[extropy-chat] New paper by David Chalmer's definitively squashing materialism

justin corwin outlawpoet at gmail.com
Fri Oct 21 10:43:51 UTC 2005

On 10/21/05, Marc Geddes <marc.geddes at gmail.com> wrote:
> Yeah!  (Marc gives the up-yours sign to SL4)
> "This paper is intended to be the definitive version of the two-dimensional
> argument, being maximally explicit about details and replying to many of the
> objections that have been raised in the literature in the last ten years or
> so."

Er, you are aware that this isn't the SL4 list, right? I understand
that you seem to have been driven out of there, but I'm rather at a
loss why you would crow to the Extropy list about scoring points
against some unidentified portion of the SL4 list.

Now, in terms of quashing materialism. You are aware that he's just
using modal logic here to support rather old arguments, right? Because
you're well versed in the rich and bizarre history of analytic

The primary argument in this paper is a version of the Lob Theorem,
expressed as Modal logic, if x is concievable, then x is possible. He
cleverly constructs the argument such that this extension proves that
materialism is false.

However, this argument contains no descriminatory power, because you
can easily construct the identical argument to prove that dualism is
false, by inverting some of the terms. It would remain just as true,
and just as pointless.

It's no more special than the teleological arguments for the existence
of god by neccesary qualities.

Again, Chalmers depends on semantic logic to prove a quality which is
a prerequisite of the argument he's making. if  P&~Q is so, in a world
without phenomenological phenomena, his arguments work exactly the
same as they would in a world with phenomenlogical phenomena. They
don't actually descriminate, which is why he ends up having muck
around with the idea that ~Q can't be a positive truth, but rather a
negative possibility, to prevent the argument from being symmetrical.
He gives no reasons for this, aside from some quibbling about a
conscious being's ability to concieve positively of zombies.

Unfortunately this kind of wide-eyed 'proofs' are very common in
philosophy. The mere act of 'saying' a string of logical statements
does not cause any selection or change in the world. It's only when
those statements are grounded, and the logical rules used correspond
to grounded mechanics, that they are useful. This is of course a
materialist argument, but it has the attraction of historical success,
whereas logical consistency only has internal confirmation.

Justin Corwin
outlawpoet at hell.com

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