Scientific vs. logical stuff

We have to be patient with the neuroscience and give it time to figure out consciousness. 

So what about consciousness or the mind makes it putatively a scientific problem?  The simplest answer is the inductive one: we’ve gone a long way in explaining things like memory, the differing brain regions of differing experiences, the biological basis of some personality traits, the chemical treatment of depression and metal disorder, the neurological account of seizures, behavior disorders, learning disabilities, etc. Call all problems like this “science stuff”

All this contrasts to the the fact that we don’t expect the sciences to solve mathematical or logical problems. What new discovery will resolve the Riemann hypothesis or Cantor’s continuum problem? Which experiment will give a clear resolution to the paradox of entailment or the problem of explosion?*  Call this “logical-mathematical stuff” (L-M).

So we’ve got some problems that we expect sciences to solve, and others we don’t. So is consciousness or the mind entirely like the science-stuff, as the induction would suggest, or is it also like the L-M stuff?

Answer: It’s like science stuff, because it exists.

Objection: But the opposite of “exists” in that statement is not what fails to be in any way at all but what exists only in the mind. This sticks us with the burden of a hopeless tetrad:

1.) Mind is entirely contained by the existent.

2.) L-M things are entirely contained by the mind.

3.) L-M things are not entirely contained in the existent.

You can make the containment operator either existential or logical, either way we have to reject some limb of the problem. But so long as it makes sense to divide existence in the mind from real existence we’re stuck having to reject (1).


*Pace Sam Harris, moral problems are probably this sort of thing too, though I won’t insist on this point. I also won’t insist in the same point that could be made about the dispute between Russell and Moore on idealism/realism or between VanInwagen and Bill Vallicella on the thin theory of existence.

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