responses to the conceivability argument

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  • Created on: 03-12-18 15:36
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  • RESPONSES TO THE CONCEIVABILITY ARGUMENT
    • WHAT IS CONCEIVABLE MAY NOT BE METAPHYSICALLY POSSIBLE
      • even though two things can be conceived of separately, it doesn't follow that they must be separate in reality
      • i have a clear and distinct idea of heat, and i have a clear and distinct idea of motion
      • MASKED MAN FALLACY
        • Descartes argument relies on Leibniz's law
          • theres an important exception to the law
            • in 'intentional' contexts, it doesn't hold
              • intentional contexts are those that involve the mind thinking about or being aware of something
                • Descarte's argument involves the intentional state of being aware of his body and mind as well as having an idea of their properties
                  • he therefore can't apply Leibniz's law
        • the awareness of his body and mind doesn't reveal their true nature
    • MIND WITHOUT BODY IS NOT CONCEIVABLE
      • out of body experiences
        • can't verify them because they're private
        • would need senses in order to experience out of your body
      • AYRE
        • verificationsim
        • for an empirical claim to be meaningful it must be verifiable
        • mind lies beyond any empirical test so it seems nonsense to talk about a non-physical substance beyond ones body
      • HUME
        • we can have no idea of mind or self
        • genuine concepts have to originate in sense experience
        • we are not aware of anything which is the owner of these conscious experiences
        • if mind is immaterial and lacks extension then it wouldn't be a possible object of sense experience
      • KANT
        • mind must apply to some possible experience
          • there must be criteria we can apply to identify and distinguish
      • MINDS ALONE CAN'T COMMUNICATE
        • impossible to communicate without body
          • communication involves the use of sense organs
          • we can't peer into other peoples minds to see what they're feeling / thinking
      • MENTAL TWIN
        • distinction between me and anyone else must be to do with differences in the mind
          • if i was thinking the same thing as someone else then there's nothing to distinguish us
            • they collapse into one mind
              • must have a body in order to be differentiated
    • WHAT IS METAPHYSICALLY POSSIBLE TELLS US NOTHING ABOUT THE ACTUAL WORLD
      • we cannot use a priori reasoning to analyse our concepts of the mind and body
        • can work out metaphysical possibilities but not physical ones
  • metaphysical possibilities don't show us what is actually physically possible in our world
    • WHAT IS METAPHYSICALLY POSSIBLE TELLS US NOTHING ABOUT THE ACTUAL WORLD
      • we cannot use a priori reasoning to analyse our concepts of the mind and body
        • can work out metaphysical possibilities but not physical ones
    • natural laws governing behaviour in our universe may prevent consciousness from appearing without a properly functioning brain to produce it
  • can i conclude from this that heat and motion are separate??
    • i have a clear and distinct idea of heat, and i have a clear and distinct idea of motion
    • heat turns out to be nothing but a vibration of particles
      • heat is reducible to motion so in reality they're not actually different

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