Property Dualism

  • Created by: Ben123S
  • Created on: 22-04-19 10:35

Property Dualism

  • One kind of substance, physical substance - there are two fundamentally different kinds of property, mental and physical 
  • Mental properties are possessed by physical substances, but at least some mental properties do not depend on physical properties in the way physicalism claims 
  • Non-reductive 
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  • Intrinsic and non-intentional phenomenal properties that are introspectively accessible 
  • The feely side of things 
  • Properties such as pain, the smell of coffee, the visual experience of a red rose 
  • Non-physical quality 
  • Irreducible to physical, behaviour or functional properties 
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Frank Jackson

Jackson suggests that mental properties are 

  • Non-interactive/non-causal 
  • Ontologically independent 
  • Derive from physical properties but they don't cause anything 
  • Mental properties emerge from physical substance but don't have a causal function
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Knowledge Mary Argument (Frank Jackson)

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Criticism of Mary Argument

  • Epiphenomenalism is counter-intuitive because I know mental properties do cause actions, such as pain on numerous occasions has prevented me from causing further pain to myself. E.g. withdrawing my hand when placed on something hot 
  •  When I experience red it is simply a perception by physicalist brain states 
  • Mary does not gain new propositional knowledge but does gain ability knowledge 
  • Mary does not gain new propositional knowledge but does gain acquaintance knowledge 
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East and Hard problem of consciousness (David Char

Easy problem

  • What neuroscience addresses - where mental processes happen in the brain  
  • Solvable 
  • Correlations not explanations
  • E.g. pain is c-fibres firing 

Hard problem 

  • What it actually feels like to experience pain 
  • Neuroscience cannot actually explain what consciousness is, but can only show correlations 
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Fundamental properties + Emergent Mental Propertie

Fundamental Properties

  • In the same way that gravity is a fundamental force 

Emergent mental properties

  • This means that consciousness is a real phenomenon, but not substantial (it cannot exist alone without a living brain to produce it)
  • Conscious experiences are held to emerge when a developing brain reaches a certain level of complexity - mental properties are emergent 
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David Chalmers

  • Wants to be a physicalist but cannot be found 
  • We should consider consciousness as a fundamental force 
  • Physicalism and physics has not sufficiently explained consciousness, we must think outside of it 
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Philosophical Zombie (David Chalmers)

He argues qualia by presenting his zombie argument, explaining that a philosophical zombie, an exact physical duplicate of person but without consciousness/qualia could exist. He is not saying that there is actually philosophical zombies that exist, instead, that it is conceivable that there are philosophical zombies. Even though I am confident that there are other minds that are conscious, it is not to the same degree of certainty that I can reach with myself, as only I can apply Descartes’ irrefutable logic ‘I think therefore I am’. We cannot confirm this consciousness through physical means, so it can be concluded that there are phenomenal properties of consciousness that are not physical properties. 

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Criticism of Philosophical Zombie

  • a 'philosophical zombie'/a 'zombie' world is not conceivable

  • what is conceivable may not be metaphysically possible

  • what is metaphysically possible tells us nothing about the actual world. 

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Causal Powers Issue

  • It is illogical to say that qualia have non-causal powers - through introspection, it is clear that they do 
  • Saying they have causal powers leads to the same issue facing Descartes - the mind-body problem of interaction
  • Response: we cannot understand qualia and how it interacts with the world since it is not part of the physical world 
  • Counter: Closed universe 
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