The Logic of Interactive Dualism

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The assumption that known physical laws are sufficient for explaining mental phenomena is flawed from the outset. Qualities such as phenomenal redness do not exist within the known physical laws so by definition they are incomplete. Now assuming a new law was added that could explain how some physical property or vibration causes or is associated with phenomenal redness it would not be enough because it still wouldn’t explain how different qualities are bound together into a subjective unity. Assuming more additional laws could now explain the popping into existence of subjective selves this also would still not be enough because a subjective self that cannot be directly observed nor indirectly observed via its effects vanishes into non-existence. This implies that subjective selves must have causal efficacy. But this would require still additional physical laws or perhaps an accommodated interpretation of quantum physics because there is no current understanding of how a mind can change the probability distribution of matter. But even if an expanded quantum physics was understood this would still not be enough because no general law can determine the indexical fact that I am me and you are you. Then the hard problem of consciousness is real, non-trivial and when taken seriously appears to be actually separate problems. 1. How are qualia generated from purely physical activity? This appears to be a strictly deterministic process. 2. The so called binding problem. That is how is that I hear a sound and see a visual scene and feel a bodily sensation, all separate modalities that are unrelated, and yet I experience them all at the same time? 3. Can it be that I am causally efficacious? It certainly seems that the actual feelings of pain and pleasure serve some real purpose. Since conscious entities can never be directly observed and are only known through their effects, if they have no effects they disappear altogether. 4. The so called problem of indexicality. That is why I am me and not you. This seems to be a real fact above and beyond any objective fact. Eliminative materialism ignores the empirical evidence that phenomenal qualities exist and in doing so attains logical consistency. Other forms of emergence that try to explain qualia and give it a meaning while being restricted to physical closure are illogical. I explore these hard problems and arrive at a justification for a panpsychic interactive dualism.
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Archival date: 2016-07-12
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