Combining Philosophers

Ideas for Sebastian Gardner, David Lewis and Chistoph Scheibler

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5 ideas

17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 1. Physical Mind
Human pain might be one thing; Martian pain might be something else [Lewis]
     Full Idea: Human pain might be one thing. Martian pain might be something else.
     From: David Lewis (Lewis: reduction of mind (on himself) [1994], p.420)
     A reaction: A key suggestion in support of type-type physicalism, and against the multiple realisability objection to the identity theory
The application of 'pain' to physical states is non-rigid and contingent [Lewis]
     Full Idea: The word 'pain' is a non-rigid designator; it is a contingent matter what state the concept and the word apply to. (Note: so the sort of theory Kripke argues against is not what we propose).
     From: David Lewis (Mad Pain and Martian Pain [1980], žIII)
     A reaction: I like the view that a given quale is necessarily identical to a given mental state, but that many mental states might occupy a given behavioural role. The smell of roses might occupy the behavioural role of pain. Frog pain isn't quite like ours.
Psychophysical identity implies the possibility of idealism or panpsychism [Lewis]
     Full Idea: Psychophysical identity is a two-way street: if all mental properties are physical, then some physical properties are mental; but then all physical properties might be mental, or every property of everything might be both physical and mental.
     From: David Lewis (New work for a theory of universals [1983], 'Min Mat')
     A reaction: I suspect that this is the thought that has impressed Galen Strawson. The whole story seems to include the existence of 'mental properties' as a distinct category. This line of thought strikes me as a serious misunderstanding.
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 2. Reduction of Mind
I am a reductionist about mind because I am an a priori reductionist about everything [Lewis]
     Full Idea: My reductionism about mind began as part of an a priori reductionism about everything.
     From: David Lewis (Lewis: reduction of mind (on himself) [1994], p.412)
     A reaction: He says this is 'a priori' to avoid giving hostages to fortune, but I think is the best explanation of the total evidence facing us
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 7. Anti-Physicalism / b. Multiple realisability
A theory must be mixed, to cover qualia without behaviour, and behaviour without qualia [Lewis, by PG]
     Full Idea: To pass our test it seems that our theory will have to be a 'mixed' theory, to account for the Madman (whose pain has odd causes, and odd effects) and also for the Martian (who has normal causes and effects, but an odd physical state).
     From: report of David Lewis (Mad Pain and Martian Pain [1980], žII) by PG - Db (ideas)
     A reaction: A statement that 'pain' is ambiguous (qualia/causal role) would help a lot here. Martians have the causal role but no qualia, and the madman has the qualia but lacks the causal role. I say lots of different qualia might have the same causal role.