follows a routine (even if genetically determined).

Does the thermostat in my house know how hot or cold it is?

either way the mere fact of intentional processes--or consciousness-- does not suffice as proof of monotheism...

Monotheism is one of a few options left over once naturalism is eliminated. As Lewis recognized, it is not the only one.



At 8/06/2011 06:53:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"what by definition MUST be nonmental"

the qeustion begging is in the meaning of nonmental.

if you can get the mental from the matter then it stil is nonmental , while not contradicting a nonmentalable kind of matter.

you can say that mind is by definition MUST be nonmaterial , which can mean that it supervene on it..

the baconian method of bee behavior is best.
from the sources that we make all matter and mind definition and know of their interaction , we will gather a list of all properties and featurs with no lables of what and which.

the being that emerge will settle what is which.

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