Physicalist Response To The Body

2134 Words 9 Pages
The nature of the mind in relation to the body is a widely debated and unsolved topic that has plagued the human quest for truth. The question has deep philosophical roots and has several titles, for example, the mind-body problem, mind-body interaction problem, or the hard problem of consciousness. Prima facie, the question may appear unnecessary as we ourselves obviously have minds, and we can physically feel and experience the world around us. Descartes famously stepped up the game on this question with his Meditations’. He broke down the empiricist approach to knowledge, that all knowledge is gained from experience, and showed that we cannot trust our senses and our perceptions of the world. He concludes that without the inclusion of …show more content…
The physicalist response to the knowledge argument first is that it assumes the conclusion within its premises. The idea that all the physical information is given to her makes the a priori assumption that all the physical information that could ever be given will not suffice to her understanding the qualia of seeing red. Furthermore, when she steps outside the room and experiences seeing red she is having a physical experience where her senses are activated from perceiving the color. Therefore, she did not have the physical experience and consequently not all the physical information. In addition, Frank Jackson replied to his own argument years later, explaining problems he found within his article. In his “Postscript On Qualia”, he gave two reasons for changing his mind: one, that you could have a false memory trace, or misremember something causing you to have a false idea of what the color red is, and two, that causal origins must not outrun the effects. His first reason explains that we could appear to have the qualia of seeing red yet not have the real qualia through a false perception of what seeing red is. His second reason states that because the causes of mental states are physical the effect must be physical as well. In consequent of these issues, the famous Knowledge Argument fails to prove that qualia is fundamentally …show more content…
Wallace Matson’s “Zombies Begone! Against Chalmers’ Mind/Brain Dualism” attacks specifically Chalmers’ use of logical possibility, however, his ideas can further extend to Gertler’s argument as well. Matson begins his destruction of Chalmers 's claim by first providing a history of logical possibility and possible worlds. He explains that logical possibility is rooted in the idea of an omnipotent god with the ability to create an infinite amount of possible worlds. Therefore, when using logical possibility Chalmers is relying on the existence of such an all knowing and all powerful God. When we remove God from the picture, a possible world remains as a merely a set of consistent prepositions and logical possibility as concepts void of contradictions. To determine consistency, we apply the concepts to our imagination, yet our imagination is dependent on our subjective experience. Mistaken perceptions can allow us to imagine logically impossible concepts, like squared circles, and things we cannot perceive lead us to be unable to imagine many logically possible concepts, like the non-existence of God. So, under these conditions, how does such a logical possibility, based on potential flawed perception, now give rise to any real metaphysical possibility? It appears that concepts

Related Documents