Analysis Of Huxley, Ryle, And Armstrong Essay

1625 Words Oct 13th, 2016 7 Pages
Prior to delving in and analyzing the various responses of Huxley, Ryle, and Armstrong, a synopsis highlighting the key points of “An Unfortunate Dualist” is essential. Ultimately, Smullyan paints a picture of a protagonist who is extremely unhappy due to his philosophical inclinations. He reasons he cannot commit suicide for it will not be a rational act given the various associations he believes suicide holds. This dualist, comes across a miraculous drug which will annihilate the soul, yet leaving the physical body- his perfect solution. During the night, a friend who is aware of his sufferings sneaks in and injects the drug. The protagonist wakes up the next morning, still buying the drug and injects himself. Moments later he is utterly disappointed, deeming himself no different and continues to live a miserable life. The synthesis of this drug, as suggested by a dualist perspective, would entail that there is an immaterial “substance” (the mind) which has a back and forth relationship with a physical substance (the body). Extensively, this would entail that the mind holds the essence of who one truly is. Thus, proper efficacy upon administration, means separation of thyself from the physical body. It follows, that if complete mind-body autonomy is the aims in principle, Huxley would harken back to his epiphenomenalist view and contend that this drug is impossible in principle, for it presupposes that the mental states have an influence on the physical states. In…

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