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Thread: Mind/Body dichotomy: Our great nemises?

  1. #1 Mind/Body dichotomy: Our great nemises? 
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    Mind/Body dichotomy: Our great nemises?

    Theology and philosophy are guardians of the human urge to separate itself as much as possible from its animal heritage and to move closer toward being god-like.

    The overt effort of theology is to accentuate the misconceived mind/body dichotomy while the covert effort of philosophy is to accentuate this same mind/body dichotomy.

    Theology does this legitimately because it believes that humans are both body and soul. The body is what we must put-up-with for our short stay on earth while the soul will last through eternity in an environment determined by our brief stay on earth.

    I claim that philosophy does this illegitimately because it vainly wishes to be respected in the manner like mathematics or physics. Philosophy wants to use word symbols to describe truth in much the same way as math uses their particular symbols of equality, greater than, minus, plus, differential, exponential, etc.

    It appears to me that analytic philosophy is being challenged by SGCS (Second Generation Cognitive Science) Philosophy in the Flesh 1999, by Lakoff and Johnson ; by meaning philosophy The Meaning of the Body 2007, by Johnson; by visual art Art and Visual Perception 1954, by Arnheim.


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  3. #2 Re: Mind/Body dichotomy: Our great nemises? 
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    I agree with what you said about theology, but not so much about philosophy. Most philosophers today are monists, and the few dualists don't really get that much attention in the field (David Chalmers might be the only exception).


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  4. #3 Re: Mind/Body dichotomy: Our great nemises? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    I claim that philosophy does this illegitimately because it vainly wishes to be respected in the manner like mathematics or physics. Philosophy wants to use word symbols to describe truth in much the same way as math uses their particular symbols of equality, greater than, minus, plus, differential, exponential, etc.
    I don't think most philosophers expect philosophy to be compared to the sciences in such a manner. Unlike mathematics, philosophy is not meant to be formal, objective, or "right" or "wrong" (except for logic). And unlike physics, philosophy is not necessarily supposed to be empirical or experimentally demonstrable.

    And with regard to truth, I don't believe philosophers intend to "produce" truth in the sense that the sciences do. Rather, philosophy aims at improving the way we think about things in order to make it possible to understand reality as it 'truly' is.


    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    It appears to me that analytic philosophy is being challenged by SGCS (Second Generation Cognitive Science) Philosophy in the Flesh 1999, by Lakoff and Johnson ; by meaning philosophy The Meaning of the Body 2007, by Johnson; by visual art Art and Visual Perception 1954, by Arnheim.
    The philosophy of mind has indeed been challenged by recent developments in cognitive science. However, it certainly does not mean the end of analytical philosophy. Throughout history, philosophy has constantly been challenged by science as certain areas of inquiry branch off from philosophy and become autonomous scientific disciplines.

    Up until Galileo's time, the pervading philosophical view on physical science (which originated with Aristotle, I believe) was that everyday, casual phenomena were more useful in developing theory than controlled experiments. Indeed, physics itself was once inseparable from philosophy. Sociology and psychology were also at one point exclusively in the realms of philosophy and theology.

    So although analytic philosophy is being challenged by scientific insights, it will adapt to this new knowledge and will continue to help guide scientific inquiry and reasoning.
    Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.
    --Galileo Galilei
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  5. #4 Re: Mind/Body dichotomy: Our great nemises? 
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    [quote="stephenthemay"]
    Quote Originally Posted by coberst

    So although analytic philosophy is being challenged by scientific insights, it will adapt to this new knowledge and will continue to help guide scientific inquiry and reasoning.
    SGCS has challenged the basic assumptions of a priori philosophy. If the basic assumptions of a theory are found wanting the whole theory collapses. The basic assumptio of Analytic Philosophy and all a priori philosophy is the disembodied mind. SGCS creates a theory that develops empirical evidence to "prove" the fact of an embodied mind.

    Quickie from Wiki:
    "Lakoff and Johnson (1999) argue that the embodiment hypothesis entails that our conceptual structure and linguistic structures are shaped by the peculiarities of our perceptual structures. As evidence, they cite research on embodiment effects from mental rotation and mental imagery, image schemas, gesture, sign language, color terms, and conceptual metaphor among other examples.

    According to Lakoff and Johnson, an embodied philosophy would show the laws of thought to be metaphorical, not logical; truth would be a metaphorical construction, not an attribute of objective reality. That is, it would not rely on any foundation ontology as might be sought in the physical sciences or religion, but would likely proceed from metaphors drawn from our experience of having a body."
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