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What Are the Metaphysical Issues?. Metaphysics: questions about the nature of reality Nature of ultimate reality permanence and change appearance and reality Nature of human reality mind-body problem freedom and determinism. Metaphysical Positions. Monism Materialism Idealism Dualism.

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what are the metaphysical issues
What Are the Metaphysical Issues?
  • Metaphysics: questions about the nature of reality
  • Nature of ultimate reality
    • permanence and change
    • appearance and reality
  • Nature of human reality
    • mind-body problem
    • freedom and determinism
metaphysical positions
Metaphysical Positions
  • Monism
    • Materialism
    • Idealism
  • Dualism
conceptual tools for metaphysics
Conceptual Tools for Metaphysics
  • Simplification of complexity
    • Ockham\'s razor
  • Inference to the best explanation
    • used by both science and metaphysics
  • Questions about what is most fundamentally real
  • Fundamental reality
    • that upon which everything else depends
    • that which cannot be created or destroyed
metaphysical categories
Metaphysical Categories
  • Things that are not real: eliminativist strategy
  • Realities reducible to more fundamental realities: reductionist strategy
  • Things that are fundamentally real
plato s metaphysics
Plato’s Metaphysics
  • Nonphysical realities: Platonic Forms
  • Degrees of reality
  • Allegory of the cave
propositions of the mind body problem
Propositions of the Mind-Body Problem
  • The body is a physical thing
  • The mind is a nonphysical thing
  • The mind and body interact and causally affect one another
  • Nonphysical things cannot causally interact with physical things
  • These four statements cannot all be true
positions on the mind body problem
Positions on the Mind-Body Problem
  • Mind-body dualism
    • Interactionism
    • Parallelism
    • Occasionalism
  • Physicalism
    • Identity theory (reductionism)
    • Eliminativism
  • Functionalism
descartes s arguments for mind body dualism
Descartes’s Arguments for Mind-Body Dualism
  • Principle of the nonidentity of discernibles
  • Argument from doubt
      • Discourse on the Method
  • Argument from divisibility
  • Argument from consciousness
      • Meditations on First Philosophy
the cartesian compromise
The Cartesian Compromise
  • Division of reality
    • Science’s authority in the physical realm
    • Religion’s authority in the spiritual realm
  • Interactionism
physicalism an alternative to dualism
Physicalism: An Alternative to Dualism
  • Four problems of dualism:
    • Where is the mind-body interaction?
    • How does the interaction occur?
    • Conservation of energy?
    • Success of brain science?
the positive case for physicalism
The Positive Case for Physicalism
  • Correlation between mental events and brain states
  • Consciousness may be a by-product of low-level physical processes
forms of physicalism
Forms of Physicalism
  • Identity theory, or reductionism
    • Mental events are identical to brain events
    • Brain research will answer all questions about the mind
  • Eliminativism
    • Labels traditional psychological theories as folk psychology
    • No beliefs or desires, only brain states and processes
  • Minds are constituted by a certain pattern or relation between the parts of a system
  • Minds have multiple realizability
  • Mental states are defined in terms of their causal role (how they function)
artificial intelligence
Artificial Intelligence
  • Can computers think?
  • Turing test
  • Strong AI thesis: an appropriately programmed computer can think
  • Weak AI thesis: a computer can only simulate mental activities
issues of freedom and determinism
Issues of Freedom and Determinism
  • How do nature/nurture, heredity/ environment affect us ?
    • consider identical twins, separated at birth
  • What is the origin of our actions?
  • What implication does determinism have for moral responsibility?
types of freedom
Types of Freedom
  • Circumstantial
    • ability to do what we choose
    • freedom from external forces
  • Metaphysical
    • free will
    • relates to our internal condition, not external forces
  • Most philosophy is concerned with metaphysical freedom
positions on freedom
Positions on Freedom
  • Determinism
  • Libertarianism
  • Incompatibilism
  • Hard determinism
  • Compatibilism
hard determinism
Hard Determinism
  • Problems with libertarianism
  • Positive arguments for determinism
  • Denial of the possibility of moral responsibility
objections to libertarianism
Objections to Libertarianism
  • Conflicts with the scientific world view
  • Requires the problematic notion of uncaused events
  • Fails to explain that we can influence other people\'s behavior
the positive case for determinism
The Positive Case for Determinism
  • 1. Every event, without exception, is causally determined by prior events
  • 2. Human thoughts and actions are events
  • 3. Therefore, human thoughts and actions are, without exception, causally determined by prior events
determinist thinkers
Determinist Thinkers
  • Spinoza
    • pantheism
    • free will is an illusion
  • B.F. Skinner
    • radical behaviorism
    • reduction of all mental terms to scientific statements about behavioral probabilities
tenets of libertarianism
Tenets of Libertarianism
  • We are not determined
  • We do have freedom of the will
  • We have the capacity to be morally responsible for our actions
objections to determinism
Objections to Determinism
  • Determinism makes an unwarranted generalization from a limited amount of evidence
  • Determinism undermines the notion of rationality
  • Determinism confuses methodological assumptions of science with metaphysical conclusions
types of antideterminism
Types of Antideterminism
  • Indeterminism
    • Some events are uncaused
  • Agency theory
    • Event-causation
    • Agent-causation
  • Radical existential freedom
    • Jean-Paul Sartre
arguments for libertarianism
Arguments for Libertarianism
  • Argument from introspection
  • Argument from deliberation
  • Argument from moral responsibility
  • Soft determinism
  • We are both determined and morally responsible for our actions
  • Voluntary actions take place when the determining causes reside within the agent, not externally
hierarchical compatibilism frankfurt
Hierarchical Compatibilism (Frankfurt)
  • First-order desires
  • Second-order desires
  • Second-order volitions