dunnettreader + dualism   16

Rationally Speaking | 166 - Eric Schwitzgebel on "Why you should expect the truth to be crazy"
Some theories violate common sense so wildly that you want to just reject them out of hand. For example, "The United States is conscious," or "The most moral act would be to replace all living beings with an orgasmic blob." On the other hand, many theories in physics that sounded similarly crazy turned out to be very well-supported (think of quantum theory, or relativity). So what role should "common sense" play in evaluating new theories? This episode features a discussion with philosopher Eric Schwitzgebel on his theory of "Crazyism," that we should expect the truth to be at least a little bit crazy.

Eric's Blog: The Splintered Mind

Eric's Paper: "The Crazyist Metaphysics of Mind"

Gustaf Arrhenius's Paper: "An impossibility theorem for welfarist axiologies"

Eric's Pick: "Labyrinths" by Jorge Luis Borges
audio  interview  metaphysics  mind  consciousness  epistemology  materialism  naturalism  folk_psychology  idealism  dualism 
september 2016 by dunnettreader
Eric Schwitzgebel - Crazyist Metaphysics of Mind (2014) Australasian Journal of Philosophy: Vol 92, No 4
Crazyism about X is the view that something it would be crazy to believe must be among the core truths about X. In this essay, I argue that crazyism is true of the metaphysics of mind. A position is ‘crazy’ in the intended sense if it is contrary to common sense and we are not epistemically compelled to believe it. Crazyism can be treated as the conjunction of two sub-theses: (1) that something contrary to common sense must be true and (2) that whatever that true thing is, we are not epistemically compelled to believe it. I defend the first thesis on grounds of the probable incoherence of folk metaphysics, from which it follows that any fully fleshed-out metaphysics will inevitably conflict with some piece of that incoherent story. I defend the second thesis on three grounds: peer disagreement, lack of a compelling method for resolving metaphysical disputes about the mind, and the dubiousness of the general cosmological claims with which metaphysical claims about the mind are entangled. -- Keywords: common sense, consciousness, dualism, idealism, materialism, metaphilosophy, metaphysics, -- downloaded to Tab S2
article  metaphysics  mind  epistemology  folk_psychology  cosmology  dualism  idealism  materialism  consciousness  reductionism  naturalism  downloaded 
september 2016 by dunnettreader
O. Bradley Bassler, The Pace of Modernity: Reading With Blumenberg (2012) | re-press publishers
Wittgenstein said that philosophers should greet each other, not by saying “hello,” but rather “take your time.”  But what is time?  Time is money, but this points to an even better answer to this basic question for our modern epoch: time is acceleration.  In a cultural system which stresses economic efficiency, the quicker route is always the more prized, if not always the better one.  Wittgenstein’s dictum thus constitutes an act of rebellion against the dominant vector of our culture, but as such it threatens to become (quickly) anti-modern.  We need an approach to “reading” our information-rich culture which is not reactionary but rather meets its accelerated condition.  In this book, O. Bradley Bassler develops a toolkit for acute reading of our modern pace, not through withdrawal but rather through active engagement with a broad range of disciplines.  The main characters in this drama comprise a cast of master readers: Hannah Arendt, Jean Starobinski, Harold Bloom, Angus Fletcher, Hans Blumenberg and John Ashbery, with secondary figures drawn from the readers and critics whom this central group suggests.  We must develop a vocabulary of pacing, reflecting our modern distance from classical sources and the concomitant acceleration of our contemporary condition.  Only in this way can we begin to situate the phenomenon of modernity within the larger scales of human culture and history.

About the Author
O. Bradley Bassler studied in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago and took a second Ph.D. in Mathematics at Wesleyan University.  He has published in areas ranging from philosophy and history of philosophy to literary studies and the foundations of mathematics, with essays appearing in New German Critique, Heidegger Studies, Review of Metaphysics and other journals.  He is also a published poet.  He currently is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Georgia, Athens, USA.
biocultural_evolution  etexts  change-social  technology  open_access  Arendt  dualism  lit_crit  phenomenology  metaphor  Montaigne  Husserl  individualism  books  poetics  modernity  social_theory  Blumenberg  rhetoric  human_nature  Heidegger  Scribd  philosophical_anthropology 
april 2016 by dunnettreader
Lawrence Cahoone - The Modern Intellectual Tradition: From Descartes to Derrida | The Great Courses
Modern Intellectual Tradition: From Descartes to Derrida
Professor of Philosophy at Holy Cross - PhD from SUNY
36 lectures, starting with 17thC scientific revolution
He devotes a lot to the period starting with fin de sciècle (analytic, pragmatism, Whitehead)
- has a whole lecture on Heidegger's rejection of "humanism" after 1 on existentialism and the Frankfurt School
- but entre dieux guerres and post WWII isn't a total downer - an entire lecture on Dewey
- though Derrida sounds like the endpoint, he's more the endpoint of the trend through Heidegger's version of phenomenology
- he then turns to Rorty's "end of philosophy" and says, not so fast
- he works through several themes from earlier that are re-emerging post-postmodern
- he goes back to Cassirer, Whitehead and the pragmatists - different orientations but working within what he terms pragmatic realism - with emergence and complexity part of the realist story
- my main question re that narrative arc is where is Deluze?
- but the whole show gets uniformly rave reviews - except that he works off a teleprompter which some thought was awkward - looks like audio download is the way to go
analytical_philosophy  18thC  Putnam  pragmatism  existentialism  Marxist  Wittgenstein  technology  Quine  mind  Frege  phenomenology  Frankfurt_School  Marx  Habermas  science-and-religion  Romanticism  philosophy_of_history  Spinoza  Husserl  buy  Sartre  epistemology  Hume  Rorty  emergence  neo-Kantian  biocultural_evolution  humanism  intellectual_history  dualism  James_William  Enlightenment_Project  historiography-Marxist  German_Idealism  Enlightenment  17thC  Hegel  Nietzsche  political_philosophy  Logical_Positivism  mind-body  video  Whitehead  individualism  French_Enlightenment  empiricism  modernity  Derrida  ordinary_language_philosophy  anti-foundationalism  20thC  Kierkegaard  philosophy_of_language  Heidegger  human_nature  truth  Descartes  Kant  complexity  philosophy_of_science  Berkeley  postmodern  philosophy_of_religion  21stC  19thC  Cassirer  metaphysics  Dewey  self  audio  anti-humanism  courses  Locke 
april 2016 by dunnettreader
Jared P. Friedman and Anthony I. Jack - Mapping cognitive structure onto philosophical debate re problems of consciousness, free will and ethics | Minds Online - Sept 2015 - Session 1 - Social Cognition
Mapping cognitive structure onto the landscape of philosophical debate: An empirical framework with relevance to problems of consciousness, free will and ethics -- Department of Philosophy and Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence, Case Western Reserve University -- There are some seemingly intractable questions that have remained at the heart of philosophical discourse since they were first asked. Is the mind distinct from the brain or are we just physical stuff? Are we autonomous agents or merely at the mercy of the causal and mechanistic laws of nature? When, if ever, is it acceptable to sacrifice one for the greater good of many? That these questions have remained at the heart of philosophy for so long, and that their ‘solutions’ (e.g., monism vs. dualism) seem to be incommensurable with each other, strikes us as enigmatic. Might the intractable nature of these and other appropriately identified problems reflect something peculiar about us rather than something peculiar about the way the world is? (...) This account maintains that the difficulties reconciling markedly different philosophical responses to these three questions arise from an unavoidable tension between two anatomically independent and functionally inhibitory neural networks, both of which are essential to human understanding. This account is motivated by the observation that both philosophers and non-philosophers experience difficulty in reconciling competing responses to these questions. -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  conference  cognition  antimonies  consciousness  mind-body  neuroscience  determinism  free_will  naturalism  physicalism  reductionism  causation  moral_philosophy  metaethics  intuitions  brain  experimental_philosophy  analytical_philosophy  James_William  monism  dualism  downloaded 
september 2015 by dunnettreader
Emmanuel Bezy, review - Pascale Gillot, L’esprit, figures classiques et contemporaines - Histoire du mind-body problem - La Vie des idées - 10 janvier 2008
Pascale Gillot, L’esprit, figures classiques et contemporaines, Paris, CNRS Editions, 2007, 315 p., 30 euros. -- Si l’esprit et le corps sont des substances séparées et distinctes, comment peuvent-ils agir l’un sur l’autre ? P. Gillot montre dans son ouvrage les différentes réponses que la philosophie de l’esprit a apportées au problème ainsi formulé par Descartes. Mais ces réponses parviennent difficilement, selon elle, à s’affranchir totalement du cartésianisme. -- L’ouvrage de Pascale Gillot peut se lire de deux manières, qui ne sont pas exclusives l’une de l’autre : il constitue à la fois une introduction à la philosophie de l’esprit et une mise en perspective de la philosophie de l’esprit contemporaine, telle qu’elle s’est développée aux Etats-Unis depuis le tournant cognitiviste. Pascale Gillot expose la construction du problème du corps et de l’esprit, puis elle met en évidence les rémanences de cette problématique de William James à Jaegwon Kim. -- downloaded pdf to Note
books  reviews  French_language  intellectual_history  17thC  18thC  20thC  21stC  mind  mind-body  cogito  Cartesian  Descartes  James_William  dualism  cognition  neuroscience  psychology  metaphysics  essence  substance  human_nature  analytical_philosophy  naturalism  reductionism  thinking_matter  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Chad Wellmon - The Thin Reed of Humanism | The Infernal Machine - Hedgehog Review - Jan 2015
Leon Wieseltier is at his cantankerous best in his latest essay (..) reprising many of the themes of his public feud with Steven Pinker in the pages of the New Republic(..) are cultural barometers of our impoverished cultural imagination concerning the relationship of science, the humanities, and technology. (..) he’s gesturing toward real concerns about the reductive materialism or naturalism that tends to underlie the work of popular polemicists like Dawkins, Dennet, and Pinker. He is not denying that our world and our selves can, in part, be explained through material mechanisms. When critics invoke “humanism” against “scientism” or “technologism,” they presume to know the proper boundaries of science and technology; they presume that they can readily and forcefully articulate where scientific knowledge ends and humanistic knowledge begins. They assume the role of guardians of our intellectual and ethical world. That’s a heavy burden. But it’s also a presumption that ignores how much of our knowledge comes from these border crossings. -- discusses etymology of "humanism" - 1808 Germany used contra Enlightenment-era education to develop "natural" capacities, treated by the author as privileging man the "animal" unlike "humanism" that sybordinated body to reason, etc. -- also cites James Schmidt's detective work re origins of "scientism"
cultural_critique  intellectual_history  19thC  20thC  21stC  scientistism  humanism  reductionism  human_nature  humanities  dualism  Enlightenment  Counter-Enlightenment  cultural_history  cultural_change  cultural_authority  scientific_culture  naturalism  technology  from instapaper
february 2015 by dunnettreader
Charles Taliaferro - Dualism and the Problem of Individuation | JSTOR: Religious Studies, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Jun., 1986), pp. 263-276
Quite helpful review of various metaphysical debates from Descartes onwards, how the "substance" debates have evolved, including the old identity of indiscernables claim that's been thoroughly challenged in post WWII analytical_philosophy. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  intellectual_history  17thC  18thC  20thC  Descartes  Locke  Butler  Reid  metaphysics  ontology  substance  soul  dualism  physicalism  mind-body  consciousness  immortality  universals  particulars  identity  self  analytical_philosophy  logic  Leibniz  downloaded  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Review by: Jose Luis Bermudez - Jonathan Lowe, Subjects of Experience | JSTOR: The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 49, No. 195 (Apr., 1999), pp. 272-275
Lowe develops his anti-physicalist approach to self, mind-body etc - Cartesian that self is substantial, Locke that it's primarily psychological, Aristotle that it's not immaterial -- implications for other areas beyond philosophy of mind, such as language -- an earlier version of his publications in the 2000s before his death? -- downloaded pdf to Note
books  reviews  jstor  metaphysics  ontology  philosophy_of_language  mind  mind-body  Descartes  Locke  physicalism  dualism  nominalism  downloaded  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Selections from the Scottish Philosophy of Common Sense, edited, with an introduction by G.A. Johnston [1910] - Online Library of Liberty
Thomas Reid, Selections from the Scottish Philosophy of Common Sense, edited, with an introduction by G.A. Johnston (Chicago: Open Court, 1915). 07/11/2014. <http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/2044> The selections in this volume are reprinted from the following editions:— Reid’s Works, edited by Sir William Hamilton, sixth edition, 1863. Beattie’s Essay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth, seventh edition, 1807. Ferguson’s Principles of Moral and Political Science, 1792. Stewart’s Collected Works, edited by Sir William Hamilton, 1854-1858.
books  etexts  18thC  intellectual_history  Scottish_Enlightenment  Common_Sense  Locke  Hume  Kant  Reid  Stewart_Dugald  Ferguson  metaphysics  epistemology  moral_philosophy  moral_psychology  mind  mind-body  soul  dualism  ideas-theories  psychology  perception  scepticism  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
C Chapter 11, which explores the ethical claims of Thomas Hobbes and Baruch Spinoza. The rise of the market economy and the growth of religious scepticism had, by the seventeenth century, corroded the ability of both God and community to warrant moral behaviour. Who or what could now authorize moral rules? This was the question now facing moral philosophers. One answer was revolutionary: humans could. Human nature, needs, desires, aspirations and possibilities would act as warrant for the moral good. But how human nature would play this role remained perplexing. -- Hobbes and Spinoza gave very different answers to this challenge, answers that were both to be highly influential. Hobbes helped launch a British tradition of moral philosophy; in his wake come Shaftesbury, Locke, Hume, Bentham and Mill. Spinoza helped shape what is now often called the ‘Continental’ tradition. Thinkers as diverse as Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Marx and Nietzsche were all in his debt. The distinctions between the two traditions are often overplayed. Nevertheless, the ideas of Hobbes and Spinoza were to shape the way that the modern world came to look at the question of moral rules through the distinct answers they gave as to what should warrant moral behaviour. -- This extract is taken from the section on Spinoza’s Ethics.
intellectual_history  17thC  moral_philosophy  political_philosophy  Spinoza  human_nature  moral_psychology  metaphysics  Descartes  mechanism  dualism  mind-body  necessity  free_will  change-social  continental_philosophy  Enlightenment  EF-add 
may 2014 by dunnettreader
Strawson on Consciousness - Waggish 2005
Long quote from TLS with broken link -- For those of us like me who can’t help wondering about the physical reality of subjective mental events, here’s a passage from the ever-excellent Galen Strawson, from a review of Antonio Damasio: The standard formulation of the “mind-body problem” rests on a huge and wholly unjustified assumption (this assumption, in fact, is Descartes’s deepest error). It is not content with the obvious truth that matter and consciousness seem to us to be utterly heterogeneous things. It slides on to the claim that matter and consciousness are in fact utterly heterogeneous things, in such a way that it is mysterious how one could ever be the basis or “realization” of the other. It shifts from a harmless and true epistemological claim about how things seem to us to a mega-therial metaphysical claim about how things are in reality.Why? Why indeed? .... So, if our best picture of matter makes it seem incomprehensible that matter should be the basis of (or simply be) conscious experience, all this shows is the inadequacy of our best picture of matter. Locke, Hume, Priestley, Kant and others were very clear about this, but few understand it today. Many now make Descartes’s deepest error, in fact, with far less justification than him – while condemning him for his errors.
mind-body  consciousness  reductionism  materialism  metaphysics  epistemology  Descartes  Locke  analytical_philosophy  thinking_matter  dualism  qualia  essence  EF-add 
april 2014 by dunnettreader
Antony Puddephatt - The Search for Meaning: Revisiting Herbert Blumer's Interpretation of G.H. Mead | The American Sociologist, Vol. 40, No. 1/2 (March-June 2009), pp. 89-105
The Search for Meaning: Revisiting Herbert Blumer's Interpretation of G.H. Mead
Antony Puddephatt
The American Sociologist
Vol. 40, No. 1/2, John Kitsuse, Interpretive Sociology and Pragmatism (March-June 2009) (pp. 89-105)
Page Count: 17
Downloaded pdf to Note --

Herbert Blumer's interpretation of George Herbert Mead's work has set the intellectual foundation for the symbolic interactionist tradition. However, the adequacy of this interpretation has been challenged, leading to a series of highly charged debates in the 1970s—80s. This article reflects back on these debates, and reconsiders the contrast between the Blumerian and Meadian epistemologies from a contemporary perspective. It is demonstrated that while Mead's work is able to adapt to and contribute to emerging challenges to dualism in contemporary interpretive theory, Blumer's root epistemological position fails in this regard, and creates an inconsistent framework for social reality.
article  jstor  intellectual_history  social_theory  20thC  pragmatism  symbolic_interaction  constructivism  Mead  epistemology  ontology-social  dualism  philosophy_of_science  bibliography  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2013 by dunnettreader
Nathaniel Peters, review: Denys Turner, Thomas Aquinas - The Common Doctor for Common People | America Magazine Oct 2013
Nathaniel Peters is a doctoral student in historical theology at Boston College.

As Turner argues, Thomas’ theology is deeply Dominican, marked above all by a concern for preaching. The Summa is, after all, a curriculum designed for men who are studying so that they can proclaim the Word of God and administer the sacraments. It is academic, but its study is aimed at proclamation. Attendant to the concern for preaching is a concern for poverty, which allows the preacher to back up his words with his own life. For all its erudition, the Summa is theology that friars can take with them to care for the people of God.

Turner begins his exposition of this theology in what might seem like an odd way: He argues that Thomas is a materialist—a materialist not according to the contemporary reductive sense that matter is all there is, but in a richer sense that matter is capable of bearing immense meaning. Hence he argues that we know truths about God and ourselves from our intellect’s grasp of material, worldly objects.

In a similar way, Thomas argues that human beings are body–soul composites. Contra Plato and his followers, the soul is not “the center of gravity of personhood,” to use Turner’s term. For Thomas, the person is the body and soul together, and not just the soul’s rational faculties, but even its more vegetative and animal ones.
books  biography  reviews  theology  Aquinas  materialism  dualism  God-existence  God-attributes  EF-add 
october 2013 by dunnettreader
C. P. Ragland review: Andrea Christofidou, Self, Reason, and Freedom: A New Light on Descartes' Metaphysics // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // August 2013
For a long time, Anglophone commentators on Descartes' Meditations gave the Fourth Meditation short shrift, but in the last fifteen years or so, it has increasingly piqued their interest. Exemplifying that trend, Christofidou studies the entire Meditations in light of concepts central to the Fourth. She presents Descartes' method of doubt as a "self-administered" form of "Socratic . . . elenchus" (8) in which the meditator seeks truth by rejecting all authorities but that of Reason. Because employing the method is a free exercise of active will, freedom is at the heart of Descartes' project.As someone who has thought long and hard about Descartes' conception of freedom, I found Christofidou's central contention both accurate and exciting. I also agree completely with her characterization of Descartes as fundamentally a seeker after metaphysical and physical truth -- understood as correspondence of thought with reality -- rather than as an epistemologist or a proto-idealist. Nevertheless, the book frustrated me, probably because of the way it is "pitched".
books  reviews  17thC  intellectual_history  Descartes  free_will  God-existence  epistemology  metaphysics  dualism  substance  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader

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