An Essential Reduction

Philosophers have thought up ways to object to the idea that the concept of “mind” can be reduced to the activity and output of the brain, but to the best of my knowledge, they have never been slapped down on the grounds that they are holding the door open to a dangerous elitism. Mind-brain reductionism is the sole democratic position, because it excludes the possibility that a particular individual may have a further and quite undetectable component called the “soul”, and thereby the possibility that he has a “soul” superior to ours, which entitles him to tell us what to do. Dualists complain that we want to reduce them to patterns of electrical activity in a fatty grey mass. Yes, that is precisely what we need to do, because it is so much harder to explain why patterns of electrical activity in one fatty grey mass should prevail over patterns of electrical activity in another fatty grey mass, than to pretend that one soul is nobler than another.

Posted on March 30, 2009 at 22:29 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Beings and Gentlebeings

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