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What kind of thing is the mind? A sound deductive argument

 
 
jber
 
Reply Mon 2 Apr, 2018 10:19 am
Hi there! I am very new to philosophy and am needing to set up a sound deductive argument for the question: What kind of thing is the mind? If anyone has any suggestions, feel free to answer in your own way!
Thank you in advance for your help!!
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Type: Question • Score: 4 • Views: 1,701 • Replies: 33
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jber
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Apr, 2018 12:32 pm
@jber,
More specifically, I am in need of a deductive argument in favor of Dualism. Very easy to do, yet I seem to struggle with it. Any help is great, thank you!
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Apr, 2018 12:38 pm
@jber,
jber wrote:
Very easy to do, yet I seem to struggle with it.

And the essay deadline is tomorrow?
jber
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Apr, 2018 12:47 pm
@centrox,
No, but I am trying to get going on it today:) I just need to write a quick little one-page paper but can't really get started without a proper deductive argument to base the paper on
fresco
 
  2  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2018 12:21 am
@jber,
You have a problem with your approach since the 'thinghood' we assign to 'mind' and the process we call 'deduction' are presumably two of 'its' products !
This problem is the starting point of much of philosophy some of which rejects dualism and a 'successful' paper would be one that illustrated your appreciation of such issues.
0 Replies
 
Razzleg
 
  0  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2018 12:28 am
@jber,
i think you're better off checking out this site called google.com, it has a few more resources than this one!
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laughoutlood
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2018 01:52 am
An example of an argument using deductive reasoning:

All animals with a central nervous system display bilateral symmetry with a mind divided into two hemispheres. (First premise)

Dualism is the division of something conceptually into two opposed or contrasted aspects, or the state of being so divided. (Second premise)

Therefore, the mind is ineluctably dualistic. (Conclusion)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deductive_reasoning

Is it too late to change my course this semester?

Slip in a reference to Derrida deriding dualism and Bob's avuncular.

But never use wanker words like ineluctable and don't forget to rephrase any cheatin' plagiarism.

Or provide adequate attribution eg, as laughoutlood noted with hilarity.
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coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2018 03:48 pm
I don't envy your chore of having to argue in favor of dualism, but if numbers apply here, the history of the world, for the most part, reinforces your proposition. And, of course, if appearances is all that counts, then it should be easy to prove. It would be as easy to prove as saying the Earth is flat if you lived 500 years ago. Even them Scholars near the Earth's was a sphere, but the uneducated were unconvinced.

I don't know if your playing The Devil's Advocate in defense of dualism or if you really believe it. If the latter, then your task is easy. But you've come to the right place. There are probably plenty of people here that believe dualism is true.

0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  0  
Reply Wed 4 Apr, 2018 04:42 pm
@jber,
Good luck with a dualistic approach...faeries aren't easy to catch!...
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brianjakub
 
  0  
Reply Thu 5 Apr, 2018 03:51 am
@jber,
What makes an idea real? How do you understand the number two (which is an abstract idea) can be physically represented by two objects. The idea of the number 2 is meaningless and useless without a physical reality to represent it.
Amoh5
 
  0  
Reply Thu 5 Apr, 2018 05:36 am
@jber,
I'm not familiar with academic theories in philosophy, but the concept of dualistic thinking seems like a reasoning process towards weighing up the feasibilities and infeasibilities of an any idea in one's mind
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Apr, 2018 05:51 am
@brianjakub,
Oh dear, you have not been paying attention in class !
The concept 'two' is an abstraction predicated on the concept of 'one'. But that in turn implies the interaction of observer and observed called 'thinging' . ( Note that the first level of meaurement is defined as 'the nominal' i.e. 'naming' or 'counting one'.)
Representation may be implied by mathematical modelling but is not necessary for such modelling to proceed. Note for example that the modelling we call 'addition' involving 1+1=2 is NOT applicable when 'one drop' is placed with 'one drop' to produce 'one (bigger) drop'.
Once again words are about expected interactions in context, and not representational of an independent reality.
brianjakub
 
  0  
Reply Thu 5 Apr, 2018 05:55 am
@fresco,
It can be argued that it is implied by the independent reality that it was created to experience expected interactions in context.

Isnt this fun jber?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Apr, 2018 06:11 am
@brianjakub,
Nah...'reality' merely denotes agreement about expectancies. And since humans have a common physiology and may speak a common language which mediates experience, there will be much agreement.
As Kant said, we never experience the 'thing-in-itself', only a 'phenomenon'. Later phenomenologist argued that since 'thing in itself' was inaccessible, we should dispense with the concept entirely.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Apr, 2018 05:55 am
Here's a possible flow for the argument:

Minds evidently exist - we are them. They are best described as 'spaces' within which mental events (thoughts) occur.

Minds and thoughts are very odd 'things' though, very different from objects such as a shoe, a flame, or a wave. They have no extension, they take no space. One can quantify and compare most objects (e.g. weight, size up, take the temperature of., etc.) but one cannot quantify the events happening in the mind. You cannot really say "I had eleven thoughts today", or "my thoughts weigh more than yours", or "my mind is hotter than yours". That's what people mean when they say: "the mind is immaterial." What they mean is: "it does not behave as material things behave".

If minds and thoughts behave in ways very different from other objects, maybe then they are made of something else than other objects. Hence the idea of two different 'substances': mind and matter.

0 Replies
 
brianjakub
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Apr, 2018 01:21 pm
@fresco,
Quote:
As Kant said, we never experience the 'thing-in-itself', only a 'phenomenon'. Later phenomenologist argued that since 'thing in itself' was inaccessible, we should dispense with the concept entirely.
could you expand on this?

I think we experience a thing in itself because it really exists if it is made of matter. All matter interacts differently because of the Heisenberg uncertianty principle. So, everybody experiences matter similarly but never exactly the same.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Apr, 2018 06:23 am
@brianjakub,
Since all sensory data is mediated by our perceptual system we are in a similar position to a blind man with a stick.This is Kant's point.

The rest of your comment fails to take into account that 'similarity' and 'difference' are contextually functional and are not 'properties possessed by a 'thing' per se. In what way is yesterdays 'tree' the same as todays 'tree'? Certainly not the molecular level ! As already dicussed 'thinghood' is assigned by communicating humans for joint purposes. Consider the 'thing we call global warming', and the disputes about the functionality of he term. Or consider what we call a single substance 'water' which some cultures have two different words for according to whether you were allowed to drink it ot not.And since all is in a state of change, 'thinghood' boils down to a prediction of an expected contextual interaction with the world relative to human lifespans. Heideggar was one philosopher who expanded on this with his description of 'things at hand'. Other philoophers interested in 'being' or 'what is' attempted to ban the verb 'is' since it implied existence independent of an observer.
As I have stated before, all this is about whther you consider 'existence' to be relative or absolute and religionists tend to go for the latter.

brianjakub
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Apr, 2018 02:00 pm
@fresco,
Quote:
As I have stated before, all this is about whther you consider 'existence' to be relative or absolute and religionists tend to go for the latter.
I am not a religionist or an absolutist but, I do think I am looking at the same tree everyday in my front yard. It grows and I trim it. It changes but is still the same tree. Always will be until I cut it down. Then, I might experience it as the same chair every day after that, until the chair rots away and becomes worm food.

So could you further explain this
Quote:
The rest of your comment fails to take into account that 'similarity' and 'difference' are contextually functional and are not 'properties possessed by a 'thing' per se. In what way is yesterdays 'tree' the same as todays 'tree'? Certainly not the molecular level ! As already dicussed 'thinghood' is assigned by communicating humans for joint purposes.
I thing most people consider trees and chairs things and are smart enough to understand that things change overtime. And things change in fairly consistent ways because life is a process with a lot of predictable patterns built into the system.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2018 12:11 am
@brianjakub,
Thankyou for confirming my point that 'thinghood' is defined and by human contexts.
brianjakub
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2018 10:57 am
@fresco,
Things are defined by human context but the definition exists in the differences between how the Atoms are arranged and the quarks and electrons that build the Atoms. That is what we are putting into context. The Atoms and the patterns existed before humans recognized them. So, things always existed as long as there were patterns and certain things are the same and certain things are different whether humans knew it or not. A thing can exist without being defined by humans.

Personally I think the evidence shows that God thought of all things and Jesus Christ defined it in words we call quarks elecrtons and higgs bosons.
 

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