I was thinking about dualism recently and I find it problematic. Lets start with definition of dualism. Dualism is a system of belief which claims that both mind/soul and matter are real. Mind however is not material hence it does not have any location. The problem I am facing is how one can related one mind to one body.
As always with philosophy, it depends on what you mean by ...
It's possible that both mind and matter are real, but not of different substance, but more like two vastly different possible ways that substance can behave, two different styles
of matter/energy behaviour.
If matter can be conscious, there's no problem.
But here it's interesting because there's a natural revulsion to thinking that matter might be conscious, because it seems like there's a different world "in here" than "out there", and that having "in-here-ness" is a vastly different sort of thing from existing physically, as a particular bundle of matter/energy.
like - but is it?
Consider that we ordinarily use "consciousness" broadly in two distinct ways (at least, but let's focus on these two, as they are the senses that seem to be involved in these sorts of discussions).
In a public, third-person sense, we have no problem observing two physical objects, one of which is conscious of the other in the sense that it can avoid it or cleave to it, circle it circumspectly, bark at it, etc.
The other sense of "consciousness" is a private, first-person sense. Here it seems like being conscious is having phenomena
In a wooly sort of way, we tie the two together - we think, vaguely, that avoiding things and cleaving to them in the public, third-person sense, just involves
having an "inner life", that having an "inner life" is the means by which publicly observable things cleave to and avoid other publicly-observable things, and without an "inner life", a thing isn't properly conscious, even if it happens to cleave to and avoid things (that must be "programming", which is different from being conscious in the "inner" sense).
But what if we don't have an "inner life"? What if our having an "inner life" is an illusion to us, a mistake, in the same sense that a publicly-observable dog might mistake a publicly-observable stick for a publicly-observable bone? If all that's left is the publicly-observable cleaving to/avoiding behaviour, then the problem is in a sense solved, because there's no problem, there's only the one sense of consciousness that effectively refers
to anything, the sense that refers to a type of behaviour of matter.
However, even if we say that inner life is an illusion, there must be some sort of basis for the illusory nature of it, and that basis must be physical, must be matter/energy.
Yes, the basis is physical, it is the physical interactions that cause and form the substance of sensory events, understood from a particular perspective. The illusion of inner life arises when objects causally interact with sensory organs and the brain systems relevant thereunto. At that moment of interaction, a physical thing exists that doesn't exist up until that moment of interaction and disappears with its ceasing
, abstractly speaking, like the kind of "interference pattern" that appears when two waves interact on the water's surface.
One's "inner life", then, is just the existence of sequences of those unique matter/energy interactions. From the first-person perspective, they are not observed by
anyone or anything (unless we slip back to third-person public language, in which case they are observed by you in an inoffensive, ordinary sense); they are not observed by anything "inside one's head", they don't appear to a point of view, they aren't contained in any sort of space-like container called "awareness", they just sheerly exist. And that is enough.
The illusion (remember, an illusion on a par with the kind of illusion we might observe when a dog mistakes a stick for a bone) is precisely that there is an inner haver
of these events, which makes the experiences seem of a different order of being to those events we normally think of as external to us, matter/energy, physical, etc., when actually they are of the same order.
If it were not so, if they weren't of the same order, they couldn't be part of the same consciousness.
If you introspect, you notice that both external, physical events and thoughts appear on the same level, or in the same "conscious space" (I use the metaphor here because it's convenient) - thoughts are vague, like echoes of sounds, you have itches, images, etc., all appearing quite alongside
external physical objects.
Idealists think that's because external objects are mental, but it's the other way round, it's because internal objects are also physical
, just like the external objects.