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Constructing the World Week 7

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- David Chalmers

- So far I’ve argued that all truths are a priori scrutable from PQTI-
- microphysics, phenomenology, that’s-all, indexicals

- How much further can we narrow the base?
- Is there a principled minimal basis?

- Heuristics for suggesting that B is scrutable from A
- Knowability: Knowing A enables knowing B
- Conceivability: A without B is inconceivable
- Analysis: B-expressions are approximately analyzable in terms of A-expressions.

- A heuristic for further narrowing the base
- Aim for conceptual priority in a base

- A is conceptually prior to B when...
- Grasping B requires grasping A?
- Articulating B requires articulating A?
- B can be approximately defined in terms of A?

- A is twin-earthable when intrinsic duplicates can use A nondeferentially with different content
- ‘water’, ‘Godel’
- not ‘philosopher’, ‘circle’, ‘conscious’?

- Arguably: Twin-earthable truths are scrutable from non-twin-earthable truths plus indexical truths
- Aim for non-twinearthable expressions and indexicals in the base

- Microphysical expressions are approximately analyzable, by the Carnap-Ramsey-Lewis method, in terms of observable and nomic expressions
- Charge = what plays the charge role
- Repeat for various theoretical terms
- Grounded in laws, primary and secondary quality expressions?

- Observational truths involving secondary qualities
- Functionalist view: Analyzable via and scrutable from phenomenal and causal truths
- e.g. redness = normal cause of red experience, or disposition to cause red experience

- Primitivist view: Not analyzable in this way
- red is a primitive concept, such that red things normally cause red experiences is not a priori

- Are spatiotemporal truths scrutable from nonspatiotemporal truths?
- Functionalist view: a priori scrutable from phenomenal and nomic truths
- e.g. length/distance = what causes experiences as of length/distance

- Primitivist view: Not analyzable/scrutable in this way. Primitive spatiotemporal concepts.

- Functionalist view: a priori scrutable from phenomenal and nomic truths

- Spatiotemporal Twin Earth cases (Brad Thompson):
- Doubled Earth: Everything is twice as big. Big Oscar is a functional/phenomenal duplicate of Oscar.
- Claim: When Big Oscar says ‘That is two meters long’ he speaks truly.
- So Big Oscar refers to two meters with ‘one meter’. Suggests: ‘one meter’ = (roughly) what normally causes experiences as of one meter.

- What about shape and relative size?
- El Greco World: Everything is stretched out by a factor of two on one dimension. Stretched Oscar is twice as tall as Oscar.
- Claim: When Stretched Oscar says ‘That is square’ he speaks truly.
- So his ‘square’ refers to what we call rectangles.

- Say that we turn out to be in Stretched Oscar’s situation: our galaxy is stretched relative to rest of the world, macrophysical length is nonuniform with respect to microphysical length.
- Claim: even if so, our ordinary claims re squareness are true and experiences are veridical.
- We’d distinguish macrosquareness from microsquareness (etc), and hold that ‘square’ refers to macrosquareness.

- Even better: if fundamental physics doesn’t use spacetime (cf. the Matrix).

- Functionalist view: Spatiotemporal expressions are Twin-Earthable and analyzable, like color (on functionalist view):
- spatiotemporal properties = those properties that normally cause relevant experiences

- Primitivist view: Spatiotemporal concepts are primitive, non-Twin-Earthable, unanalyzable
- spatiotemporal expressions in base

- Humean scrutability: Nomic truths are scrutable from non-nomic truths (e.g. spatiotemporal truths)
- Base involves spatiotemporal mosaic?

- Non-Humean view: Nomic truths are not scrutable from non-nomic truths
- Base involves laws of nature?

- Test case: Can we conceive that all the non-nomic truths obtain and the nomic truths are different?
- E.g. conceivability of Giant Cosmic Coincidence world
- Pair of Tooley worlds with different laws of nature for uninstantiated interactions

- If we need nomic expressions in the base, then which?
- Arguably, law (or it is naturally necessary that) is more fundamental than cause?
- If the world is nondeterministic, we may also need chance.

- Type-A materialist: Phenomenal truths are a priori scrutable from physical truths (and from nomic/spatiotemporal truths?)
- analytic functionalist, eliminativist, ...

- Phenomenal realist: Phenomenal truths are not a priori scrutable from physical truths (or...)
- Type-B materialist, dualist, panpsychist, ...

- Are phenomenal concepts analyzable in some other (non-functionalist) way?
- Intentionalist: phenomenal redness = phenomenally representing (external, primitive?) redness
- Naive realist: phenomenal redness = veridical perception of red object, or hallucination thereof?
- Panprotopsychist: phenomenal truths scrutable from protophenomenal truths?

- Quiddities: The “hidden” categorical bases of fundamental microphysical dispositions
- E.g. property X plays the charge role

- View 1: No quiddities distinct from roles
- View 2: Numerically distinct quiddities
- View 3: Substantial graspable quiddities
- View 4: Substantial ungraspable quiddities

- Are all quiddistic truths scrutable from role truths?
- Arguably yes on views 1, 2, 4 (though...)
- Plausibly no on view 3 (thick quidditism)
- View 3 involves conceptual quidditism and plausibly leads to epistemological quidditism
- It’s conceivable that X plays the charge role and that Y plays that charge role

- If epistemological quidditism is correct, we’ll need quiddistic expressions in the base
- Phenomenal? (panpsychism)
- Protophenomenal? (panprotopsychism)
- Secondary qualities? (pancolorism)
- Other? (humility re intrinsics)

- Given determinism: boundary conditions plus laws?
- Given probabilistic laws: boundary conditions plus laws plus ...
- Specifiable using description of countable length?

- Which indexicals?
- Which logical expressions?
- Which mathematical expressions?
- Categorical expressions?
- That’s-all expressions?

- Four major choice points:
- Spatiotemporal expressions: yes or no
- Nomic expressions: yes or no
- Phenomenal expressions: yes or no
- Quiddities: yes or no

- Sixteen resulting potential bases?
- N.B. Pluralism remains possible, depending on issues about conceptual priority.

- SNPQ, SNP, ..., S, N, P, -
- -: yields Newman’s problem?
- P: yields phenomenalism or Humean panpsychism?
- S: Lewis’s Humean scrutability?
- N: nomic structuralism
- My view: NP, or NQ (with protophenomena), or perhaps NPQ

- Narrow Scrutability: Base is non-Twinearthable
- Primitive Scrutability: Base involves primitive concepts
- Acquaintance Scrutability: Base involves objects of acquaintance (epistemically rigid concepts?)
- Fundamental Scrutability: Base involves metaphysical fundamentals (plus...)
- Structural Scrutability: Base involves relations