Malcolm also argues against the attempt to provide a physiological mark of the duration of a dream, for example, the view that the dream lasted as long as the rapid eye movements REM. However, Malcolm claims, it is not already there in the ordinary concept of dreaming.
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Malcolm admits, however, that it might be natural to adopt such scientific views about REM sleep as a convention , Malcolm does not mean to deny that people have dreams in favour of the view that they only have waking dream-behaviour Pears, , His point is that since our shared concept of dreaming is so closely tied to our concept of waking reports of dreams, one cannot form a coherent concept of this alleged inner private something that occurs with a definite duration during sleep.
Malcolm rejects a certain philosophical conception of dreaming, not the ordinary concept of dreaming, which, he holds, is neither a hidden private something nor mere outward behaviour. Windt offers a comprehensive program in considerable detail for an empirical scientific investigation of dreaming of the sort that Malcolm rejects. As Kant points out, that argument is fallacious because existence is not a property of things Himma, 2.
The key idea here is that though existence is not a perfection, the logical impossibility of nonexistence, that is, necessary existence, is a perfection and, therefore, a property. Finally, is it true that necessary existence is a perfection? For in this actual world, a necessarily existing God is no greater than a God that contingently exists in this world. I think I am breathing does not entail I have a body. Therefore, I exist does not entail I have a body. Malcolm admits there are secondary uses of mental terms that refer to disembodied spirits, but these are parasitic on the primary uses.
He argues against the two main attempts to justify such completely mechanistic views. The first is the view that intentional concepts can be defined in terms of non-intentional dispositions to behave in a certain way. The second is the view that intentional states or events are contingently identical with neural states or events.
Malcolm argues that if all human behaviour had sufficient mechanistic causes, then human beings would not have intentions or desires. In his Memory and Mind , Malcolm uses entirely different sorts of arguments against a mechanistic account of human mental phenomena. The first deals with ascription of mental properties to others.
The second deals with ascription of mental properties to oneself. The first principle is that we justifiably ascribe mental properties like being in pain to others on the basis of observable behavioural criteria that are conceptually non-contingently connected to those mental properties. Thus, it is part of the concepts of mental properties that there are behavioural criteria that justify ascribing those mental properties to other persons.
HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY
The second principle is that it is not on the basis of any observable behavioural criteria that we ascribe mental properties to ourselves. One does not ascribe the mental property of being in pain to oneself by observing that one is screaming. Malcolm holds that such self-ascriptions are, rather, analogous to natural expressions of mental states. A child does not need to be taught to cry when it is in pain.
The asymmetry between first and third person ascriptions does not, however, mean they are completely unrelated. The behavioural expression of my first person being in pain is similar to the behavioural expressions of others that justify me in ascribing that same mental state to them. Introspectionism exemplified by Descartes violates the first principle. Behaviourism violates the second principle because Malcolm does not identify the mental state with its behavioural expressions.
Thus, if x is identical with y only if x and y occur at the same place and time and if the identity is contingent, then there is no way to establish that the same location condition is satisfied. In his book Consciousness and Causality David Armstrong also contributes a lengthy section to this book , Malcolm makes an analogous argument that mental states that lack genuine duration dispositions, beliefs, intentions cannot be identical with brain states that do have genuine duration.
Appealing to the principle of identity cited in the preceding paragraph, if a brain state has a genuine duration say, 8.
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It is important to acknowledge that some dispositions and intentions can be assigned a precise duration. One might not normally be able to say precisely when one lost the ability to count from 10 to 1 in Yanomami backwards, but in some cases one can do so. For example, advanced studies of brain processes might discover precise correlations between acquiring certain brain states and acquiring certain mental dispositions, abilities, or intentions. These identities would be viewed as scientific discoveries. Malcolm would reply that this would involve considerable gerrymandering of our ordinary concepts of dispositions, intentions, and abilities.
A critic of Malcolm would reply that this kind of gerrymandering of ordinary concepts is normal in the advancement of science and is not specific to changes in the concepts of mental entities. For example, human beings were traditionally divided into males and females, but more detailed scientific knowledge suggests that this traditional division fails to capture the complexity of the human gender reality.
That is, one cannot rule out such discoveries simply by appealing to the fact that the concepts in ordinary language conflict on some level with the new concepts developed on the basis of greater scientific knowledge Serafina, , Since propositional representations play less of a role than most philosophers think, there is no principled reason why one cannot ascribe non-propositional thoughts to some of the higher animals. One correctly says that the dog barking up the tree, where it has just chased the squirrel, believes the squirrel is up the tree. Malcolm issues an important qualification.
Though it is wrong to identify thoughts with their linguistic expression, it is also wrong that creatures without language can have thoughts. We can meaningfully say of a person that they have thoughts to which they never give expression only because they participate in a language in which there is an institution of testifying to previously unexpressed thoughts , Since dogs do not speak a human language, how, then, can one assign such thoughts to them?
Malcolm holds that some higher animals participate in human language to a sufficient degree that one can attribute some thoughts to them by analogy. There is a squirrel and a rabbit in the field. Rover is told to get the rabbit, whereupon Rover chases the rabbit and ignores the squirrel. Rover must display regular patterns of such linguistically sensitive behaviour.
Dogs are not full-blown members of our linguistic community, but they participate in our linguistic practices sufficiently to justify ascriptions of thoughts, beliefs, and desires to them by analogy. They behave much as we do in response to some relatively simple human linguistic behaviour. Davidson , 97 objects that one cannot say what precisely the dog is supposed to believe. Suppose the tree in question is an oak tree. Does the dog believe the squirrel went up the oak tree?
However, Malcolm does not hold that it is correct to say that the dog believes the proposition that the squirrel is up the tree let alone that the dog believes that the proposition that the squirrel is up the tree is true.
Recall that Malcolm holds that Descartes overestimates the role of propositional representations in human life. Malcolm holds that many human beliefs described by logicians as beliefs-that that is, propositional beliefs are really non-propositional. When a dog believes the squirrel is up the tree, its belief resembles human non-propositional beliefs which are more common than many philosophers think. Philosophers and psychologists have, alas, tended to over-intellectualize not just animal mind and behaviour, but also human mind and behaviour.
While a personal or perceptual memory always entails some factual memory, there can be factual memories that do not entail any perceptual or personal memory. There could be a people who lacked perceptual memory altogether but had normal factual memories, but there could not be a creature that we would recognize as human who completely lacked factual memory. The view found in accounts of the memory mechanism that there must be a representation that plays a causal role in remembering is unjustified. Malcolm begins his Memory and Mind by contrasting his earlier views on memory with those in this book.
Malcolm begins Part I by arguing against the common view tracing to Aristotle that memory is always of the past , This memory causal process, in both its mental and physical forms, is analogous to the functioning of a computer. Although the computer model is a physical model, something analogous occurs in the account of the mental memory mechanism.
In the mental mechanism, each of these physical items is replaced by a corresponding mental item. Typing of data into the computer is replaced by something like a perception.
The Simulation Argument
The alterations in the internal physical state of the computer are replaced by alterations in the mental state of the organism. The physical output, the words on the computer display, is replaced by some kind of mental state like thinking of the relevant fact. Although this picture, illustrated by the computer model, seems straightforward, Malcolm argues that in both its mental and its physical forms, it involves certain disguised and unintelligible metaphysical ideas , In order for the representation to do its job, it must be intrinsically and unambiguously connected with what it represents , 56, , The account of this intrinsic connection appeals to the view that the structure of the memory must stand in a one-to-one correspondence with the structure of what is remembered , , , In the case of the mental memory mechanism, this condition is often satisfied by the view that the memory is some kind of image of what is remembered , , Since an image resembles what it represents, one can, in principle, introspect the connection between the memory-image and what is remembered.
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- The Simulation Argument!
Whereas the mental representations often appeal to these conscious features of the representation, the physical memory mechanism is designed to explain how memory responses are caused , Even so, there is a considerable similarity between the accounts of the mental and the physical memory mechanisms. The same idea found in the account of the mental memory mechanism reappears in a new form in the account of the physical memory mechanism. The physical trace must have the same structure as what is remembered , Crito perceives Socrates snub nose at t 1. The fact that brain traces, like impressions in a wax tablet, degrade over time explains why some memories are more accurate than others.
The underlying idea, both in the theories of the mental and the physical memory mechanisms, are the same. Both hold that the memory must be isomorphic with what is remembered.