Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Dualism: the idea that the entities in a considered domain cannot be unified. In philosophy e.g. spirit and matter. Monism in contrast, confirms that unity is possible and that a separateness can not be claimed. Sie also property dualism, monism.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Summary Meta data
II 37
Dualism/McGinn: is much closer to our common sense than other perspectives.
Definition dualism/McGinn: the view that between mind and brain is no logical relation.
The fact that we cannot explain the mind with reference to the brain, is that, that it is not essentially dependent on the brain. Consciousness is a separate basic factor in the universe, such as space, time, matter.
Perception/mind/brain/McGinn: E.g. that I perceive a loud bang, presents itself as a different kind of phenomenon as the electrical activity in my brain.
II 38
McGinnVsDualism: the problem is that he goes too far in the interpretation of data. He responds to the appearances by declaring that the mind is virtually independent of the brain.
1. The zombie problem
2. The ghost problem
Zombie/Dualism/McGinn: the zombie problem of dualism is that it allows us to withdraw the mind from the brain and leaves the brain intact. The zombie alternative is committed to epiphenomenalism.
II 40
Definition ghost problem/McGinn: is the reversal of the zombie problem: When the mind is separated from the body, not just the brain can exist without the mind, but also the mind without the brain. How could the mind then affect the physical world?
Why do we even have such complex brains when they are so unnecessary for the functioning of the mind? Why does brain damage erases mental abilities?
II 107ff
Dualism/McGinn: There are two possible dualisms without God:
  1. Hyperdualism
  2. Panpsychism
Definition Hyperdualism/McGinn: Suppose during the Big Bang there were two universes, a material and a parallel, which consisted only of consciousness. It does not contain matter, not even space. It consists in a kind of world mind, a vast sea of conscious sensations. However, it is totally disorganized. There is no self, no individual mind, as we know it. We can imagine, it contains particles, the basic building blocks of what will later become mind.
Definition Panpsychism/McGinn: moves the mind back into the material world (VsHyperdualism).("Elvis Is Everywhere").
     He says that consciousness is everywhere and wafts through outer space (presumably with Elvis together). That means, all matter, even stones, plankton, electrons and stars carry a trace of consciousness in themselves. The material components of the brain already carry their own special awareness package with themselves.
II 119
With that he claims that we already know which properties of the brain give rise to consciousness, namely the individual building blocks. (VsEmergence).
  a) Hard version of panpsychism: the neurons in the brain literally feel the pain, see yellow, thinking about dinner. - And the same do electrons and stars.
Brain/panpsychism/McGinn: there still remain problems related to the generative forces of the brain: two points of view:
  a) The brain plays a minimal role, only one kind of trigger
  b) The brain plays a more active role: the brain makes use of the properties of matter and transforms it by its particular structure in mind. McGinn pro.
McGinn pro Panpsychism: all matter must have the potential to co-found awareness.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

McGinn I
Colin McGinn
Problems in Philosophy. The Limits of Inquiry, Cambridge/MA 1993
German Edition:
Die Grenzen vernünftigen Fragens Stuttgart 1996

McGinn II
C. McGinn
The Mysteriouy Flame. Conscious Minds in a Material World, New York 1999
German Edition:
Wie kommt der Geist in die Materie? München 2001

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-08-14
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