Assess The Arguments For Dualism Essay - …
The will look at a different kind of argument for dualism.
Let us now apply this thought to conscious subjects. Suppose that agiven human individual had had origins different from those which he infact had such that whether that difference affected who he waswas not obvious to intuition. What would count as such a case might bea matter of controversy, but there must be one. Perhaps it is unclearwhether, if there had been a counterpart to Jones' body from the sameegg but a different though genetically identical sperm from the samefather, the person there embodied would have been Jones. Somephilosophers might regard it as obvious that sameness of sperm isessential to the identity of a human body and to personal identity. Inthat case imagine a counterpart sperm in which some of the molecules inthe sperm are different; would that be the same sperm? If one pursuesthe matter far enough there will be indeterminacy which will infectthat of the resulting body. There must therefore be some differencesuch that neither natural language nor intuition tells us whether thedifference alters the identity of the human body; a point, that is,where the question of whether we have the same body is not a matter offact.
Some Popular Arguments for Dualism
Physical objects are spatio-temporal, and bear spatio-temporal andcausal relations to each other. Mental states seem to have causalpowers, but they also possess the mysterious property of intentionality—being about other things—including things like Zeus and the square root of minus one, which do not exist. No merephysical thing could be said to be, in a literal sense,‘about’ something else. The nature of the mental is bothqueer and elusive. In Ryle's deliberately abusive phrase, the mind, asthe dualist conceives of it, is a ‘ghost in a machine’.Ghosts are mysterious and unintelligible: machines are composed ofidentifiable parts and work on intelligible principles. But thiscontrast holds only if we stick to a Newtonian and common-sense view ofthe material. Think instead of energy and force-fields in a space-timethat possesses none of the properties that our senses seem to reveal:on this conception, we seem to be able to attribute to matter nothingbeyond an abstruse mathematical structure. Whilst the material world,because of its mathematicalisation, forms a tighter abstract systemthan mind, the sensible properties that figure as the objects of mentalstates constitute the only intelligible content for any concretepicture of the world that we can devise. Perhaps the world within theexperiencing mind is, once one considers it properly, no more—or even less—queer than the world outside it.