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March 28, 2013

Comments

@WL,
thank-you for getting back to me.
So, are you saying that all you are sure of is that you are a mind? The physical is just speculation? If our bodies are just a construct of our mind, what game are we playing? What would it take to convince you that the physical is actually real?

Robert

Sam,

I don't think the bytes in a file do contain a picture, and they don't have color.

And the sensation of pink that I have when I imagine a pink elephant has no color either. Pink is a property of the elephant not the sensation I have when I look at the elephant.

RonH

Ron, if the sensation isn't pink, why does it look pink? After all, if I'm dreaming of a pink elephant, there's no pink elephant itself. There's only a mental projection of a pink elephant. Something is obviously pink, because I can clearly see it.

Ron, do you think we observe things directly? But it doesn't seem to me that we do. When the light from an elephant hits our eye, it's converted into an electrical impulse that goes into our brains, and then that is converted to a mental image. So what we actually see is a representation of the elephant, not the elephant itself. The only way we can know anything about the external world is if we have reason to think the representations in our minds correspond to the external world. After all, it's possible that they're only in our minds. But if there is to be a correspondence between the two, then not only would the elephant itself have to be pink, but the representation of the elephant in my mind would also have to be pink.

But if there is to be a correspondence between the two, then not only would the elephant itself have to be pink, but the representation of the elephant in my mind would also have to be pink.

Think of the many representations you are familiar with. There is no tendency let alone a rule for the representation to share qualities with the represented.

The pinkness is leaves the chain of events when the light is converted to nerve impulses by the pigments in the retina.

It is better to say the representation is of a pink thing.

Or maybe you could get all academic and say that the sensation or representation is pink' (pink prime) - a similar but distinct name suggesting the correspondence.

But what you CANNOT do is say that the sensation/representation/experience is pink in the same way that the elephant is.

RonH

Something is obviously pink, because I can clearly see it.

Here is another way (besides dreaming) to have a sensation of pink when nothing is pink.

There is no tendency let alone a rule for the representation to share qualities with the represented.

I agree with that. If I were to deny the property of pinkness either to the elephant in the external world or the image of the elephant in my perception, I'd be more inclined to deny the property of pinkness in the elephant itself. I see pink when I look at the elephant, so there is no doubt that pinkness is part of the representation of the elephant in my mind. But I can only assume that the properties belongs to the elephant outside of me as well.

And I suspect, because colour is a secondary property, that objects in the external world don't have colour in the same way that perceptions do. An elephant might reflect a certain wavelength of light, but the wavelength of light is not the same thing as the colour. In fact, if our sensory equipment were built differently, it could be that we would perceive a completely different colour when we look at pink elephants.

Although I doubt it, it's possible that you and I can both look at the same object and perceive different colours. We would never know it because we'd both call it the same thing.

So I'm pretty convinced that "pink" is a property of my perception, even more so than I'm convinced that it's a property of the elephant.

I don't think the rose on the link you gave shows that it's possible to have a sensation of pink even when nothing is pink. Even though the rose isn't actually pink, the sensation nevertheless is pink.


"What would it take to convince you that the physical is actually real?"

I'm not sure. A good start would be a coherent understanding of what matter even is. As it stands right now, your question strikes me a lot like the question "What would it take to convince you that round squares are real?" That is because, on the usual view, matter is both perceptible and mind-independent.

"If our bodies are just a construct of our mind, what game are we playing?"

I'm not saying, that our bodies are just a construct of our mind, if what you mean there is that my body is a construct of my mind; your body is a construct of your mind; St. Peter's body was a construct of St. Peter's mind etc.

I do think that my body is a construct of many minds, including, most importantly, God's and mine.

Sam,

We have 4 options.
Call only the elephant 'pink'.
Call only the sensation 'pink''.
Call neither 'pink'.
Call both 'pink'.

Philosophically, there is no difference between the first 2.

But it REALLY matters if you call them both the same thing, whether it is 'pink' or something else.

I said the pink elephant argument makes a category error in calling a perception 'pink'.

But, maybe 'equivocation' categorizes the problem better.

For the argument to work, the 'pinkness' of the sensation must be the same thing as the 'pinkness' of the elephant.

If you call both the sensation and the elephant 'pink' you have to be at least open to the possibility that are using 'pink' in two different ways.

To fail to consider this possibility would be very unphilosophic: it would beg the question.

Hm. Maybe that's the problem with the original argument. It begs the question.

An unstated premise?

Anyway, just consider the two 'pinks' briefly.

The 'pink' perception seems to arise anytime certain nerve impulses are present.
We know you can get these nerve impulses in at least two ways: 1) present a pink object to the eye or 2) arrange for an afterimage. Probably there are other ways to do it.

The elephant is 'pink' because he reflects certain wavelengths of light in certain proportions.

Now, how can we say these 'pinknesses' are the same thing when they have such differences among their properties?

Another difference: The 'pinkness' of the elephant - reflecting light in a certain way - is an objective property of him. A sensation - 'pink' or not - is a subjective experience.

That we take the option of calling such dissimilar things by the same adjective seems to be just a convenience of natural language. We use this shorthand in light of the correspondence between two different different things.

RonH


@WL,
as probably the most coherent regular poster I read here, you're now taking me to many strange places. I don't see how physical reality can be a category error like "round squares". If there is no physical except as a contruction or perception of minds why don't we all slit our throats (just an expression) and be done with it? Or are you actually in the other direction and in fact "of course there is the physical, else where would our minds reside", but we can never really understand "what" the physical is because it is only perceived by our minds....

Robert

Robert,

WL and Ben wrote a bit about their idealism/immaterialism here.

And - believe it or not - there are other idealists. There have been for a good long time. Googlem up and read what they say.

WL,

Do you take this view to get attention?

RonH

Ron-

Project any?

I take the view I take because I think it is true.

Robert-

Why would you want to slit your throat if the physical is a mental construction? Wouldn't it hurt?

Are you assuming that if the physical is a mental construction that when you slit your throat it would have no effect? That somehow you'd heal yourself with your mind or something?

If that's it, you have very little reason to think that that is so. That is not usually what happens when someone slits his own throat. Nor have you found, have you, that things just happen the way you want.

There is all the evidence in the world that you are not the only mind in the world. If you are anything like me, you've found that the world resists your will at every turn. I see no reason to think that this resistance is not the operation of other minds. In particular, the big other Mind: God.

It is this very resistance that compels us to come up with theoretical models like matter. These models turn out to be very good at predicting when and how God's will will resist ours.

@WL
So at the end of the day, you think the physical is likely but just a "theoretical model" and/but we can never really understand "what" the physical is because it is only perceived by our minds....

Robert

"you think the physical is likely"

If you understand matter as a theoretical construct, I think it is certain that there is matter.

If you understand it as something that exists independent of any mind, I think you are going to find yourself in this situation. On the other hand, if you spell out the relationship between matter and mind, you'll end up denying the very independence you were assuming about matter. On the other hand, if you can't specify the relationship you're left wondering what matter is and how we know anything about it.

Ugh! the first "On the other hand" in the prior post should have been "On the one hand"

I think we may be on the same page (if a page can exist - HA). Matter exists but not without a mind to perceive it. Ultimately though, I think all matter exists (independent of me) because God perceives it. He created it. I think that makes it more than just a theoretical model.

"Matter exists but not without a mind to perceive it."

Right. I have no problem with mind dependent matter.

"I think all matter exists (independent of me) because God perceives it."

That seems probable, at least always and for the most case. I won't commit to it just yet as universal truth.

On that final quibble, I was thinking in particular about the parenthetical remark "independent of me". Of course all matter is dependent on God's mind. But I might want to allow that some matter is also dependent on my mind in some way.

I am the only matter I can think of that is dependent on my mind. And that is not independent of God's mind. So I think we are in the same sandbox.
Onward then; what is the relationship between my mind and my soul?

R

Well, on the relationship of mind and soul, I take the term "mind" to refer to a thing that thinks, and I take thinking rather broadly to refer to all those internal states that I am immediately aware of: belief, sensation, doubt, inference, assent, fear, love, dream and so on.

If you distinguish the soul from this at all, then I suppose you would identify the soul as some sub-part of the mind. But I'm inclined to think of them instead as being the same.

WL,

Thanks for your reply.

No offence was intended and I hope none was taken. I'll explain.

The question came from my wife and had never occurred to me.

But it did amuse me - makes you sound like the Alex Jones of apologetics.

(That is not how you seem to me.)

She knew 1) what you call yourself and 2) that you were immaterialist.

I think the question was her initial reaction to the idea of immaterialism.

I thought your answer would be negative and witty.

Both turned out to be true.


RonH

RonH,

So the bits on a hard drive are of a fundamentally different nature than the image on the screen?

That's as far as your analogy goes. Dualists say the image on the screen is mental awareness. You say it is a sensation. But "sensations" do not approximate the totality of consciousness.

Reasoning, aesthetics, personality, volition. Most conscious thoughts aren't sensations at all.

BTW the boorish "boy's philosophy" card is weak. You've seen The Princess Bride - right before the self-styled genius keels over?

Sage,

Once again:

I critiqued 1 (one) particular argument for dualism.

That's it: I didn't defend materialism or say dualism is wrong, let alone get into all the other subjects you bring up.

What I want to know is this: do you have an answer to my objection to the pink elephant argument?

This is, after all, the subject of the OP.

RonH

PS.

See earlier in this thread for boys' philosophy.

But really: who cares about that?

AndyPandy -

Are you contrasting with common atheist positions of "I don't like it so it isn't true" or "It doesn't answer every possible question, so it isn't true"? *I recently heard a non-believer claim that he couldn't take Christianity seriously because he didn't know for sure who bought the field Judas died in. If he couldn't know that it didn't matter what the arguments for the rest of the gospel were. *

I'm not sure where you get the idea that many atheists are philosophically sophisticated or see that as important.

"What I want to know is this: do you have an answer to my objection to the pink elephant argument?"

But hasn't your objection been answered Ron?

You claimed that the dualist commits the category error of saying that the sensation is pink, when it is the elephant that is pink. In contrast, materialism commits no such error, since it does not claim that the brain state is pink. Only the elephant is.

(I know that the last point is not part of your argument here. But you are not a dualist or idealist, so I must assume that you do not think that your view, the remaining view -- materialism, commits the same error. If every view commits the same category error, then the only error is in an erroneous category...not in any of the views.)

I think there are two major things wrong with your argument Ron. I think these points have been brought out in one form or another in prior posts, but just for the sake of summarizing them in one place...

First, neither the dualist nor the idealist would say that the sensation is pink in the same sense that we say that the elephant is pink. As if the pinkness is on the sensation.

The problem here is in the ambiguity of the term "is", and, as Clinton once saiud, it depends on what you mean by "is". The term "is" can be used in three different ways.

  1. It can be used to express identity: "The Hulk is Bruce Banner".
  2. Iit can be used for predication: "The Hulk is green".
  3. It can be used to express membership: "The Hulk is an Avenger".
We could express all these thoughts less ambiguously like this:
The Hulk is the same individual as Bruce Banner, he has the property of greenness, and he belongs to the Avengers.
When we say the elephant is pink, we are saying that it has the property of pinkness. We are using "is" in a predicative sense.

When we say that the sensation is pink, we are saying something different. We are saying that the pinkness of the elephant is identical to the sensation.

That latter claim is no category error.

What is more, materialism does not affirm, but in fact denies that the elephant is actually pink or any other color. On the materialist view, the elephant is a cloud of colorless atoms in mostly empty space. If anything outside the brain is actually pink, it is some emanation from the elephant. But even there the pinkness is not actually on anything and it is certainly not on the elephant.

WL,

It doesn't matter at all about the meanings of 'is'.

Nor does it matter about the meanings of 'pink'.

It doesn't matter who affirms what is 'pink'.

These things don't matter because the complaint of Moreland/Craig is this:

If Moreland looks in Craig's skull while Craig looks at a 'pink' elephant Moreland will not see anything in there that is 'pink' IN THE SAME SENSE that the elephant is 'pink'.

This complaint is not dependent of the number of meanings of 'is' OR the number of meanings of 'pink'. The complaint takes all that into account in the way it is expressed.

Materialist or not, if you want to say a 'sensory event' is 'pink', fine.

Materialist or not, if you want to say an elephant is 'pink', fine.

What you can't do, regardless of your view, is simply assume both 'pinks' are the same property.

(And I gave reasons above to say the pinknesses are NOT the same.)

And that is exactly the assumption that Moreland/Craig make.

And that makes a category error.

The pink elephant argument also seems to knock down a straw man.

Expecting something pink-like-an-elephant inside Craigs skull implies the expectation also of a little man to SEE the pink think in there. Why else should there be anything pink in there?

A homunculus. A little Jean-Luc Picard watching a screen with some pink on it.

This expectation is not a part of identity theory, eliminativism, or functionalism.*

So, the pink elephant argument doesn't take down these forms of materialism.

And therefore it doesn't take down materialism.

RonH

*Is there any form of materialism that posits homunculi?

If Moreland looks in Craig's skull while Craig looks at a 'pink' elephant Moreland will not see anything in there that is 'pink' IN THE SAME SENSE that the elephant is 'pink'.
Where exactly did you see Moreland argue this way?

Here's what you actually quoted from Moreland's textbook (while also criticizing it for being written like a textbook)

picture a pink elephant in your mind...there will be no pink entity in your brain nor any awareness of [pink]; no neurophysiologst could open your brain and see a [pink] entity or awareness of such an entity while you are having such an experience. But, then, the sensory event has a property - being [pink] or awareness of [pink] - that no brain event has. Therefore, they cannot be identical. The sense image is a mental entity.
Nowhere in that quote does Moreland say that the pink entity or awareness must be pink in the same way that the elephant is pink.

He does note that no entity in the brain is pink in the way that the sensation is pink. This is what supports his claim that every brain state lacks a property that certain mental states (sensations of pink) have.

He also implicitly assumes that the pink sensations are occasioned by the pink elephant (or the imagination thereof).

In short, Moreland does not commit the fallacy you propose, you simply read that into his text.

Of course, everything I said about the different senses of "is" do apply to the argument Moreland actually raised.

Amy,
I actually like this argument, but I don't think you presented it as effectively as it could be presented. Your presentation follows
1) Miracles are only possible if dualism is true
2) Dualism is true
3) Therefore miracles are possible

Most objections to miracles come from step two, which is what you seem to assume through your park bench illustration. Technically I think this is question begging - you assume that dualism is true in order to show that dualism is true.


In defense of miracles, might it be better to take the reverse tread? That is, state that in order to object to miracles you would have to believe that there is nothing outside the physical. However, it is at least rational to be a dualist. So, any person objecting to miracles would need to demonstrate how the mind and the brain are the same. That is, they would need to demonstrate how when I am sad, there is no "I" to be sad - there is only a brain (not "my" brain, since there is no "my"). They would also have to accept the ramifications of such a world view
The largest ramification is that there can be no such thing as crime since there are no persons (i.e. no "I") to injure, only molecules. Therefore placing a knife in one set of molecules (a cake) can be no different than placing a knife in any other set of molecules.

All together, if miracles are impossible, then no action is immoral, since no group of molecules can have greater intrinsic worth than any other set of molecules. If some acts are immoral, then there is something other than the molecules on which we act, and some connection between the molecules and the person. The reverse is at least plausible (a connection between the person and his body). Then it is not difficult to imagine a different person (God) who is not necessarily attached to a body, but can also interact with the material.

Yep.

RonH,

It’s best not to use all caps when you alter your original post : )

I’d also add that what Moreland means is that there is nothing in the brain under question that indicates anything sensed in pink.

Moreland says it this way in Naturalism and the Crisis of the Soul:

Suppose that I imagine a pink elephant in my mind. At that moment, there is an awareness of pink that is in my mind. There is no pink elephant outside, but there is a sensation of pink. Like when you dream, you may have a vivid sensation of red or this, that, and the other. However, there is no awareness of pink that constitutes a physical state in my brain. You could look all throughout my brain with an electron microscope and you would never find an awareness of pink in my brain.

Ok? Lots of talk of pink for nothing.

My wife’s favorite color is pink. Likewise, she thinks most things would look better in pink. She pictures things in pink. While picturing something in pink, no neurophysiologist would be able to look at her brain and pinpoint an indication of pinkness. But the pink is splashed all over her mental world. That’s it.

The pink elephant argument also seems to knock down a straw man.

Now that we know what Moreland means, it turns out the straw man took shape in the form of your little homunculus : )

Where exactly did you see Moreland argue this way?

Sorry. He didn't argue that way; he complained that way.

He doesn't/didn't see or acknowledge the distinction between the 'pinkness' of elephant and the 'pinkness' of the 'sensory event'.

He conflates the two and they are not the same thing.

Light does not reflect off 'sensory events'.

The two 'pinks' share a name and have frequent correspondence - that's it.

If Moreland recognized the difference between, then he would expect Craig's brain to exhibit neither the 'pink' of reflected light nor the pink of a 'sensory event'.

But he doesn't recognize the difference - or at least hopes you won't - and so he points out the absence of the 'pink' of an elephant.


I'm certainly not an expert on the philosophy of J.P. Moreland, but I don't even see him complaining that a sensation or a brain state should have a property of pinkness in the same way that the elephant has that property.

What I do see him saying, which is certainly true, is that if a version of materialism is true that identifies individual mental states with individual brain states (and thereby reduces the mental to the material), then we should expect to see individual brain states to be "of pink" in the way sensations are of pink. But brain states aren't "of" anything.

KWM,

I don't know what you mean about caps. Where?

I’d also add that what Moreland means is that there is nothing in the brain under question that indicates anything sensed in pink.

Huh what? Maybe you mean 'sensed is pink'?

Now that we know what Moreland means

I know what he means.

He means combine

1) 'a sensory event has a property - being pink [... or being an awareness of pink] that no brain event has.'

and

2) Liebniz's law

To show that the sensory event is not identical with the brain event.

Maybe you need to look at page 234 in the preview on Amazon.

RonH,

I don't know what you mean about caps. Where?

It’s not important, but when you wrote IN THE SAME SENSE at 2:08pm. Of course, Moreland didn’t say or mean “in the same sense” as I pointed out with his following quote that made it clear he didn't. I don’t know how you can read it that way (yes,on page 234).

He doesn't/didn't see or acknowledge the distinction between the 'pinkness' of elephant and the 'pinkness' of the 'sensory event'.

He didn’t need to to make the point he was making. If he was talking about another attribute of the elephant would you have the same problem? Say, the rotting flesh of the elephant? Would you want Moreland to make the distinction between the rotting flesh of the elephant and the rotting flesh of the ‘sensory event’?

He was pointing out that the individual has sole access to the pink elephant. The neurophysiologist can't get to it.

I understand what you’re saying. You’re caught up in color rather than what Moreland is saying about mental states vs. brain states.

Better read it a again.
The Liebniz law argument is meant to be free standing and, in particular, independent of sole access.

That's why the conclusion comes before sole access is mentioned.

The transition from one another in the book is a little rough.

You are right, I should have said the CAPS were mine there.

But 'in the same sense' is critical for the Leibniz argument.

So, I wasn't really putting words in their mouths.

Leibniz's law is covered in the book on page 195.

The pink elephant argument is clearly an application of it and is fully contained in the first full paragraph of 234.

Ron-

Leibniz law in Moreland's argument is used to show that no brain state has a property that a mental state has. There is no effort to show that anything has or lacks a property that an elephant has.

In fact, in the argument on page 234, there is no elephant. You are asked to imagine the elephant or create an after-image by staring at a picture. So, to use caps, it is IMPOSSIBLE that Moreland should be asking us to commit the category error you accuse him of: imagining that there is pink on the sensation of the elephant in the same way that there is pink on the elephant. This is because there is no elephant with pink on him in the first place.

The only question that could be under scrutiny is whether any brain state is pink in the same sense that a mental state (the imagination or after-image) is pink.

The answer to that question is no. So by Leibniz law, that mental state is distinct from every brain state.

The only question that remains is whether you will address the argument as it is and not as you wish it to be.

WL,

But brain states aren't "of" anything.

Intentionality is the basis a different argument.

RonH

Intentionality is the basis a different argument.
As if intentionality cannot be involved in more than one argument.

+10 for cherry-picking Ron, but you still haven't come remotely close to showing that Moreland's argument "is one of the worst arguments ever made." And, in fact, your argument against Moreland comes closer to fitting that description than ever did Moreland's.

Ron,
I don't think you grasp the consequences of your view.
Let us consider two sets of molecules. I take a knife an plunge it into one set of molecules and observe the effects. I take a knife and then plunge it into the the other set of molecules and observe the effects. If one set is a piece of toast, and the other is a person's heart are the two acts morally equivalent?

If there is nothing beyond the physical, then we cannot assign an intrinsic value to the person higher than the toast, and the act of plunging a knife into any set of molecules is by definition equivalent (since no set of molecules has a different value than any other set).
We can argue about utilitarian value, or the effects on the object - but this misses the point. If there is no thing beyond the personal, what is the difference between murder and target practice?

The Christian will answer that the image of God instilled in each person is separate from the physical body, although an act against the body is also an act against the person since the two are intricately connected. The crime is in acting against the image of God, not in acting against a set of molecules.

I suspect that at your core you believe there is something intrinsically different about the molecules that make up your child, spouse, or parents than the molecules that make up your car. The wrong of destroying a human life should be counted as greater than the wrong of disabling the utility of that life, just as murder is a greater crime than sabotoging a train, even though the train may be able to generate much more utilitarian value over its lifespan than most people.

If you believe that sabotage of a train (in a manner that harms no people) should be treated differently than murdering an equivalent utility of people, then you believe there is a worth to people beyond their mere utility. You necessarily believe there is a value beyond the physical. So I ask, how can there be a value beyond the physical if there is nothing beyond the physical?

Does anyone here have even the slightest awareness of the actual scientific evidence? Of course there is a brain state that corresponds with imaginary images or dreams (the so-called pink elephant example). This is where Moreland goes completely off the rails. When imagining images, there is measurable, physical brain activity actually uses the same circuits that are activated when we are seeing.

This research is from the 1990's. No dualism required.

http://psychology.jrank.org/pages/413/Mental-Imagery.html

Intentionality is not a premise of the pink elephant argument.

It is not cherry picking to raise an objection to a single argument.

Cherry picking is drawing a conclusion from an exception.

I have said more than once that I am not defending materialism or disproving dualism here.

I'm raising 1 objection to 1 argument.

I am not cherry picking.

That there is no elephant is no help to the argument.

The only question that could be under scrutiny is whether any brain state is pink in the same sense that a mental state (the imagination or after-image) is pink.

Here is where Moreland notes that 'no brain event' is pink.

no neurophysiologist could open your brain and see a pink or blue entity or an awareness of such an entity while you are having the sensory experience.

He looks at the brain trying to find out if it has a 'pinkness'.

That only kind of pinkness he can reasonably ask for is the kind an actual pink elephant would have - the one associated with the reflection of light.

The 'pinkness' he asks for is not the kind of 'pinkness' an after image has - there being no reflected light involved there.

The idea that Moreland should expect to see anything pinkwhen he cracks Craig's head open - even assuming physicalism is true - is silly. The eyes are transducers: they convert light to chemical and then electrical energy - nerve impulses. The experience happens farther along. This is, I think, agreed upon by all; we have an optic nerve for a reason.

So looking into Craig's brain for the light of an experience is a category error.

I don't think this matters to the argument, but I find imagining a pink elephant a very different experience from seeing an afterimage. I find the after image to be much more like seeing something.

I'm glad to continue.

RonH


That only kind of pinkness he can reasonably ask for is the kind an actual pink elephant would have - the one associated with the reflection of light.
So you say.

Does it occur to you that another kind of pinkness he might, just maybe, be looking for is the pinkness associated with a sensation or imagination. That is

  1. He IS NOT looking for pink on a brain state anymore than he would look for pink on a sensation or on an imagination.
  2. He IS looking for a brain state of pink that might be identified with a sensation of pink or an imagination of pink.
Moreland commits a category error only if he were, contra-1, looking for pink on a brain state. This is something he never did. There is no passage where he even hints at it. You assume he makes that mistake because you claim that it is the only way you can interpret his words. That is more of a critique of your interpretive skills than it is of Moreland's argument. Item-2 above is a perfectly acceptable way of interpreting his words.

BTW - That last statement was intentional understatement. I think that item-2 goes well beyond being 'perfectly acceptable' as an interpretation.

WL,

I'm sorry but I just don't know what either 1 or 2 means.

I have no idea what distinction you are trying to convey.

Why would Moreland's neurophysiologist 'open' a brain if not to let light be reflected from it - or perhaps to allow light the brain is now emitting escape the skull?

Either way, the 'pink' expected is the elephant's brand of pink - not the brand of 'pink' possessed by the sensory event.

In 1 and 2, when you use 'look for' to you mean 'point your eyes at and observe through them'?

RonH


Bill,

The apologist would answer that, yes there is brain activity when we imagine. Maybe it is similar to the brain activity associated with sight. That, he says, is because there is a cause-effect connection between the brain and the (immaterial) mind.

By this method, he will claim that there can be no neurological evidence against dualism.

No matter what we find out about the workings of the brain he will stick to this line.

Do you know how to boil water? Take it to sea level and heat it to 100 degC. An invisible leprechaun will then come and start the bubbles. Do not doubt the need for the leprechaun; it is he that starts the boiling.

RonH

Ron-

If you don't know what 1 or 2 means, it's time for you to give up. Do you really not know the difference between pink being on a thing and a sensation being a sensation of pink.

Is your concern about what "look for" means truly what confuses you about statements 1 and 2? I think you are being disingenuous now, but even if not, I think it will do you some good to try to think that one through yourself.

Why would Moreland's neurophysiologist 'open' a brain if not to let light be reflected from it - or perhaps to allow light the brain is now emitting escape the skull?
To attach electrodes or other monitoring equipment?

Just a thought.

Ron, you cannot truly believe that Moreland thinks that it is an implication of materialism that your brain would have to turn pink when you look at pink things.

You are not seriously reading the passage under discussion and saying with a straight face that that is the only way you can possibly understand it?

Bill-

No one thinks that there is no correspondence between mental activity and brain activity.

That's hardly something one needs to study the latest research to cotton on to. Descartes recognized this. Plato probably recognized this.

"Intentionality is not a premise of the pink elephant argument."

Intentionality certainly is involved in the premises of the pink elephant argument, since the premises make reference to sensations or awareness of pink.

Thank you for clafifying 1 and 2.

To attach electrodes or other monitoring equipment? Just a thought.

Your thought or Moreland's?

Fine. I take that you agree the whole thing is silly then - provided 'see' means 'see', etc?

You have your electrodes and an unlimited budget.

Proceed.

What evidence against materialism does this thought experiment now provide?

RonH


I take that you agree the whole thing is silly then
As if that was ever in dispute.
What evidence against materialism does this thought experiment now provide?
We've been over this. The thought experiment allows for an application of Leibniz's Law to show that mind states, e.g. sensations of pink, are not the same as the brain states they correspond to. They are not the same because they differ in at least one property: being "of pink".

I still really want to know what you are going to do with your electrodes and your budget.

Again, here is what the book says

no neurophysiologist could open your brain and see a pink or blue entity or an awareness of such an entity while you are having the sensory experience.

Now the complaint has two parts: 1) can't see a pink entity and 2) can't see an awareness of a pink entity.

Suppose materialism is true and Moreland cracks open Craig's skull.

What does Moreland see?

Would he see something pink?
Would he see an awareness of something pink?
What would that even mean - seeing an awareness of something pink?

I suppose it is part 2 of the complaint that has you saying this argument has something to do with intentionality.

I don't get that from the passage in the book. Nor do I get it from the OP. Nor from Koukl's presentations on the radio.

But, suppose it does, please explain clearly what it would be like for materialism to prove false or true in the pink elephant thought experiment.

What would it 'look' like if a brain state was of pink?

And how does anybody conclude from this thought experiment that no brain state is of something?

Intentionality is not part of the the OP...

Your thought was non-physical—it couldn’t have been measured because it had no mass and took up no space. Try describing your thoughts and your will in physical terms—what color are they? How big are they? How much do they weigh?
And, if memory serves, it's not part of any of Koukl's presentations of this Leibniz thing on the radio. Paraphrasing one:
Think of your mom washing dishes.
What color is her dress?
Now, where was that picture you saw in your mind (and not with your physical senses)?
Where was that picture that you saw?
What you saw was real - you saw it.
Where was that? It was not in your brain.
If it was in your brain, then we should be able to crack your brain open - in principle at least, and be able to see your mother there washing dishes.

Greg Koukl, Stand to Reason radio show 091811 2:10:00 or so

Materialism doesn't require anything like that last sentence.

RonH

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