Cartesian dualism

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

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Dontaskme
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Cartesian dualism

Post by Dontaskme » Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:18 am

( PHILOSOPHY -

A theory or system of thought that regards a domain of reality in terms of two independent principles, especially mind and matter.
)

The Source of bolded knowledge unknown. :shock: :D

Rendering the above independant principles empty principles.

There is no approach to dualism it's nondual.

.

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Re: Cartesian dualism

Post by Impenitent » Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:22 am

pistols at dawn

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Re: Cartesian dualism

Post by Scott Mayers » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:27 pm

Dontaskme wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:18 am
( PHILOSOPHY -

A theory or system of thought that regards a domain of reality in terms of two independent principles, especially mind and matter.
)

The Source of bolded knowledge unknown. :shock: :D

Rendering the above independant principles empty principles.

There is no approach to dualism it's nondual.

.
What CAN be discussed for those still uncertain of the issues is to show how 'duality' can be thought of as 'matter' versus 'change' (energy, time, motion). The matter of the brain gives the platform FOR consciousness but it is the particular activity of the brain that creates the sensation of 'mind'. In fact, there are different kinds of actions also, just as a radio can be designed and be tuned in uniquely to only one channel at a time. The WAY the neurons behave tell whether we are or are not conscious.

There is also the fact that consciousness when in effect, acts in more than one place at a time. This is our only 'subjective' proof of certain quantum physical phenomena: that the sensation is not isolated to some unique location but to the field of points all distinct in different locations in the network that 'feel' each other simultaneously.

I think Descartes would be happy to have ventured this could he be here today. But it still would not suffice to justify any supreme being as he thought and failed in his method. It's still a good foundation to approach reasoning though.

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Re: Cartesian dualism

Post by PeteJ » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:42 pm

Poor old Descartes. Folks tend to forget he speculated that res cogitans and res extensa form a unity. He didn't know how, but this was his speculation.

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Gary Childress
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Re: Cartesian dualism

Post by Gary Childress » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:45 pm

I think the mind body problem will always remain a great puzzle. I do wonder, however, why not "dualism"? Why should monism be so attractive? It's said that dualism creates the problem of how two completely different entities (mind and body) are able to interact with each other. However, the universe is clearly a strange and bizarre place according to contemporary physics. What is to say that two radically different entities like mind and body CAN'T interact? I don't think reductionism will ever work. So just give up and become dualists and subscribe to the notion that we just don't know how they interact. Life is a mystery and always will be.

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Re: Cartesian dualism

Post by Dontaskme » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:36 am

Gary Childress wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:45 pm
I think the mind body problem will always remain a great puzzle. I do wonder, however, why not "dualism"? Why should monism be so attractive? It's said that dualism creates the problem of how two completely different entities (mind and body) are able to interact with each other. However, the universe is clearly a strange and bizarre place according to contemporary physics. What is to say that two radically different entities like mind and body CAN'T interact? I don't think reductionism will ever work. So just give up and become dualists and subscribe to the notion that we just don't know how they interact. Life is a mystery and always will be.
Monism is dualistic, there is only duality, non-duality is duality, it's not a thing that knows all things.

Non-duality aka Consciousness is not an Ism.

Ism's are fictional concepts known by Consciousness.

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Re: Cartesian dualism

Post by Gary Childress » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:53 pm

Dontaskme wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:36 am
Gary Childress wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:45 pm
I think the mind body problem will always remain a great puzzle. I do wonder, however, why not "dualism"? Why should monism be so attractive? It's said that dualism creates the problem of how two completely different entities (mind and body) are able to interact with each other. However, the universe is clearly a strange and bizarre place according to contemporary physics. What is to say that two radically different entities like mind and body CAN'T interact? I don't think reductionism will ever work. So just give up and become dualists and subscribe to the notion that we just don't know how they interact. Life is a mystery and always will be.
Monism is dualistic, there is only duality, non-duality is duality, it's not a thing that knows all things.

Non-duality aka Consciousness is not an Ism.

Ism's are fictional concepts known by Consciousness.
Monism (in terms of philosophy of mind--in the Cartesian sense) is the belief that mind and body are of the same identical material, substance or whatever. It's definitely not dualism.

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Re: Cartesian dualism

Post by PeteJ » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:10 pm

Gary Childress wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:53 pm

Monism (in terms of philosophy of mind--in the Cartesian sense) is the belief that mind and body are of the same identical material, substance or whatever. It's definitely not dualism.
This is a subtle issue. Monism is a disguised form of dualism. This is why non-dualism is not called monism.

The reason monism is dualism is that for one thing to exist two things must exist. This is bacause to exist is to 'stand-out'. Stand out from what? Existence is a relative phenomenon, thus requires more than one existent.

The reasons can also be more obvious. Russell's 'neutral monism' , for instance, requires a multiplicity of neutral objects.

This is a well-known issue and there are many explanations in the literature. Al-Hallaj famously tells a person off for claiming 'God is One', since this requires a dualism of God and testifier. In his treatise The Oneness of Being Ibn 'Arabi is careful to explain that 'Oneness' should not be thought of as a numerical quantity. Rather, the Many and the One are encompassed and transcended in Unity or Unicity.

Monism belongs in the world of form and number or 'world of opposites', while non-dualism extends 'beyond the coincidence of contradictories'.

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Re: Cartesian dualism

Post by Dontaskme » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:22 pm

Gary Childress wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:53 pm

Monism (in terms of philosophy of mind--in the Cartesian sense) is the belief that mind and body are of the same identical material, substance or whatever. It's definitely not dualism.
When two surfaces rub or come together (make contact) a sensation is born/known...a (known) is a concept, the concept is known via the awareness of the conception taking place within awareness itself.

Those two surfaces are the body/mind dualism...aka embodied nondual awareness.

The knower is the mind, the known is the body. The body doesn't know it's a body without the mind and the mind has no concept of itself without a concept in mind to become aware of...as in the object...aka the known concept (body) arising in the non-conceptual mind...known only to the mind not the body.
... it is only when these two surfaces interact with one another is anything known/sensed....can't have one without the other, without one there is no other, and vice versa...without other there is no one... the appearance of both body and mind aka dualism is nothing but embodied awareness that pervades all appearances as one in the same instant, awareness is one, nondual.. not two...awareness of an object within itself is dualism, a belief in the object as identified with the object.

Non-duality is duality..duality is nonduality knowing it is dual via the conception of itself...a (belief) is dualism, it's the conception of nonduality, an ism, within that which is not an ism, but without the belief in the ism, there is nothing at all, no conception of anything. Nothing is known.

When awareness knows sensation, on contact with a surface..consciousness/mind is born. Two aspects of the same one. The unborn born/the born unborn...works both ways, for it's always one with itself in every moment no matter which way one looks at it.

When two surfaces come together there is contact.

Only on release of the two surfaces in contact is there no contact, nothing known or sensed here...only on contact is anything known or sensed.



.

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Gary Childress
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Re: Cartesian dualism

Post by Gary Childress » Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:03 pm

PeteJ wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:10 pm
Gary Childress wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:53 pm

Monism (in terms of philosophy of mind--in the Cartesian sense) is the belief that mind and body are of the same identical material, substance or whatever. It's definitely not dualism.
This is a subtle issue. Monism is a disguised form of dualism. This is why non-dualism is not called monism.

The reason monism is dualism is that for one thing to exist two things must exist. This is bacause to exist is to 'stand-out'. Stand out from what?

The reasons can also be more obvious. Russell's 'neutral monism' , for instance, requires a multiplicity of neutral objects.

This is a well-known issue and there are many explanations in the literature. Al-Hallaj famously tells a person off for claiming 'God is One', since this requires a dualism of God and testifier. In his treatise The Oneness of Being Ibn 'Arabi is careful to explain that 'Oneness' should not be thought of as a numerical quantity. Rather, the Many and the One are encompassed and transcended in Unity or Unicity.

Monism belongs in the world of form and number or 'world of opposites', while non-dualism extends 'beyond the coincidence of contradictories'.
I would assume that monism is no more a "disguised form of dualism" than dualism is a disguised form of monism. Even a monist will say that there are different things in the world, however, s/he would say that all those things are identical in their fundamental composition--that they are all composed of the same type or kind of fundamental building blocks or parts, just that they are separated by space or distance of some nature between them.

But you have a point. In a sense it depends upon the frame of reference being used. By the same token we can talk of a rock versus a puddle of water. You could be either a monist or a dualist with respect to them depending upon where you draw the distinctions and what is being referred to. In one sense a rock and a puddle of water are radically different in that one is "liquid" and the other "solid". In that sense you can be a "dualist" with respect to their properties. However, you could also be a monist with respect to them in the sense that they are both composed of the same kind or type of atomic particles--protons, electrons, neutrons or what have you.

The question for philosophy of mind, at least how it is traditionally laid out, is whether mind is "composed" of protons, electrons, etc. or not as just about everything else we know of in the world. The problem is, we can't really see, touch, smell or observe mind (or consciousness) in the same way we can just about everything else in the world. That seems like a fundamental distinction to me.

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Re: Cartesian dualism

Post by PeteJ » Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:57 pm

Gary Childress wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:03 pm
I would assume that monism is no more a "disguised form of dualism" than dualism is a disguised form of monism.
I don't think it makes sense to assume these things. If you examine Russell's paradox this is exactly the problem that arises for monism. It is not logically possible to reduce all things to one thing or two things. For one thing to exist two things must exists, and for two things to exist three things must exist.

This would be why the word advaita (not-two) is widely used in the Perennial philosophy. It denies dualism while avoiding an endorsement of monism. Both these 'isms' would be false and logically indefensible, You may disagree about monism, but its equivalence with dualism is the reason why it is rejected by those who endorse non-dualism. If the non-dual doctrine is true then monism is false.

Here is Francis Bradley in his Appearance and Reality explaining that non-dualism is not monism. The term 'Unity' would not imply monism but rather non-dualism. He might agree with you that monism and dualism are disguised forms of each other.

“Reality is one. It must be single, because plurality, taken as real, contradicts itself. Plurality implies relations, and, through its relations, it unwillingly asserts always a superior unity. To suppose the universe plural is therefore to contradict oneself and, after all, to suppose that it is one. Add one world to another, and forthwith both worlds have become relative, each the finite appearance of a higher and single Reality. And plurality as appearances (we have seen) must fall within, must belong to, must qualify the unity.
We have an idea of this unity which, to some extent, is positive. It is true that how in detail the plurality comes together we do not know. And it is true again that unity, in its more proper sense, is known only as contra-distinguished from plurality. Unity therefore, as an aspect over against and defined by another aspect, is itself but appearance. And in this sense the Real, it is clear, cannot be properly called one. It is possible, however, to use unity with a different meaning.”

I'm not arguing for the sake of it. It's an interesting issue and much misunderstanding of mysticism arises from a confusion of non-dualism with monism. But monism cannot be a fundamental doctrine since it runs into problem of self-reference, as Russell discovered.
The question for philosophy of mind, at least how it is traditionally laid out, is whether mind is "composed" of protons, electrons, etc. or not as just about everything else we know of in the world. The problem is, we can't really see, touch, smell or observe mind (or consciousness) in the same way we can just about everything else in the world. That seems like a fundamental distinction to me.
Not fundamental, but certainly a perceived distinction. Unity is the idea that there are no fundamental distinctions. For the mind-matter dichotomy we see this from Schopenhauer, who speaks of the breakdown of the subject-object distinction in what he calls his 'better' consciousness. For a doctrine of Unity protons and electrons and the space-time they inhabit would be artifacts of Mind. Mind and Matter would reduce to a third term. This third term would be Bradley's Unity.

The point being that for a study of the Perennial philosophy it would be vital not to confuse it with monism. Philosophers have been playing around with dualism and monism for millennia and cannot make either idea work. Descartes speculates that by reduction Mind and Matter are a Unity, but this is not an idea we can make much sense of without a study of mysticism.

There's a lot more that could be said but it would take us off-topic. Although now I think of it I've forgotten the topic.

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Re: Cartesian dualism

Post by Skepdick » Sat Aug 03, 2019 1:17 pm

PeteJ wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:57 pm
If you examine Russell's paradox this is exactly the problem that arises for monism. It is not logically possible to reduce all things to one thing or two things. For one thing to exist two things must exists, and for two things to exist three things must exist.
If this is the counter-argument you are presenting then you don't understand what a monad is. Logically/Mathematically.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monad_(fu ... ogramming)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monad_(category_theory)

You don't reduce all things to one thing. You synthesise all things into one Monad. Conversely - you reduce a Monad into things.

You are tripping up over the fact that the question "What exists?" is undecidable.

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Re: Cartesian dualism

Post by Skepdick » Sat Aug 03, 2019 1:34 pm

PeteJ wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:57 pm
This would be why the word advaita (not-two) is widely used in the Perennial philosophy. It denies dualism while avoiding an endorsement of monism.
You are not avoiding monism - you are simply failing to commit. Which is a wise thing to do since you know that all positive claims lead to metaphysical contradictions.

Example: By saying "not-two" you not failing to endorse monism. You are simply failing to specify which of the TWO Monism you endorse.

The Monism where "not 2" means "one thing exists" is called Existence monism
The Monism where "not 2" means "more than two things exist" is called Priority monism.

Wait!!! What?!? Surely "two monisms" is an oxymoron?!? Surely "two monisms" is a contradiction of terms?

No, it's just philosophical - where the rules don't matter and anything goes! Catch your tail - if you can.

For you can always dualise everything via reduction/deconstruction/analysis/distinction
Or you can always monise everything via propotion/construction/synthesis/abstraction

Destruction and creation. Ying and Yang as one.

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Re: Cartesian dualism

Post by PeteJ » Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:07 am

As my post makes perfectly clear, I reject both your forms of monism.

My view of monads is the same as Schrodinger's. They don't work and are a bad idea.

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Re: Cartesian dualism

Post by SteveKlinko » Sun Aug 04, 2019 4:36 pm

Gary Childress wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:45 pm
I think the mind body problem will always remain a great puzzle. I do wonder, however, why not "dualism"? Why should monism be so attractive? It's said that dualism creates the problem of how two completely different entities (mind and body) are able to interact with each other. However, the universe is clearly a strange and bizarre place according to contemporary physics. What is to say that two radically different entities like mind and body CAN'T interact? I don't think reductionism will ever work. So just give up and become dualists and subscribe to the notion that we just don't know how they interact. Life is a mystery and always will be.
I'm more optimistic because I think that everything will eventually be Explained some day. On the other hand I'm pessimistic because that will be a bad day for us because the Mystery is the Glory of our existence. When we do figure it all out we will have to do something to make us forget all the answers and start out on the journey again.

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