MIND-BODY DUALISM AND THE TWO CULTURES Edward Slingerland CHARACTERIZING THE “TWO CULTURES”

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MIND-BODY DUALISM AND THE TWO CULTURES Edward Slingerland CHARACTERIZING THE “TWO CULTURES” in order to get a handle on the divide between the intellectual cultures that characterize the humanities and the sciences, it is helpful to turn to one of its classic expressions. the late Clifford Geertz’s seminal The Interpretation ofCultures 1973;, which continues to be required reading in the graduate programs of most core humanities departments. One of the central themes in Geerta’s work is the working out of a distinction between two dif ferent modes of understanding, derived from the British philosopher Gilbert Ryle. In a passage cited by Geertz, Rvle asks us to consider the tollowing observational situation: Pwo boys fairly swiftly contract the eyelids of their right eyes. In the first boy this is only an involuntary twitch; but the other is winking conspiratorially to an accom puce. At the lowest or the thinnest level of description the two contractions of the eveliiis may be exactly alike. From a cmeniatograph-film of the two faces there might be no telling which contraction, it either, was a wink, or which, if either, were a mere twitch. Yet there remains the immense but unphotographable difference between a twitch and a wink. Ryle 1971. 480—my emphasis) For Ryle, the difference between the twitch and the wink exemplifies the distinction bet een “thin” and ‘thack” description: the former goes no further than the merely material reality of the situation—what could be captured by a video—while the latter encom passes as well the human meaning of the physical sequence of events, which stands above and beyond the physical reality. In his gloss of the Ryle quotation, Geertz refers to this additional layer of significance as the “semiotic” meaning of the scene (Geertz 1973, 6), clearly linking the proiect of “thick” description with the various strands of poststructur alist thought that were just beginning to pervade and transform core humanities disci plines in the early 1Q705. The distinction between “thin” versus “think” description succinctly captures what most humanists today would commonly cite as the difference between the sciences and the humanities: The sciences engage in physical description and mechanistic explana tion, whereas the humanities engage in interpretation or “understanding”—the study of what physical realities mean for human beingk something that cannot be deduced from 74 meaning cannot be captured by physical description because it involves the mind. wnicn belongs to an ontological realm separate and independent from the realm of the merely physical or bodily, My experience is that most scholars in the humanities feel uncomfort able if asked to explicitly defend metaphysical mind-body dualism—it has a somewhat archaic and unfashionable ring to a modem secular humanist—but the widely and vocf erously defended distinction between humanistic understanding and scientific explana tion makes no sense without it. This link can be seen clearly and unambiguously in German—sigmficant because one can trace a direct line of descent between the structure of German academia in the nineteenth century and the make-up of the modem university In German,the natural sciences are referred to as the Naturwissenschafter., or the “structured knowleges” Wissenschaften A Natur, the physical world of nature. They employs a particular mode of knowledge referred ;c to as Erkl4ren, or”explanation’which in this technical sense. refers to the tracing out ofthe ‘‘ mechanistic chains of cause and effect that characterize dumb, inert obiects. The humanities, on the other hand, are referred to as the Geisreswissenschaften: the structured knowiedges of the Geist. This Geist is a cognate ofthe English “ghost,” and encompasses a broader range of -, meanings.—induding “mind:’ “spirit:’ even “wit”—while stifi retaining the basic sense of a äisembodied being. The Geisteswissenschaftefl are thus concerned with the free and mvste rious movements of this Geist, which—because it is autonomous from the merely phyucai world—can only be apprehended through the sympathetic understanding of another Gent. German also helpfully provides us with another technical term, Versreher.. for this particular type of understanding, which corresponds to Geertz’s understandin of “thick” description and is a familiar term of art for anyone in the humanities. Versteheit is the only manner in which a Geist or its products can be grasped, and is moreover an act that onh’ another Gent ‘can perform—hence the English rendering “svmpathetsc understanding,” which captures the feeling of like-minded resonance or identification., Since my graduate school days I have always thought of Versrehen as a process very much like the “Vulcan mind-meld” from the TV show Star Trek As ‘iewers of the show will recall, the character Spock was able to touch his fingers to another person’s forehead, enter into a sort of trance, and thereby receive a direct impression of their thoughts. The process of Verstehen shares the same essential structure. The interpreter comes into contact with the object to be interpreted ,a text, a scene, a work of art), “opens” herseif to this object in some manner, and thereby “understands” it—-a process as mysterious and magical as the Vulcan mind-meld because it cannot be expiained in physical terms Indeed, classic and influential expressions ofthe process of Verstehen. such as that formu lated by the German philosophical hermeneut Hans-Georg Gadamer. explictlv portraY it as an ecstatu.,, mystical union, an “event” Ercignis requiring a “fusion of horizons” (flarizontverschmeitzuflg) that is only possible when the interpreter fully opens htmseif to the human reality of the interpreted (Gadamer i975;. This is equally the case whether i. W,,senschafD is often rendered as “science,” but has the much broader meaning of any rganzeC system of knowledge or inquirc L MIND-BODY DUALISM AND THIS CHARACTERIZING THE “TWO CULTURES” In ordet to get a handle on the diside between the intellectual cultures that characterize the humanities and the sciences, it is helpful to mn’ to one of its classic expressions, the late Llifford Geertz’s sentinai The hrtc’rret,gjo,j ofCult ui-es (i9J3), which continues tobe required reading in the graduate programs of most core humanities dépàrtments, One of the central themes in Geet tz’s work is the working (‘Ut of a distinction between two dif ferent modes of understanding, deiived from the Bnitish philosopher Gilbert Ryle. In a passage cited by Geertz, Ryle asks us to consider the following e>bservatioiial situath)rI boys fairly swiftly contract the eyelids of their right eyes. In the first boy this is only an involuntary twitch; but the other is winking conspiratcirially to an accom plice, At the lowest or the thinnest level of des, ripoon the tw contractions of the celids may be exactly alike. From a cinelnatograph. film of the two faces there might be no telling which contraction, ifeitlier, was a wink, or which, if either, were a mere twitch. Yet there remains the ,umense but unphotographuhk diffi.’rence between a twitch anda wink (Ryle 1971, 480— •mnyernphasjs) For Ryle, the difference between the twitch and the wink exemplifies the distinction bet ween “thin’ and “thick” description: the former goes no further than the merely material rality of the situation —what could be apttired by d video—while the latter encom as well the human meaning of the physical sequence of events, v,hich &ds above md beyond the physical reality In his gloss of the Ryle quotation (ieertz rcftrs to this additional layer of significance as the semiotic” meaning of the scene (Geertz 7973, 6), clearly linking the proje’ct of “thick” description with the various strands of poststructur. ahst thought that were just beginning to pervade and transform core humanities disci plines in the early 19705, The distinction between “thin” versus “think” description succinctl
y captures what most humanists todawotilcI commonly cite as the difference between the sciences and the humanities: The sciences engage in physical description and mechanistic explana tion, whereas the humanities engage in interpretation or “understandjrg”.._tJie study of what physical realities mean for human beings soniethirig that cannot be deduced from 74 7s Mind-Body Dualism and the TWo (uIiures the merely physical. Althntmgh the metaphysical assumption on which this distinction is based ranely made explic it, it is nonetheless always at wnrrle in the’ background. Human meaning cannot be aptui-cci by hysic.al description be’aemse it involves the mind, which belongs to art ontological realm .epiraie arid indepenidertt from the realm of the merely physical or bodily. My erperienee is that most scholais in the humanities feel uncomntort able if asked to elicitly defend metaphysical rr,iml body dualism -it has .r snnrnewhat archaic and unfashionable ring ln a rmnoderri sec itlat humanist- –but the widely and vocif erously defended distinc timi between humanistic undenstandirig arid sdentifie: explana on makes no sense without it. This link ran he seen leanly and unambiguously in German— •-signifkarit because one e.an trace a direct Pine of desu’nt between the structure of German academia in the nineteenth century and the make up of the trioderir university. In Germanthe imatuial s iences arc referred to as the Natui wir.censchaflen, or the “structured kne>wierges” ( Wissensehaflen) of Natur, the physical workl of nature, They employs a particular mode of knowledge referred ,- , toast rkl4ren or expl.anatron whuh in this technic il scnse refers to the ii acing out of the. — jechanistk chains ufcause andeffeet that ch.aiacteri,e dumb, inert objects. 1 he liujimanities, on the other han,l, ale ictetred to as the Geisteswi.tsenscha/wn: the structured knowiedges of the. Ge.isr [hi.s (eu isa cogn ite of the I nighab ghost” aid encompasses a bro ider range of meuungi—–iiultiding”rnind,” “spirit” even “wit” –while still retaiiiin the basic sense of a –. ãisesnlxndied being. Lire GeisfrnvissJnsrhaften are titus concerned with the free amid mysterious movements of this (kist, which –because it is autonomous from the merely physical world–can only be apprehended through the sympathetic turderstancling of another Geisi. German also helpfully provides us with another technical term, Verstehen, for this particular type of understanding, which corresponds to Geertz’s understanding of’thick” description and is a familiar term of art for anyone in the humanities. Verstelwni is the only manner in which a Geist or its products can be giasped, and is moreover an act that only another Geist can pertorm- hence the. Inglmsh rendering “sympathetic understanding” which captures the feeling of likeminded resonance or identification. 1 Since my graduate school daysJ have always thought of Verstehen as a process very much like the “Vulcan mind -mek’ from the TV show Star Tiek. As viewers of the show will recall, the character Spock was able to touch his fingers to another person’s forehead, enter into a sort of trance, and thereby receive a direct impression of their thoughts. The process of Verstehen shares the same essential structure. fhe interpreter comes into’ contact with the object to be interpreted (a text, a scene, a work”of art), ‘opens herself to this object in some manner, and thereby ‘understands” itT-a process as mysterious and magical a.s tile Vulcan mind-meld because it cannot be explained in physical terms. Indeed, classic and iritluential expressions ofthe process of Verstehen, such as that formu lated by the German philosophical hermeneut Hans-Georg Gadamer, explicitly portray it as an ecstatic, mystical union, an “event” (Ereignis) requiring a “fusion of horizons” (Hcrizontverschmeltiung) that is only possible when the interpreter fully opens himself to the human reality of time interpreted (Gadamer 1975). This is equally the case whether i. Wissense-Jiafn is often rendemed as “sc-ienu7 but has the much broadet meaning of any oinized system of knowledge or inquiry. 3 TWO CULTURES Edward ,S’linçerland j6 P&a’I I tHEORbTIcA I I SSU tS the thing to he interpreted n the work of a single person or a group of people, since a hunmri culture the product of a large collection of human minds over historical time— also fimdameritally partakes of Geist, and, indeed, has typically been viewed by sociolo gists and anthropologists as a type of (Ybe,- Ceist. e&rtt’s seimnal work, The’ Inteipretiitiinz q Cultures, has been so influential in the humanities precisely because it succinctly cap tures what is chstinctive about the humanistic methnd [tapplies sympathetic under standing to a phenomenon, human :ultuie, that can only he grasped through this special imxle of understanding. I his specialness, in turn, has an ultimately nmetaphysical juslifi- cation: A cultute is a product of the human mind, and the human mind and its products can only be grasped by another human mind. ‘[lie humanities-sience divide, then, is tundamentally based upon mind, body dualism, and some– -though by no means all–of the scholars who are eager to maintain a firewall between the two modes of inquiry are quite explicit about this, Richard Shweder’s con – tributiors to this volume is a representative statement front a major theorist in the human. ities, one who views with profound suspicion the attempt to reduce ‘the ‘mental’ to the ‘material,’ or ‘mattetings’ to ‘matter” (71), arid who sees some form of faith in the actual xistence of “urn -physical realities” to be a prerequisite for normal, reasonable and mor ally &‘cent behavior. i’lw intuitive appeal of mind-body dualism is clear, arid, in fact, such dualism appears riot only to be a universal feature of human folk cognition, bitt also to pity a foundational role iii subserviiig religious and moral cognition.i It also pi issesses an inherent plausibility. Mental causation— apparently grounded in free will, and guided by reasons, goals, and meaning- –seems so fundamentally different from the sort of blind, billard-ball causation we see at work in our folk physics universe of inert obfrcts that it seems to require the postulation of a different sort of entity, not subject to the kinds of causation that holds the physical world in an iron, deterministic grip. The Cartesian cogito ai gument is intuitively powerful and seemingly unanswerable. Add to this the fact that we see what we take to he evidence of design all around us in the natural world— eagle eyes designed to spot prey from miles away, human hands admirably designed to grip tools—-and it seems that Mind with a capital “M” has to be a fundamental compo nent ofthe universe. In contrast to the power and easy naturalness of mind-body dualism, physicalist/materialist doctrines claiming that matter is all there is in the universe, advanced as early as Lucretius in ancient lome, seem to face an insurmountable hurdle. Our inability to believe that mind like phenomena such as consciousness or design could ever emerge from, as John Locke put it, “dumb, incogitative matter” (Locke [16901 1975, 623) forms the basis of what Patricia Churchland has called the “boggled skeptic” argument against physicalismn (Churchland ig86, 315).’ Until recently, this boggled skeptic a. For a readable survey of the evidence concernirig folk dualism as a human universal, see Bloom 2004. More recent work, such as that by Richert and Harris wo8, liodge 2ooit, and Slingerland arid Chudek (forthcoming), have probk’matized some of the details of Bloom’s argument, but it seems very likely that an at least “we-ak” —–that is, not rigorously Cartesian-—form of mind-body dualism is an Innate cognitive universal. For the relationship between such dualism and religious and moral cogni tion, see Bering 1006 and Norenzayari and Shariff 2008. . Cf. Fiala et aL’s discussion of the “explanatory gap” between physicalism and human conscious ness in t
he following chapter, I say “until rr’centiy’ becauw certain developments in the past sct’cral decader have, I believe, fundamentally altered the intellectual playing field, transforming physia1isnm 4 from a bizarre, rather unbelievable notion into the most plausible account of the uni verse we cut rently have. To begin with, developments in evolutionary theory have finally and decisively blocked the intuitively powerful argument from design, by both tidying up some lingering theoretical problems in classical Darwinisin amid provitliitg us with conceptual frameworks that make the logic of evolution crystal clear and inescapable. Richard i)awkius’- The Selfish Gene (119-761 2006) is a milestone in this regard, and per haps the most influential book on evolutionary theory in the past quarter ccntury. _- Dawkins’s seminal hook provided a coherent account of hw inorganic molecules could conceivably acquire the ability to make copies of themselves, and how this mechanicalJ, LA -ibility to replicate combined with limited errors in copying arid the forces of natutal ‘ st,l’CtIflfl give rise to t11 of the wildly complein fonsis of life that we currently see ground us. Building on eisting, but not yet widely appreciated, theoretical work by the likes of William Hamilton (1964), John Maynard Smith (1964. and Robert l’rivems (1971; 1974), he also made a devastatingly effective case for the position that the individual gene is the unit of natural selection- -not the group or, as [)arwin himself laid thought, the individual organism. The gene-level approach to natural selection solved a variety of theoretical problems that had been plaguing evolutionary theory, from such broad issues as how altruism might have evolved or why sexual reproduction has become so wi(lcspread, to smaller but nagging questions such as the presence in organisms of large amounts of “surplus” DNA that does not code for proteins. Perhaps Dawkins’s greatest contribution, how ever, was to create some simple but powerful metaphors for grasping intuitively how something that looks like design could emerge from a purely mechanistic process. Metaphors like the “selfish gene” or the “blind watchmnaken” provide us with a frame work for comprehending how an utterly mnin(lless, algorithmic process of descent ‘with . There are various philosophical versions of physicalismn, which is usually identified with materi alism, the idea that physical material is the only substance that exists in the univetse. As Brown and Ladymams note, cetain aspects of modem’n physics appear to make a completely austere foim of mate rialism indefensible; they argue for a slightly modified form of physicalism, which I adopt here “no new levels no new theory will be introduced soldy to account for mental phenomena additionally phystcalssts may predict that the physics of any new theory or newly reached level wl imot posit mental or mtentional entitles (2009 30) rhis physicahsm “acknowledges the existence of rnentalhenonicna but claims there is, and can be, no change at the mental level without there being a corresponding change at the physical level With the converse relationship denied the mental is asymmetrically liar ntssed to the phystcal’io9 34) 5. raI’en -.ird Ridley 2006 present a helpful collection of essays on Dawkin’s inrodel of neo-Dar winisrn and its intellectual impact. 1 77 Mind lludt linahsni and itie two (,ultures argument – really mote of a feeling than an at gUnIsent, bitt rio less powerful for that — has proven inipossible to THE defuse. PHYSICAl 1ST REVOLUTION I ii / 78 PART 1 ii I!ORETIcA1, 1SSLRS 7 Miid Body L.’ualism and the ,vo Cultures mutation and natural selection an, given enough time, move us from simple, selfish replicators competing for amino acids in the primordial soup to LnhlnaItLiel Kani’, Critique of Pure Reason. like the Reverend William Paley coining across a pocket watch on the heath, we find it extremely difficult to get away from the idea that complex design requires an Intelligence to design it. Darwin s Lilsight wa that suth an Intelligence was not requned, on rather—as the philosopliei l)anicl Denneti puts it-that “Intelligence could be broken into hits so tiny arid 5t0 1)j(l that hey didnt count as intelligence at all, and then distributed through slace and time in a giganti ,onneuted network of algorithmic proccss’ (1995, 133) Although [)aiwin himself had provided the basic model for how this proess works, arid the details of evolutionary theory had been worked out before Dawkins, in au important sense I think that most people did not really understand J)arwiuuian evolution until Dawkins provided us with the right metaphors, and it is precisely this kind of visceral understanding that is necessary to overcome the equally visceral “boggled skeptic” position. A sinuilar sort of revolution in the various branches of the cognitive sciences tar geted the other primnury barrier to einbradng physicahisrn the feeling that there is something so special about consciousness that it simply has to comistitute un entirely new order of reality. Until recently, a thoroughly physucalist stance toward the person was no more than a notional possibility, perceived dimly by authors such as Dostoevsky and pioneering empiricists such as William James, but patently absurd to most sohei thinkers. This was tar a very good reason. (onscious beings have, powers that seem so genuinely unique that they must have their origin iii souiie ontologically distinct sub stance. This intuition has been undermined in the past few de:ades by work in cognitive science that has provided a plausible model of how mind and body are integrated, how niindlike powers ,ould arise from a purely physical body’brain system, and how this embodied mind can be seen as much a product of evolution as 4 the spleen. Again, immediately graspable images are crucial to intellectual shifts of this sort As I) mud Dennctt has ‘irgued a crucial and vivid bit of evudcme tipping things in favor of the physicalist view of consciousness was the development of Añificial Intelligence, which finally put to rest the “boggled” argument that no amount ofhsica1’omplxity could produce creative intelligence. We have now built machines that are capable of defeating Grand Masters at chess, passing the Turing Test (i.e., plausibly holding up their end of a free -form conversation), defeating the best humans in the world at complex games of knowledge (Jeopardy), and demonstrating many of the powers that were previously seen as the exclusive province of COnsCiOUS, ifltefl tional agents. Den net t observes trt — – the sheer existence of computers has provided an existence proof of undeniable influence; there are mechanismns-.-brute, unumysterious mruechanisans operating according to routinely well- understood physical principles-—that have many of the competences heretofore assigned only to minds. (Dennett 2005, 7) As Hilary Putham concludes, the overwhelming success (if the physicalisr model puts the folk model of dualism in au empirically untenable position, despite its intuitive appeal: We learn the so alled mental pr cclicates by team ruing In use them iii cxplauuatut y pra ti es that involve embodied cur’almlres, ihe idra that they mefen to “entities’ that iii ight he pr esei it or ul’seni t independei ily ol what goes out i [I oLi r b n lies am I behavior has ut long history and a powerful . appeal. Yet to say that tilt’ idea “might be rite” i to stijt 1iosc that a cleat’ pos.sibility has been described, even though rio way of using the pk’ture to tlsciilw an actual case has really been proposed. (Putnam 1999, 148) To say that Geist- dependent theories might be true” is thus a little gelleu(umLs; it is more accurate to say that they “appear to be false.” Artifitial intelligence (Al) systems are still quite crude, and extraordinarily inept at many tasks that are a oniplished with ease by a three year old hun-man. Similarly, there is still only a very rudimentary understanding of how the body-brain smibserves even quite basi functions as nmenuoq, e
motion, and self consciousness, Our current blind spots, however, should not he taken as proof that a useful and empirically rigorous science of human cons’iousuuess is a priori impossible. As Owen Flanagan has noted, the current imperfect state of field of th human mind sciences often prompt.s a jump to what he refers to as “mysterianismn,” and it is important to see how unnecessary and unjustified this jump is: Although everyone thimtk.s that earS and bodies obey the principles of causation — – that for every event that happens there are causes operatLng ml every junction— no one thinks that it is a deficiency that we don’t know, nor can we teach, strict laws of auto niechanic.s or anatomy… [so,l when an auto mneduanic or a physician says that he just can’t figure out what is caLising sornue problem, he never says, “perhaps a miracle occurred’ (Flanagan 2002,65) , , ‘ A — ci 4rc’t We might make a similar obseivation concerning the mnpredictability of human thought and behavior, which is often cited as a sign of human beings’ essential inueffa 1 bility. It is exceedingly likely that, no mnauer how far the neuroscience of conscious‘ness advances, it will remain impossible–’-if for flO other reason than because of sheer computational intractabihity-’—.to accurately predict the future behavior of even a single human being, let alone groups of human beings interacting with one anothet’ and with a constantly changing physical environment. It is equally likely that, rio matter what advances we make in hydrology and meteorology, it will never be possible to pick out a single mmmolecule of H from the ocean inlet outside my window and predict where that molecule will be one year from now. However, we never doubt that that molecule’s future movements will he ftilly determined by the laws of physics. 13y extension, we have no more reason to believe that the cascades of neural impulses in our brains a’ any less determined and governed by physical causation than tire water molecule, Contrary to some doctrinaire physicalists, there is nothing about physicalisni per se that makes it uniquely scientific If we had an accumulation of’ a critical mass of repli cable evidence for the existence of some non-physical, causally efficacious, intentionbearing substance, it would unscientific not to be a dualist—–and, of course, we cannot t L 8o PART I 1 IIroRarIeAL ISStJS Si Miiitl Body J)ialisrn arid the Two (do:res rule out the possibility that such point will vcr be isat bed. 6 A pragmatic LOflcCh)tion scientific “truth’ requires that our ideas of what couhl count as a viable e:splanation remain constantly open to revision. It just seems that physicalismn is ctinently (oil best, most productive stance toward the eorld. A seeping of this realuation of this fact into general educated cmsciousnes.s–far ilitated by the cririceptual and scientific. innovatimis discussed earlier——has 1 think, something to do with the tact that most humanists will readily and ommnonly refer to the distinction between “thick” ersns thin” description, or Verstehen vs. Erkldren, when asked to characterize the humanities versus science divide, but tend to be less comfortable with the mind -body dualism on which these two intellec tual modes are fi.andamentally grounded. Sliweder’s ontti[rution to this volume is an obvious exception, but it seems to me that scholars such as Shwedct — unabashedly wil ling to defend the humanities/science divide on the basis of strong ontological mindbody dualism- -are becoming increasingly thin on the ground. And there is a semy good reason for this phenomenon: Such mind-body dualism is appearing to be less and less ‘.“ /. ‘1 S VERTICAL INTEGRATION ANI) ITS RCIW’TION ‘> INTHEACADEMY If the humanities/science divide is fundamentally predicated on mhd -body dualism, and if such dualism is becoming an increasingly untenable empirical position, then it would appear that the “two cultures” divide is something we need to niove beyond. The physi calist position is that consciousness is not a mysterious substance distinct from matter, but rather an emergent property of matter put together in sufficiently c oniplicated way. It would thus seem to follow that the manner in which we engage in the study of con sciousness and its products—–that is, the traditional domain of the humanities—.-should be brought into alignment with the manner in which we study less complex (or differ’ ently complex) material structures, while never losing sight of the emergent properties that consciousness brings with it. In other words, we need to set’ the human mind as part ofthe human body, rather than its ghostly occupant, and, tbercfore, the human person as n integrated body.rrnnd system produced by evolutioi. This is the sentiment behind the arguments for an explanatory continuum eicten(lmg equally through the natural and human sciences that have recently and prominently been offered by, for instance, the biologist E.O. Wilson with his call for “consiience” (Wilson 1998), the evolutionary psy chologists John Tooby and Leda Cosmides with their argument for the need for “vertical 6. 1 here take issue with John Searle’s claim that pliysic,ilism functiøus as a modern religious dogma, accepted “without question” and with quasi-isligious faith” (S irk’ 48). No doubt some physicaliats are dogmatists as well, hut dogmatism is nor intrinsic to th’ position. Searle’s assertion that physicalism leaves out “some nsentral mental feature of the universe, which we know, independently of our philosophical commitments, to eeist” —that it denies ‘ the ,thvious lace that we all intrinsically have conscious states and intentional states” (Searle 2004. 49— ‘emphases added) -— echoes the position defended by Shweder earlier, and seenis to me much more taitlilike than the claim defended by the likes 01’ Dennett that physicalism just seems to be the best espl.mnatmon that we have right now. integr.itiOui (1oby and (‘osinides l99 ), aml the rieurir’,crcntisi arid linguist Steven pinker with his critiqilt of the humanistic dogma of the “Ifoly ‘trinity” (tire Blank Slate, the Noble Suvage, amid the Ghost in the Mahimre) (Pinker 2002) approaches havi in c ‘“‘.!. a, desi to ki luririanities beyond dualistwnii’ta icsby seeing bun ieyl,,st,ructue.s of nicaningas grounded in the lower les’eLsof ieanillg studied by the scie nces rather than ts hovering magic lily above t lit. in Unde7stood in this hsiñia’n-’leJ reality an be seen as eminently explairnrble ,4 practically speaking this means that humanists need to start taking seriously discoveries about human cognition being provided by neuroscieritiSts and psychologists, which have a conStrailliiig function to play in the formulation of humanistic theories —calling into queStiOfl for instance, Such deeply entren (IdOJ,!P,h’ b1a slats theory qt unannatUrett011g v 1tf 504.1$ cqrtctAV&rI nd linguist is. dets.rmin ism mid je ideal of disembodied rLason, Btinginmg the humanities and the sciences together into a single, integrated chain seems to rue the only way to ckar up the current nriasma of endlessly contingent discourses and representations of representations that currently – i. I hampers humanistic inquiry. Of course, the reverse is also trite: humanists have a great deal to contribute to scientific resear.h. As discoveries in the biologic_al and cognitive sci – ences have begun to blur traditional disciplinary boundaries researchers in these fldds iave fund then work bringing theft into contact with the sort of high level istut s that traditionally have been the domain of the core huniamtres disciplines and often their lck of formal training iii these arcaskaves them groping in the dam k om attempting to iñvent the wheel. ‘Ibis is whete humanist expertise can and should pIa’rucial sole in iiiding anj’i’nteipreting the results of scientific. exploration— something that can occur only when scholar’s on both sides of the humanities science divide ate willing to talk to one another, It is im
portant to acknowledge, however, that this call for vertical integration has, for the most part, been met with hostility among humanists. There are marry reasons for this, Some are bad, and stern from the usual panoply of intellectual and personal sins: intellec tual inertia, resentment of the relatively greater and growing prestige enjoyed by science in the past few decades, or lazy free.associatiofl that connects physicalism anti evolution with social I)arwinisin, Na,ismn, and the evils of unrestrained capitalism. 7‘Ihere is, its addition, however, a constellation of good reasons that need to be addressed. One very good, though empirically indefensible reason—-in my opinion at least —is exemplified by Richard Shwcder’s contribution in this section: there continues to be genuine disagree ment about the empirical plausibility of ontological mind-body dualism, and many hurnanits who deafly $i the arguii”its bhind veriical integration simply reject them as scientifically unsubstantiated. If it did turn out that we had immaterial mindsouls that operate completely independently fioni our bcxlies, this would indeed be a very good reason for rejecting vertical integration. Beyond disagreement over the ontological status of mind-body dualism, however, there are reasons for being skeptical about the desirability of vertical integration, especially as it has sometimes been practiced in the past. Even among humanists who grasp the physicalist position and are convi riced tsf’ its empirical plausibility, there are many who have important I empirically defensible every day ‘V 7. A classic expression of this sort of intellectual slippage cars be found in Rose and Rose 2(500, & -9 82 PART I 1LIE0I41iI(I,iSsUiS 83 Mind Body I )uaIim an lie Two (‘uliti its concerns about what a pIysit alist, otisihent appinat Ii to the huin.ui should look like. Siiie are worried that many defenders of vertical üttegta ion appeat to be operating with rathet simplistic, and Iongdis reclited, conieptions ol the nature ofScientific inquity. Since at least Thomas Kuhn’s landmark The Strut lure of St ieritific Revolutions (L< oh n 11962 1970), philos opheis have (locumenled a [Iot of problems with positivistic models of Sc iens c. lor in stance, it is clear that theory and observation are inn, btimig art ed and tiltered by jniljvidttal niinisls, but also capable of rting independent force on them. A final source of resistance to the proiet of science hcimoanities ititegratiuci is the one most fonditnentaHy tied to mind body dualism, and the topic stth which I would like to conclude this chapter. 11 human beings are intuitive mind body ilualisis, it folkiws that studying the human as cotermninous with the physical- —the hiiichpin uI vei’tieul integia tion——wil fundanisentally violate our intuitive uriderstandingofthe world. l’his is also the case, of course, when it wines to any cou,mterintuihis’e system of thought, such as my ver sion of post-Aristtiteliaii physics The very fact that we have develuperl mmli’m ii physics, though, anti call train oumselves to think in accordance with it terms, cleimionstrates that folk intuitions do not have a stranglehold on our minds when it is deemed appropriate tO do so, we are capable of overcoming folk iiitUitiOfls through sufficient c-dtication and conceptual trairlilig I lowaver, the violation of mind body dualism that is required to nbracephysicalisni amid thus vertical integration— -faces at least two unusual hiusiles The first involve-s the irmiiate’° nature of mind’ hody dualism The Ptolensaic nmndel of the eular system falls quite naturally out of the fttnctioning of our built in perceptual systems, but it is not itself part of that systems we do riot appear to possess an innate Ptoleinaic olar system cognitive nsodt.sle Switching to Copernicanisnt, at least intellectually thus requires us to suspend our ,onimnon sense perceptions, hut it does not involve a direct violation of any fundamental, innate human 1(leas. on the other hand, if it is true that mind-body dualism is an innate, human cognitive umversal, then physicalisni doe.s require such a violation “Moreover, our innate folk dualism appears to be linked in a fundamental manlier to human emotional and moral intuitions. Abandoning the Ptolernaic solar’ system in favor of Copernicus wounds our pride and undermines Scripture, but is something that modern humans appear to accept with equanimity; replau ing folk physics with the increasingly stranger nsodels proposed by Newton and Einstein requires special ized training and intellectual acumen, but can apparently be acconsphished without meet ing with -any particular visceral resistance. Seeing people as, in essence, very ctsmplicated things, however, inspires in us a kind of emofional resistance and even revulsion– -a revul sion that obviously lies behind Creationist opposition to the theory of evolution or more strident humanistic critiques of evolutionai-y psychology,” but that must, I would argue, be felt at some level by any thoughtful and psychologically healthy human being. to. I tak innate in the sense defined by Simpson et al: “we n,ight take a cognitive niechanism, representation, bias or connection to be innate to the extent that it emerges at some point irs the course of normal development but is not the product of learning’ (zoos %). ii. This problem is essentially the same as the disconnect between ‘System i’ and “System 2” piocesses discussed by Fiala Ct al. iii the following chapter. 12. See Segetsii3le 2004) on the mar-si dñnensions of the debate surrounding evolutionary psy chology, as well as Dennett 1995 on the fundamentally “dangerous” nature of “Darwin’s idea” ( 84 I’Aitl I ‘1 IIEORL LI( A I I SS U bS 8’i Mind H.xly t)uali,rri aid the Iw, Cultures For instance, from tlw perspective of evolutionary psychology, I can he (OIJVLflcC(l On an intellectual level that the love that I leel toward my child and my relatives is an etII() tion installed in me by my genes in accordance with Hamiltons Ittilt (Ilamillon [4>. This does not, however, make my visceral, “on line’ esperience of the emotion, not my sense of its normative reality, arty less real to me. At an important and ineiidicahle level, the idea of my daughtet as merely a complex robot irryirtg my genes into the next gen eration is both bizaire and repugnant to me. indeed, this is precisely what one would expect according to vvolutiona[y theory. Gene level, ultimate causation would lint ivork unless we were horoughly sincere at the proximate level The whole put pose of the r’vo lution of social emotions is to make sure that these “talse” fi’elings seem inescapably ieal to us, and this lived reality will never change sinless we turn into completely different types of organisms. In a similar way we can say, qua physicalists, that 0111 overactive ‘7 theory ot mind uises us to inevitably project inientionahity onto the world to see our moral emotions and desires wtit large in the cosmos, or to see some sort, ot”nieaning” in our lives.” it would, mnoieo, be empirically un;usufied to take this plo)cction as “teal.’ L_… Nonetheless, the very inevitability of this projection means that, whatever we may assert ‘“ ts physicahists, we cannot escape from the lived reality of moral space.” As imeuwseten tists, we might believe that the brain is a deterministic, physical system hire everything else in the universe, and recognize that the weight of empirical evidence suggests that free will is a cognitive illusion (Wegner zooa). Nonetheless, no u)gnitively inidainaged human being can help aai,mg like and at some level really fèe1in that heor she is free there may well he individuals who lack this and who can quite easily and thoroughly conceive of themselves and other people in puteiy instrumental, mechanistic terms, but we label such people “psychopaths,” and quite rightly try to identify them and put them away somewhere to protect the rest of us (Blair 15, aooi). rhe I)arwinian model of the origin of human beings and other animals, and its formulati
on of the uitinmate reasons for many of our abilities and behaviors, is thus theoretically powerful and ,atisfying while appear ing alien, and often repugnant, from any sort of normal human perspective. This has very important, and toooften unrecognized, implications for the limits of vertical integration. The importance of “emergent” realities has long been recognized within the sciences. As one moves up the chain of vertical integration from, br instance, physics to physical chemistry to organic chemistry, new explanatory entities and princi pIes arise that are not predictable from the lower levels, nor fully reducible to them at a heuristic level. This means that it would he foolish to try to replace organic chemistry with physics, otto dismiss the explanatory usefulness of concepts and entities Unique to organic chemistry.” However, this emergence is clearly understood by everyone involved as merely heut istic There is nothing going on in organic chemistry that is not ultimately physical, and an organic chemist would never angrily accuse a physical chemist of being 13. On this idea ci ‘hyperactive theory of mmd” as the basis for religions belief and morality, see Guthrie 1993, Barrett 2000 and Bering zoo6. 14. The Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor 1989 provides an extremely insightful and profound account of the inescapahility of human-level tnith, although he attributes to this inescapability a degree of ontological significance that I regard as ultinsately unjustifiablc. s. For more on levels of explanation and cro,.s-scientilic explanation, see McCauley 2007. “reductionistic” fw exploring tlse lillysical chemical reaitties undeilying the behaviom of organic Ilmulel ules l’lie siirrie is simply riot title of the human level of explanation. Because of our innate folk dualisimi, human levul icalities —leauty, honor, love, free dom—strike us as pertaining to an ontological realm entirely distinct from the blind, deterministic workiiigs of th physiclwomFd, andwe are always ready to trot out the emotionally fraught charge of “reductionism” whenever the former is explained in terms of the latter. iven II the heuristic autonomy and ploxilnate psychological powet of parental love is set upulously acknowledged, the yr ry idea of considering a parent’s love for their child in light of the cold logic of evolution will always seetn both “unreal” and “unsavory,” to echo Richard Shweder. What this means is that the move front physical explanatiots to human explanation will always feel different to us than the mve from physical chemistry to organic chemistry though, of ourse, they are no different in principle. For creatures like us, then, the chain of vertical intrgration will iseverbe seam less: we will always feel a jolt when we cross from the physical to the mental, from the ierëIy biological to the human, homes ultimate evolutionary reasons to pronniate psychological mechanisms. Understanding this fact will help us to see why the humani ties-sdciicc divide continues to prove so difficult to negotiate, as well as why something like this divide will always have some traction in human psychology ‘[his is by iso means an insurmountable barrier, but should serve to teiriper our impatience with those who see vertical integration as a “bargain with the devil” (Menand 2005, (4), as well as to sharpen our sense of the challenges ahead. References Barrett, Justin. 2000. 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[1975j 2000. .Sociobiology ‘l’he new synthesis 25th anniversary ed. (ainbridge, Mass: Harvard tliiiversity Press.“How the World was Made” Cherokee Creation Story The earth is a great island floating in a sea of water, and suspended at each of the four cardinal points by a cord hanging down from the sky vault, which is of solid rock. When the world grows old and worn out, the people will die and the cords will break and let the earth sink down into the ocean, and all will be water again. The Indians are afraid of this. When all was water, the animals were above in Gälûñ’lätï, beyond the arch; but it was very much crowded, and they were wanting more room. They wondered what was below the water, and at last Dâyuni’sï, “Beaver’s Grandchild,” the little Water-beetle, offered to go and see if it could learn. It darted in every direction over the surface of the water, but could find no firm place to rest. Then it dived to the bottom and came up with some soft mud, which began to grow and spread on every side until it became the island which we call the earth. It was afterward fastened to the sky with four cords, but no one remembers who did this. At first the earth was flat and very soft and wet. The animals were anxious to get down, and sent out different birds to see if it was yet dry, but they found no place to alight and came back again to Gälûñ’lätï. At last it seemed to be time, and they sent out the Buzzard and told him to go and make ready for them. This was the Great Buzzard, the father of all the buzzards we see now. He flew all over the earth, low down near the ground, and it was still soft. When he reached the Cherokee country, he was very tired, and his wings began to flap and strike the ground, and wherever they struck the earth there was a valley, and where they turned up again there was a mountain. When the animals above saw this, they were afraid that the whole world would be mountains, so they called him back, but the Cherokee country remains full of mountains to this day. When the earth was dry and the animals came down, it was still dark, so they got the sun and set it in a track to go every day across the island from east to west, just overhead. It was too hot this way, and Tsiska’gïlï’, the Red Crawfish, had his shell scorched a bright red, so that his meat was spoiled; and the Cherokee do not eat it. The conjurers put the sun another hand-breadth higher in the air, but it was still too hot. They raised it another time, and another, until it was seven handbreadths high and just under the sky arch. Then it was right, and they left it so. This is why the conjurers call the highest place Gûlkwâ’gine Di’gälûñ’lätiyûñ’, “the seventh height,” because it is seven hand-breadths above the earth. Every day the sun goes along under this arch, and returns at night on the upper side to the starting place. There is another world under this, and it is like ours in everything — animals, plants, and people — save that the seasons are different. The streams that come down from the mountains are the trails by which we reach this underworld, and the springs at their heads are the doorways by which we enter, it, but to do this one must fast and, go to water and have one of the underground people for a guide. We know that the seasons in the underworld are different from ours, because the water in the springs is always warmer in winter and cooler in summer than the outer air. When the animals and plants were first made — we do not know by whom — they were told to watch and keep awake for seven nights, just as young men now fast and keep awake when they pray to their medicine. They tried to do this, and nearly all were awake through the first Source: James Mooney. Myths of the Cherokee. night, but the next night several dropped off to sleep, and the third night others were asleep, and then others, until, on the seventh night, of all the animals only the owl, the panther, and one or two more were still awake. To these were given the power to see and to go about in the dark, and to make prey of the birds and animals which must sleep at night. Of the trees only the cedar, the pine, the spruce, the holly, and the laurel were awake to the end, and to them it was given to be always green and to be greatest for medicine, but to the others it was said: “Because you have not endured to the end you shall lose your, hair every winter.” Men came after the animals and plants. At first there were only a brother and sister until he struck her with a fish and told her to multiply, and so it was. In seven days a child was born to her, and thereafter every seven days another, and they increased very fast until there was danger that the world could not keep them. Then it was made that a woman should have only one child in a year, and it has been so ever since. Source: King James Bible 1:1-2:9, 2:15-17, 3:1-24 “The Creation and Fall of Man” Judeo-Christian Creation Story In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath l
ife, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil… And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die… Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. Source: http://www.desy.de/gna/interpedia/greek_myth/creation.html “Creation of the World” Greek Creation Story In the beginning there was only chaos. Then out of the void appeared Erebus, the unknowable place where death dwells, and Night. All else was empty, silent, endless, darkness. Then somehow Love was born bringing a start of order. From Love came Light and Day. Once there was Light and Day, Gaea, the earth appeared. Then Erebus slept with Night, who gave birth to Ether, the heavenly light, and to Day the earthly light. Then Night alone produced Doom, Fate, Death, Sleep, Dreams, Nemesis, and others that come to man out of darkness. Meanwhile Gaea alone gave birth to Uranus, the heavens. Uranus became Gaea’s mate covering her on all sides. Together they produced the three Cyclopes, the three Hecatoncheires, and twelve Titans. However, Uranus was a bad father and husband. He hated the Hecatoncheires. He imprisoned them by pushing them into the hidden places of the earth, Gaea’s womb. This angered Gaea and she ploted against Uranus. She made a flint sickle and tried to get her children to attack Uranus. All were too afraid except, the youngest Titan, Cronus. Gaea and Cronus set up an ambush of Uranus as he lay with Gaea at night. Cronus grabbed his father and castrated him, with the stone sickle, throwing the seve
red genitals into the ocean. The fate of Uranus is not clear. He either died, withdrew from the earth, or exiled himself to Italy. As he departed he promised that Cronus and the Titans would be punished. From his spilt blood came the Giants, the Ash Tree Nymphs, and the Erinnyes. From the sea foam where his genitals fell came Aphrodite. Cronus became the next ruler. He imprisoned the Cyclopes and the Hecatoncheires in Tartarus. He married his sister Rhea, under his rule the Titans had many offspring. He ruled for many ages. However, Gaea and Uranus both had prophesied that he would be overthrown by a son. To avoid this Cronus swallowed each of his children as they were born. Rhea was angry at the treatment of the children and plotted against Cronus. When it came time to give birth to her sixth child, Rhea hid herself, then she left the child to be raised by nymphs. To conceal her act she wrapped a stone in swaddling cloths and passed it off as the baby to Cronus, who swallowed it. This child was Zeus. He grew into a handsome youth on Crete. He consulted Metis on how to defeat Cronus. She prepared a drink for Cronus design to make him vomit up the other children. Rhea convinced Cronus to accept his son and Zeus was allowed to return to Mount Olympus as Cronus’s cupbearer. This gave Zeus the opportunity to slip Cronus the specially prepared drink. This worked as planned and the other five children were omitted up. Being gods they were unharmed. They were thankful to Zeus and made him their leader. Cronus was yet to be defeated. He and the Titans, except Prometheus, Epimetheus, and Oceanus, fought to retain their power. Atlas became their leader in battle and it looked for some time as though they would win and put the young gods down. However, Zeus was cunning. He went down to Tartarus and freed the Cyclopes and the Hecatoncheires. Prometheus joined Zeus as well. He returned to battle with his new allies. The Cyclopes provided Zeus with lighting bolts for weapons. The Hecatoncheires he set in ambush armed with boulders. With the time right, Zeus retreated drawing the Titans into the Hecatoncheires’s ambush. The Hecatoncheires rained down hundreds of boulders with such a fury the Titans thought the mountains were falling on them. They broke and ran giving Zeus victory. Zeus exiled the Titans who had fought against him into Tartarus. Except for Atlas, who was singled out for the special punishment of holding the world on his shoulders. However, even after this victory Zeus was not safe. Gaea angry that her children had been imprisoned gave birth to a last offspring, Typhoeus. Typhoeus was so fearsome that most of the gods fled. However, Zeus faced the monster and flinging his lighting bolts was able to kill it. Typhoeus was buried under Mount Etna in Sicily. Much later a final challenge to Zeus rule was made by the Giants. They went so far as to attempt to invade Mount Olympus, piling mountain upon mountain in an effort to reach the top. But, the gods had grown strong and with the help of Heracles the Giants were subdued or killed. Source: Bruce Railsback. Creation Stories from Around the World. “The Golden Chain” Yoruba (West African) Creation Story Long ago, well before there were any people, all life existed in the sky. Olorun lived in the sky, and with Olorun were many orishas. There were both male and female orishas, but Olorun transcended male and female and was the all-powerful supreme being. Olorun and the orishas lived around a young baobab tree. Around the baobab tree the orishas found everything they needed for their lives, and in fact they wore beautiful clothes and gold jewelry. Olorun told them that all the vast sky was theirs to explore. All the orishas save one, however, were content to stay near the baobab tree. Obatala was the curious orisha who wasn’t content to live blissfully by the baobab tree. Like all orishas, he had certain powers, and he wanted to put them to use. As he pondered what to do, he looked far down through the mists below the sky. As he looked and looked, he began to realize that there was a vast empty ocean below the mist. Obatala went to Olorun and asked Olorun to let him make something solid in the waters below. That way there could be beings that Obatala and the orishas could help with their powers. Touched by Obatala’s desire to do something constructive, Olorun agreed to send Obatala to the watery world below. Obatala then asked Orunmila, the orisha who knows the future, what he should do to prepare for his mission. Orunmila brought out a sacred tray and sprinkled the powder of baobab roots on it. He tossed sixteen palm kernels onto the tray and studied the marks and tracks they made on the powder. He did this eight times, each time carefully observing the patterns. Finally he told Obatala to prepare a chain of gold, and to gather sand, palm nuts, and maize. He also told Obatala to get the sacred egg carrying the personalities of all the orishas. Obatala went to his fellow orishas to ask for their gold, and they all gave him all the gold they had. He took this to the goldsmith, who melted all the jewelry to make the links of the golden chain. When Obatala realized that the goldsmith had made all the gold into links, he had the goldsmith melt a few of them back down to make a hook for the end of the chain. Meanwhile, as Orunmila had told him, Obatala gathered all the sand in the sky and put it in an empty snail shell, and in with it he added a little baobab powder. He put that in his pack, along with palm nuts, maize, and other seeds that he found around the baobab tree. He wrapped the egg in his shirt, close to his chest so that it would be warm during his journey. Obatala hooked the chain into the sky, and he began to climb down the chain. For seven days he went down and down, until finally he reached the end of the chain. He hung at its end, not sure what to do, and he looked and listened for any clue. Finally he heard Orunmila, the seer, calling to him to use the sand. He took the shell from his pack and poured out the sand into the water below. The sand hit the water, and to his surprise it spread and solidified to make a vast land. Still unsure what to do, Obatala hung from the end of the chain until his heart pounded so much that the egg cracked. From it flew Sankofa, the bird bearing the sprits of all the orishas. Like a storm, they blew the sand to make dunes and hills and lowlands, giving it character just as the orishas themselves have character. Finally Obatala let go of the chain and dropped to this new land, which he called “Ife”, the place that divides the waters. Soon he began to explore this land, and as he did so he scattered the seeds from his pack, and as he walked the seeds began to grow behind him, so that the land turned green in his wake. After walking a long time, Obatala grew thirsty and stopped at a small pond. As he bent over the water, he saw his reflection and was pleased. He took some clay from the edge of the pond and began to mold it into the shape he had seen in the reflection. He finished that one and began another, and before long he had made many of these bodies from the dark earth at the pond’s side. By then he was even thirstier than before, and he took juice from the newly-grown palm trees and it fermented into palm wine. He drank this, and drank some more, and soon he was intoxicated. He returned to his work of making more forms from the edge of the pond, but now he wasn’t careful and made some without eyes or some with misshapen limbs. He thought they all were beautiful, although later he realized that he had erred in drinking the wine and vowed to not do so again. Before long, Olorun dispatched Chameleon down the golden chain to check on Obatala’s progress. Chameleon reported Obatala’s disappointment at making figures that had form but no life. Gathering gasses from the space beyond the sky, Olorun sparked the gasses into an explosion that he shaped into a fireball. He sent that fireball to Ife, where it dried the lands that were still wet and began to bake the clay figures that Obatala had made. The fireball even set the earth to spinn
ing, as it still does today. Olorun then blew his breath across Ife, and Obatala’s figures slowly came to life as the first people of Ife.1. THE EXPLANATORY GAP Perhaps the most broad and unassuming philosophic:aI question about consciousness is Vhat is the relationship between consciousness and the physical world?” Ti is pritnafucie difficult to see how the pains, itches, and tickles of phenomenal consciousness could fit into a world populated exclusively by particles, fields, forces, and other denizens of fundamental physics. However, this appears to be just what physit;alisrn requises, How could a thinking, experieming mind be a purely physical thing? One approach to this problem emphasizes our episremic situation with respect to con sciousness, and especially the distinctively explanatory situation. Fpistemic approaches focus on whether we can acquire knowledge, justified belief, or an adequate explanation of the nature of consciousness. fhomas Huxley famously gestures at this asect of the problem of consciousness: But what consciousness is, we know not; and how it is that anything so remarkable as a state of consciousness comes about as a result of irritating nervous tissue, is just as unaccountable as the appearance ofthe l)jin when Aladdin rubbed his lamp. (Huxley i866, i) Huxley’s suggestion is that no account can be given of the relationship between con sciousness and the brain where an account” amounts to somethitg like an adequate scientific explanation.” Huxley’s skepticism about the prospects for a physicalist account of consciousness drives him to cpiphenomenalist dualism, according to which conscious ness is not itself a physical phenomenon arid has no causal impact on any physical phe nonsena (1874/2002.). Acknowledgements W have several people to thank for discussion and comments on the man uscript: Sara Bernstein, Mark Collard, Jonathsrj coht ii, Chris Hitch, ock, Terry Horgari, Bryce Huchner, Chris Kahn, Josh Kirobe, tJriah Kriegcl, Robert Johnson, Alan Love, Edouard Machery, Ron Mallou, Matt McGrath, Nicoletta Oriandi, J. Brendan Ritchie, Philip Robbins, Ted Slingerland, Ernest Soci, and Josh Weisbcr 1. 89 The Psychological Origins of l)ualisiu ersions of the explirnitory worry continue to exercise ph ilosr pher s In his ency lo. pedia article on consciousne’s, Robert van Gulick dsscribes the “hard problem” of explaining (OflSCiOtLSliCSS as providint “alt intdligihk account that lets us see ur an intii itively satisfying way how phenonierral (oflSt IOUSflCSS might arise from phyacalpro.esses in the brain” (van Gulick 2004) ReLsttlLy, Jtjh bin inaiittain,s 7ht israin-basecl expai!!)’iotISeSsinevitably fall short, According hi I evirre, “psycho physi cal identity sI’iteinents leave a sigriIfi. tnt cpkrnt.tory gap (11)83) 1 hat is theories that attempt to explain conscitnisn,’ss by identifying ii with some physical property or process wifimevilably seem to Ic we out somethrng Important about consciousness What s trp fd’be Iefict is the felt quality of what it’s like to undergo a conscious experience such as seeing the color red. Since it appears inevitable that purely physical theories will “leave something out,” levine suggests that tirereis reason to think that such theories will inevitibly fail to adequately explain consclmlsnrs, hvsm elaboiates on this suggestion by claiming that there is an airi’felf coningency” about the relationship l)etween con sciousness and processes in the brain (and in(leed, between consciousness and any physical process). That is, there seems to 1w something non-necessary about any pur ported reductive connections between physic ii processes and conscious states. However, good explanations are riot arbitrary.’ As a result, it is hard to see how a theot y invokiflg “mere” brain activity could be a complete explanation of consciousness. Levine con cludes, echoing Huxley, that the explanatory gap poses a deep challenge to physicalisni One prominent argtunentative strategy at this juncture is to draw on this apparent epi stemic obstacle as support for conclusions about the nature of consciousness For example, one might take the explanatory gap discussed by Huxley and l,cvitie as indica tive of a corresponding duality in nature. If no physical theory can fully explain con sciousness, it seems doubtful that consciousness is something physical. For, the argument continues, if something is not hilly physically explicable then it is not a completely physical phenomenon. Therefore, consci(,usness must not be a physical phenomenon. This formulation of the argumentative strategy is overly simple, but it serves to illustrate the strategy of arguing from episteinic preirtises to conclusions about the nature of consciousness. Although the esplanatory gap is central to contemporary philosophy of mind, it is plausible that the gap gives philosophical expression to a much more pervasive phenonierion; even people without any vhilosophical training find it bizarre and coun terintuitive to think that consciousness is nothing over and above certain processes in the Paul Bloom takes this to be part of a universal inclination toward folk dualicm. According to Bloom, people are “dualists who have two ways of looking at the world: in terms of bodies and in terms of souls. A direct consequence of this dualism is the idea th bodies and souls are_sIte” (2004, 191). Folk dualism is associated with a range ç.f eliefs including beliefs about free will and personal identity. The rift between c:onscious s and th physical world is taken to be one central element of folk dualism: i. Admittedly, this gloss on the issue of modality arid reductive explanation crIls&s many subtleties. We apologize for this injustice. For reasons that wilt soon become clear, our piiniary focus in this paper is on the psychological aspects of the problem of consciousness, rather than on the modal aspects. 4 ON THE PSYCHOLOGICAL ORIGINS OF DUALISM: DUAL-PROCESS COGNIrION AND THE EXPLANATORY GAP* Brian Fiala, Adam Arico, ,S’haun Nichols 88 90 1’A1I I I IflOIUII ICAL ISSUES 91 1 he l’sy hogi ti Origins oil )ut1i iit People universally think ol liuimm iOflS( inusness as separate frutn thejhysical realm. Just about everyone believes, for instance, that when our I dies die, we will survist’ it What makes ini65 brain-consciousness dualism so seductive in both philosophy and ordinary life? Why does the expLaiiatny gap carry so much intuitive weight? We suspect that the answers to these questions have mudi in coii ,iiioii. The conunon answer we have in mind is psychohgzctil in nature, and st we tutu to the psvc.hologic.al undetpinnings of the attri bution of consciousness. 2. THE PSYChOLOGY OF ATTRIBUTING CONSCiOUS STATES Claims about cognitive architectuic figure centrally in our epIanation of the capacity to attribute conscious states, anti hoW this capacity figures in dualistic patterns of thought. Specifically we claim that ihuil-piocecs cognitive aichitectitre plays a key tole in the psy diology underlying esplariatory gap intuitions and folk dualisni We thus begin with a brief introduction to dual process models. 2.1 Dual-Process Models In recent years, dual- ptocu-s.s theoties have beeii proposed for all sorts of cognitive phe noniena, including moral judgment (Fiaidt, 2001), decision making (Stariovich and West, 200(1; Stanovich, 2004), probabilistic reasoning (Slornan, 1996), and social COgIlitiOtI (Chaiken and Trope, 1999) 4 crude verSion of dual -process theory holds that mental sys— teins fall into two classes. In one class, system i, we find processes that are quick, automatic, C1 UnconsciOus, associative, heuristic-based, cornputationally simple, evolutionarily old, domain- specifi.c arid noninferential, In the other class, system z, w nd>rocesses that are relative! slow, ntroIJed,1trospectively accessible, rule-based, analytic, coinputa tionally demanding, in erential, d n.general, and voluntary. tIjisysiem i and system 2 have different pmcessing characteristics, they sometimes operate over the same domain. Given the processing diflrences, it’s no surprise that a system
i process and a system i process sometimes produce xinflicting outputs with respect to the same cognitive task or subject matter, For instance, consider the following argument: All unemployed people are poor. Rcsckefsseller is not unemployed. Conclusion: Rockefellei is not poor. On reading tlii aigurlielit, many people judge iIIUI teclly that the iirgultlcnt is valid. According to dual process theory, that is bet arise PCOPICS belief in the criridusion biases a system i reasoning piosess to the itit cit mccl aitswer However 10051 people can he brought to appreciate that the argument is hot valid, and this is because we also have a system 2 reasoning process that has the resources to evaluate the argument in a consciously controlled, reasoned tashiitri (see, c g., Evans 200’). 01 cotirSe, system i and systeln 2 cars (and quite often tIn arrive at the sante verdict [or instance, changing the first preusise of tluc preceding agument to “Only uiientplsnyed pe ‘pie are poor” allows 1,0111 systems to converge oii the judgment that the argument is valid. Although the dual- process paradigm provides a tidy picture of the mind, it is unlih’ly that all mental I)mc:es.scs will divide sharply and cleanly into the two categories, such that either a process has all the harac’teristic features of system i or all of the characteristic features ofsystem a. It would not he surprising, for instance, to find processes that axe fast and computationally siiniiie but riot associatioiliStn (ci. Fodor i98) So if we find that a process has one chai’u teristic system t feature, it would be rash to infer that tlw process has the rest of the characteristic system i features Nonetheless, the dual-process approach is useful so long is one is dear about the partk ulur characteristks of the psychological processes at issue (cf. Samuels, zoo9; Stanovich and West, -2000; Stanovich, 2(,(i4). We think the distinction between processes that are automatic and processes that are c.onsciously controlled captures an important difference between cognitive systems in many domains, including the doniain of conscious -state attributions. We suggest (i) that there are two cognitive pathways by which we typically arrive at judgments that something has conscious states, and (2) that these pathways correspond to a system i/system 2 dii – tinction. on the one hand, we propose a “1(1w-road” mechanism flu conscious state attri butions that has several characteristic system n features: it is fast, domain–specific (i.e., it operatis on a restricted range of inputs), and automatic (i.e., the mechanism is not undei conscious control),’ On the other hand, there are judgments about conscious states that we reach through rational deliberation, theory application, or con&-ious reasoning; call this pathway to attributions of conscious states “the high road.” 2.2 Consciousness Attribution: The Low Road We propose that one path by which we come to attribute conscious states pr&eeds through the identification of an entity as an AGENT (Arico et al. loll). 4This “AGENCY model” charts a low- road path to conscious state attribution. According to this model, we are disposed to have a gut feeling that an entity has conscious states if and only if we categorize that entity as an AGENT, and typically we are inclined to categorize an entity as an AGENT only when we represent the entity as having certain features,, These features ,. We remain neutral on whether the mechanism has other features of system t, like being associa tionistic, evolutionarily old, and computationatly simple. . This model was developed irs the wake of recent work on the folk psychology of consciousness (Gray et at. 1007, Knobe & Print 2008, Sytarna & Machery 1009). As with the otlicr work in the area, our model focuses on attributions of conscious states to others. But it’s possible that a quite different snech anism is required to explain attributions of conscious states to oneself I a. Experiments by l&ichrt & Harris (2006 & 20(18) indicate that, contra Bloom (2004), people logical I iiguis of Dualism will be relatively simple, srirfae level 1eaures, whkh are members of iestrw ted set of potential inputs to the low road proc ess. Previous re,eaich has itlentifitd three features that reliably produLe AGEN I categorizaIion that the entity appean to have eyes, that it appears to behave in a contingently interactive manner, and that it displays distinctive (non-inertial) motion trajectol ies . ‘[he AGENCY model is a natural extension of work in developmental and social psy— chology. In their landmark study, Ileider and Sirnrnel (1944) showed participants an animation of geornetrk shapes (triangles, squares, circles) moving in non-inertial trajec tories. When participants were asked to describe what was happening on the screen, they tended to use mental -state ternis——sucli as “chasing,” “wanting, “and trying”– -• in their ‘ descriptions of the animation. This uggests that certain types of distinctive motion trigger us to attiibute mentality to an entity, even when the entityi. a mci-c geometri. – More recently, developmental psychologists Susan Johnson and colleagues (199B) rc sented tz-tnonth-olds with vaiious novel items, one of which was a “fuzzy brown object.” Johnson and colleagues found that when the fuzzy brown object included eyes, infants were more likely to follow the “gazeThe fuzzy brown object. They also found that infants displayed the same gazefolinwing behavior when the fuzzy brown object, con trolled remotely, moved around and made noise in apparently contingent response to the . …__. infant’s behavior(lohnson and colleagues explain these effects by suggesting that when an entity has eyes or exhibits contingent interaction, infants (and adults) will categorize the entity as an agent. Once art entity is categorized as an agent, this generates the disposition to attribute mental states to the entity, which manifests in a variety of ways, including gaze following, mutation, and anticipating goal—directed behavior (siEJohIIsoII2o Shimizu & Johnson 2004). Figure i depicts the model of mental state attribution aug gested by these studies. …— We propose that this cogpitive process also explains many of our everyday attributions of consciousness. In addition to facilitating mutation, gaze.followin, and the attribution rTjoi]s and intentions, we suggest that agent-categorization also plays a central role in disposing people to regard entities as capable of having consus experiences. This mo.leih empirically testable predictions. For instance, if we assume that the AGENCY model depicts the primary low- road mechanism for attributing conscious states to others, we should expect to lind that people will not be immediately intuitively inclined to attribute conscious states to entities that typically lack the triggers for catego rizing an object as an AGENT Moie specifically, the model predicts that people will riot 5. I’here are interesting questions about how and why these particrilas features are important for AGENT categorization. For example, is the connection innate, or acquired? If the connection is acquired, then via what kind(s) oflearning? We’ll remain neutral on most such questions here. However, it ceems beyond doubt that the mnj,ariisrn is flied in a certain respect: at a given time, the AGEN1’ mechanism is insensitive to information other than this relatively small set of featural cites. Following McCauley and Henrich (2oo6), we might say that the AGENT mechanism is syrwhronically inipene :rabk. It may be that, over lime, the AGENT mechanism an .acapmirr a sensitivity to various other kinds of features (perhaps including much more complex features). Iii other wurds, it may be that the AGENT niechanism is diachronkaliy penetrable. But on this list question, we wish to remain neutral. (iue-foJJswmng C Eyes _) – / 1.)isposito,i i, amgrthi,l – -— — – – – ,“— desirts. i,ztenr,ons, etc ‘MtjonN – ( trs;ectories – A(.,FNT – .,Unbdc.ow, — – ‘., snmicq’anon of goal ( – ) \ thresieJ uttractmon .. trnitaIon have
any immediate intuitive inclination to attribute conscious states to things snch as trees, clouds, cars, and rivers, since all of them lack eyes, contingently interactive behavior, and the distinctive kinds of motion trajectories investigated by Fleider and Siinmel, 6In addition, the model predicts that people will be automatically inclined to attribute con scious states to the kinds of entities that have the superficial cues. This is precisely what we found in a reaction-time experiment (Arico et al. 2011). One characteristic of dual-process models, in luding ours, is that the low-road system is sup posed to be automatic; byconttast the high-road system, which draws on a bror Tnformifion base, is under deliberate control of the reasoner In a reaction-time aJm under speeded conditions, low- toad processing should occur automatically (and relatively quickly), with high-road processes lagging behind. Given this standard interpretation of response times, the AGENCY model predicts slower reaction times when participants deny conscious state attributions to objects that are typically classi&ed as AGElTS(as compared broadly to non-AGENTS). The idea is that if someone were to overtly respond that entities categorized as AGENTS don’t feel pain (e.g., because they lack appropriate neural structures), this would require overcoming the hypothesized low-road disposition to attribute conscious states to those entities, which would take some deliberate reasoning and hence extra time. To test our model, we presented suhiects cith a sequence of objeaatiiuution pairs (e.g., ant/feels pain), arid the subjects were t ,,ere tllo-iug (, 1W0 I 0 — —- – – -. – – / t1fl,,fl to ,ut’ hufr ( trajectories > . AGENT iOen*iont, es – – Ant Ctj’atnoj, ofgom4l- –.-_ — ‘ Jtrecrnlbehaeior ,.- Contmnmgttt “ .,ilnte,aciic,n .,, Imitatto,, FIGUSE s Model of &GEN1’ detection (ala lohnson 2003). FIGURE 2 The AGENCY model, asked to respond as quickly as possible (yes or no) whether the object had the attribute. 6. Of ourse, anthropomoiphized caytoon versions of such objects may well indue an immediate inclination to attribute conscious states. On our account, the natural explanation is that cartoorn induce consciousness–attribution precisely because they have the right kinds of triggering featural cues. A(lN I [ – J Duposiuo iv have a gui fe.’liirg tt,at alegot hal h inj tOuy Ii (b)?i31hfl,s menial aare FIG uRJ 3 ‘I he At ,EN( Y rrtodel of iii- low road pacli to atltibtitioris of CflFlSLIOhl Stite — Attributions included piciperties Iikc “feels happy” .iiid “feels pain,” and ihjects included /4 various naainniajs, birds, insects, plants, vehicles, and natural objects. We recorded both participants’ overt judgments and the time taketi to answer each item. ‘uwi.hat participants quickly athinied attril,utions of consciotisness for those obec;ts thai typi— f….,.L.. cally possess the relevant teattiThjnsnials, birds, iits), while they oinega- tlin fcouisciousness to things that typicaliick those the reaction. time results conflrsiFihe predi?tiiiientailed by the AGENQY model of Iowroad consciousness attributions Participants responded siEniftcalltly more slowly when they denied conscious states to objects that do have the superficial AGEN(Y cues, namely, Insects. This result is neatly explained by our hypothesis that insects automati cally activate the low road to conSciousness attribution; in order to deny that insects have Conscious states, subjects had to “override” the low road output, which explains why reaction times are slower in such cases. 7 ‘rhes experiments provide support for the ACIEN( Y model of low road consciousness attribution, lfowee,, there are nunierous ways thai this low-road process might be trig.. gered, and many of tlw details of this process are largely underdeter mined by the existing data. Nonetheless, the data corroborate our proposal that low-road attributions of con scious states are generated by an AGENI mechanism that is triggered by a restricted range of inputs (See Figure ) 2.3 Consciousnese Attrlbutioit The High Road ..‘Thus far, we have fikused on one iathwa for attrihwrmg conscious states. The low-road riech ni’-m is t h vev th nI thw f ttnb t’ tat ö’ ht a. no , Os er, to ypa ay ora ilingconsciouss Cs. neinig instead rely on deliberation and inferential reasoning to conclude that an entity satisfies tite1ia laid out by sirne scientific thinhus, judge scious states For instance, if a tig-tells IJriah that a certain organism has a sophisticated neural system (inc1lgnieptors and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex), and if ttriah relies on a rudimentary theory of pain processing, then he mit inferinfer that the organ isin can probably feel paj. What matters is that one can come to think that an entity has conscious states via a pathway that has features typically associated with system 2- -processing that is domain-general, voluntary, and introspectively accessible. ‘rhe .Why do people override the low road at all? Why not accept the gut feeling that a spider (fir rx,iinplr) can led pain? People might override because of known facts about arachnid nehiroanatomy: forexmple, rhatpiderslack nicciceptors. Another possibility is rhalpeople owrride beauseofss,dally acquired ‘scripts” iborit spiders for exanipie, “Of course spidus don’t feel ham!” .t he Isyc-hologi cal (it igin’, of I )eilisii process is deni ta iii general in iir.ii the inputs ,ii c not rct r ic ted eviclciie ( an pi itci it ially come from anywhere I lie Pt CS, is seiluictart’ because we can .otttrol when reasoning starts and stops. And i is introspectively accessible’ because the steps of the inlerec;ti;rl process are typically available to (OIiStiriLiSflCSS, Let us examine these three features in a moIeclL.titil, First, like muc Ii reasoning high road attributions of nns(iuusniess an potentially draw on art imtiieiisc supply it iiifoi mation for evidence about an entity’s having con scious states, Poteittial resources include the individual’s current perepiualtc, background beliefs, memories, and testimony fr.tni trusted sources Second, high road attributions of consciousness are voluntary actions in the sante sense that marty condo sjOilS reached via deliberate inferences are vohintaty. like other voicintacy inferential processes. we can citixise to initiate and Sustaiii the process of reasoning about another entity’s consciousnes. fhe high road aittihutiorts are not the result tif an automatically triggered process that necessarily runs to completion upon activation. The high -road process is engaged when one deliberately contemplates whether another entity is con Scious, which is soniething that one can decide, to do, to continue to do, or to stop doing. Third, because the high road proceeds through deliberate reasoning, the inferential steps from the initial assumption(s) to the conclusion are typically introspectively accessible to the individual. ‘rhat is, at any point one can rake notice of the line of reasoning that the high road is processing and know which inferences are being drawn, Where the low road is hidden from such introspective access, the high road is typically available to introspection As another example of a high road process leading to attributions of conscious states, consider Mill’s argunient that other humans have sensations and other mental states Mill writes, what considerations am I led to belicve,..that the walking and speaking figures which I see and hear, have sensations and thoughts ..? I COlic lude that oilier human beings have feelings like me, because, first, they have bodies like me. ..and because, secondly, they exhibit the acts, and other outward signs, which in my own case I LIOW by experience to be caused by feelings. (Mill r86’) This example exhibits the hallmark features of high road reasoning. Mill draws frecl’ on hihvations about the similarityQfs, as well as lTilbout behavior and its link to experience. At any point, Mill is able to stop or revise the line of reasoning he is pursuing. And not only is he aware of how the reasoning proceeds, he is a
ble to ver balize it for his reader. ‘flie high road to consciousness attribution is represented in Figure ; —-—-— -.–.-‘ -——. .————— / Testimony, \ ‘ ‘Theory apptication,’ r’ — ‘‘ I – \ I . . . ‘\ t High road disposition to aenibute I background beliefs, i—-—t deliberative reasonhlig, I –“1 – – j – . / conscious mental states \mfereisce rule;, etc. / \rulc application, etc>,’ pleuraE The high’noad path to attributions of conic ions states. 94 PARr i ‘III CORi it Al iSUF5 1 /‘ ltepresi’utation of ‘ low-level fearin’s \eg,lac.i,tl featit res)j 90 i’ARi I Iitti)Rif ILA I, ISSUES 97 fhe Psychological ()rlgin% 01 1ilisiii We have emphasited the clistiiiciness of the two pioc esses, but of out se the two sys tms both deliver Outputs concerilitig cons Ions states. ( )ften the oL1tpuu will onverge. Mill argues on the basis (if analogy that otlurs have sensations. This is a paradigniaticalfy high-road .iffiuir. But when Mill observed other humans, his low toad was, no doubt, also activated. His high road argument and his low-road leactions converged on the conclusion that other humans have seti,tlions. Although the two pro esses will often converge, this won’t always be the case We have ilready seen one illustration of this. Although insects trigger the low road to attributing conscious states, many people explicitly leject the claim that insects can feel pain on the basis of facts about the limitations of insect neural systems. ‘lii take a dilfement soil of example, a philosopher worrying about the problem ofothier minds might conic to reject the arguments that others are conscious. This would be a case in which the high road to attributing conscious states to others resists the omidusion that others are conscious. However, even the skeptic about other minds will still have low toad reactions when humans swirl about him, 3. DUAL-PROCESSING AND EXPLANATORY GAP INTUITIONS exactly might our dualprocess model explain the intuitive forte of the explana tory gap? As sketched earlier, we maintain that third-person mind attribution involves two distinct cognitive processes whose outputs mayiher comport with or fail to com port with each another. hen looking at other people, both of these systems typically Produce affirmative outputs: rhe low road is activated by (at least) one of the other person’s surface features, producingalow-level, intuitive attribution of consciousness. At the same time, we can use the high road to reason deliberately about the entity’s being conscious. Since the two systems generate the same answeiin typical cases, there /ically no resistance to the idea that other people are conscinus3However when we /consider thiiii of grey matter that composes the human brain (and on which the /‘ majority of physicahist reductions of consciousness will focus), the result is altogether different. Consider Jenny, who is in the grip of physicalirmn about consciousness. Using high-road reasoning, she could apply the hypothesis that consciousness is identical to a certain kind of brain process, in which case Jenny’s high road would produce the_output thaecrfIc brain processes or brain regions are conscious experiences. 8For example, Jenny might believe that consciousness is identical to populations of neurons firing in synchrony at a rate between 40Hz and 60Hz; on this basis she could infer (using the high road) that specific brain regions that are firing synchronously are conscious experiences. (Crick & Koch, 1990). IfJenny knew that Jimmy’s brain had rgioiis that were tiririgynchronously between 40- SoHz, she could infer (using the high road) that Jimnniy’s brain states art conscious_expermenceFkwever, since this description of Jimmy’s brain does not advert to any of the featural cues that trigger AGENCY categorization, Jenny’s low road is not 8. We use the example of a “type identity” theory of consciousness for ease of emposition. A simitar point could be made using “token identity” theories, or other sorts of physicalist theories. activated, and titus m maimis silent ois whether the s mmchroiionsl y fit log ticurotis arc cons ious. 9 ‘I’his example, we think, helps to ilhrmmnats’ why pltysicalist explariatiomts of tXJFIS(liitmS’ ness leave us feeling as if something has been left out: our low-level, low-road rosesS ierssilrtt when it would normntally provide intuitive confirmation of our hroad output. iTjlce of the harmnotmy beween stiteTns that we typically experience when ingat other people (or any other narmnal, fin that matter), discussions of neurons, neumtl’aflsnllttels, and so on create a (lmsparity between the two systems, which, in turn, produces a feeling that the characterization is somehow incomplete. 1‘fhis, we think, is an important part of the explanation for why dualism is so attractive and the exjtory ssovm1.h2 We are suggesting that disparate outputs from the two consciousness-attribution processes produce a sense that something isn’t right .° [‘o illustiate the idea, consider a .By contrast, if lenny we’re to view a pkrtoe of Jimmy (or limn,y himself), her low road W0LII(l be activated by the presence of the relevant featural cues, ant she would be disposed to attribute con scious state; to linimy But, saying that Jimmy (the person) activates Jenny’s low road is very difierent front saying that Jimmy’s brain activates Jenny’s low roacL to Of course, it happens quite often that high -toad rtpresentitlons are not accomnaiimed by any corresponding low toad representations. For example, I might use the high road to reason to the conclusion that € = mac’, but there would be no corresponding low road representations of energy, mass, or the spent of light. (Thanks to Josh Weisberg for the example). Does our theory predict a kind of gap in this case? No. Our theory only predicts these intuitiom for cases in which the underlying cognitive architecture is configured for dual processing. In such casei, both high-road and low-road representations play a role in controlling behavior umd mferenct. In cases that only involve system a processing, system 2 jS free to control inference and behavior unfettered. Thus, it is oniy in cases involving dual processing that dissonance between system i and system a can arise. Thus, the case of consciousness is distinct front cases of pure system 2 reasoning, because (we claim) it (toes involve dual processing. u. Our view hen’ is anticipated in important ways by Philip Robbins and Tony Jack, who write: “The intuition of a gap concerning phenomnenalitv li.e., consciousnessJ stems at least in part from the fact that our brains are configured in such a way as to naturally promote a dualist view of conscious ness.” (7006,75) However, Robbins & Jack account for the explanatory gap in terms of moral capacitus. They write, “At th heart of our account of why consciousness seems to defy physical eeplanation is the idea that thinking about consciousness is essentially linked to, indeed partly constituted h the capcity for mural cognition” (zo06, 75). In our view, although moral cognition might be associated with con scious attribution, Robbins and jack get the order of explanation backward. The AGENCY system is primitive and not directly a moral capacity. Yet, we suggest, the AGENCY mnechanisrru provides the primitive basis for consciousness attribution. As a result, our theory allows for the possibility that a person might lack basic moral capacities while retaining the AGENCY mechanism and the associated attributions of conscious states (cf. Robbins & Jack, 76–78). 12. We intend for this explanation to app 1yspecifically to intuitions about the explanatory gap, as opposed to other puzzling cases involving consciousness. This is worth mentioning because it is quite common for philosophers to advance unified explanations of the explanatory gap, zombie scenarios, the knowledge aigumnent, and so forth. Our ambitions in this papem don’t extend that tar. We will be well satisfied if we manage to illuminate the source of the esplanatory gap. 53 One might object that
our account of the explanatory gp cannot be correct, jmt because it makes significant appeal to low-toad processing. For example, one might suspect that the (xplauiatoi y gap is due entirely to our inability to make certain kinds of deliberate inferences about consciousness, 98 PARI I i1IPORFI hAL ISSUCS hr Psy hotoicaI ( )r igi is ot I )ual isin familiar pr posal coit ci rung ( agrIs ssiidioiue, a n, ci iliigiial disiodeg in which patients think that a lcwed one has bven replaced with a superikially similar diililiate I)avies & (olthcart (2000) describe (apgras as follows. Patients who suffer trout the ( apgras delusion believe that sonieoime dose to them, often a dose relative, usually their spouse iii the (lust imis(alne. has been replaced by art iinpnster who looks just like the replaced l-rson ( apgtas I itients soniettilics elaborate their delusion to the extent. of invoking sonic pieces of Let hnology, perhaps robots or, in a h’i(itechnoIogi al age, clones (p. to) [he Capgras delusion is noteworthy both for its biiarrc quality and for its relatively cii ciiinscribed nature Typically, the delusion tloes not spread out” through the aflli ted subject’s network of belief am large. For eaniple, ( apgias patients tend miot to be espe ciaUy interested in the whereabouts or wellbeing of their spouse, despite apparently holding the belief that their spouse has gone missing. But time delusion persists moneti i ieless. This unusual syndrome demands e.iilanatirin. on Stone and Young’s prominent a count, the Capgras delusion aris.s from an unusual yet persistent siibje tive e’peri ence, in which the purj)oJ ted imposter ‘looks right,” yet doc.s not “feel ight’ (Stone and Young t997).° The unusual and persistent experience is supposed to give rise to the unusual and persistent delusion. It is hypothesized that, in the typical case, our reogni. tiun of faces is supported by at least two distint I cognitive processes. One process iden tifies the morphology of the face and produces a nmorphological representation, and another process produces an affective response (e g., a feeling of familiarity). En (Japgras patients, the nlorphologftal process is intact and produces normal morphological repre sentatiomis, hut the process supporting the affective response is damaged amid does not l)r(xluce any feeling of familiarity. Thus, Capgras patients who undergo the relevant experiences sometimes say things like, “She looks just like my wile, but I don’t feel any love for her.” It is easy to see bow peculiar expetiences like this could play a role in gener ating the delusion, even if they do not fully explain the syndrome. The point is that, on the Stone and Young account, the Capgras delusion results, at least in part, flomn a breakdown in processing that involves a mismnatds between the outputs of distinct processes Normally, the morphological and affective mechanisms provide harmonious outputs, but in the pathological case, the output of the morphological process is not (or ioborated by army output front the affective process. Delusion results, amid this shortcoming is located entirely in sy1eni 2 cognition. .s such, the explanatory gap is a purely highroad plw,ionmenon, and one can notice this fact simply tw reflecting on it. Hence, out dual-pro cess ac* ounr must be false. 1 his line of chiticism is worth more discussion than we can give it here, but here’s our glib reply’ It’s not so easy t(i tell (by introspection) whether some inferential result is “purely” the product of system 2, thus it’s riot so easy to tLl whether the expLanatory gap is en lusivety a systenl-2 phenomenon. r.. though it is cot iiroversiah whether this sort of experience provides a coinpkte exph.mation of the (‘.apgiasiletusion, it is somewhat less controvcrcuil that experiences of this sort play a key rote in the delusion, On oimi view, the esplaitatory gap works muih Ide the lomcyi’iirg.misoiint of tlietapgras delusion . People’s na IILIal jIll hinm tioti Iii j imdgc that hiroadl y physic aiist act ollilts ot colt sciousmiess leave ssimimethimig out” de1,ends on a ogtnitive an hritectnre involving Iwo drs tinct prosesses In typical ases of _iinsdotistmess attribution, th two puidtice harmonious inmtpimts and lead to unsurprising attributtons I however, iii tIme ast’ of thic explanatory gap, we claim, omit’ of the relevant cognitive proecsses fails to lito4hii(e any output, thus lemdinh to the disham niomlitius sense that the neural dew m iplion it fumida mentally mi.omnplcte as an ci ‘ila imat ion of comtsciousmtess.’ 4. OBJECTIONS AND REPLIES Our proposal, althotmgh mew, has already met with a nunml’er ol objections. In this sectiomi we deal wmth whit we take to be the most intpor(armt oheetions we’ve encountered thus far 4.1 ObjectIon: What about Intentionality? One natural objection is that if our lirolkiseci model predii ts aim explanatory gap for colt sciousness, therm it must also predict an explanatory gap for “about -ness” or infrutioim ality. In out view, the activation of AGFNT leads to ,itrrihutions of eOfls(ious states like pain, and aLso to inknal states like goals Because attributions of conscious states anti intentional states are supported by the same mechanisms, we should expect an exjjana tory gap for intentionalmty. Our model predicts that completely physicalist explanations ofitiona1itv will fail to trigger A(FNT and consequently fail to elicit thsenormnal pattern of gut reactions regarding intentionality -attributions, for reasons analogous_to However, the objection continues, this prediction is problem g’p for cnnjpusness, but no tap for inteiitionality Our model predicts a gap where there is none. Whereas consciousness is mysterious and problematic from the standpoint of physkalism, intentioriality is relatively easy to bc-ate in the plmysil world, Or so the objection goes., For present purposes, we wiJi simply grant the objedor the claim that our model pre dicts that there should be an explanatory gap for some attributions of intentional states. However, it doesn’t follow that all attributions of apparently intentional states will give rise to an explanatory gap. People routinely attribute apparently intentional states; such as memory and knowledge, to computers (cf. Robbins & Jack ‘–.For insLaric, it’s pcrfe tiTnatural to say that a chess program knows that the queen will be losr if it fiies the pawn. More simply, it is familiar to say that that hard disks and flash drives have memory, These attributions do not come with any air of explanatory mystery It’s is. A key difference between the Capgr-as delusion and the explsnatory gap involves the nature of the underlying processes Out tmu,iieh appeals to standaid duat-prcicess ardnte ture to explain the gap, whereas in Capgras neither the morphological system nor the affective system is akin to system 2. However, that doesn’t diminish the thrust of the analogy. ‘1 he critical point is that, ()T1 both Stone amid Young’s theory of Capgras amid out theory of the explanatory gap, mdependunit systems are involved, and the systems produce disparate outliuIs about the target itomairm where harmonious outputs air the nomm lot) PAtti 1 1tIPOR!i ICAL 1SSU5 101 1 lit l’svchoiogical ()rigiiis of &ialisin possible that we sontetilitci apply such oiupiitaiiotially doinestoated intentional atti i butions to humans as well. Noiiethc1esi, this hardly exdcides the possibility that sonic intentional attrilmtions (10 indeed invite an explanatory gap. In fct, in one ol the earliest expressions of the explanatory gap, Leibniz seems to articulate an explanatory gapthat folds together the intentional and the conscious: If we imagine that there is a inadiirie whose tiucture inales it thmA, sense. and have pt’?ceptions, we could conceive it enlarged, keeping the same proportions, so that we could enter into it. as (InC enteis into a null. Assuimng that, when inspecting its interior, we will only find parts that push one another, and we will never find anything to explain a perception (leibniz, 17iqJl989, sec 17. eniphasis added) Nor is th
is view merely a curiosity of the eighteenth ecrituly. A number of prominent contemporary philosophers have quite explicttly defended alt explanatory gap for inten tional states (Cummins 2000, Horgan zoo9, McGinn 1988, Rey 2009). Since it is very much a live philosophical question whether there is an explanatory gap for intentionality, wc think the intentionality objection is far fiom (leCIsjve, 16 4.2 Objection: The Proposal Mislocates the Gap, Part 1: Phenomenal Concepts It might be objected that our account doesn’t illuminate the explanatory gap because the gap is really driven by the difference between the first person properties that arc involved itt (flnscious experience, and the third- person properties adverted to by scientific the ories of conscious experience’ ro explain this objection, we first need to review quickly how the appareni alternative goes. A property dualist might maintain that even if mental processes (or events, or things) are identical to physical processes (or eventa, or things), there still seems to he a distinctive class of mental properties that objective science cannot explain. Specifically, the subjective and qualitative properties of conscious experience seem to resist scientific explanation and reduction to the physical. Relatedly, physicalists (who reject the existence of inexplicable and irreducible subjective properties) may pro pose something similar at the level of wncepts Such physicalists hypothsite that we possess certain concepts—•-”phenomenal concepts”——that systematically fail to accord with the concepts deployed in objective physical science.” There is considerable disagreement about the precise nature of phenomenal concepts and, hence, about the so. Many have thought that consdoumess is the feature left out of red uUive accounts of belief (e.g., Kxiegel 2003, Searle ii).This is, oh ourse, consistent with the AGF.NCY model since that model proposes that identityiiig an entity as an AGINT will Incline as to attribute both beliefi and conscious states. 17. In his article (sQ9), J, J. C. Smart attributes this objection to Max Black, Ned Block explicates and responds to this objection in his chapter iii I’hemionw,ud (bncqiir and Phenonicoal Knowledge (zoo&i. iS. On many accounts of phenomenal concepts, the failure is supposed to be that no conclusion conceived under exclusively phenomenal concepts can bt infer red a priori from any set of premises conceived under exclusively non-phenomenal concepts, ‘Ihe piedse nature of the failure (for example, the reason the relevant a priori inferences are supposed to fail) will depend upon the precise nature of phenomenal concepts. pSCiIY in which phermonienal on epts fail to accord with physical coti epts. some tjworists mainain that pltettoinenal concepts are rtwgnitional concepts (lAmar 1990, ‘l’ye zoo3); others maintain that they are qrota1ivnaI concepts (Block aoo6; Papiimeau zouó); still others mairttairi that they are inde,sical concepts (lstnael 1919, Pet ry zoom), 1)espite the disagreeitient about what it is to LIe a phenontenal concept, all these theorists_adopt the basic strategy that the explanatory gap is a direct result of the discoid isetweeti our their explanation c,f the gap iii terms of phenomenal properties (rather than concepts), but they can, nonetheless, agree with physicalists that explanatory gap arguments are intuitively compelling because they exploit a principled difference between phenomenal concepts amid objective cons This difference results in a kind of ‘conceptual gap,” which is supposed to be characteristic of the explanatory gap ‘ow we can state the objection. Our model attempts t(s explain the gap without explic itly adverting to “phenomenal concepts. “ I Iowcvex, because phenomenal concepts re AGENCY model doss not do any real explan aj4thatis, advocates of the phenomenal concept strategy riit object that iheir theory explains the gap, so our theory is irnpotertt There ate different ways that the objection might be developed We focus oii what we take to be the most instructive version, Asswne that there are phcnomnenal concepts and also that attributions facilitated by the AGFNCY mechanimi often involve plienoinerial concepts. For example, it may be that the AGENCY mechanisims normally triets the phenomenal concept PAIN en route to a pain attribution. If all of this holds, we have no jiculai quarrel with the claim that phenonienal concepts play an important role in generating the explanatory gap. Our proposed model cart, in prim iple, be combined with various accounts of phenomenal concepts, and the two sorts of accounts could poten tflen as complenientayOn this understanding, our model spelliout certain conditions under which phenomenal concel)ts will be deployed, without saying munch about the phenomenal concepts themselves. Construed in this way, our model would enrich our understanding of the explanatory gap by enriching our understanding of con ditions for the activation of phenomenal concepts. Alternatively, the AGENCY model itself may be understood as functionali characterizing some phenomenal concept(s). The model specifies the functional dynamics of a distinctive cognitive system that often produces attributions of phenomenal states. So the model could be seen as explaining why a distinctive concept ot consciousness plays a very different functional role than the concepts of cunsciousmmess deployed in objective science. On this undemstanding, the model would yield a distinctive account of phenomenal concepts. Although our account is thus consistent with phenomenal concept approaches, we don’t want to commit ourselves to any theses about phenomenal concepts or their role in generating the explanatory gap for all we’ve said here, it remains possible that phenom enal concepts do not play any significant role in underwriting the plausibility of explan atory gap arguments)’ A. a result, even if the phenomenal concept strategy fails (despite its present popularity), the AGENCY model can still contribute to a psychological ‘9. For example, phenomenal umucepts do not figure in the accounts of niatedaiists such as Dennett (ii) and Rey (rn). Howes’er, such accounts seem to be broadly compatible with ow AGENCY model. 102 PARI I I iiroari i( AL SSI3F.S 03 1 he Psyclologiuil ( iigi 5 of [)uatsni explanation ot the intuitive force of the esplanitory gap Ilius, tlii: A(.FN( :y model is un isiIe it wit lithe pI ftIIollIei incepr st , alegy, and it ii igl it be di’vdoped as a ‘ersiori of the strategy. But tire MilN(Y model is riot hostage to the strategy 4.3 Objection: The Proposal Mislocates the Gap, Part 2: The First- Person Perspective A related objection is that the source of tire gap irivolsts a difference between sell ailti hutioris and oilier attributions of consciousness. The idea is that I appreciate the qualitative aspect of my pain in roy own cszw, and rio sciciltihe description can provide 1 satisfying eiq-rlanation of my pain experience So, the problem gets oft the ground because ol something about self-attributions specifically. Stnc-e OUT proposal focuses prirniarily on other- attributions, ii completely misses the pr(il)iern of the explanatory gap. 1)1 course, we agree that the explanatory gap can be made salient from the first person perspective by lo using on one’s own experiences. Ilowever, it would be somewhat myopic to think that the gap essentially involves first person (or self-attributive) casts. Au explanatory gap presents itself even when we restrict our focus to third person attn buttons (i.e , other-attributions) People find it quite intuitive to attribute consciousness to naiiy third purties, including dogs, birds, and ants Setting aside philosophers in their skeptical rnood, people rarely look at horses, tS, 01 humans and think “How wuld that thingbe COnscious?” On thecouitrary, it is automatic that weare inclined to attribute eon Scious states to those iirganisrns. However, iust ,is when we rellec t on our own conscious states, a”gappy” intuition surfrces when W( turn to specific kinds of third person charac terizations of consciousne
ss, namely stientific descriptions. People are happy to credit consciocasniess to cats, but it is countenntuitive that cat consciousness is ultimately nothing more than populations of neurons firing synchronously at 40 6o1fr. That is where our proposal enters the picture. We claim that the gap arises in part because such scientific descriptions do not trigger the low road to consciousness attribution. Of cours, we fInd a parallel situation when we lixu.s solely on self- attributions of con sciorlsness. When I compare my own conscious experience with scientific destriptions of my own brain, the neural features do not seem to fully explain my conscious experience; and they certainly don’t seem to be my conscious experience. [his intuition is generated (we suggest) because the neural description activates the high road but not the low road. By contrast, we don’t get a “gappy” intuition when viewing our OWfl image in a mirror. We don’t think, “Sure I’m mscious, hut how can that thing in the mirror be conscious?” This, we submit, is because the mirror image does suffice to a tivaw the low road to conscious ness attribution So the difference between self- attributions and other—attributions cannot by itself explain our “gappy” intuitions about consciousness, instead, the explanatory gap emerges at least in part from the contrast between cases in which there is intuitive support from the low road, and cases in which there is not intuitive support from the low road 4.4 Objection: The Proposal Is Overly General We have argued that part of the explanation for the explanatory gap is that our got-level feelings that an entity has conscious states are driven by a low-toad process that is inseilsirise to the kiinl of features thu we find elaborated in nieuro fiiuietiouial desLmip tions of the brain. JI that’s right their we should expect Or fun! something sunilar trr the esplaiiatory ga’s in other d,rmaiim bee arise dual process ari:hitrt trite is supposed to he implicated in many doutrains I lowevet, the nbjectiouu goes, these expectations go rinsat isfied because the explanatory gap pheuuonic’iion is restricted to the domain ol comisciours e.cJ)erieullC One response to this objeclion is that, for ,ull we’ve said here, rflusciouslIeSs irright be the only philosophii ally Jnrl’omtault domain iii whn han explanatory gap obtains. It’s cer tainly possible that the cognitive systems undeilying other philosophically inripor taut domains do not employ the kind of dual process architecture that we think drives explall atory gap intuitions. h’s also possible that such systenisdo havea dual-pnoccssarchitecture, yet never produce “gappy” intuitions because dual—process architec rote is not sutlicient for generating an explanatory gap. After all, in some cases, the two systems might pro cluce harmonious outputs, rather than the- disharmony we f-md in certain attributions of consciousness So even if our dual-process account is right for the explanatory gap br consciousness, it might turn out to be singular. 1 hat said, we rather suspect that so;nethirrg like the explanatory gap phenomenon does show up in other cases where we try to reductively analyze intuitive notions, ‘like causa lion, for instance Ihere is good reason to think that we have a low-road procss that generates gut-level intuitions about causation. Infancy ieseardr suggests that babies are especially sensitive to cries like contact (leslie & Kechle 1987) Seeing a stirtiorriny object launch after being contacted by another object generates a powerful arid intuitive sense of causation. Work on adults brings this out vividly. In a classic experiment, Schlottniaii & Shanks (1992) showed adult subjects computer generated visual scenes with two brightly colored squares, A and B. The participants were told that the computer might be programed so that niovement would only occur if there was a color change; participants were told to figure out whether this pattern held. In the critical condition, every movement was indeed preceded immediately by a color change. In half the scenes, there was no “contact” between A and B, hut H would change color and then move; in the other half of the scenes, there was contact between A and H just before [I changed color and then moved. Importantly, the covariation evidence indicates that color change was necessary for motion. Indeed, the participants’ explicit judgments reflected an appreciation of this, but these explicit jndgnients had no discernable effect on their answers to the questions about perceived causation in launching events, viz., “does it really seem as if the first object caused the second one to move? ()r does it look more as if the second object moved on its own, independent of the first object’s approach” (Schlottman & Shanks 1992, 335). Only when there was contact did people tend to say that it “really seemed” as if the first object caused the second object to move. This gui-level sense of causation seems to be driven by a low-road system that is insensitive to covariation information. When we turn to reductive philosophical explanations of causation, many such accounts seem intuitively incomplete and unsatisfying. For example, Lewis’s cocrnterfactual account has absorbed criticism along these lines (Lewis 1973; cf. Menzies 1996, Schaffer 2ool), Very crudely, the account claims that C causes E if and only if £ wouldn’t have happened if C hadn’t happened. It is not just that such accounts are counterintuitive, but that they are countemintuitive in a specific way: counterfactual accounts seem to leave the “oomph” out 104 PART 1 TIIFORCIILAI. ISSUES 105 ‘1 ht’ P.ydiotogical JHgins o Dualism of carisation Whereas physwiilist theories of consciousness seem to be missing what it liAc to be conscious, couiiterfactiial theories of causation seem to be missing causal oomph. it is, we think, aim intriguing and promising reearch question whether this intuitive short coming tiright be illuminated by the considerations we have marshaled here for the explanatory gap. That is, it might Lw that part of the reason that many redniJive explana tions (mf causdtion are intuitively unsatisfying is the failure of such explanations to trigger the low-road processes that genei ate the gut Ie’el sense that A caused B Ln light of this work on causation, we take the proposed objec hon to raise a genuinely interesting possibility fin future reseatch. Rather than think of this as arm objection to our proposal, we take it to be aim invitation to investigate whether the dualprcR.ess framework can explain the intuitive shortcomings of reductive analyses in other philosophical domains, 5. IMPLICATIONS We have argued for a partial explanation of the fact that we find physic alist explanations of consciousness deeply counterintuitive: deliberate reasoning about neural and other physical activity does not activate the cognitive systems that generate the gut level feeling that art entity is conscious, As a result, thinking about neural tissue does not trigger an intuitive sense that the tissue is conscious. Ifthis much is correct, then what are the inipli. cations for philosophy? These ame treacherous intellectual waters, but we will sketch one way that our account might be used to elaborate an important strand (II a physicalist defense against dualist arguments As we discussed at the beginning of the paper, a persistent impetus to dualism is the tact that it simply seems bizarre to think that (X)flSCiOtl5 experience is nothing over and above bmain acthity The fact that physicalisni is counterintuitive, we have suggested, also plays an important role in driving the explanatory gap arguments in philosophy A standard way of deflating the philosophical import of time counter intuitive aspects of physicalism (including the explanatory gap) is to point out that the view seems counter-intuitive because of contin gent psychological facts about us. Thus, the tact that we find it difficult to wrap our heads around the idea that conscious states are neural states is not a dedsive reason for drawing the metaphysic
al conclusion that conscious states really are not physical states. Our l)resem)t proposal might play a significant role in filling out such an argument by offering a more detailed empirical account of the psychological mechanisms that drive our intuitive resistance to physicalism. To determine how much philosophical weight we should give to our intuitive resistance to physicalism, we would do well to know a goo.l deal about the psychological basis for that resistance. Our proposal is that the resistance is caused partly by the fact that the low-road mechanism will not render a confirmatory gut-feeling to our considered reasons for thinking that conscious states are brain states. A further question is whether we should take that low-road system to carry any epistemic weight, and if so how much weight, Answering this question involves confronting diflic ult episternic 20. Along similar lines, lewis uses time wrmn “buff” to describe arm intrinsic, non-counterfactual rela tion in the vicinity of the causal relation (2004). issues, and we won’t presuimie tO do them justice here. ilowevet, at a imiinhmnufli, we think there is reason to tmiw a skeptical stance toward the low road’s epistetili: credentials. One line of argument is that we should dscount the Iriw-road system siinmplv because ii is relatively crude amid inflexible. By .mtrast, our m easoimi’d judgments ab mitt conscious ness are highly flexible arid general, and might be thought to be more trustworthy than the low-road mechanism he-cause they take more information into sccount, ibis kind of consideration is clearly riot dci isive, howcver, be’cause it’s plausible that we are often justified in trusting the outputs of relatively crude and inflexible cognitive systems (low-level vision, for eaarflu)le). Another possibility is that this partiular low-road mnechanisni is untrustworthy, even if there is little reason to doubt the outputs of low-road mnechanismrms in general It is highly plausible that a low- road iiiechanism for detecting other minds (and other con scious minds) would be subject to a high rate of false positives. Considerations from signal-detection theory amid evolutionary psychology support this claim. Consider, for example, the high cost of a false negative. Failing to detect another agent (e)uld have potentially disastrous consequences: A rival human or (worse) a hungry predator could easily get the jump on the pour sap whose low -road mechanism outputs a false negative. Since an easy way of pioducing fewer false negatives is to err on the side of allowing more false positives, this is what we should expect time mechanism to do, and, indeed, it seems plausible that the low-road mrie.hanism does in fact pmoduc.e many false positives. The Heider-Sininsel illusion seems to provide an obvious case in which our itstuitive attn ibu tions of mentality are misguided; animated cartoons and movies provide a range of sirnilarly clear examples. In these kinds of cases, it is extrentely plausible to think that the low-road mechanism has produced inaccurate outputs. But what about false negatives? False negatives are more directly relevant to the explan atory gap, because (we claim) the gap is a case itt which the low-road mechanism is silent. It’s worth noting that even mechanisms with a high raic of false positives may sometimes output false negatives. For example, we might expect a snake-detector mechanism to have a high rate of false positives, for reasons similar to those given earlier. However, such a mechanism may occasionally fail to detect a snake: The snake might be camouflaged, or irregularly shaped, or seen from a non standard vantage point. In such cases, the snake detector would remain silent. Could our proposed low-road mechanism for conscious ness attribution be similar to the snake detector in this respect? It is difficult to say, because, in the case of snakes, we can appeal to an independent and relatively uncontroversial standard about which things count as snakes, but in the case of consciousness them-c is no such independent standard, since there are core philosophical and sdentific disputes about the nature and scope of consciousness. So it seems doubtful whether this kind of consideration could yield a decisive reason for saying that the low–road mecha nism is untrustworthy in the relevant cases. Nonetheless, we think there is reason to handle the low-road mechanism’s outputs (or lack thereof) with extreme care. Although the low road is routinely triggered by biological organisms, it is rarely or never triggered by the brains of those organisms, and 21. Greene (2003, 2001$) reasons along the-ce lines, for the ,.onclusions thm,t our reasoned moral judgments are more trustworthy than our intuitive mural judgments. i06 PAR [ I (H tORfli it AL sSiJ L act ording to some of our best theories, the brain is ihe part of the orgaliism most so ially responsible for its mind. [here is art obviott explr iiatioi i for his, 1 Ire low road is, in some Iáshion, air adaptation to our eriviionhnierit. It might be a domain• spccrfw mechanism that was shaped by evolutionary pressnre. Or it might be a devulopinenital adaptation that children athievc through countless mteiadioims with their envifoninent, We take no stand on that issue heir’. Pegardless nt whi Ii hind of a(lal)tationm it is, the AGENCY mechanism was shaped by the eirvItonlnent to which we (or our evolutionary ancestors) were exposed. As a nesult, it is unsurprising that the mer.hanisini responds to organisms hut not to suborganismic hits. We (and our ancestors) interate(l most often with entire organisms, not neurons in a pet! I dish. Once we see the rok of the environ— ilient in shaping the mechanism, this should lead us to suspeit that thu’ low road mich anisni is a relatively shallow arid inflexible informant for a theory of conisriousness, The medranism is sensitive only to grins organismic features, hut we riced not suppose that this is because consciousness only attaches to gross organisms. Rather, the reason the low road inechanisni is sensitive to such a re,tticted set of features is because whole organisms rre the parts of the cn’imonment that are responsible for shaping the uredia nism Suboiganismic features like neinomnil firing patterns never had a chance to shape the mechanism, her ause they ate hidden away behind skim arid borne. So even if these features are crucially inirportant for consciousness, we should still expect our low road methamnisni to be insensitive to this tact. As a result, when ronsidering explanations of corrs iousiiess, there is reasons to doubt that we can assign muds evidential weight to the fact that the low road isn’t activated h’ suboiganisinic features, lire fact that the low road is silent cannot be taken as significant evidence that onsciousness is something other than a suborganisnric feature. Even on the supposition that the proposed low road met hanisni is not to be rusted in the relevant cases, we do not claim to have provided a comnpkte psythological or episte. mological account of tine esplanatory gap For example, more must he said about the psychology and epistemology of attributions of particular kinds of conscious states (e.g., reddish visual experience versus blueish visual experience), which are sometimes adverted to in illustrations of the explanatory gap. 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