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Thread: Are Thoughts Causal?

  1. #91
    tWebber Chrawnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    The fact that we are conscious is evidence that we are conscious, not evidence that we are a distinct mind. Besides, if the mind was distinct from the physical body, then why should it feel, or experience, anything related to the physical body? As you acknowledge yourself, a distinct mind isn't physical, it's immaterial. To assume that a distinct and immaterial mind can feel or experience physical things such as pain simply doesn't make any sense.
    Pain isn't physical, it's mental. Pain doesn't exist anywhere in the physical world, it's a purely mental phenomena.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    Well, you would need some logical reason in order to take it seriously. The immaterial experiencing material sensations isn't logical. If you broke your leg, you didn't break an immaterial leg, you broke your physical leg. To then say that the subjective eperience of your pain is the experience of your distinct and immaterial mind/soul just isn't logical.
    Again, any sensation you feel is mental, not physical. There is no such thing as material sensations. Sensations are per definition mental. If you break your leg you break your physical leg, but the pain you feel is not physical.

  2. #92
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    They would say that the subconscious thing was just a physical interaction not really a thought as we think of it.
    The thought would be just an effect of physical goings on in the brain/nervous system where the real causal work is happening. Physicalists would say that thoughts as such don't do any real causal work. I don't think anyone knows enough about causation to be able to say this confidently.

  3. #93
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    or how physical processes produces deep philosophical theses like "Thoughts are like the whistle on a steam engine" - maybe they have to eat the right combination of foods to produce the correct amount of gas to power the brain and cause the thoughts.

    Of course Huxley lived at a time when they had no clue how the body or the brain worked so there's that.
    Yes, or how physical processes could fully account for the pressing of these keys right now. If these keys are not being pressed for the reasons I think they're being pressed, then everything we're doing here is meaningless. But then again we'd have no way of knowing that fact so may as well continue in blissful ignorance ...But this does pose a problem for strict materialists. If materialism is true, how could we ever know it ?

  4. #94
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrawnus View Post
    The only thing the evidence shows is that there is relation of dependence (of some sort) between the mind and the brain. Your supposed evidence that the mind is a product of the brain is just as absent as the evidence for any other theory.
    I agree. Even Dennett admits that our knowledge of the dependence-relation is "laughably inadequate." There is a dependence-relation between my tv set and the tv program I'm watching. That doesn't mean my tv set is producing the program, or at least we have to specify how we mean the word "produce."

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