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30 Cards in this Set

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summarize Block's "absent qualia" or "Chinese nation" argument against functionalism

Functionalism says any physical thing having the functional organization of the mind will be conscious. But take the example of the entire population of China using walkie talkies to interact the way neurons do; it's absurd to think this system would have qualia. So functionalism is false.

summarize Chalmers' zombie argument against materialism

There is a possible world physically identical to ours except that people do not have qualia (zombies). so in this world the facts about consciousness are further facts about this world over and above the physical (and not reducible to the physical). so materialism is false.

summarize Jackson's knowledge argument against physicalism

Mary is a neuroscientist stuck in a black and white room her whole life. Physics, chemistry, and neuroscience is complete in this future and she knows every physical truth there is to know. When she goes out of the room, she learns what it is like to see red for the first time. so when she was in the room and knew all the physical truths she did not know EVERY truth there is to know (what it is like to see red). so physicalism is false.

Summarize nagel's "bat" argument

Physical facts= objective and outside of a POV


consciousness= subjective and inside a POV




a physical explanation (one that is objective and outside of a POV) of consciousness doesn't make sense because subjectivity is exactly what needs to be explained. so we can't explain consciousness in physical terms.

what is the resemblance theory of representation?

something represents something IF AND ONLY IF it resembles it

give a brief recap of the problems with the resemblance theory of representation

1. resemblance is not sufficient for representation


2. resemblance is not necessary for representation (words, abstract art)


3. all pictures require interpretation (something that is over and above resemblance) bc appealing to further pictures leads to infinite regress (man walking up a hill or sliding down example)


4. there are many ideas that cannot be represented by pictures and so resemblance doesn't have anything to do with these cases

explain in more detail the fact that resemblance is not sufficient for representation

1. everything resembles everything to some extent but not everything represents everything


2. resemblance is symmetrical while representation is not (person can resemble their picture but a person can't represent their picture) so resemblance doesn't always lead to representation


3. resemblance is reflexive while representation is not (everyone resembles themselves but it doesn't make sense for someone to represent themselves) so resemblance doesn't always lead to representation

what is the convention theory of representation?

words represent things because of convention

what is the problem with the convention theory of representation?

convention presupposes representation which is what we're trying to explain in the first place (circular argument)

what is the ideational theory of representation?

words represent things by standing for ideas in the mind of that thing

what is the problem with the ideational theory of representation?

if ideas=mental images then all the problems with the resemblance theory applies. if not, now we have to explain how ideas in the mind represent

what is intentionality?

the about-ness or representational content of thoughts and other representations

what is a propositional attitude?

propositional attitude= the relation between a thinker and a proposition, situation, or content




involves a subject<=attitude=>and a proposition




e.g. Fred believes that it is raining


(believes= attitude; that it is raining= proposition)



what is the conceptual role theory of intentionality?

thoughts get their intentionality from their conceptual relation to other thoughts (e.g. how a dictionary defines words with other words)

what are the problems with the conceptual role theory of intentionality?

the theory presupposes intentionality which is exactly what it's trying to explain



leads to an infinite regress and becomes a circular argument

what is the causal theory of intentionality?

thoughts with intentional content are caused by the external world or thing in external world=> thought about the thing




later (as long as the effect is a "reliable indicator" of the cause) is added



what are the problems with the casual theory of intentionality?

what about things that don't exist, abstract things, or future events?




a thought could be something different than the cause if you make a mistake, so thing in external world !=> thought about that thing




"reliable indicators" in nature are examples of derived or "as-if" intentionality NOT intrinsic intentionality (smoke and fire)



explain how Fodor responds to the misrepresentation problem by appealing to the notion of "asymmetric dependence"

If grandma has a cat and a stray dog comes in, and then she mistakes the dog for her cat because she has bad vision, the dog causing her thought is parasitic on the cat causing her thought bc the cat causing the thought was set up first and more fundamental than the dog causing the thought

what is a response to the notion of "asymmetric dependence"?

Then what if grandma goes out into the yard and mistakes a hose for a snake? The snake was never there in the first place to set up a fundamental basis that the misrepresentation can be parasitic on

what is the biosemantic theory of intentionality?

intentionality is explained in terms of its biological function; we evolved to be afraid of snakes for survival bc our fear protects us

what is the problem with the biosemantic theory of intentionality?

what about more complex thoughts like whether Tchaikovsky is better than Mozart? the theory only explains things like snakes

what is the instrumentalist theory of intentionality?

intentionality is not real, it's just a useful fiction




we take an "intentional stance" towards something because it's useful to do so; thus, intentionality is like a tool that helps us explain things to ourselves

what are the problems with the instrumentalist theory of intentionality?

intentionality itself is needed to take an "intentional stance" towards something




the theory takes the easy, lazy way out by denying the existence of intentionality rather than explaining it (eliminativism)





what is eliminative materialism?

mind doesn't exist bc it can't be explained in physical terms

what is baker's argument against eliminative materialism?

believing that intentionality doesn't exist REQUIRES intentionality

what is Thomistic dualism?

Thomistic dualism is based on hylemorphism and says that everything is made of up form and matter which are 2 aspects of the same thing and not 2 entirely distinct things that are somehow joined together

what are the 4 advantages of thomistic dualism?

1. no interaction problem


2. no re-identification problem (how can you tell the res cogitans of your Dad hasn't changed if you've never observed the res cogitans?)


3. no zombie probem


4. explains the problem that Cartesian Dualism has of how the self can persist while not thinking if the soul is pure thought (e.g. sleep=> going out of existence)


*1,2,and3 are true bc form and matter are 2 aspects of the same thing

what is property dualism?

it is the idea that there is only one material substance with two physical and nonphysical properties to it




=> propositional attitudes can be reduced to material substance since they don't involve qualia, but qualia itself can't be




propositional attitudes= physical; qualia= nonphysical

what is epiphenomenalist property dualism?

the physical affects the nonphysical but the nonphysical doesn't affect the physical

what is the main problem with epiphenomenalist property dualism?

=> we can't even talk about our qualia bc our mental states have no affect on our larynxes, tongues, and lips




=> since the nonphysical has no affect on the physical, your beliefs or propositional attitudes (physical) about your qualia (nonphysical) would be the same whether or not you really had qualia since the nonphysical has no affect whatsoever on the physical so there's no way to know whether your qualia actually exists in the first place