Posts tagged ‘idealism’

November 15th, 2013

William Hasker’s Emergent Dualism

by Max Andrews

William Hasker is an open theist and has focused his research in two major areas: omniscience and the mind-body problem.  In this post I’m only going to focus on the latter.  Whatever theory we adopt about mind and body, and their interaction, there is still mystery (whether it be physical, immaterial, or a combination of the sort). The issue of one of transcendence:  how can an embodied being such as humans, transcend their physicality and have mind-like awareness of oneself (when the body is not a mind)?  Hasker says it is not enough to choose theory M (say, materialism) over D (say, dualism) simply by showing that dualism has seemingly insurmountable problems. One should take the speck out of one’s eye first:  one must examine objections to M, too, for these may be even more severe than those against D.  A healthy reminder that having reasons against ~p is not the same as having reasons in favor of p. 

March 4th, 2013

Q&A 13: Materialism and the Philosophy of Mind

by Max Andrews

Question:

I often here materialists argue that minds are the products of brains. I also have heard some argue that minds are non physical. However, I was recently approached with a challenge to materialism on YouTube (specifically this video by a user named OntoLogistics youtube.com/watch?v=sIr22Puh1Wk) where he argued a transcendent mind and argued that materialism is faith based and is based on minimal evidence. I have never heard any clear objections to materialism however a few questions (I am not materialist myself by the way):
1. Is mind Non Physical?
2. Does the mind transcend the brain?
3. Is materialism verifiable/valid?
4. Does the soul exist?
5. your thoughts on mind/body dualism
Sam

Answer:

Sam,

Thanks for sending me your question and the material you’ve included. Before I respond to the arguments presented by OntoLogistics I’ll give you a brief response to your five questions and then I’ll elaborate on them.

  1. Is the mind non-physical? -Yes
  2. Does the mind transcend the brain? -Yes
  3. Is materialism verifiable/valid? -Maybe
  4. Does the soul exist? -Yes
  5. [My] thoughts on mind/body dualism: I consider myself to be a Cartesian dualist.
    read more »

January 11th, 2013

Neuroscience and Dualism

by Max Andrews

JP MorelandJP Moreland attempts[1], successfully in my opinion, to argue for a metaphysical dualism for personhood. In light of recent advances in neuroscience Moreland does not want to compromise and retreat to a emergent or physicalist metaphysics for personhood. Moreland’s goal is that 1) substance dualism is widely acknowledged to be the common sense positions based on first-person introspection, and 2) the task of arguing for or against dualism, so grounded, is a philosophical one, and 3) neuroscientific research must rely on first-person introspective reports (845).

I think it may have been more beneficial had Moreland offered more critiques on different positions rather than a purely physical or dualistic approach. I appreciated and thought he did well in offering not just a negative cause against physicalism but a positive case in favor of his position—substance dualism.

January 26th, 2012

Theology Thursday: William Hasker

by Max Andrews

Theology Thursday is a new feature on the blog, which gives a brief introduction to a theological person of significance.

Theologian: William Hasker (Contemporary)

General summary of his theology: Hasker is an open theist and has focused his research in two major areas: omniscience and the mind-body problem.  In this post I’m only going to focus on the latter.  Whatever theory we adopt about mind and body, and their interaction, there is still mystery (whether it be physical, immaterial, or a combination of the sort). The issue of one of transcendence:  how can an embodied being such as humans, transcend their physicality and have mind-like awareness of oneself (when the body is not a mind)?  Hasker says it is not enough to choose theory M (say, materialism) over D (say, dualism) simply by showing that dualism has seemingly insurmountable problems. One should take the speck out of one’s eye first:  one must examine objections to M, too, for these may be even more severe than those against D.  A healthy reminder that having reasons against ~p is not the same as having reasons in favor of p.  [Epistemic principle here:  just because P and Q are logically not co-possible; and you have (non-decisive) evidence against P; it doesn’t follow that you have (decisive, or even non-decisive, perhaps) evidence for Q (cf. Islam and Buddhism, say)].