KARL JASPERS FORUM
TA 102-104 (Vimal)
Commentary 8 (to R8)
PROBLEMS OF DUALISM
by Herbert FJ Müller
9 March 2008, posted 15 March 2008
Concerning the remaining questions :
‘PE’ seems to mean a reaction of a simple animal to light, and ‘physicalism’ a description of this reaction, in objective terms, not in phenomenological terms. It is not a question of whether there is a reaction; but that subjective experience is not involved. Human reactions can also be described for instance in MIR-behavioural-materialist terms, without SE. In both instances there is a subject-exclusive MIR-view (whether you want to label such MIR-physiological descriptions as ‘materialist’ or ‘physicalist’ or as something else). It is not a dual-aspect description. Furthermore, even if one wanted to use dual-aspect views, they would present the problem that the MIR-part always seems to take over, with the result that the phenomenological aspect vanishes. More specifically, the MIR aspect would have to be seen as a specialization within SE, so that in dualism you have SE (phenomenology) plus a specialization within SE (the MIR part), which would be difficult to keep apart in practice.
The ‘sea of EMR’ is a mind-independent, i.e., materialist item. Of course we can imagine items in it, but that is a materialistic approach.
‘Given’ is originally a theistic concept. Without theism one could simply say that ongoing experience is our only available starting point for knowledge, etc. We are faced with that situation, i.e., we are confined to an experiential bubble.
Unpack crystallization : we do the structuring within SE.
Herbert FJ Müller
email <herbert.muller (at) mcgill.ca>