Re: dualism

From: Stephen Paul King <>
Date: Sat, 17 Jan 2004 00:57:18 -0500

Dear Stathis,

    For an alternative approach to dualism see:

Kindest regards,


----- Original Message -----
From: "Stathis Papaioannou" <>
To: <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Saturday, January 17, 2004 12:40 AM
Subject: RE: dualism

> On 17 January 2004 Doug Porpora wrote:
> *quote*
> Norman and Bruno: I myself am not defending a dualist position (body +
> soul, mind, whatever). I am prepared to say the body is the only
> that exists. That does not mean its behavior is explainable in terms of
> physics alone.
> Yes, I would say that whenever we think anything, our brains are doing
> something. It may just be though -- and i think it is -- that our brains
> give us the capacity to engage in linguistic behavior that is itself
> non-physical. Whether an idea is logical or illogical, whether it is
> relevant or off the point, whether or not an essay is disorganized --
> are not physical properties. I cannot even fathom what it would mean to
> say there is a physical state that is the irrelevance of a point.
> *end quote*
> I don't see how anyone could seriously suggest that a physical description
> of the brain is the "same thing" as the subjective experience arising from
> that brain state, and I don't think that denying this alone makes one a
> dualist. My idea of a dualist is someone who claims that there is a
> mystical, non-physical something-or-other, distinct from the brain
> perhaps residing in it, which is responsible for some or all our (more
> noble, usually) thoughts and feelings. This (implicit) belief appears to
> surprisingly widespread among laypeople, as I have occasion to discover in
> my work talking to patients with severe psychotic illnesses, such as
> schizophrenia. They refuse to take medication because, they argue, how can
> chemical changes in the brain possibly have any bearing on their thoughts
> and feelings? "I now know it was silly to believe that my family had been
> replaced by aliens, doctor, because I have thought about it rationally -
> because of the medication they gave me in hospital. If the chemical
> imbalance in my brain comes back, as you say, it won't make me believe
> things again because I know they aren't true. And anyway, if I did believe
> something weird, I wouldn't stop believing it just because of some
> medication". So they stop treatment, and are soon back in hospital with
> exactly the same symptoms. I have sometimes wondered whether pre-existing
> familiarity with the mind/body debate would make any difference to a
> patient's prognosis: there's a novel use for philosophy!
> Stathis Papaioannou
> Melbourne, Australia
> _________________________________________________________________
> Hot chart ringtones and polyphonics. Go to
Received on Sat Jan 17 2004 - 01:02:57 PST

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