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« It's just one book, but... | Main | Greatest Philosopher of the 20th Century »

November 11, 2008


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Jason Grossman

Sadly there seem to be big problems with the idea that there are no intrinsic properties.

As I'm sure you know, there's been a resurgence of interest in this recently in philosophy of science. James Ladyman is one person who's opposed to intrinsic properties, and Anjan Chakravartty has some excellent criticisms of the views like Ladyman's.

Aaron Boyden

I admit to not being hugely familiar with Ladyman or Chakravartty, but a quick investigation suggested that while I don't want to commit to being in agreement with Ladyman, Chakravartty's criticisms seemed to be based on his preference for a non-Humean view of causation, and for scientific realism generally. Since I consider those views untenable as well, that doesn't impress me much unless he has some striking new argument for them. Where do you think Chakravartty makes his case best?

Barnaby Dawson

Spot on!

I didn't know that about buddhism. Is interesting.

Barnaby Dawson

This argument is quite convincing to me. Admittedly I'm already firmly of the opinion that there is nothing about individual experience that could not be expressed in terms of brain processes.

Its always seemed to me that if the mind can in principle be modelled by a computational process + randomness (to any degree of accuracy required) and if qualia cannot in principle be described, that implies I can't have internal evidence of my qualia any more than you can have external evidence of my qualia (i.e I cannot tell from my experience of red, if that experience is or isn't in principle explainable to others!). In any case such qualia would seem to be essentially irrelevant, even if they did exist, for they would not effect, in any way, relationships between people, nor the way people interact with the world.

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