Combining Philosophers

Ideas for Michael Burke, Lucretius and Paul M. Pietroski

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3 ideas

17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 2. Interactionism
Only bodies can touch one another [Lucretius]
     Full Idea: Nothing can touch or be touched except body.
     From: Lucretius (On the Nature of the Universe [c.60 BCE], I.303)
     A reaction: This is the key objection to interactionism, and the main reason why the atomists have a thoroughly material view of the mind. It is an induction from a very large number of instances, but the argument is not, of course, conclusive.
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 3. Panpsychism
Particles may have sensation, but eggs turning into chicks suggests otherwise [Lucretius]
     Full Idea: There is the possibility that particles have senses like those of an animate being as a whole, …but from the fact that we perceive eggs turning into live fledglings, we may infer that sense can be generated from the insentient.
     From: Lucretius (On the Nature of the Universe [c.60 BCE], II.914)
     A reaction: He gives other arguments for his view. The egg example is not a strong argument, but is precisely our puzzle of how consciousness can emerge from the process of evolution, and natural selection makes dualism look unlikely.
The earth is and always has been an insentient being [Lucretius]
     Full Idea: The earth is and always has been an insentient being.
     From: Lucretius (On the Nature of the Universe [c.60 BCE], II.658)
     A reaction: The fact that Epicurus needs to deny this shows that some idea close to panpsychism must still have been around in his time. He is discussing gods at the time, so maybe pantheism was the view being attacked, but that is a subset of panpsychism.