I shall argue that intuitions about hypothetical cases play a central role in philosophical theorising. They help us to identify deep-seated principles that direct our thinking. These principles can be untrustworthy but even then they are methodologically important. I shall illustrate my points with illustrations from recent debates in the philosophy of mind.
What follows is a very full account of what David Papineau says, but is not, except occasionally, verbatim1.
- The talk is about philosophical method, not content. Background assumptions: take as given that philosophy isn’t a matter of conceptual analysis. Philosophical theses are synthetic, not analytic. TE judgements about possible cases are also synthetic. Counterfactual judgement that a particular case is possible – if that then this – philosophical claims have modal2 force metaphysical or natural, not just analytic, and can be disproved by certain possible situations.
- Philosophical TEs are just like scientific TEs. Galileo disproving the Aristotelian theory of motion – tie two bodies together – won’t make any difference to their speed of fall, so it can’t be necessary that heavier bodies fall faster than light ones3. Papineau has defended these claims before – the top paper4 on his website (Link (Defunct)) does so in some detail. Standard disanalogy between standard scientific TEs like Galileo’s and standard philosophical TEs like the Gettier5 TEs in epistemology. Galileo is making an informed and accurate guess - but one that could be disproved by actually performing the experiment. So, his guess is hostage to observation.
- This isn’t the situation in the philosophical case (a point made by "Williamson (Timothy) - Philosophical Expertise and the Burden of Proof"). Gettier-style judgements work just as well with real cases as with imaginary ones, so there’s no possibility of going to look at a real case of the “coins in the pocket” – we know already that knowledge is absent6 (as deemed by us).
- So, philosophical counterfactual judgements are unfalsifiable – so, aren’t they just analytic, and we’re just analysing concepts? In the earlier paper, Papineau countered by saying this is too fast, and that what might be going on is that our counterfactual judgements are being dictated by certain sub-personal belief-forming mechanisms – modules (but “too evolutionary psychology”) – think of just sub-personal processes that deliver judgements based on assumptions directing inferences. These assumptions may be highly synthetic. Even so, unfalsifiable at least to the extent that you won’t falsify them by using those self-same sub-personal processes of inference. You can’t show your visual system is wrong merely by using your visual system; similarly, you might not be able to show your knowledge-attributing mechanism is falsifiable just by using that same mechanism.
- That was all background. Papineau now wants to move on to the reliability of these TE judgements and the authority of the philosophical arguments that rely on them. If some of these assumptions are those we’ve got from normal / evolutionary development – then it’s a familiar thought that these assumptions are by and large unreliable, that work only in limited contexts (the ones in which they evolved); taken in general they tend to be not very accurate – take folk physics/biology/ToM – all the assumptions that come naturally to us don’t stand up to much serious examination. So, maybe we should be suspicious of the kind of counterfactual judgements we rely on in philosophical TEs?
- This argument is moving in the same direction as Experimental7 Philosophy – unreliability of philosophical intuitions – but Papineau doesn’t want to rest anything on their data. You might think sub-personal are going to be universal (though Papineau thinks there’s no need to), while the EP data shows cultural variability, but Papineau is happy to agree with "Williamson (Timothy) - Philosophical Expertise and the Burden of Proof" that the EP data is not directly relevant as it’s trying to generalise from far too big a reference-class – one that significantly differs from that of philosophers. .
- Papineau has a different argument – that the thought-processes underlying the philosophical intuitions look like the thought-processes that are unreliable. Tim’s point – that we can agree that the assumptions implicit in these mental mechanisms – eg. the assumptions built into our visual system are unreliable in the sense that it judges edges on the basis of intensity and not all intensity-gradients are edges – we can agree that such assumptions are unreliable without concluding that all the particular judgements counterfactual judgements that issue from them are mistaken. In many cases we will know there’s (not?) an edge there even though the visual system is a principle of inference that can be easily fooled. But Papineau thinks the situation is worse than that and will be looking at some examples – that there are particular judgements of counterfactual situations that are mistaken because the general principles behind them are unreliable.
- Even so, he doesn’t want to make too much of a fuss as it’s not a serious issue – how many of the intuitions that come to us naturally are mistaken, and so how distrustful should we be about them? There are cases on both sides. What he wants to do is try to show that even if our intuitions are mistaken and the assumptions underlying them are constantly pushing out bad ideas in philosophical contexts – it would still be a good idea to go in for philosophical TEs.
- "Williamson (Timothy) - Philosophical Expertise and the Burden of Proof" asked should we rely on – place argumentative weight on – them. Papineau wants to say no - but even so, the TEs themselves are hugely important. Papineau wants to show this by giving an account of the standard philosophical plight – his view of the nature of philosophy, where we find ourselves in an intellectual tangle. The paradox is the paradigm of the philosophical problem – several lines of thought push us to incompatible conclusions, so we don’t know what to do. We then have to untangle the situation and determine why our thought is getting into a mess. What we do is lay out the arguments – the premises and reasoning – to determine what is leading s to the various conclusions, to see what might be given up.
- Papineau’s picture of philosophy isn’t that we use arguments to get at conclusions, but that we build systems8, and we use arguments to test the systems, to find where the contradictions are and where we can tidy up the theoretical systems. TEs are just a special case of this, as they are particularly simple, graphic arguments. TEs help us to see what assumptions are driving our thinking and make it easy for us to think what to do about them – which to retain and which to drop – that’s after we’ve used arguments to make clear what assumptions are at issue.
- Papineau wants to consider a famous scientific TE and notes that, like in philosophy, not all scientific TEs lead to a good conclusion – but that the many that lead to a bad conclusion are just as important as those that lead to good ones.
- Einstein’s EPR9 argument is a similar powerful argument leading to a false conclusion. Careful consideration will tell us what we have to give up in order to get a consistent theory.
- The TE he’ll consider is the “Tower Argument10” from the 16th century, an argument against the Copernican theory.
- People grin because it’s a silly argument – it has to be because the conclusion is wrong – but it’s not immediately clear how the paradox is resolved.
- The Copernican system makes sense of lots of things (such as the retrograde motion of the planets) that are just arbitrary in the Ptolemaic system, thought removing us from the centre of the universe might be considered bad by non-humanists. But to counter the strong astronomical arguments for Copernicanism we have this kinematic argument against it.
- Galileo’s response was that the stone isn’t falling straight down, but is zooming along to the East along with the rest of the Earth.
- Worries about “reference frames” are anachronistic – all sides of the debate thought there was absolute space. Any inertial reference frame will do.
- We can’t start with an inertial reference frame that’s fixed in the Earth, as otherwise you can’t explain why the Moon doesn’t just crash into the Earth under gravity. Hence you have to have a reference frame in which the Earth is spinning.
- Anyway, Galileo talks about throwing balls on a ship, relative motion, your eyes are deceiving you – the stone isn’t falling straight down, and all that. But that’s not the end of it because there’s another powerful intuitive assumption that argues that the stone is falling straight down however things look – which is that if something isn’t pushing it, it will fall straight down.
- This is an assumption that Papineau hopes we don’t have, but must kids do – where’s the stone going to fall that you drop out of a train? It fell “back there”, because it fell straight down. That’s what most people think, and it’s quite a sophisticated step to say that it didn’t fall straight down – because any body continues on with the velocity it always had, until something acts on it. Continued motion doesn’t require an impetus. So, in order to see what the Tower Experiment forces you to give up, in order to stay with Copernicus, you’re led to the law of Inertia – a principle that is entirely novel with Galileo11.
- So, it is a bad TE in that it rests on two mistaken intuitions, but even so, reflecting on it was absolutely crucial to the development of modern science.
- The moral of all this is that while TEs and intuitions are great in philosophy – we have to work with them and analyse them – but nothing about them says that we should take the intuitions as authoritative.
- Papineau will spend most of the rest of the lecture on intuitions about the relationship between mind and brain, something he’s worked on a lot recently, and wants to show us that the situation is similar to that we’ve just discussed – that we have important TEs that it’s very important that we reflect on but not because they point us at the right answer but for the opposite reason – they point us to the wrong answer, but help to show us what we have to give up in order to think rightly.
- Here’s a TE: consider a being that has all your physical properties but no others – clearly possible I take it – I’m not saying “all your physical properties and is unconscious”, just “all your physical properties” – that’s clearly possible. Then that being would not be conscious – that’s a natural counterfactual judgement. From this it “follows” that conscious properties are distinct from and extra to physical properties.
- Papineau thinks this TE elicits a deep-seated but completely mistaken intuition of mind-body distinctness, and deserves more attention than it receives – as it’ll show you what else you need to give up in order to have a consistent materialist view that denies this intuition. We should use this TE to show us what is driving certain parts of our thinking and needs correction.
- But much of the recent literature on the relation between conscious properties and physical ones obscures this simple view of things, and Papineau wants to go through the impossibility / importance of this TE, and how thinking in this area has got messed up by not attending to it carefully enough.
- Actually, it’s not much of a TE. All that’s important is the intuition that mind and brain are distinct, and that the TE makes it clear that that’s what you’d be thinking if you went along with the counterfactual judgement.
- Many people thinking about the mind-brain relationship in this context think that the most salient intuitive feature of the situation is that there’s an explanatory gap between brain and mind that remains even after we embrace materialism. Using the “joke example” – the materialist agrees that pains are no more than C-fibres firing – even accepting this, aren’t we puzzled as to why C-fibres yield this feeling in a way that we aren’t troubled by why H2O yields water? So, isn’t there still a big problem for materialism even after we’ve believed it?
- Other philosophers go further and say that the source of this feeling of an explanatory gap is that we can’t derive the phenomenal facts from the physical facts a priori in the way we can in the H2O / water case.
- The analogy is that since we think of water as the stuff that is odourless and colourless and flows in rivers (ODFR), if we’re given all the physical facts, we can look in the physical facts to see which bit is ODFR and then we’ll know just on the basis of the concept of water and our command of the physical facts that H2O is water.
- But, they say, because in the “pain” case we don’t think primarily of pain as something that primarily has certain causes and effects, but as something that feels a certain way, we can’t just look at the physical facts and in the same way see which bit feels. So, there’s a derivability gap and that’s the source of the explanatory gap.
- Papineau claims to have explained this well, given that he thinks it’s all tosh (giggles from the audience). The first issue is whether either of these lines of thought – whether there’s a derivability or explanatory gap – amount to any kind of argument against materialism. Most materialists don’t think so, just that it’s a puzzle that needs to be addressed. But Papineau doesn’t think even that is right.
- Firstly, it’s hard to believe that the derivability gap – the inability to deduce these identities from the complete catalogue of the physical facts – accounts for the feeling that there’s something left unexplained. There are plenty of cases in the history of science or in everyday thinking where you can ascertain some identity without being able to derive its truth from the complete catalogue of the basic facts. Examples are proper-name identities, indexical identities; indeed, water / H2O – when people first got to believe that water is H2O, they surely didn’t derive from the physical facts that ODFR – they just noticed that water and H2O are co-located, so must be the same thing – they couldn’t do the QM to do the derivation – but this didn’t make them feel there was an explanatory gap.
- So, the explanatory gap isn’t plausibly attributable to any derivability gap – or indeed to anything left unexplained – and he’ll explain the real cause in a second. But, we might start to worry just what is left unexplained when I think that pain = C-fibres? After I come to think that pain = C-fibres, do I have to explain why pain = C-fibres? Here’s a basic thought – identities don’t need an explanation. If I get to believe that Mark Twain is Samuel Clemens, I don’t then ask why? Nor why is water H2O – if it is what it is, there’s nothing more to explain.
- You may think that what we need to explain is why water is ODFR, and why pain has the causes and effects it does. We don’t conceive of pain in terms of its causes and effects, yet it has them, so we might think that this needed explanation. But the truth is that you can certainly explain that once you accept that pain = C-fibres – just see how C-fibres behave and you’ll see why pain has the causes and effects it does. Do we explain how we know that pain = C-fibres? But that can be easily explained too – they have all the same causes and effects. So, if we press, it’s not clear what’s supposed to be left unexplained by the mind-brain identity thesis.
- Papineau thinks that what’s actually going on is much simpler – it’s nothing to do with an inability to explain – it’s to do with not believing that pain = C-fibres in the first place – our deep-seated, natural, intuitive conviction that pain and C-fibres are distinct; that physical properties are one thing, and that conscious properties are different and that though they might be very tightly correlated, there’s some extra contingent natural laws that say that when you have C-fibres you get pains as well, because they are different things. Now, if you think all that, then of course you ask why is it that these things cause those things rather than something else or nothing at all? If you have the basic intuition that conscious properties are distinct from physical properties, then you will be looking for explanations as to why there are these correlations. That’s what’s really lying behind the so-called explanatory gap. That’s what Joseph Levine12 is asking us to recognise when he says there’s a contrast between two cases: in the water-H2O case we have no difficulty believing in identity, but in the mind-brain case, we just don’t believe it.
- You may say that sounds all right, but show me that we don’t believe it. There are plenty of materialists around, like Papineau, and these are the people Levine was originally addressing – you materialists – you have a puzzle – you think that there’s something left unexplained. People will claim that they don’t believe that mind and brain are distinct, so how can Papineau claim that they do, and use that to explain the presence of the explanatory gap?
- Papineau thinks that what is going on is that Levine and his audience don’t realise that they are in the grip of this strong intuition of mind-brain distinctness – they haven’t attended enough to the TE and considered what it’s saying about their thinking. They think that they believe in identity, but they don’t. At a theoretical level they believe it – they follow the arguments – but at the intuitive level they disbelieve it. The problem isn’t that materialism leaves something unexplained, it’s just that it’s much more difficult to believe than people realise.
- Some more evidence in favour of Papineau’s diagnosis: people who believe in the identity still talk like this – “why do C-fibres yield feelings; why do they yield / give rise to / cause / generate pains; why are they correlated with pains? But these are words you would only use if thinking in a dualist manner. We don’t ask why H2O gives rise to water – it is water. To the extent that people find it natural to use these words, they are implicitly – intuitively – dualists.
- Papineau now gives a more sophisticated bit of evidence13 for the claim that even professed materialists are at the intuitive level in the grip of dualism: Kripke’s argument from the end of "Kripke (Saul) - Naming and Necessity". Papineau hopes this will make sense to those who know the passage. Kripke says there’s a problem facing materialism because we can’t explain the appearance of mind-brain contingency. It seems like this identity – of C-fibres and pains – is contingent14 – and materialists can’t explain this apparent contingency.
- The literature obfuscates the reading of Kripke. Some people read Kripke as simply alluding to the fact that an identity like pains and C-fibres must be a posteriori – clearly it has to be discovered by investigation. So, some people read Kripke as saying “that identity is a posteriori, and that needs explaining”. Why the need for explanation? Well, their idea is that if we get a posteriori identities – or a posteriori necessities generally – it must be because some of the terms involved are referring by description, referring at second hand. If they were referring directly, you’d be able to see straight off if a necessity held.
- Now remember that when we think about pains, that we don’t think of them by description – as the think that as certain causes and effects – but as the thing that feels a certain way. This therefore takes Kripke as saying that if you’re thinking by description – of a thing playing a certain role – then you can see why identities such as water- H2O should be known a posteriori; but if you’re thinking directly, then you ought to be able to see a priori that it was true if it is.
- This is the other side of the coin of the view that if physicalism is true, then you ought to be able to derive all the facts from the physical facts. If it’s a description, then you can look a posteriori to see what fits the description, but if there’s no description as with pain, then you ought to be able to see straight off from the physical facts, if you can derive it at all, what pain is. And this reading of Kripke says that it therefore – because you can’t see straight off – it can’t be a true identity, because a true identity would have to be a priori. So, the key assumption here is that if an identity is a posteriori, then there must be some descriptions involved in the way you’re phrasing the proposition.
- Now this is bonkers as an interpretation of Kripke, even though all the literature for the past 15 years reads Kripke this way, but it can’t possibly be correct. The two main ideas in "Kripke (Saul) - Naming and Necessity" are:-
If, at the end of the book, Kripke was going to run an argument that hinged crucially on the assumption that any a posteriori necessity must involve terms that refer by description, you’d have thought he might have noticed that this assumption was inconsistent with his two main thoughts.
- Proper-name identities are a posteriori necessities, and
- Proper-names do not refer by description.
- Anyway, Papineau has a much better way of reading15 Kripke that shows how we are all in the grip of an intuition of dualism. Papineau takes it that Kripke’s argument is directed specifically at materialists who already believe that pain is C-fibres (say), and he asks “how come it strikes you that this identity is contingent, and that zombies16 are possible – that there could be C-fibres without pain? We’re all agreed that you can’t really think that – because it would show that C-fibres weren’t pain. So, what’s going on in your thinking when you even give head-room to this notion?”.
- Here’s an analogy. Suppose you think that Cicero is Tully, and someone asks you “could you have Cicero without Tully?” The first reaction is “no” – how can he not be himself? Once you believe in identity the natural reaction to such a question (that the identity could come apart) is that it doesn’t make sense. But we can make some sort of sense of the question. It could have been possible that the greatest Roman orator might not have been the greatest Roman statesman17. But you can only create these possibilities by playing with descriptions. If you’re thinking directly without a description, then you should have no room for the thought that Cicero might not be Tully.
- Kripke’s point is that when it comes to pain you are thinking directly without descriptions, so that when you’ve accepted that C-fibres = pain, you ought to have no room at all for the thought that you could have C-fibres and no pain. You’ve just got one thing. You can’t say that C-fibres might not have played any role, because you don’t have any roles. So, what could the materialist be thinking?
- So, Papineau’s view is that the only way to explain why materialists are struck by the possibility of C-fibres without pain is that they don’t really believe their materialism. Kripke has succeeded in catching the unreflective materialist in a kind of contradiction. They think that C-fibres without pain is at least more possible than Cicero without Tully, but how could they – given that there are no descriptions18 associated with pain – unless they don’t believe that C-fibres are pain in the first place.
- Papineau thinks this is a good argument, and he now wants to give the materialist’s proper response. The interesting thing about the argument is its psychological conclusion – that materialists don’t fully (or intuitively) believe in materialism- hardly surprising, as it starts off with a psychological premise (that materialists are still subject to an appearance of contingency).
- So, where does this leave us? Materialists are crypto-dualists, and Kripke quickly concludes that dualism is probably true. Kripke is adhering to the methodological principle19 that if he have a strong intuition we ought to stick with it and reject any theory that contradicts it.
- Papineau thinks this principle is so wrong. What Kripke has demonstrated is a psychological datum – that a bunch of materialists think that dualism is true – but what sort of argument is that for dualism? That’s a terrible form of argument20. In general, Bp is only an argument for p if p is the best explanation for Bp. Now this is often the case, where the Bp people have had access to p. But that inference is very easily defeated – where lots of people Bp for all sorts of silly reasons.
- A general consideration of why people believe in dualism shows why their belief cannot possibly add any weight to the thesis of dualism. It would add weight to the extent that dualism offered some explanation of people believing dualism. But remember that the dominant form of dualism these days – respecting the causal completeness of science – is epiphenomenalist21 dualism. But in that case, you can’t suppose dualism provides any support for your belief because, by the nature of your dualism, the dualism can have no impact on your thinking. An epiphenominalist dualist thinks that people’s conscious beliefs are determined by what’s going on in their brains, and the fact that dualism is true can make no difference to what goes on in people’s brains – so can’t play any part in the explanation22 of why people believe dualism.
- So, what Kripke’s argument does for us is show us that we’re all in the grip of this powerful intuition of dualism, but this is no argument for dualism at all. If you think that the standard causal considerations23 in general argue against dualism you should stand by that and just put the intuition in favour of dualism to one side.
- So, Papineau has done a lot to show we’re all in the grip of a strong intuition against a well-supported philosophical theory; and even without looking at the arguments for why we have this intuition, we can see that we ought to put this intuition to one side in addressing the question of the truth of the theory.
- Papineau think this is important – so what’s been gained? We’ve considered TEs as a way of uncovering the intuitions underlying our thinking, and he hopes that we’ll see that the so-called explanatory gap isn’t a problem we’re left with after we’ve become materialists and which we need to spend lots of time figuring out the answer to, but a misconception of what is a mistaken intuition on our part – an intuition of distinctness.
- Once we realise we have this mistaken intuition, we’ll stop asking various other questions. Lots of people worry about how consciousness evolved, even though they know how the brain evolved. Again, this worry is driven by the assumption that consciousness is something extra.
- A more seductive question is – for those who realise that once they accept that C-fibres are pains (and other mental processes are other phenomenal things) that they should stop asking why – still ask why what’s left behind after considering these phenomenal things is “dark” (ie. unconscious). That’s also a mistaken, dualist, thought. If you’re a thorough-going materialist, being conscious is just a generic determinable property of which pain, colour vision and so on are the determinates24, and that what you’ve discovered is that being conscious is one and the same as that big physical property and there’s nothing to explain here – that’s how it is to have one of those physical properties. If you think there’s something to explain, you’re in the grip of dualism again.
- So, I think it’s very important to think about what else is being pushed on us by this intuition – not because it’s correct, but because we need to think about the hidden assumptions that are getting us into philosophical tangles.
- The moral: we often need TEs to determine what is driving our thinking; in many cases the assumptions prove unsound; but even so the TEs are crucial to clarifying the issues.
Questions and Answers: These are also on the website (The Future of Philosophy: Metaphilosophical Directions for the 21st Century), but take a bit more subtlety to download.
The Future of Philosophy; Click here for Note; Podcast: The Future of Philosophy: Metaphilosophical Directions for the 21st Century.
Footnote 1: There was a hand-out with the program notes – the listeners were urged to look at it. Sadly, it is not on the website, though Q&A’s are on there – as a non-downloadable podcast.
Footnote 3: The idea is that each of two equal masses would (even for Aristotle) fall at the same rate – but for Aristotle, the double mass should fall more quickly – but how would simply attaching the bodies together achieve this. It would be interesting to know why Aristotle – the great logician – failed to see this simple point. Maybe he though they would fall faster, but couldn’t perform the actual experiment (or didn’t think it necessary to do so)
Footnote 4: Which paper – I expect the website has moved on since the end of 2009, but suspect the paper is "Papineau (David) - The Poverty of Analysis". "Papineau (David) - Physicalism and the Human Sciences" might also be useful.
Footnote 5: See "Gettier (Edmund) - Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?". I don’t think I’ve written anything on Gettier – other than jottings (see this link) on "Dancy (Jonathan) - An Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology"); but – as from February 2013 – see "Hetherington (Stephen) - Gettier Problems".
Footnote 6: This is a reference to the first of the examples given in "Gettier (Edmund) - Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?"
Footnote 7: See the critique in "Williamson (Timothy) - Philosophical Expertise and the Burden of Proof"
Footnote 8: Presumably this is winding back (correctly) the “linguistic turn”. I like this approach from the perspective of my web-technology project (though this might still have value from a linguistic-philosophical perspective).
Footnote 9: Presumably, the Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen paradox (see Wikipedia: EPR paradox; a comment – which is probably Papineau’s take on the matter – is that the quantum entanglement / “spooky action at a distance” is real rather than paradoxical and “an illustration of how quantum mechanics violates classical intuitions”).
Footnote 10: I’ve skipped some of the details; basically, the Aristotelians said that – contrary to what is found to be the case – a stone dropped from a tower would fall away from the base if the earth was rotating, but Galileo demonstrated that it wouldn’t, as both the stone and the tower have the same motion inherited from the earth. This Link seems interesting.
Footnote 11: Though taken up by Newton as his First Law of Motion.
Footnote 12: What’s the reference for this? I seem to have these items by Levine:-
… "Levine (Joseph) - On Leaving Out What It's Like",
… "Levine (Joseph) - Review of David Chalmers's 'The Conscious Mind'", and – most importantly –
… "Levine (Joseph) - Purple Haze: The Puzzle of Consciousness".
Footnote 13: This is presumably more fully covered in "Papineau (David) - Kripke’s Proof That We Are All Intuitive Dualists".
Footnote 14: This – the “zombie” intuition – will be explained in due course. Kripke doesn’t believe in Contingent Identities (Click here for Note), nor do his readers (in general); either the contingency is only apparent, and zombies are impossible, or the lesson must be that there’s no identity at all.
Footnote 15: Kripke’s not dead (Wikipedia: Saul Kripke) – so why doesn’t someone ask him for the correct interpretation? This round-table discussion might help, though the participants – being Russian – are obscure (to me) – "Soames (Scott) - Round-table with Scott Soames on Kripke's Argument on Pain" (Link).
Footnote 16: Click here for Note for a discussion of this topic.
Footnote 17: Is it conventional to use Cicero for the orator, and Tully for the statesman (or vice versa) or is this just a hypothetical example Papineau is using?
Footnote 18: This claim is key to the argument – press this in due course!
Footnote 19: Papineau thinks there is a reference in Kripke – maybe not that strong – but hasn’t looked it up. David Lewis says the same.
Footnote 20: But it’s not just of the form Bp therefore p. It’s sort of that dualism is the default position, and that those who attack it don’t even believe their own arguments.
Footnote 21: Papineau muttered something inaudible about Jackson and Chalmers and epiphenominalist dualism at this point.
Footnote 22: This needs spelling out a bit more. The idea is that there are brain events and conscious events. Brain events cause conscious events, but conscious events don’t cause anything – there’s no more causation in a world in which epiphenominalist dualism is true than one in which it is false; so, the truth of epiphenominalist dualism cannot be causing anything – including any belief in dualism.
Footnote 23: Ie. You reject multiple causation.
Footnote 24: See Stanford: Determinables and Determinates for a (not so) quick guide on the distinction between determinables and determinates.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
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