Life, the Universe, and Everything

A Course Blog for GET1029/GEK1067

Tag: 2010 (page 2 of 7)

Supervenience and Reduction

Just some additional notes from the archive. As I said in Slide #15, by Physicalism or Materialism, or more accurately, Reductive Physicalism, I mean the combination of three distinct ideas.

We are Physical Things—We are basically a physical thing with both mental and physical characteristics rather than a composite of a purely mental thing and a purely physical thing.

Mind-Body Dependence—What mental characteristics we have depends on what physical characteristics we have.

Mind-Body Reductionism—Mental characteristics are just (configurations of) physical characteristics , with other names.

And Mind-Body Dependence (Slide #17) itself is a composite of the following three ideas:

(1) Physical characteristics are more fundamental than and explain mental characteristics.

(2) Mental characteristics supervenes on physical characteristics–Two things have different mental characteristics only if they have different physical characteristics.

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Crash Course Mind-Body Problem, etc.

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The Regress Argument Against Knowledge (from the GET1029 Archives)

I wrote the below back when the knowledge topic dealt with the regress argument for justification (the very first semester I took on teaching GET1029, by the way). It also touches on issues relating to how we respond to skepticism. Since a couple of you asked, I’ll make it available here for those interested.

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Paradox of Omnipotence Video

It’s a good recap–the thing is that it also contains quite a bit more than what you absolutely need for the class–so just be warned. (See also the discussion in Mackie 210-212.) (Thanks to a student who found this.)

Quiz 07 Hints

  • Question 4

For the purposes of the question you can treat “nice” vs. “not nice” as a black and white thing, with no degrees of niceness.

  • Question 7

Small edits to statements I and II.

Quiz 06 Debrief

The median dropped back to 5 but not too bad overall. Click through to see…

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W08 Q/A

Here goes.

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Omnipotence and Explosion

Click on image to see Kitty’s reaction upon discovering the Principle of Explosion…

I said a bit about how the idea that God–an omnipotent being–can do the logically impossible is probably not a good idea to accept, whether you are an Atheist attempting to push the Logical Problem of Evil (“Why, your God can’t do that? Not all powerful izzit?”), or a Theist trying to defuse the Logical Problem of Evil. This post expands on that idea and introduces you to a point about logic called the Principle of Explosion.

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Contradiction and Inconsistency (or, the problem with the Logical Problem of Evil)

This is an expansion on the last segment of W08 and the stuff from earlier in the lecture that leads up to it. Since it concerns what many philosophers of religion now perceive to be the critical weakness of the LPOE–prompting them to move to an inductive/evidential rather than a strictly logical formulation of the Problem–it bears a bit of re-emphasizing. (Warning: this is a longish post. I originally wrote it to help students from a previous year who said that they found the material hard to follow. This might not apply to you in this semester. But since I wrote it, might as well.)

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Answers to the two Logical Exercises in W08

Click through to see…

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