Question by : Critique my philosophy paper, please ?
Many reductive theories of the mind are debunked due to pervasive flaws in the theory or unexplainable exceptions to the theory. Among these failed theories are: logical behaviorism, identity theory, and functionalism. Logical behaviorism does not account for mental states that do not elicit noticeable behaviors. Identity theory pretentiously assumes that thoughts can only be formed through the structure of the brain. Functionalism does not explain the understanding of language that humans possess. On the other hand, eliminative materialism postulates that reductive theories of the mind have failed because mental terms do not refer to anything ergo mental states do not exist. Eliminative materialism expounds the error in folk psychology by proving that illusions of mental states can be due to biochemical changes that alter one’s sensations and perceptions. The theory of eliminative materialism faces bitter criticism from the syndicated philosophers John Searle, Frank Jackson, and David Chalmers. Searle ridicules eliminative materialism by writing that nothing can exist if the underlying theory of existence is disconnected from classical physics principles. Jackson proposes that qualitative experience is required for knowing certain things, such as the subjective nature of colors. Chalmers tries to show that mental states cannot be reduced to physical properties in his example of the identical zombie.
I am inclined to favor eliminative materialism due to its explanation of mental phenomena in a concise and precise manner. As well, the arguments opposed to eliminative materialism are fallacious because they make too many assumptions. Searle’s proposal that physical objects cannot be, if theoretical physics is the underlying theory, is derived from an incomplete body of knowledge. There are many unexplainable anomalies that science has yet to discern. Theoretical physics is one of these anomalies. But, lack of understanding does not define a lack of connection between theoretical physics and classical physics. Searle cannot deem these two types of physics incompatible based on the scarce body of knowledge science has acquired on the subject. For addressing the argument of the Color Blind Scientist, I must point out that contemporary knowledge is applicable to this scenario. The qualitative nature of color is indubitable, but this distinct quality is produced through the sensation and perception of this color. The problem with this thought experiment is that each sense has a distinct path to the short term or long term memory. To verbally explain different objects to someone is to stimulate their auditory nerve which sends a distinct neurological signal to the thalamus that is then perceived and stored quite differently from other sense impulses. Considering this, it is apparent that these different methods of learning will constitute different perceptions thus different sources of information. This means that the qualitative experience of humanity can only be made through intertwining perceptions from each sense. Jackson proposes that the scientist “acquires” this physical knowledge, which would mean every type of stimulation involved in the formation of a particular memory would be activated and perceived correctly. This, effectively, would mean that the scientist has experienced it because we know the world through our perceptions, and to write that all the physical knowledge was imparted on him would require the interaction of all the senses and perceptions. Moreover, Chalmers assumes from the start of his thought experiment that minds are separate from bodies as he writes “someone or something physically identical to me, but lacking conscious experience”. Based on the flaw in this foundational sentence, he can no longer proceed with any accuracy, because he has assumed an opinion as fact. If he could prove that something identical, meaning that it is “molecule for molecule identical”, to him could lack consciousness, he could proceed with his argument. This weak point, though, deters me from reading further in fear of uncertainty. Although, I am not definitive of my support for eliminative materialism, it seems to be the most explanatory and it has not been critically challenged. These arguments against it are fallacious in that they rely too much on our subjective interpretation of a minds existence. It is more logical to believe that a human’s brain is so complex that most are unable to fathom a mind not existing. Being cognizant of the intricacies of neural connections, or even more fundamentally, the multitude of electron bonding possibilities, it is simple to recognize the seemingly infinite properties that can arise from matter.
Answer by Lapiz
Having read your paper thoroughly, not being cognisant with all of your sources, I find your paper and subsequent summary both fascinating and worthy of further study. As am very committed to exploring the varying theories and discoveries relative to a Quantum Continuous Occurrence, I cannot say I`m able to be in agreement, but have bookmarked this for my future reference to study. Should I use any sentence in a paper of my own, I am adding you to my Contacts List to ask your permission. Your argument is well reasoned it seems, as a rudimentary debate(recall I do not know of all of the theories of all of your sources) and my critical analysis might be that you could include a quote from each ouce, to strengthen and support what is an excellent and well-presented paper based upon your own research and subsequent current conclusion.
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