- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Physicalism1' during my Thesis research, as from 2011.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Statistics" above.
Write-up2 (as at 14/07/2019 18:05:46): Physicalism
- Basically, I reject any form of mind-body dualism4 or immaterialist monism. There are no souls5, if a soul is an immaterial substance separable from a body6.
- But, I need to investigate Dean Zimmerman’s recent “emergent dualism” (see "Zimmerman (Dean) - Reply to Baker's 'Christians Should Reject Mind-Body Dualism'"), despite the fact that his main motivation is a desire to conform to a traditionalist reading of Christian doctrine.
- Given my focus on physicalism, I will need to give some attention to the identity and persistence criteria7 of material objects as such.
- There are too many versions of physicalism for its endorsement to deliver much without clarification, so I will need to pursue the matter in some detail.
- For the moment, I simply wish to note (or claim) that:
- “The physical” encompasses both body and brain8 (ie. the physical criterion9 of personal identity would be satisfied if continuity of brain were essential for the persistence of the person).
- The brain is more important than other physical organs for the persistence of the human being10 or the human person11.
- Consequently, I think it worthwhile to conduct a detailed investigation into the functional roles of the various parts of the brain, CNS (Central Nervous System) and PNS (peripheral ...) and how these and the residue of the body are coupled together. Such matters may be relevant to the realism of the various thought experiments12 about brain transplants13, cerebrum transplants and such-like.
- It is, however, debatable how important these details are. For example, debates seem to continue about the possible identity of pain and C-fibre-firing, when it’s now acknowledged by all the participants in such debates that the physical realisation of pain-states in mammals requires a lot more than C-fibres. The assumption seems to be that the details don’t matter and that similar arguments could be constructed whatever the physical realisation of mental states might be.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read14, include the following:-
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- This is mostly a place-holder15. Currently, just see the categorised reading-list.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (14/07/2019 18:05:46).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020