Dualism? Yes!

A few quotes from Stephen P. King


I was asking if substance dualism is the only type of dualism. The answer is no. Much has been written on the subject. For example see:  http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/dualism/

    My argument is against the assumption of substance in all of its forms. The fact that Descartes’ version of dualism failed is not the fault of duality, it is due to the basic flaws built into the assumption or postulate of substance. To quote from the Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy article that I just referenced: “A substance is characterized by its properties, but, according to those who believe in substances, it is more than the collection of the properties it possesses, it is /the thing which/ possesses them. ” The problem lies in this notion of a ‘bearer of properties’ that somehow has an existence independent of the properties that adorn it. Having it has no properties itself, what is our motivation to even consider that it is a necessary or even useful entity? (Existence is not a property!)

The problem that needs to be explained by any theory of mind is ‘psycho-physical parallelism’ (For example see; http://www.philosophyonline.co.uk/pom/pom_psychophysical_parallelism.htm). The intervention  or interaction problem is just the most visible symptom of the substance postulate. Once we accept the postulate of substance we are doomed to need to postulate more and more forms of substance to act as intermediaries between distinct objects, the zoo of particles that we see in the Standard Model illustrates this well! It is not necessary to bring up the point about violations of the laws of physics, David Bohm’s Guide Wave interpretation, for example, violated no laws of physics  and yet had the same kind of duality between particles and wave functions that simplistic versions of dualism entertain.

Once we no longer labor under this crippling assumption dualism is free of most of the problems that have led to its derisive connotations. The only problem of dualism is to explain the appearence of interactions and that problem has already been mostly solved. See: http://boole.stanford.edu/pub/ratmech.pdf Using the notion of bisimulation, borrowed from computer science (for example see: http://tunes.org/wiki/bisimulation.html) , we can easily show how the appearances of interactions flows from bisimulations between dynamic versions of logical algebras and, given the Stone representation theorem, the appearance of ‘particles’ and fields drops out without additional postulation of entities as the topological spaces that are the duals of those same logical algebras.

I have browsed the paper from the http://boole.stanford.edu/pub/ratmech.pdf

Vaughan Pratt, Rational Mechanics and Natural Mathematics

Chu spaces have found applications in computer science, mathematics, and physics. They enjoy a useful categorical duality analogous to that of lattice theory and projective geometry. As natural mathematics Chu spaces borrow ideas from the natural sciences, particularly physics, while as rational mechanics they cast Hamiltonian mechanics in terms of the interaction of body and mind.

This paper addresses the chief stumbling block for Descartes’ 17thcentury philosophy of mind-body dualism, how can the fundamentally dissimilar mental and physical planes causally interact with each other? We apply Cartesian logic to reject not only divine intervention, preordained synchronization, and the eventual mass retreat to monism, but also an assumption Descartes himself somehow neglected to reject, that causal interaction within these planes is an easier problem than between. We use Chu spaces and residuation to derive all causal interaction, both between and within the two planes, from a uniform and algebraically rich theory of between-plane interaction alone. Lifting the two-valued Boolean logic of binary relations to the complex-valued fuzzy logic of quantum mechanics transforms residuation into a natural generalization of the inner product operation of a Hilbert space and demonstrates that this account of causal interaction is of essentially the same form as the Heisenberg-Schr¨odinger quantum-mechanical solution to analogous problems of causal interaction in physics.

I have found two papers in this direction by in Russian:

ВЛ Васюков, Проблема сознания с точки зрения логического функционализма

ВЛ Васюков, Проблема структуры универсальной логики


2 responses to “Dualism? Yes!”

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  1. Stephen says:


    Could you write up some comments in English of those Russian papers?

  2. I think that I have found them through Google Schoolar, as a follow up of Pratt’s paper. Yet, I should confess that I have only browsed them quickly. The name of the author is VL Vasyukov and he has the papers in English as well.


    Write him, this would be the best, as I am short of time right now.