Monday, December 7, 2015

paragraph structure of your draft


Suppose these below are paragraphs (P1, P2, ... etc). The most important paragraphs in your paper are the first two (P1 and P2).
1- the thesis (T) with 3 arguments, (let's call them a, b, c),
2- your counter (CT) with 3 points, (let's call them ¬a, ¬b, ¬c).

So we have:
_____
P1

T (one sentence), followed by reasons (two or three sentences presenting your a, b, c, arguments.
Example of thesis: In this paper I argue against Fast Food. 
_____
P2

CT (one sentence) followed with the counter's denying your arguments ¬a, ¬b, ¬c.
Ex of counter thesis: Fast Food advocates disagree. 
_____
P3

T a Thesis takes argument a and develops it (Bring outside sources to defend your point and cite them).
_____
P4

C ¬a Counter denies your a and develops it. (Bring outside sources to the counter's defense and cite them in the paragraph)
_____
P5

T b  (same as before)
_____
P6

C ¬b  (same as before)
_____
P7

T c 
_____
P8

C ¬c
_____
P9

T c  (this penultimate paragraph you come back to win c and get ready for your conclusion paragraph)
_____
P10

T (Conclusion) "I hope I have shown that ______________________"

Friday, December 4, 2015

final exam schedule

MWF 9am    monday Dec. 14

MWF 11am   friday Dec. 18

TR 9:50am    tuesday Dec. 15

TR 11:15     thursday Dec. 17

T 5:40pm    tuesday Dec.15

Friday, November 20, 2015

valuable tips for your philosophy paper (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)


via Rashila Fernando: How to write a "good philosophy paper."   

nota bene: Rashila's reference to my "hating" German only applies to writing long/ruderless English sentences. English is succinct and clear. Ich liebe Deutsch!    

Here, The Voltaire Society's link. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

SUMMER AB Revision for Exam #3

Chapter 3 


3.1
Causal Determinism (every event has a cause that makes it happen + laws of nature) and 
Hard determinism (the doctrine that there are no free actions). Hard determinism assumes that if CD is true, then there are no free actions because as our bodies made up of matter, we must be subjects to the same laws of causation. In class we discussed an argument to problematize HD. If HD is true, then there is no human responsibility: i.e., if we are not free, we cannot be responsible for our actions (since one is responsible if and only if one can make choices). 
Indeterminism: Is the view that certain events are not caused deterministically. That is, since the advent of quantum mechanics and according to the Copenhagen interpretation, the most basic constituents of matter can behave indeterministically. But if that was the case, there is not freedom either, that is, if my brain event is caused by a probabilistic event, and not my own causing it.

3.2
Compatibilism is the belief that free will and determinism are not mutually exclusive.
Soft determinism: Determined actions can nevertheless be free. One "soft" theory is Traditional Compatibilism (Free actions are 1- caused by one's will and 2- not externally constrained). The reasoning is this:

Principle of alternative possibilities:  one can be held responsible for doing something only if one could have done otherwise. "could have done otherwise" means "if you had chosen otherwise, then you would have done otherwise." Think of our "fork-example" of a student being late for class. He chooses ( A) "having coffee with lots of traffic," instead of (B) "not having coffee and no traffic." For Traditional Compatibilism the student is responsible for being late since "if he had choosen (B) instead of (A), he would have been on time for class. 

C/E "Taylor's Ingenious Physiologist. In class we discussed how TV can "plant" desires. So in a way is a kind of ingenious physiologist.

"Hierarchical Compatibilism: First and Second Order Desires; Second Order Volitions. Remember: A first order desire is directed to an object or state of affairs, a second order desire is a desire about a desire, a second order volition is a second order desire one decisely acts upon. Harry Frankfurt's three drug addicts: 
(Let's call a first order desire: FOD, a second order desire: SOD, a second order volition: SOV) So we get the following: 
Wanton addict: FOD, not SOD, not SOV, not free. 
Happy Addict: FOD, SOD, SOV, free.
Unwilling Addict: FOD, SOD (only this desire is against his taking the drug, not SOV, not free). C/E to Hierarchical Compatibilism: Slote's Hypnotized patient and The Willing Bank Teller. One proves that SOV can be manipulated from the inside. The other shows rthat SOV can be manipulated beyond our control. 


Punishment: How do compatibilists see punishment? p. 203. Punishment cannot be  retributive (eye-for-an-eye). The only legitimate way of punishment is rehabilitation and deterrence. Criminal actions are dictated by genes and habits (nature and nurture). Retributive punishment makes sense if it's deserved. But nothing people do is up to them.

3.3
Libertarianism
Event and Agent Causation. Event---> event or Agent---> event.


Libertarianism holds that agents can cause events. How? remember we talked about the possibility that the mind causes the brain. There are two arguments:

Argument from Experience. Argument from deliberation. 

Libet's Neurophysiological challenge: it seems to show that consciousness of a decision arises only after the decision has already been made (the 300 millisecond gap between the decision to press the button and the brain signal). Rebuttal by libertarians: There's a difference between making a "conscious decision" and a "meta-conscious decision" (meta-conscious awareness is second order). For the libertarian, the subject in Libet's report is not having a "conscious" but a "meta-conscious" decision. So it's no surprise that it happens "after" the conscious decision was made.
 
__________________

Radical Libertarianism (Existentialism): Jean-Paul Sartre's kind of libertarianism (known as Existentialism) holds that the self is essentially free. His analysis is ontological. Let's begin with Sartre's lemma: existence precedes essence. We exist first, and are "defined" later. This happens because the self (l'être) is in a constant state of becoming (devenir).

For the purpose of the analysis, there are two kinds of being:

being-for-itself: l'être-pour-soi. main property: being for itself, which is essentially "a freedom that chooses." 
being in itselfl'être-en-soi, which is fundamentally without qualification (sans nuance).

To cope with this heavy "weight" of our own FREEDOM we come up with justifications which Sartre calls "bad faith." However, since not choosing is choosing, in the end we remain responsible for our actions. 


The only possible constraint to our freedom is our facticity (the stuff we don't choose, like being born and having a certain name and parents). 

AMAZING NEWS THE FIRST HEAD TRANSLPLANT???


via mariaelisa carbonell. 
Though researchers have seriously questioned the feasibility of Dr. Canavero's plans, it seems the first human head transplantation is a step closer to becoming a reality; Valery Spiridonov, a 30-year-old computer scientist from Vladimir, Russia, is the first person to volunteer for the procedure. Spiridonov has Werdnig-Hoffman disease - a rare genetic muscle wasting condition, also referred to as type 1 spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). The condition is caused by the loss of motor neurons in the spinal cord and the brain region connected to the spinal cord. Individuals with the disease are unable to walk and are often unable to sit unaided.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

regarding personal identity...........

becoming nicole: the story of a transgender young woman... 
When Wayne and Kelly Maines adopted identical twin boys, Jonas and Wyatt, at birth in 1997, they were thrilled at the idea of having two sons. For a while, it was virtually impossible to tell the boys apart. But as they grew older, one child, Wyatt, started insisting that he was a girl.
"the secret lies within"... check identity, it's good and it's right in the midst of our topic! 


another movie about identity is a history of violence (this one is really good!) this reminds us of the robert/frank dichotomy. we'll talk about this in class soon.

transcendence (with Johnny Depp) this movie brings up the question of the difference between human and artificial intelligence. as you know i don't believe AI and HI are necessarily isomorphic. i.e., if we apply nagel's reasoning, the difference between AI and HI is qualia discrete, only bridged by a cyborg unit, and even then, one could make the argument that a cyborg it's not strictly "artificial."  

Friday, October 30, 2015

what does a black female philosopher look like?

professor sybol cook anderson, @ st. mary's college maryland

professor angela davis, educated in brandeis and frankfurt (germany)

professor kathryn t. gines, @ penn state university


professor desiree melton, @ notre dame university

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

philosophy club's first meeting next tuesday november 3 @ 2:30pm



the philosophy club is on! 

first meeting is tuesday november 3, room #3327 at 2:30pm.

trending topic: NSA and government surveillance!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

take a look at five good search engines for your paper

1. infotopia from google

2. academic info

3. base

4. citeyoulike

5. google scholar

how to connect paragraphs (the secret of transitional phrases)

1. transitions of similarity: (use these when moving from thesis to a second thesis paragraph)

also, 
in the same way, 
(just as ... so too), 
likewise, 
similarly

2. transitions of contrast: (use this when moving from thesis to counter)

but
however, 
 in spite of, 
on the one hand ... on the other hand, 
nevertheless, 
nonetheless, 
notwithstanding, 
in contrast, 
on the contrary, 
still, 
yet, 
despite the previous argument...

3. transitions of example: (use this when you want to show something, in the same sentence or in the next, or the next paragraph)

for example, 
for instance, 
namely, 
specifically,
 indeed, 
in fact, 
of course, 

4.  transitions of cause and effect: (this looks like a conclusion of a previous argument) 

accordingly, 
consequently, 
hence, 
so, 
therefore, 
thus 

5. transitions of evidence: (you use this transitions to further show more evidence)

additionally, 
again, 
also, 
and, 
as well, 
besides, 
equally important,
further, 
furthermore, 
in addition, 
moreover, 
then

6. transitions of summary or conclusion: (any time you want to announce a conclusive point)

finally, 
 in a word, 
in brief, 
briefly, 
in conclusion, 
in the end, 
in the final analysis, 
on the whole, 
thus, 
to conclude, 
to summarize, 
in sum, 
to sum up, 
in summary

if you move from a Thesis -Counter or Counter-Thesis you need transitions of contrast.  

if you are giving more reasons for Thesis or Counter in the following paragraph you need transitions of evidence.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

We have a Philosophy Club!



Good news. Our Phi 2010 philosophy club is on!

The president of the club is Fritz Charles. Cristopher Labora is the vice-president.

If you are interested in joining, please leave your name and a way for Fritz to contact you here.

you are what you present, you are what you show. what else is there?

non-content problems

1- loose sheets, unstapled.
2- the written assignment presented front-and-back (as if you'll save the planet with this assignment).
3- list of work cited in the same page of the discussion (as if one more page is a sin).
4- MLA conventions not followed with in-text citations and at the end of the draft (remember, no URLs allowed!)
5- ink marks (on the presented assignment),
6- no time of class (i.e., "MWF 10am"),
7- drafts without titles.

content problems (definitely more important)

1- too much copy-and-paste (I call it C/P ratio, people call it plagiarism).
2- syntax problems (broken sentences, hanging phrases, rambling sentences).
3- colloquialisms left and right,  
4- hyperbole (when you exaggerate a point)
5- ad hominem, circularity (remember fallacies?)
6- Paragraphs without the proper thesis or counter identification (as  in "same-sex marriage advocates" vs. "same-sex marriage critics"),
7- coherence problems: broken threads, disconnected points in a same paragraph, etc (the problem here is lack f research and excessive copy-and-paste  without revision)

once finished, read your discussions to point to structural deficiencies in your arguments.

follow these suggestions:

1- prioritize your args. hone them, make them better. read your sentences. make them good with explanatory power.  
2- read your drafts out loud! 
3- redink your own weak points and fix them. build the best possible paragraphs you can build.
4- talk from your heart. digest your appropriated content (so it doesn't look carelessly plagiarized).

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

downward causation and emergence (only deeper)

for those of you interested in a deeper discussion about downward causation and emergence, click here. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

the robots are coming!


In his new book, Rise of the Robots, Martin Ford considers the social and economic disruption that is likely to result when educated workers can no longer find employment.
But what we're seeing now in robotics is that finally the machines are ... being driven by advances in areas like visual perception. You now have got robots that can see in three-dimension and that's getting much better and also becoming much less expensive. So you're beginning to see machines that are starting to have the kind of perception and dexterity that begins to approach what human beings can do. A lot more jobs are becoming susceptible to this and that's something that's going to continue to accelerate, and more and more of those jobs are going to disappear and factories are just going to relentlessly approach full-automation where there really aren't going to be many people at all.
for example, machines can now fully produce very, very high quality hamburgers ... about 350 to 400 per hour; they come out fully configured on a conveyor belt ready to serve to the customer. ... it's all fresh vegetables and freshly ground meat and so forth; it's not frozen patties like you might find at a fast food joint. These are actually much higher quality hamburgers than you'd find at a typical fast food restaurant.

wine tasting aesthetics


let's do a little wine axiology here. take this advice from winefolly.com: How to Taste Wine?
Look: Look at the shade of color and opacity. How does it compare to other wines of the same varietal? Is it darker? More intense? Harder to see through? Take a mental snapshot for later, these hints will show how bold, rich and viscous the wine is.
Smell: Time to pay attention. Identifying smells beforehand makes tasting flavors in wine easier. Start by swirling the glass to aerate the wine and release its aromas. To swirl a glass, place it flat on a table and move your hand as though you are drawing tiny circles with the base. Now stick your nose in there and take a big sniff. What do you smell?
Taste: Who doesn’t love this step? Take a mouthwash size sip and briefly swish it around your mouth to make sure it coats your entire tongue before you swallow. Think about the flavors, textures and body of the wine. Is it sharp? Does it make your tongue feel dry? Do the flavors match the smells from earlier? Can you name a fruit, mineral or spice? Does it have an alcohol burn?
Swallow/Spit: Oh my. Have you ever rationalized swallowing because you’d hate to waste wine? There are some good reasons to spit. Maybe the wine doesn’t suit your taste or you want to save yourself for better wine. Maybe you need to drive. Or better yet, maybe you want to be sober enough to actually taste all the wines at a tasting. As long as you’re safe, we won’t judge you either way.
Think: Too many guides focus on the superficial nuances of wine tasting. Wine tasting is a head game. Confidence and bold assertion can often make someone look like a pro who actually knows nothing. Don’t be afraid to pipe up and offer your suggestions! There are no wrong answers. Although, if every wine smells like burnt toast you might want to see a doctor.
scroll down and check the video of the young female somm discussing primitivo. she is really cool. we've discussed this in class, basically the more you discriminate taste the better you're able to taste.

Friday, October 9, 2015

our philosophy club has a blog!


philosophers, the philosophy club is alive, it breathes the spirit of enlightenment, free exchange of idea in the , pursuit of truth. thus, they have called it,

the voltaire society!

rashila fernando (president)
max imbert (vice-president)
stanley othello (organizer)
susana martinez (secretary)

i quote from their manifesto:
Regardless, even if you are a student completely unfamiliar with Philosophical concepts, there is nothing that can prevent the evolution of a thought or the blooming of a brilliant idea. And the beauty of it lies in the fact that it can happen anywhere, anytime.
don't wait any longer to join this group of intrepid thinkers! 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

key to abbreviations in grading your discussion assignment

P: proper prefacing the paragraph. remember transitional phrases.

+Arg: The paragraph needs a better or more substantive argument. In general what is written could be said better.

Sx: syntax issues: run-on sentences, sentence fragments, rambling sentences

Relevance: Relevance, some sort of problem with what has been said that needs correction.

Usage: ways in which words are used needs attention

Grammar:  whether sentence construction, punctuation, subject-verb agreement, misplaced modifiers/split Infinitives, mixed construction.

C/D: too many citations and sources, very little discussion, a red flag for plagiarism.

Coll: Too colloquial a style.  

Red.: Redundant sentence, the point is too repetitive.  

Coherence: there is a problem with the internal thread, sentences are disparate, tackling too much in too little space, the argument doesn't follow, etc.




Sunday, October 4, 2015

topics, philosophy paper


fast food (this important topic is at the intersection of public health, food production and public policy, i.e., the impact of globalization and cheap homogeneous food and the coming back of artisanal food, regional cuisine, farming, promoting taste as well as the organic food movement).

factory farms (generally little appreciated, this topic takes an ecological and human/animal dimension: the link between animal-processed foods & ecological degradation, all tied to the still obscure field of animal ethics).

same-sex marriage (one of the hottest social topics being discussed right now in america, at the intersection of personal vs. religious freedom, secularism, legislation, homosexuality, human rights, cultural consensus, etc).

government surveillance (a global problem intersecting, civil rights, policy, new technologies, power excess, international relations, corporate neutrality).

rule of law (after trump's inauguration and the succession of executive orders, this point becomes a new theme).

social media & culture (privacy issues, information overload, cyber bullying, fake news, etc).

Thursday, October 1, 2015

list of student assistants for all phi 2010 classes


m,w,f, 9am

Daymara Roque
Jorge Marrero
Adriana Olmos

m,w,f, 11am

Lauren Parson
Spencer Daphnis
Erick Briones
Mariaelisa Carbonell

t,r 9:50am

Cecilia Castillo
Alexander Jimenez
Patrick Robinson
David Gomez
Susana Martinez

t,r 11:15am

Jenny Guerrier
Brandon Milian
Alexandra Vazquez
Stephanie Desouza

t 5:40pm

Mariana Murillo
Nile Lofters
Shena Othello

Friday, September 25, 2015

result of (automated) elections for our philosophy club!


Rashila Sanduli (President)
Max Isambert (Vicepresident)
Stanley Othello (Treasurer)
Susana Martinez (Secretary)

we had 4 rounds out of 7 members : for president, then for vice, for treasurer and lastly for secretary. if you have an issue with your actual position let me know ASAP.

now you have to meet and discuss the next move: recruiting!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

are you interested in being part of the philosophy club?


the philosophy club (PHICLUB from hereon) at wolfson campus & it's ready for business.

if you're interested in becoming a president, vice, secretary, treasurer and eliciting philosophical discussions with the support of your professor and student union, etc, come to me, first-come, first-served.

PHICLUB points.

1- the responsibility of the PHICLUB: elect a president, secretary, treasurer, etc.

2- to stimulate a democratic environment,  the president conducts issues to be treated and assigns issues to be discussed in future meetings. based on suggestions and/or criticisms, he/she stipulates what to do next.

3- it's advisable to have an agenda that the president will provide. at least, the agenda must be announced at the beginning of the meeting.

4- since much of philosophy is about arguments, all disagreements be treated in a civilized manner. there should be a box for suggestions to be examined by the president and the secretary & suggestions should be aired and confronted.

5- the PHICLUB should meet weekly, preferable inside a classroom (accommodations are possible & the president could arrange it).

6- it's good to keep minutes of each meeting. they are the club's proof of direction.

7- the PHICLUB should try to expand and reach out to other students.

8- it's advisable to come up with some kind of calendar for the rest of the term served by the president.

9- events should include presentations, debates, field trips and others.

are you ready? send me an email!! election is next week.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

philosophy club members up for election (so far)

Max Isambert

Gabriella Becerril

Stanley Othello

Susana Martinez

Juan Jimenez

Rashila Sanduli

Martina Korganoff

R.J. Hatfield

Thursday, September 10, 2015

neledi: a new member of the human family tree discovered in south africa

the neledi are a handsome hominid ancestor type, if you ask me

find the article here.
The creature, which evidently walked upright, represents a mix of traits. For example, the hands and feet look like Homo, but the shoulders and the small brain recall Homo's more ape-like ancestors, the researchers said. Lee Berger, a professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg who led the work, said naledi's anatomy suggest that it arose at or near the root of the Homo group, which would make the species some 2.5 million to 2.8 million years old. The discovered bones themselves may be younger, said Berger, an American.
 ordered neledi bones

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

need a math tutor? i have one for you


you have problems with math and you're falling behind. don't wait any longer. the investment in a tutor is absolutely necessary. but not just any tutor. i recommend johnny nguyen:
mat1033, mac1105, mac1147 and mac2311: $15/hour for mac 1105/1147 and mat1033. $12/hour for calculus (mac2311).
if interested send an email to: Johnny.nguyen001@mymdc.net

Chapter 5 Topics for Review

Ethics is the study of moral values.

Moral values are behaviors of fundamental consequence for human welfare.

Moral Judgements = Moral standards + Factual beliefs.

Ethics can be broadly divided into objectivism and subjectivism. Objectivism is the view that right and wrong are independent from peoples' beliefs. Subjectivism is the view that right and wrong are dependent of peoples' beliefs.

4. Cultural relativism: The doctrine that what makes an action right is that it's approved by that culture. Counterarguments: 1- Logical contradiction (see above), impossibility for moral disagreements and 2- The fact that cultures are not that different at a deeper level. One can point to differences between "deep" values (moral values, i.e., human behavior of fundamental consequence for human welfare) and "superficial" values (domestic habits, etiquette, fashion, etc) other cultural values to the effect that most cultures seem to share the same deep moral values. 

5. Logical Structure of Moral Arguments: Moral standards + factual beliefs = Moral judgments(this is not a formula, just an approximation). What is a factual belief? A belief held by factual evidence (i.e., child abuse is wrong because of the facts we know about psychology, human rights, child development, etc,). 6. Are there universal moral principles? YES! 1- Principle of mercy (Unnecessary suffering is wrong) and 2- Principle of justice (Treat equals equally).

 Section 5.2 Consequentialism

1. Difference between consequentialist theories and formalist theories. Consequentialism is the theory that judges the rightness or wrongness of an action in terms of its consequences. Formalism is the theory that judges the rightness or wrongness of an action in terms of the action's form (i.e., "killing is wrong": the formalist believes that moral actions are objective).
2. Intrinsic (value for its own sake; personhood is an essential value: a-reason, b-autonomy, c-sentience, d-freedom) and instrumental values (value for the sake of something else).
3. Ethical egoism: What makes an action right is that it promotes one's best interest in the long run = PRUDENCE. Counterarguments: Egoism may condone acts that are obviously wrong as right (you walk into the forest and see your rival who has been attacked by a wild animal. If it is in your best interest to eliminate him without getting caught then you are morally obligated to finish him off. In addition, you would not vote for an egoist in office. 
4. Act Utilitarianism: What makes an action right is that it maximizes happiness everyone considered (which means, "bringing happiness for the greatest majority of people"). Counterarguments: (a) McCloskey’s informant (b) Brandt’s Heir, (c) Ross' unhappy promise, (d) Goodwin's Fire Rescue, (e) Ewing's Utilitarian torture. In each one of these cases one has violated principles of justice, duty and equality. 
5. Rule Utilitarianism: What makes an action right is that it falls under a rule that if generally followed would maximize happiness everyone considered. RU is a better theory than AU. Why? Because if applied, it can solve the problems posed by the previous counterarguments.

 Section 5.3 Kantian Ethics

1. Kant’s Categorical Imperative: What makes an action right is that everyone can act on it (which yields universalizability), and you'd have everyone acting on it (which yields reversibility: Golden Rule).
2. Perfect duty: A duty that must always be performed no matter what. And imperfect duties. 
3. Kant's Second Formulation: TREAT PEOPLE AS ENDS, NEVER AS MEANS TO AN END. Problems with the second formulation? Problem of exceptions to the rule. Sometimes we have to treat people as means to ends. Example: Broad's Typhoid Man. What to do then?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

why induction is not foolproof

an example of inductive reasoning: 

a, b, c & d are observed to be true therefore a may be true.

(a is a reasonable explanation for b, c, & d being true).

ex:

p1: A large enough asteroid impact would create a very large crater and cause a severe impact winter that could drive the non-avian dinosaurs to extinction.
p2: We observe that there is a very large crater in the gulf of Mexico dating to very near the time of the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs
_____________________
c: Therefore it is possible that this impact could explain why the non-avian dinosaurs went extinct.

note: see that c is not necessarily the case, other events also coincide with the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs.

remember: inductive reasoning is inherently uncertain. it only deals in degrees to which, given the premises, the conclusion is credible according to some theory of evidence.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tiktaalik, the transitional 375-million-year-old fish


check this article in the NYTimes:
... on closer examination, scientists found telling anatomical traits of a transitional creature, a fish that is still a fish but exhibiting changes that anticipate the emergence of land animals — a predecessor thus of amphibians, reptiles and dinosaurs, mammals and eventually humans. The scientists described evidence in the forward fins of limbs in the making. There are the beginnings of digits, proto-wrists, elbows and shoulders. The fish also had a flat skull resembling a crocodile's, a neck, ribs and other parts that were similar to four-legged land animals known as tetrapods.
this is proof for evolution. why? transitionality,
... scientists have concluded that Tiktaalik is an intermediate between the fish Panderichthys, which lived 385 million years ago, and early tetrapods. The known early tetrapods are Acanthostega and Ichthyostega, about 365 million years ago.

why do you need physics? because physics is the study of reality!


check out this wonderful site (those of you who haven't taken physics).

click on the particular subjects, whether light, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, sun, black holes, condensed matter, etc. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Final Exam Chapter 5 Spring 17

Ethics is the study of moral values.

Moral values are behaviors of fundamental consequence for human welfare.

Moral Judgements = Moral standards + Factual beliefs.

Ethics can be broadly divided into objectivism and subjectivism.

Objectivism is the view that right and wrong are independent from peoples' beliefs. Subjectivism is the view that right and wrong are dependent of peoples' beliefs.

1. Subjective Absolutism: The view that what makes an action right is that one approves of it.

Counters: (a) SA makes moral evaluations a matter of personal opinion, (b)impossibility of moral disagreements (one can only agree with the absolutist and the reason is that he believes he's the ONLY ONE THAT'S RIGHT). 

2. Subjective Relativism: What makes an action right is that it is approved by that person.

Counters (same as above). You must be able to tell the difference between the (the absolutist thinks she's the only one that's right, whereas the subjective relativist believes that many people can disagree and still be right at the same time) absolutist and the subjective relativist. 

3. Emotivism: The doctrine that moral utterances are expressions of emotions. Basically, the emotivist is saying that right and wrong ARE NOT REALLY OUT THERE!

Counters: Blanshard’s Rabbit. What matters is not one's suffering but the victim's suffering (factual force of the victim's suffering). I've brought up the argument of throwing acid into women's faces, as a proof that these women's suffering warrant a moral judgment of condemnation. 

4. Cultural relativism: The doctrine that what makes an action right is that it's approved by that culture.

Counters: 1- Logical contradiction (see above), impossibility for moral disagreements and 2- The fact that cultures are not that different at a deeper level. One can point to differences between "deep" values (moral values, i.e., human behavior of fundamental consequence for human welfare) and "superficial" values (domestic habits, etiquette, fashion, etc) other cultural values to the effect that most cultures seem to share the same deep moral values. 

5. Logical Structure of Moral Arguments: we can make the case that moral standards are sort of facts. Not 1+1=2 kind-of-fact, but "unnecessary suffering is wrong" kind-of-fact. For example, "slavery is wrong" seems to be morally factual, i.e., the unjust exploitation of the slave and his/her suffering seems to address facts in the world. So, 

Moral standards + factual beliefs = Moral judgments (this is not a formula, just an approximation).

So we talk of factual beliefs, which is a belief held by factual evidence (i.e., child abuse is wrong because of the facts we know about psychology, human rights, child development, etc,).

6. The text suggests one can defend the idea of universal moral principles?

1- Principle of mercy (Unnecessary suffering is wrong) and
2- Principle of justice (Treat equals equally).

 Section 5.2

 Difference between consequentialist theories and formalist theories. Consequentialism is the theory that judges the rightness or wrongness of an action in terms of its consequences. Formalism is the theory that judges the rightness or wrongness of an action in terms of the action's form (i.e., "killing is wrong": the formalist believes that moral actions are objective).

2. Intrinsic (value for its own sake; moral agency & personhood are essential values: a-reason, b-autonomy, c-sentience, d-freedom) and

Instrumental values: values for the sake of something else, "Peter is a good mechanic" is an example of instrumental value.

3. Ethical egoism: What makes an action right is that it maximizes one's best interest. We talk about this calculation as PRUDENCE. The egoist understand the social rules of engagement: favor for favor, and that maximizing means a long term commitment to one's interest. 

Counters: (a) Egoist's motivations (if known, the egoist's intentions seem to betray reversibility principle). (b) Egoism is not a socially or politically cogent theory (i.e., you would not vote for an egoist in office). 

4. Act or Traditional Utilitarianism: What makes an action right is that it maximizes happiness everyone considered. Remember "everyone" means here the group the utilitarian is considering, i.e., family, community, state, nation, etc.

Counters: (a) McCloskey’s informant (b) Brandt’s Heir, (c) Ross' unhappy promise, (d) Goodwin's Fire Rescue, (e) Ewing's Utilitarian torture. In each one of these cases one has violated principles of justice, duty and equality. 

5. Rule Utilitarianism: What makes an action right is that it falls under a rule that if generally followed would maximize happiness everyone considered.

RU is better than TU. Why? Because if applied, it can solve the problems posed by the previous counterarguments.

In McCloskey's case, the rule is "Do not bear false witness." In Brandt's Utilitarian Heir case, the rule is "Do not kill (your father)," in Ewing's Torture, the rule is "Do not torture." Yet if one knew that this particular individual, John Doe had information that would save the lives of 100 people, Rule Utilitarianism would justify torturing him (given the second clause of the definition: to "maximize happiness everyone considered").  Once a utilitarian, always a utilitarian. 

Section 5.3

1. Kant’s Categorical Imperative: What makes an action right is that everyone can act on it (which yields universalizability), and you'd have everyone acting on it (which yields reversibility: Golden Rule).

2. Perfect duty: A duty that must always be performed no matter what. And imperfect duties. Problem with Kant's first formulation: (a) Hare’s Nazi fanatic (I've commented this as the Jihadist counter. He follows reversibility and universalizability. It's perverse formulation but it satisfies both R and U).

How can we solve this?

3. Kant's Second Formulation: "treat people as ends, never merely as a means to an end." 

Counters: Problem of exceptions to the rule. Some times we have to treat people as means to ends. Example: Broad's Typhoid Man. What to do then?

 Pluralistic Formalism: What makes an action right is that it falls under the highest ranked duty in a given situation. 

4. Ross’ Prima Facie Duties. Actual duties: One that must be performed in a particular situation. Prima Facie Duty: A duty that must be performed unless it conflict with a more important duty. You must know hierarchy and each one of these duties as I explained in class:

1- Justice, 2- fidelity, 3- reparation, (are the three most important) followed by:
4- beneficence, 5- non-maleficence, 6- gratitude, 7- self-improvement. 5. Pluralistic Formalism improves upon Kantian theory's problem with exceptions.

Section 5.4

Aristotle's virtue.

Aristotle begins by saying that virtue is an admirable human quality.

There are intellectual and moral virtues. Intellectual virtues are dispositions, such as wisdom and understanding, which help discover truth.  Moral virtues are dispositions such as courage, temperance, friendliness, justice, etc. Intellectual virtues can be thought, moral virtues need to be practiced. They help us avoid moral problems but more importantly, they help our moral balance (since generally a poor action is a manifestation of defect or excess).

The highest good for humans, the highest aim of all human practical thinking, is eudaimonia. What makes a virtuous character (ethikē aretē) possible, which is in turn necessary if happiness is to be possible.

He describes a sequence of necessary steps: righteous actions (under the influence of teachers) allow the development of the right habits, which in turn can allow the development of a good character in which the habits are voluntary, and this in turn gives a chance of achieving eudaimonia. Virtue is an admirable human quality, marked by a disposition to behave in certain ways in certain circumstances. Then, there is the mean between excess and defect.

Here are some examples:

defect       golden mean      excess
cowardice----courage----rashness
apathy----gentleness----short temper
stinginess----generosity----extravagance
grouchiness----friendliness----flattery
boorishness----wittiness----buffoonery
self-deprecation----truthfulness----boastfulness
insensibility----self-control----debauchery

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Final Exam Topics Summer B

Chapter 3
3.1
Causal Determinism (every event has a cause that makes it happen + laws of nature) and
Hard determinism (the doctrine that there are no free actions). Hard determinism assumes that if CD is true, then there are no free actions because as our bodies made up of matter, we must be subjects to the same laws of causation. In class we discussed an argument to problematize HD. If HD is true, then there is no human responsibility: i.e., if we are not free, we cannot be responsible for our actions (since one is responsible if and only if one can make choices). 
Indeterminism: Is the view that certain events are not caused deterministically. That is, since the advent of quantum mechanics and according to the Copenhagen interpretation, the most basic constituents of matter can behave indeterministically. But if that was the case, there is not freedom either, that is, if my brain event is caused by a probabilistic event, and not my own causing it.

3.2
Compatibilism is the belief that free will and determinism are not mutually exclusive.
Soft determinism: Determined actions can nevertheless be free. One "soft" theory is Traditional Compatibilism (Free actions are 1- caused by one's will and 2- not externally constrained). The reasoning is this:

Principle of alternative possibilities:  one can be held responsible for doing something only if one could have done otherwise. "could have done otherwise" means "if you had chosen otherwise, then you would have done otherwise." Think of our "fork-example" of a student being late for class. He chooses ( A) "having coffee with lots of traffic," instead of (B) "not having coffee and no traffic." For Traditional Compatibilism the student is responsible for being late since "if he had choosen (B) instead of (A), he would have been on time for class. 

C/E "Taylor's Ingenious Physiologist. In class we discussed how TV can "plant" desires. So in a way is a kind of ingenious physiologist.

"Hierarchical Compatibilism: First and Second Order Desires; Second Order Volitions. Remember: A first order desire is directed to an object or state of affairs, a second order desire is a desire about a desire, a second order volition is a second order desire one decisely acts upon. Harry Frankfurt's three drug addicts: 
(Let's call a first order desire: FOD, a second order desire: SOD, a second order volition: SOV) So we get the following: 
Wanton addict: FOD, not SOD, not SOV, not free. 
Happy Addict: FOD, SOD, SOV, free.
Unwilling Addict: FOD, SOD (only this desire is against his taking the drug, not SOV, not free). C/E to Hierarchical Compatibilism: Slote's Hypnotized patient and The Willing Bank Teller. One proves that SOV can be manipulated from the inside. The other shows rthat SOV can be manipulated beyond our control. 


Punishment: How do compatibilists see punishment? p. 203. Punishment cannot be  retributive (eye-for-an-eye). The only legitimate way of punishment is rehabilitation and deterrence. Criminal actions are dictated by genes and habits (nature and nurture). Retributive punishment makes sense if it's deserved. But nothing people do is up to them.

3.3
Libertarianism
Event and Agent Causation. Event---> event or Agent---> event.


Libertarianism holds that agents can cause events. How? remember we talked about the possibility that the mind causes the brain. There are two arguments:


Argument from Experience. Argument from deliberation.


Libet's Neurophysiological challenge: it seems to show that consciousness of a decision arises only after the decision has already been made (the 300 millisecond gap between the decision to press the button and the brain signal). Rebuttal by libertarians: There's a difference between making a "conscious decision" and a "meta-conscious decision" (meta-conscious awareness is second order). For the libertarian, the subject in Libet's report is not having a "conscious" but a "meta-conscious" decision. So it's no surprise that it happens "after" the conscious decision was made.
 

__________________

Radical Libertarianism (Existentialism): Jean-Paul Sartre's kind of libertarianism (known as Existentialism) holds that the self is essentially free. His analysis is ontological. Let's begin with Sartre's lemma: "l'existence précède l'essence," i.e., existence precedes essence. We exist first, and are "defined" later. This happens because the self (l'être) is in a constant state of becoming (devenir).

For the purpose of the analysis, there are two kinds of being:

being-for-itself: l'être-pour-soi. main property: being for itself, which is essentially "a freedom that chooses" (une liberté qui choisit).  
being in itself: l'être-en-soi, which is fundamentally without qualification (sans nuance).

To cope with this heavy "weight" of our own FREEDOM we come up with a sort of justification which Sartre calls "bad faith" or mauvaise foi. However, since not choosing is choosing, in the end we remain responsible for our actions. 

The only possible constraint to our freedom is our facticity (the stuff we don't choose, like being born and having a certain name and parents). 


Chapter 5

Section 5.1

Cultural relativism: The doctrine that what makes an action right is that it's approved by that culture. Counterarguments: 1- Logical contradiction (see above), impossibility for moral disagreements and 2- The fact that cultures are not that different at a deeper level. One can point to differences between "deep" values (moral values, i.e., human behavior of fundamental consequence for human welfare) and "superficial" values (domestic habits, etiquette, fashion, etc) other cultural values to the effect that most cultures seem to share the same deep moral values.

Logical Structure of Moral Arguments: Moral standards + factual beliefs = Moral judgments (this is not a formula, just an approximation). What is a factual belief? A belief held by factual evidence (i.e., child abuse is wrong because of the facts we know about psychology, human rights, child development, etc,).

Are there universal moral principles? YES! 1- Principle of mercy (Unnecessary suffering is wrong) and 2- Principle of justice (Treat equals equally).

Section 5.2.

1. Difference between consequentialist theories and formalist theories. Consequentialism is the theory that judges the rightness or wrongness of an action in terms of its consequences. Formalism is the theory that judges the rightness or wrongness of an action in terms of the action's form (i.e., "killing is wrong": the formalist believes that moral actions are objective).

2. Intrinsic (value for its own sake; personhood is an essential value: a-reason, b-autonomy, c-sentience, d-freedom) and instrumental values (value for the sake of something else): 

3. Ethical egoism: What makes an action right is that it promotes one's best interest in the long run = PRUDENCE. Counterarguments: (a) Egoist's motivations (if known, the egoist's intentions seem to betray reversibility principle). (b) Egoism is not a socially or politically cogent theory (i.e., you would not vote for an egoist in office). 

4. Act Utilitarianism: What makes an action right is that it maximizes happiness everyone considered (which means, "bringing happiness for the greatest majority of people"). Counterarguments: (a) McCloskey’s informant (b) Brandt’s Heir, (c) Ross' unhappy promise, (d) Goodwin's Fire Rescue, (e) Ewing's Utilitarian torture. In each one of these cases one has violated principles of justice, duty and equality.
 

5. Rule Utilitarianism: What makes an action right is that it falls under a rule that if generally followed would maximize happiness everyone considered. RU is a better theory than AU. Why? Because if applied, it can solve the problems posed by the previous counterarguments.

Section 5.3.

1. Kant’s Categorical Imperative: What makes an action right is that everyone can act on it (which yields universalizability), and you'd have everyone acting on it (which yields reversibility: Golden Rule).
 

2. Perfect duty: A duty that must always be performed no matter what. And imperfect duties. Problem with Kant's first formulation: (a) Hare’s Nazi fanatic (I've commented this as Bin-Laden Syndrome).  How can we solve that?
 

3. Kant's Second Formulation: TREAT PEOPLE AS ENDS, NEVER AS MEANS TO AN END.Problems with the second formulation: Problem of exceptions: Some times we have to treat people as means to ends: Broad's Typhoid Man.

Pluralistic Formalism: What makes an action right is that it falls under the highest ranked duty in a given situation.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Final Exam Summer A and Summer B, 2017

Ethics is the study of moral values.

Moral values are behaviors of fundamental consequence for human welfare.

Moral Judgements = Moral standards + Factual beliefs.

Ethics can be broadly divided into objectivism and subjectivism.

Objectivism is the view that right and wrong are independent from peoples' beliefs. Subjectivism is the view that right and wrong are dependent of peoples' beliefs.

1. Cultural relativism: The doctrine that what makes an action right is that it's approved by that culture.

Counters: 1- Logical contradiction (see above), impossibility for moral disagreements and 2- The fact that cultures are not that different at a deeper level. One can point to differences between "deep" values (moral values, i.e., human behavior of fundamental consequence for human welfare) and "superficial" values (domestic habits, etiquette, fashion, etc) other cultural values to the effect that most cultures seem to share the same deep moral values. 

2. Logical Structure of Moral Arguments: we can make the case that moral standards are sort of facts. Not 1+1=2 kind-of-fact, but "unnecessary suffering is wrong" kind-of-fact. For example, "slavery is wrong" seems to be morally factual, i.e., the unjust exploitation of the slave and his/her suffering seems to address facts in the world. So, 

Moral standards + factual beliefs = Moral judgments (this is not a formula, just an approximation).

So we talk of factual beliefs, which is a belief held by factual evidence (i.e., child abuse is wrong because of the facts we know about psychology, human rights, child development, etc,).

3. The text suggests one can defend the idea of universal moral principles?

1- Principle of mercy (Unnecessary suffering is wrong) and
2- Principle of justice (Treat equals equally).

 Section 5.2

 Difference between consequentialist theories and formalist theories.  
Consequentialism is the theory that judges the rightness or wrongness of an action in terms of its consequences. Formalism is the theory that judges the rightness or wrongness of an action in terms of the action's form (i.e., "killing is wrong": the formalist believes that moral actions are objective).

2. Intrinsic values (value for its own sake; moral agency & personhood are essential values: a-reason, b-autonomy, c-sentience, d-freedom).
Instrumental values: values for the sake of something else, "Peter is a good mechanic" is an example of instrumental value.

3. Ethical egoism: What makes an action right is that it maximizes one's best interest. We talk about this calculation as PRUDENCE. The egoist understand the social rules of engagement: favor for favor, and that maximizing means a long term commitment to one's interest. 

Counters: (a) Egoist's motivations (if known, the egoist's intentions seem to betray reversibility principle). (b) Egoism is not a socially or politically cogent theory (i.e., you would not vote for an egoist in office). 

4. Act or Traditional Utilitarianism: What makes an action right is that it maximizes happiness everyone considered. Remember "everyone" means here the group the utilitarian is considering, i.e., family, community, state, nation, etc.

Counters: (a) McCloskey’s informant (b) Brandt’s Heir, (c) Ross' unhappy promise, (d) Goodwin's Fire Rescue. In each one of these cases one has violated principles of justice, duty and equality. 

5. Rule Utilitarianism: What makes an action right is that it falls under a rule that if generally followed would maximize happiness everyone considered.

RU is better than TU. Why? Because if applied, it can solve the problems posed by the previous counterarguments.

In McCloskey's case, the rule is "Do not bear false witness." In Brandt's Utilitarian Heir case, the rule is "Do not kill (your father)," in Ewing's Torture, the rule is "Do not torture." Yet if one knew that this particular individual, John Doe had information that would save the lives of 100 people, Rule Utilitarianism would justify torturing him (given the second clause of the definition: to "maximize happiness everyone considered").  Once a utilitarian, always a utilitarian. 

Section 5.3

1. Kant’s Categorical Imperative: What makes an action right is that everyone can act on it (which yields universalizability), and you'd have everyone acting on it (which yields reversibility: Golden Rule).

2. Perfect duty: A duty that must always be performed no matter what. Imperfect duty: Duties that don't always have to be performed. And imperfect duties. Problem with Kant's first formulation: (a) Hare’s Nazi fanatic (I've commented this as the Jihadist counter. He follows reversibility and universalizability. It's perverse formulation but it satisfies both R and U).

How can we solve this?

3. Kant's Second Formulation: "treat people as ends, never merely as a means to an end." 

Counters: Problem of exceptions to the rule. Some times we have to treat people as means to ends. Example: Broad's Typhoid Man. What to do then?

 Pluralistic Formalism: What makes an action right is that it falls under the highest ranked duty in a given situation. 

4. Ross’ Prima Facie Duties. Actual duties: One that must be performed in a particular situation. Prima Facie Duty: A duty that must be performed unless it conflict with a more important duty. You must know hierarchy and each one of these duties as I explained in class:

1- Justice, 2- fidelity, 3- reparation, (are the three most important) followed by:
4- beneficence, 5- non-maleficence, 6- gratitude, 7- self-improvement. 5. Pluralistic Formalism improves upon Kantian theory's problem with exceptions.


Section 5.4

Aristotle's virtue.

Aristotle begins by saying that virtue is an admirable human quality.

There are intellectual and moral virtues. Intellectual virtues are dispositions, such as wisdom and understanding, which help discover truth.  Moral virtues are dispositions such as courage, temperance, friendliness, justice, etc. Intellectual virtues can be thought, moral virtues need to be practiced. They help us avoid moral problems but more importantly, they help our moral balance (since generally a poor action is a manifestation of defect or excess).

The highest good for humans, the highest aim of all human practical thinking, is eudaimonia. What makes a virtuous character (ethikē aretē) possible, which is in turn necessary if happiness is to be possible.

He describes a sequence of necessary steps: righteous actions (under the influence of teachers) allow the development of the right habits, which in turn can allow the development of a good character in which the habits are voluntary, and this in turn gives a chance of achieving eudaimonia. Virtue is an admirable human quality, marked by a disposition to behave in certain ways in certain circumstances. Then, there is the mean between excess and defect.

Here are some examples:

defect       golden mean      excess
cowardice----courage----rashness
apathy----gentleness----short temper
stinginess----generosity----extravagance
grouchiness----friendliness----flattery
boorishness----wittiness----buffoonery
self-deprecation----truthfulness----boastfulness
insensibility----self-control----debauchery

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Topics for Review Chapter 2

Chapter 2

What is epiphenomenalism? It is the doctrine that the mind is an ineffective byproduct of physical processes. (The brain affects the mind, but the mind doesn't affect the brain)

What is the problem of other minds? It is the philosophical problem of explaining how it is possible to know that there are other minds in the world.

According to empiricism, what is the source of knowledge? Empiricism claims that the only source of knowledge about the external world is sense experience.


Section 2.1
CARTESIAN DUALISM (Rene Descartes) → When an immaterial substance (the mind) interacts with the body.

→ Rene Descartes tries to distinguish between the mind (soul) and the brain (body). He was the first one to say that the mind interacts with the body.

Empirically speaking there is no immaterial substance. Thus, Cartesian theory as it stands is not viable. Dualists make a category mistake in assuming that minds exist in the same way that bodies do.

Section 2.2
LOGICAL BEHAVIORISM MS→ BS (Mental S are Behavioral S)
Behavioral States are Behavioral Dispositions. So Mental states can be translated into behavioral dispositions. 

HOWEVER...
A behavioral state is not sufficient OR necessary for being in a mental state.
Mental states cannot be reduced to brain states.

We have: Qualitative content “the FEEL” (qualia = the unique, private feeling of our mental states).  → Behavioral dispositions can be conditioned without affecting “the FEEL”. (Behaviors are simply habits/neural paths, NOT equivalent to the mind).

Counterexamples to Logical Behaviorism:

[Thought experiment: The Perfect Pretender] ● A person was born without the ability to feel pain ● He has learned to exhibit the appropriate pain behavior in appropriate situations. ● If someone kicks him, he pretends that it hurts him (he acts/behaves like someone who is in pain). According to this counterexample: Having the right behavioral dispositions does NOT GUARANTEE (not sufficient) that someone is in a certain mental state.
[Thought experiment: Putnam’s Super-Spartans ] ● There is a community in which the adults have the ability to successfully suppress all involuntary pain behavior. ● The are able to feel pain and they dislike it just like we do. This thought experiment undermines logical behaviorism because the theory would have us believe that the Spartans are never in pain because they never ACT as if they are in pain. This is obviously not true.

Section 2.2
IDENTITY THEORY: MS → BrS (Mental S are Brain S)

It is simpler than Cartesian dualism because it doesn’t assume the existence of an immaterial substance. There is no need to go beyond the physical to explain the mental. Our behavior is caused by the brain, NOT the mind.

Many Identity theorists are epiphenomenalists: They believe that the mind is an ineffective byproduct of brain states. → The mind is to the brain as smoke is to fire.

HOWEVER… The theory can be undermined because knowing a person’s physical brain components, does NOT mean you know what the person is thinking/feeling.

** Mental states cannot be reduced to synaptic activity.  

Counterexamples to Identity Theory:

[Thought Experiment Nagel’s bat ] ● This thought experiment explains how bats use sonar as a form of perception. Nagel shows that there’s no way that we can experience or imagine this form of perception. ● Facts about what it is like for the experiencing organism are only accessible from one's point of view, which is the organism itself (1st person). ● All of the physical properties of bats can be known by non-bats, BUT, no non-bat will ever know what it's like to be a bat. If mental states were identical to brain states, then it would be possible to know everything about the mind by knowing everything there is to know about the brain. BUT THIS IS NOT THE CASE.

Mental states have this characteristic that they can be felt from the "inside" from a first person point of view, while physical properties can all be known from the "outside" from a third person point of view.

[Thought experiment: Lewis’s Pained Martian ] ● The Martian has no neurons or brain. ● But he can feel pain, love, sorrow, and homesickness. This thought experiment shows that having a brain is NOT NECESSARY for having a mind.

Section 2.3
FUNCTIONALISM:  MS → FS

When two things perform the same function, they are said to have the same “causal role.” So functionalism claims that the mind IS what the brain DOES. → If a robot and a human can perform the same task (same causal role), they are said to be in the same state of mind.

Counterexamples to Functionalism:

[ Thought experiment: Lewis’s pained madman ] ● Lewis’s madman is in pain, but his pain has a very different function than ours. ● When in pain, his mind turns into mathematics and makes him cross his legs and snap his fingers. This undermines functionalism because if the theory were true, it would be impossible for someone to be in pain and function differently than we do when we are in pain. Being in a certain functional state is NOT a necessary condition for being in a mental state. Mental states cannot be reduced to functional states.


[ Thought experiment: Putnam’s inverted spectrum ] ● Two people with inverted spectra are in the same functional state. ● If you asked them, “What color are stop signs?” they would both say, “Red.” Similarly, if you asked them, “Are ripe tomatoes the same color as stop signs?” they would both say, “Yes.” ● BUT their visual experiences (qualitative content - the feel) are vastly different -- one experiences redness when looking at red objects, whereas the other experiences blueness. If functionalism were true, it would be impossible for people with the same functional organization to be in different mental states. This counterexample undermines functionalism.

** Having a specific functional organization is NOT a sufficient condition for being in a certain mental state.
_________________________________________

TURING TEST FOR INTELLIGENCE: (The imitation game). There is a man (A) and a woman (B) and an interrogator (C) who may be of either sex. → The object of the game is for the interrogator to determine which of the two is the man and which is the woman. → It is A’s object in the game to try to cause C to make the wrong identification. The object for the game of B is to help the interrogator.
*** For Turing there’s nothing more to being intelligent than being able to use language as we do. WHICH MEANS… If a computer is able to do this, then it is smart.


Searle’s Chinese Room Thought Experiment ● Searle puts himself in the place of the computer, inside a room. ● People outside the room (who understand Chinese) hand in small bunches of symbols. ● In response, Searle manipulates the symbols according to the rulebook and hands back more small bunches of symbols. ● To those outside the room, it appears that he understands what the symbols mean, for the string of symbols he produces in response to the string of symbols he receives is the one like a native Chinese speaker would produce. ● But he doesn’t understand Chinese. Conclusion: passing the Turing test is not a sure sign of intelligence, because the man in the room doesn’t understand Chinese. So computers can’t UNDERSTAND a language solely in virtue of running a program.

PROPERTY DUALISM → Property dualism states that mental properties are something over and above physical properties.

Mental states have BOTH physical and nonphysical properties (Non-reductive, and has both an upward and downward causation). States that brain activity (since it is CAUSAL) has the upper hand advantage. Property dualism has also been called: “emergent materialism” “nonreductive materialism” “soft materialism”

Intentionality → Bedeutung

It is the “ABOUTNESS” of a thought. (Remember: this is NOT referring to the regular meaning of intention as doing something “on purpose”).

If life did not have intentionality, it would be completely mechanical.

PRIMITIVE PROPERTY → Because the qualitative content (the FEEL) and the intentional content (the OBJECT) of a mental state are not reducible to physical or functional properties, they are “primitive” properties. A primitive property cannot be explained in terms of anything more fundamental.

Intentionality is a primitive property because a thought directly intends the object. We don’t think about objects by means of anything else. We simply think ABOUT them.

EMERGENT PROPERTY → A property which is elicited when things that lack that property interact in certain ways. The WHOLE is bigger than the PARTS: The emergent property arises when all parts are put together. ● The mind is emergent upon and caused by brain activity. EX: Love at first sight. ● Life is an emergent property. ● HURRICANES (wind-rain-destruction) ← ALL of these variables MUST happen in order for the emergent property to arise.

DOWNWARD CAUSATION → Downward causation is used to explain the effect of the environment on biological evolution. It suggests the causal relationship between the HIGHER levels of a system to LOWER levels of that system. For example: mental events causes physical events. There is a two-way interaction between consciousness and the brain: Consciousness determines the succession of nerve impulses, and nerve impulses determine the content of consciousness.

Here is the Triff/Searle Theory we discussed in class.