About Me

!nversed Poignancy!

...I am an eclectic amalgamation of many seemingly paradoxical things. This can be exemplified in both my seemingly endless persistance on many topics and arguments, as well as my careful cautiousness on other topics and arguments. This is largely due to how astute I am of the topic: more knowledge, more persistant; less knowledge, obviously more cautious. I also have times of obsessive compulsions regarding certain things (mostly just my thoughts, however)...

Life and Death

!nversed Poignancy!

Life

An assembly

Possibly impossible

Perfectly interchangeable..

Death

That lives most upright

Beyond the unspoken

Neither a squiggle nor a quibble..

She and Me

!nversed Poignancy!

She

A daffodil

Tyrannizer of me

Breaking the colors of dusk!..

Me

The rising sun

Infringed with violations

The impurity in the salt..

Love and Poetry!

!nversed Poignancy!

Love

A puerile desire

Buried in the heart

Never leaves..

Poetry

Sentimentally melodramatic

Cursively recursive

My thoughts idiotic!

Functionalism and Zombies...

Scribbled by Bharath C On December 11, 2007
David Chalmers's brief for metaphysical dualism (in The Conscious Mind) is sporting (like Berkeley is sporting), and I appreciate that. It does not turn out to be field-transforming, however (Wittgenstein, Putnam, Fodor: field-transforming, for better or for worse). Too much of the work is done by Chalmers's claim that we can conceive of zombies: humans who behave (function) exactly like other persons, but who have no phenomenal experience (who are quale-free). Chalmers takes this counterfactual to be, by itself, an argument for mind-body dualism. For myself, I doubt that one can conceive of a zombie. There are several possible lines of argument here. Today I am thinking of Wittgenstein's claim that the semantics of psychological descriptions (like the semantics of all descriptions) must be public, as language is essentially (necessarily) intersubjective. All phenomenal terms, then ("pain," "taste," "sensation"), have double lives: their nominal referents are qualia, but their conditions of use (W. would say their "grammars") are public. My view is that the mind-body problem is a complex problem, specifically that we need one theory to deal with intentional properties and another to deal with phenomenal properties. Functionalism is the kind of theory that deals with intentional properties, which I take to be some sort of formal, relational, "public" properties. For phenomenal properties we need reductive materialism. That is, phenomenal properties are not multiply realizable. When we say that David Chalmers, Flipper the Dolphin, My Favorite Martian, and Commander Data all like chocolate, we are referring to something that instantiates a particular functional role. It is not required (it does not follow) that they all have the same qualitative experience. If this is right, then the (alleged) conceivability of zombies does not constitute a proof of mind-body dualism, only of the inadequacy of functionalism.

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