[QUOTE=jeeprs;95378]I don't know if 'experience' is a completely accurate term in this context, although I can see what you're aiming at.[/QUOTE]
jeeprs;95378 wrote:To deny the reality of mind- eliminative materialism?
One deliberately avoids the use of anthropocentric terms like consciousness, mind, thought, language, self awareness, ect. One is interested in the most elemental properties of mind. The term "experience" as used in these contexts refers to such fundamental properties as perception, memory and agency. The use of any mental term invariably generates the "rocks are conscious? Response" but "experience" or "prehension" a A.N.W. term are the ones most commonly used, Hartshorne used "psychialism" and Griffin used "panexperientialism.
However, that aside, I agree with your main argument, and I think the attempt to eliminate first-person experience from philosophical discourse comes from the tacit recognition that the human person, first-person experience, consciousness, or whatever designation you wish to give it, is not explainable with reference to the objective realm, therefore the best way to deal with it is to deny its reality.
"As some see it, an impasse has been reached on the mind- body problem between mainstream physicalism and mainstream dualism. So lately another view has been gaining popularity, a view that might be called the 'Russellian theory of mind' (RTM) since it is inspired by some ideas once put forth by Bertrand Russell."
From Wikipedia on "neutal monism"
1921 later adopted a similar position to that of William James
. Russell quotes from James's essay "Does 'consciousness' exist?" as follows:
"My thesis is," [James] says, "That if we start with the supposition that there is only one primal stuff or material in the world, a stuff of which everything is composed, and if we call that stuff 'pure experience,' then knowing can easily be explained as a particular sort of relation towards one another into which portions of pure experience may enter. The relation itself is a part of pure experience; one of its 'terms' becomes the subject or bearer of the knowledge, the knower, the other becomes the object known (p. 4)"
Russell summarizes this notion as follows:
"James's view is that the raw material out of which the world is built up is not of two sorts, one matter and the other mind, but that it is arranged in different patterns by its inter-relations, and that some arrangements may be called mental, while others may be called physical"
Russell observes that "the same view of 'consciousness' is set forth in [James's] succeeding essay, "a World of Pure Experience" (ib.
, pp. 39-91)"
. In addition to the role of James, Russell observes the role of two American Realists:
"the American realists . . . Professor R. B. Perry of Harvard and Mr. Edwin B. Holt . . . have derived a strong impulsion from James, but have more interest than he had in logic and mathematics and the abstract part of philosophy. They speak of "neutral" entities as the stuff out of which both mind and matter are constructed. Thus Holt says: '... perhaps the least dangerous name is neutral-stuff.'"
Russell goes on to agree with James and in part with the "American realists":
"My own belief -- for which the reasons will appear in subsequent lectures -- is that James is right in rejecting consciousness as an entity, and that the American realists are partly right, though not wholly, in considering that both mind and matter are composed of a neutral-stuff which, in isolation is neither mental nor material"
---------- Post added 10-06-2009 at 10:27 AM ----------
[QUOTE=paulhanke;95451]Let's rephrase this for a moment and see where it leads: "There is no form of emergentism which can explain how non-elementary properties could be derived from material components which themselves were entirely devoid of those properties." ... does that mean that the properties of water cannot be physically explained because hydrogen and oxygen have the elementary property of being combustible gases at room temperature whereas water has the property of being a liquid at room temperature? ... [/QUOTE]
paulhanke;95451 wrote:It is not difficult to conceive how the combination of "stuff" with physical properties results in "stuff" with changed physical properties. It is considerably more difficult to see how "stuff" without mental properties or experience combines to make "stuff" with mind or consciousness. There has been a fundamental change in the ontological status of the "emergent" property. One either believes that some form of "mentality or experience" is present all the way down or it "magically emerges" from sufficiently complex arrangements of non mental, inert, insensate "stuff" .
Galen Strawson "Realistic Monism:Why Physicalism Entails Panpsychism"
Mental phenomena can not arise from any purely non mental stuff. The one reality and all things in it are necessarily experiential. "emergence can not be brute," that is higher order mind can emerge from lower order mind, but mind can not emerge from no mind. "Brute emergence is by definition a miracle every time it occurs," which is rationally inconceivable.
But what if consciousness is not a property of a complex arrangement but rather precisely is the complex (dynamic) arrangement?