Combining Philosophers

Ideas for Baron,S/Miller,K, Michael Dummett and A.J. Ayer

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2 ideas

17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 8. Dualism of Mind Critique
The supposed 'gulf' between mind and matter is based on the senseless concept of 'substances' [Ayer]
     Full Idea: The problems of bridging the 'gulf' between mind and matter, in knowledge or in action, are all fictitious problems arising out of the senseless metaphysical conception of mind and matter as 'substances'.
     From: A.J. Ayer (Language,Truth and Logic [1936], Ch.7)
     A reaction: He is presumably implying that there is only one 'substance', the stuff of physics, thus voting for Spinoza's dual aspect theory. There could still be a 'gulf', between incommensurable properties, or untranslatable levels of description.
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 1. Physical Mind
Why shouldn't we say brain depends on mind? Better explanation! [Ayer]
     Full Idea: If mind and brain exactly correspond we have as good ground for saying the brain depends on the mind as the other way round; if predominance is given to the brain, the reason is that it fits into a wider explanatory system.
     From: A.J. Ayer (The Central Questions of Philosophy [1973], §VI.D)
     A reaction: A small but significant point. If an 'identity' theory is to be developed, then this step in the argument has to be justified. It is tempting here to move to the eliminativist view, because we no longer have to worry about a 'direction of priority'.