Ideas of Jaegwon Kim, by Theme

[American, b.1934, Born in Korea. Professor at Cornell University, then at Brown University.]

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1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 5. Metaphysics as Conceptual
Metaphysics is the clarification of the ontological relationships between different areas of thought
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 6. Ockham's Razor
If one theory is reduced to another, we make fewer independent assumptions about the world
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 4. Events / c. Reduction of events
For Kim, events are exemplifications of properties by objects at particular times
How fine-grained Kim's events are depends on how finely properties are individuated
If events are ordered triples of items, such things seem to be sets, and hence abstract
Events are composed of an object with an attribute at a time
Events cannot be merely ordered triples, but must specify the link between the elements
Since properties like self-identity and being 2+2=4 are timeless, Kim must restrict his properties
Kim's theory results in too many events
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 2. Reduction
Reductionism is good on light, genes, temperature and transparency
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 5. Supervenience / a. Nature of supervenience
Supervenient properties must have matching base properties
Supervenience is linked to dependence
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 5. Supervenience / b. Types of supervenience
Mereological supervenience says wholes are fixed by parts
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 5. Supervenience / c. Significance of supervenience
Supervenience is not a dependence relation, on the lines of causal, mereological or semantic dependence
Supervenience is just a 'surface' relation of pattern covariation, which still needs deeper explanation
Supervenience suggest dependence without reduction (e.g. beauty)
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 2. Reality
Causal power is a good way of distinguishing the real from the unreal
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 5. Physicalism
'Physical facts determine all the facts' is the physicalists' slogan
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 4. Intrinsic Properties
Extrinsic properties, unlike intrinsics, imply the existence of a separate object
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 6. Categorical Properties
Resemblance or similarity is the core of our concept of a property
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 7. Emergent Properties
Is weight a 'resultant' property of water, but transparency an 'emergent' property?
Emergent properties are 'brute facts' (inexplicable), but still cause things
Properties can have causal powers lacked by their constituents
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 5. Powers and Properties
Should properties be individuated by their causal powers?
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 9. Counterfactuals
Counterfactuals are either based on laws, or on nearby possible worlds
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 4. Foundationalism / f. Foundationalism critique
It seems impossible to logically deduce physical knowledge from indubitable sense data
14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / a. Explanation
Explanatory exclusion: there cannot be two separate complete explanations of a single event
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 1. Mind / c. Features of mind
Mind is basically qualities and intentionality, but how do they connect?
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 3. Mental Causation
Experiment requires mental causation
Beliefs cause other beliefs
Agency, knowledge, reason, memory, psychology all need mental causes
Mind is only interesting if it has causal powers
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 4. Intentionality / a. Nature of intentionality
Both thought and language have intentionality
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 4. Intentionality / b. Intentionality theories
Intentionality involves both reference and content
It seems impossible that an exact physical copy of this world could lack intentionality
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 5. Qualia / a. Nature of qualia
Are pains pure qualia, or do they motivate?
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 5. Qualia / b. Qualia and intentionality
Pain has no reference or content
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 6. Inverted Qualia
Inverted qualia and zombies suggest experience isn't just functional
Crosswiring would show that pain and its function are separate
16. Persons / B. Concept of the Self / 3. External Properties
Externalism about content makes introspection depend on external evidence
16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 1. Introspection
We often can't decide what emotion, or even sensation, we are experiencing
How do we distinguish our anger from embarrassment?
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 2. Interactionism
Mental substance causation makes physics incomplete
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 6. Epiphenomenalism
If epiphenomenalism were true, we couldn't report consciousness
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 7. Zombies
Are inverted or absent qualia coherent ideas?
What could demonstrate that zombies and inversion are impossible?
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 8. Dualism of Mind Critique
Cartesian dualism fails because it can't explain mental causation
17. Mind and Body / B. Behaviourism / 1. Behaviourism
Logical behaviourism translates mental language to behavioural
Behaviourism reduces mind to behaviour via bridging principles
17. Mind and Body / B. Behaviourism / 2. Behavioural Dispositions
Are dispositions real, or just a type of explanation?
17. Mind and Body / B. Behaviourism / 4. Behaviourism Critique
What behaviour goes with mathematical beliefs?
Behaviour depends on lots of mental states together
Behaviour is determined by society as well as mental states
Snakes have different pain behaviour from us
17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 1. Functionalism
Machine functionalism requires a Turing machine, causal-theoretical version doesn't
Intentionality as function seems possible
Neurons seem to be very similar and interchangeable
17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 7. Chinese Room
The person couldn't run Searle's Chinese Room without understanding Chinese
17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 8. Functionalism critique
How do functional states give rise to mental causation?
17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 1. Reductionism critique
Reductionism gets stuck with qualia
Reductionism is impossible if there aren't any 'bridge laws' between mental and physical
Maybe intentionality is reducible, but qualia aren't
17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 2. Anomalous Monism
If rule-following and reason are 'anomalies', does that make reductionism impossible?
Anomalous monism says nothing at all about the relationship between mental and physical
17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 3. Property Dualism
We can't assess evidence about mind without acknowledging phenomenal properties
Most modern physicalists are non-reductive property dualists
17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 4. Emergentism
The only mental property that might be emergent is that of qualia
Emergentism says there is no explanation for a supervenient property
17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 5. Supervenience of mind
Zombies and inversion suggest non-reducible supervenience
Maybe strong supervenience implies reduction
Supervenience says all souls are identical, being physically indiscernible
Non-Reductive Physicalism relies on supervenience
17. Mind and Body / E. Physicalism / 1. Physicalism
Token physicalism isn't reductive; it just says all mental events have some physical properties
17. Mind and Body / E. Physicalism / 2. Reduction of Mind
The core of the puzzle is the bridge laws between mind and brain
17. Mind and Body / E. Physicalism / 3. Eliminativism
Elimination can either be by translation or by causal explanation
If an orange image is a brain state, are some parts of the brain orange?
17. Mind and Body / E. Physicalism / 5. Causal Argument
Without reductionism, mental causation is baffling
Reductionists deny new causal powers at the higher level
17. Mind and Body / E. Physicalism / 7. Anti-Physicalism / a. Physicalism critique
Identity theory was overthrown by multiple realisations and causal anomalies
17. Mind and Body / E. Physicalism / 7. Anti-Physicalism / b. Multiple realisability
Multiple realisability was worse news for physicalism than anomalous monism was
Multiple realisation applies to other species, and even one individual over time
17. Mind and Body / E. Physicalism / 7. Anti-Physicalism / c. Knowledge argument
Knowledge and inversion make functionalism about qualia doubtful
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 2. Propositional Attitudes
How do we distinguish our attitudes from one another?
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 3. Emotions
Emotions have both intentionality and qualia
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 5. Folk Psychology
Folk psychology has been remarkably durable
Folk psychology has adapted to Freudianism
A culture without our folk psychology would be quite baffling
Maybe folk psychology is a simulation, not a theory
18. Thought / C. Content / 5. Twin Earth
Two identical brain states could have different contents in different worlds
Two types of water are irrelevant to accounts of behaviour
18. Thought / C. Content / 6. Broad Content
Content is best thought of as truth conditions
Content may match several things in the environment
'Arthritis in my thigh' requires a social context for its content to be meaningful
18. Thought / C. Content / 7. Narrow Content
Content depends on other content as well as the facts
Pain, our own existence, and negative existentials, are not external
18. Thought / E. Artificial Intelligence / 3. Turing Test
The Turing Test is too specifically human in its requirements
A machine with a mind might still fail the Turing Test
19. Language / G. Interpretation / 3. Charity
If someone says "I do and don't like x", we don't assume a contradiction
We assume people believe the obvious logical consequences of their known beliefs
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 1. Causation / a. Causation
Causal statements are used to explain, to predict, to control, to attribute responsibility, and in theories
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 2. Particular Causation / a. Observation of causation
All observable causes are merely epiphenomena
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 3. General Causation / b. Nomological causation
A common view is that causal connections must be instances of a law
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 3. General Causation / c. Counterfactual causation
Many counterfactuals have nothing to do with causation
Counterfactuals can express four other relations between events, apart from causation
Causation is not the only dependency relation expressed by counterfactuals
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 2. Types of Laws
Laws are either 'strict', or they involve a 'ceteris paribus' clause
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 9. Counterfactual Claims
Many counterfactual truths do not imply causation ('if yesterday wasn't Monday, it isn't Tuesday')