[ExI] mind body dualism

Ben Zaiboc bbenzai at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 28 07:08:29 UTC 2010

Jeff Davis <jrd1415 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Sometime back, the list suffered through a thread which I
> will call
> "The thread that dare not speak its name".  In that
> thread there was a
> wide ranging discussion of consciousness, mind, persona,
> cognition,
> sentience  -- you know, all the basic mood
> groups.  The feasibility of
> uploading, via the re-creation of mind in a "computronium"
> (ie
> artificial, synthetic, engineered-material substrate), was
> challenged
> based on a assertion of the inseparability of mind and
> body.
> Came across this today:
> Touch: How a hard chair creates a hard heart
> http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-06/yu-tha062210.php
> "The old concepts of mind-body dualism are turning out not
> to be true
> at all," Bargh said. "Our minds are deeply and organically
> linked to
> our bodies."

The feasibility of uploading was first realised as a result of exactly the same assertion.

I think one of the big problems in these discussions is when people mean different things by the same term.  In some cases, a person will insist that a purely materialist view of things is in fact dualist, and in others, a claimed materialist will put forward a dualist view.  So we get a situation where some people are claiming that uploading is possible because of the inseparability of mind and body, and some who claim that it's impossible for exactly the same reason.  

To clarify things, you need to start precisely defining terms, and most people are just not interested in doing that.  They know what they mean and if other people don't, well, it's just tough.  Some people even use Humpty-Dumpty's tactic, and change the normal meaning of a word to suit themselves.

I don't see how it's possible to have meaningful discussions under those circumstances, they always seem to degenerate into arguments about logical inconsistency, and/or get banned.

Ben Zaiboc


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