RE: Dualism

From: Jonathan Colvin <>
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2005 18:15:40 -0700

Stephen Paul King wrote:
>>> Pardon the intrusion, but in your opinion does every form of
>>>dualism require that one side of the duality has properties and
>>>behaviors that are not constrained by the other side of the duality,
>>>as examplified by the idea of "randomly emplaced souls"?
>>> The idea that all dualities, of say mind and body, allow that
>>>minds and bodies can have properties and behaviours that are not
>>>mutually constrained is, at best, an incoherent straw dog.
>> (JC) I don't really uderstand the question the way you've phrased it (I'm

>> not sure what you mean by "mutually constrained"); I *think* you are
>> asking whether I believe that it is necessary that any duality must
>> have mutually exclusive properties (if not, please elaborate).
> [SPK]
> The same kind of mutual constraint that exist between a
>given physical object, say a IBM z990 or a 1972 Jaguar XKE or
>the human Stephen Paul King, and the possible complete
>descriptions of such. It is upon this distiction betwen
>physical object and its representations, or equivalently,
>between a complete description and its possible
>implementations, that the duality that I argue for is based.
>This is very different from the Cartesian duality of
>"substances" (res extensa and res cognitas) that are seperate
>and independent and yet mysteriously linked.

I'm not sure what a "complete description" is. Are we talking about a
dualism between, say, a perfect blueprint of a skyscraper and a skyscraper?
I'm not sure I'd call that equation a dualism at all. I'd call it a category
error. A description of a falling skyscraper can not hurt you (unless you
are also a description ... I agree with Bruno here), whereas a falling
skyscraper can. But please elaborate.

Jonathan Colvin
Received on Thu Jun 16 2005 - 21:16:46 PDT

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