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Ideas of Jaegwon Kim, by Text

[American, b.1934, Born in Korea. Professor at Cornell University, then at Brown University.]

1971 Causes and Events: Mackie on causation
p.79 For Kim, events are exemplifications of properties by objects at particular times
     Full Idea: A dominant view, attributed mainly to Kim, is that events are exemplifications of properties by objects at particular times.
     From: report of Jaegwon Kim (Causes and Events: Mackie on causation [1971]) by Stathis Psillos - Causation and Explanation §2.6
     A reaction: The obvious thought is that we might not describe something as an 'event' just because a property was exemplified (seeing red?). And WWII was an event, but a bit more than a 'property exemplification'.
1973 Causes and Counterfactuals
p.100 Many counterfactual truths do not imply causation ('if yesterday wasn't Monday, it isn't Tuesday')
     Full Idea: Kim gives a range of examples of counterfactual dependence without causation, as: 'if yesterday wasn't Monday, today wouldn't be Tuesday', and 'if my sister had not given birth, I would not be an uncle'.
     From: report of Jaegwon Kim (Causes and Counterfactuals [1973]) by Stathis Psillos - Causation and Explanation §3.3
     A reaction: This is aimed at David Lewis. The objection seems like commonsense. "If you blink, the cat gets it". Causal claims involve counterfactuals, but they are not definitive of what causation is.
5.2 p.408 Many counterfactuals have nothing to do with causation
     Full Idea: Kim has pointed out that there are a number of counterfactuals that have nothing to do with causation. If John marries Mary, then if John had not existed he would not have married Mary, but that is not the cause of their union.
     From: report of Jaegwon Kim (Causes and Counterfactuals [1973], 5.2) by Michael Tooley - Causation and Supervenience
     A reaction: One might not think that this mattered, but it leaves the problem of distinguishing between the causal counterfactuals and the rest (and you mustn't mention causation when you are doing it!).
p.205 p.205 Counterfactuals can express four other relations between events, apart from causation
     Full Idea: Counterfactuals can express 'analytical' dependency, or the fact that one event is part of another, or an action done by doing another, or (most interestingly) an event can determine another without causally determining it.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Causes and Counterfactuals [1973], p.205)
     A reaction: [Kim gives example of each case] Counterfactuals can even express a relation that involves no dependency. Or they might just involve redescription, as in 'If Scott were still alive, then the author of "Waverley" would be too'.
p.205 p.205 Causation is not the only dependency relation expressed by counterfactuals
     Full Idea: The sort of dependency expressed by counterfactual relations is considerably broader than strictly causal dependency, and causal dependency is only one among the heterogeneous group of dependency relationships counterfactuals can express.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Causes and Counterfactuals [1973], p.205)
     A reaction: In 'If pigs could fly, one and one still wouldn't make three' there isn't even a dependency. Kim has opened up lines of criticism which make the counterfactual analysis of causation look very implausible to me.
p.207 p.207 Causal statements are used to explain, to predict, to control, to attribute responsibility, and in theories
     Full Idea: The function of causal statements is 1) to explain events, 2) for predictive usefulness, 3) to help control events, 4) with agents, to attribute moral responsibility, 5) in physical theory. We should judge causal theories by how they account for these.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Causes and Counterfactuals [1973], p.207)
     A reaction: He suggests that Lewis's counterfactual theory won't do well on this test. I think the first one is what matters. Philosophy aims to understand, and that is achieved through explanation. Regularity and counterfactual theories explain very little.
1976 Events as property exemplifications
p.7 How fine-grained Kim's events are depends on how finely properties are individuated
     Full Idea: How fine-grained Kim's events are depends on how finely properties are individuated.
     From: report of Jaegwon Kim (Events as property exemplifications [1976]) by Jonathan Schaffer - The Metaphysics of Causation 1.2
     A reaction: I don't actually buy the idea that an event could just be an 'exemplification'. Change seems to be required, and processes, or something like them, must be mentioned. Degrees of fine-graining sound good, though, for processes too.
p.365 If events are ordered triples of items, such things seem to be sets, and hence abstract
     Full Idea: If Kim's events are just the ordered triple of is that such things are standardly conceived as abstract entities, usually sets, whereas events are concretely located in space and time.
     From: comment on Jaegwon Kim (Events as property exemplifications [1976]) by Peter Simons - Events 2.1
     A reaction: You might reply that the object, and maybe the attribute, are concrete, and the time is natural, but the combination really is an abstraction, even though it is located (like the equator). Where is the set of my books located?
p.365 Events cannot be merely ordered triples, but must specify the link between the elements
     Full Idea: Kim's events cannot just be the ordered triple of , since many such triples do not yield events, such as . Kim has to specify that the object actually has that property at that time.
     From: report of Jaegwon Kim (Events as property exemplifications [1976]) by Peter Simons - Events 2.1
     A reaction: Why should they even be in that particular order? This requirement rather messes up Kim's plan for a very streamlined, Ockhamised ontology. Circles have symmetry at all times. Is 'near Trafalgar Square' a property?
p.365 Events are composed of an object with an attribute at a time
     Full Idea: Kim's events are exemplifications by an object of an attribute at a time...It does not make events basic entities, as the three constituents are more basic, but it gives identity conditions (two events are the same if object, attribute and time the same).
     From: report of Jaegwon Kim (Events as property exemplifications [1976]) by Peter Simons - Events 2.1
     A reaction: [Aristotle is said to be behind this] I am more sympathetic to this view than the claim that events are primitive. If a pebble is ellipsoid for a million years, is that an event? I think the concept of a 'process' is the most fruitful one to investigate.
p.366 Since properties like self-identity and being 2+2=4 are timeless, Kim must restrict his properties
     Full Idea: Since some tautologously universal properties such as self-identity or being such that 2+2=4 apply to all things at all times, that is stretching Kim's events too far. Candidate properties need to be realistically restricted, and it is unclear how.
     From: comment on Jaegwon Kim (Events as property exemplifications [1976]) by Peter Simons - Events 2.1
     A reaction: You could deploy Schoemaker's concept of natural properties in terms of the source of causal powers, but the problem would be that you were probably hoping to then use Kim's events to define causation. Answer: treat causation as the primitive.
p.375 Kim's theory results in too many events
     Full Idea: The criticism most frequently levelled against Kim's theory is that it results in an unacceptable plurality of finely differentiated events, because of the requirement for identity of the constituent property.
     From: comment on Jaegwon Kim (Events as property exemplifications [1976]) by Peter Simons - Events 4.4
     A reaction: This may mean that the Battle of Waterloo was several trillion events, which seems daft to the historian, but it doesn't to the physicist. A cannon firing is indeed an accumulation of lots of little events.
1982 Psychophysical supervenience
9th pg p.113 Extrinsic properties, unlike intrinsics, imply the existence of a separate object
     Full Idea: Kim suggest that 'extrinsic' properties are those that imply 'accompaniment' (coexisting with some wholly distinct contingent object), whereas 'intrinsic' properties are compatible with 'loneliness' (being un-accompanied).
     From: report of Jaegwon Kim (Psychophysical supervenience [1982], 9th pg) by David Lewis - Extrinsic Properties II
     A reaction: The aim of Kim and Lewis is to get the ontological commitment down to a minimum - in this case just to objects (and mysterious 'implications'!). I like nominalism, but you can't just deny properties. 'Loneliness' is extrinsic!
1984 Concepts of supervenience
§5 p.72 Supervenient properties must have matching base properties
     Full Idea: Each supervenient property necessarily has a coextensive property in the base family.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Concepts of supervenience [1984], §5)
     A reaction: This is presumably the minimum requirement for a situation of supervenience. How do you decide which property is the 'base' property? Do we just mean that the base causes the other, but not vice versa?
1984 Epiphenomenal and supervenient causation
§2 p.95 All observable causes are merely epiphenomena
     Full Idea: All causal relations involving observable phenomena - all causal relations from daily experience - are cases of epiphenomenal causation.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Epiphenomenal and supervenient causation [1984], §2)
1988 What is 'naturalized epistemology'?
p.304 p.304 It seems impossible to logically deduce physical knowledge from indubitable sense data
     Full Idea: It is agreed on all hands that the classical epistemological project, conceived as one of deductively validating physical knowledge from indubitable sensory data, cannot succeed.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (What is 'naturalized epistemology'? [1988], p.304)
     A reaction: This is the 'Enlightenment Project', which had a parallel in morality. Kim refers to the difficulty as 'The Humean Predicament'. Hume also hoped that induction might be deductive. One obvious move is to expand from 'deduction' to 'reason'.
1989 Mechanism, purpose and explan. exclusion
3 p.250 Explanatory exclusion: there cannot be two separate complete explanations of a single event
     Full Idea: The general principle of explanatory exclusion states that two or more complete and independent explanations of the same event or phenomenon cannot coexist.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Mechanism, purpose and explan. exclusion [1989], 3)
     A reaction: This is a rather optimistic view of explanations, with a strong element of reality involved. I would have thought there were complete explanations at different 'levels', which were complementary to one another.
1993 Postscripts on supervenience
2 p.167 Supervenience is not a dependence relation, on the lines of causal, mereological or semantic dependence
     Full Idea: It is a mistake, or at least misleading, to think of supervenience itself as a special and distinctive type of dependence relation, alongside causal dependence, mereological dependence, semantic dependence, and others.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Postscripts on supervenience [1993], 2)
     A reaction: The point, I take it, is that supervenience is something which requires explanation, rather than being a conclusion to the debate. Why are statues beautiful? Why do brains generate minds?
2 p.167 Supervenience is just a 'surface' relation of pattern covariation, which still needs deeper explanation
     Full Idea: Supervenience itself is not an explanatory relation, not a 'deep' metaphysical relation; rather it is a 'surface' relation that reports a pattern of property covariation, suggesting the presence of an interesting dependency relation that might explain it.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Postscripts on supervenience [1993], 2)
     A reaction: I think the underlying idea here is that supervenience appeals to the Humean view of physical laws as mere regularities, but it is no good for those who seek underlying mechanisms to explain the patterns and regularities. Humeans are wrong.
1996 Philosophy of Mind
p. 4 p.4 Cartesian dualism fails because it can't explain mental causation
     Full Idea: Its inability to explain the possibility of "mental causation" doomed Cartesian dualism.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 4)
     A reaction: This is a modern way of stating the interaction problem. Personally I am inclined to think that dualism was doomed by the spread of the scientific materialist view to every other corner of our knowledge except the mind. Plenty of causes baffle us.
p. 7 p.7 Are pains pure qualia, or do they motivate?
     Full Idea: Are pains only sensory events, or do they also have a motivational component (e.g. aversiveness)?
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 7)
     A reaction: A nice question. Given the occasional genuine masochist, and the way some people love tastes that others hate, it has always seemed to me that aversiveness was not a necessary property of pain. I couldn't train myself to like pain, though…
p. 10 p.10 Supervenience says all souls are identical, being physically indiscernible
     Full Idea: If one accepts the supervenience of mental on physical, this logically implies that there can only be one Cartesian soul, because such souls are physically indiscernible, and hence mentally indiscernible.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 10)
     A reaction: Not very persuasive. Brains are certainly discernible, and so are parts of brains. Egos might be mentally discernible. I don't find my notion of personal identity collapsing just because I espouse property dualism.
p. 18 p.18 We often can't decide what emotion, or even sensation, we are experiencing
     Full Idea: It is not always easy for us to determine what emotion (or even physical sensations) we are experiencing.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 18)
     A reaction: Confused sensations are, I would have thought, rare. Emotions, I think, are only confused when they are weak, and then a lot of the confusion is merely verbal. Our body and intuitions understand the feeling well enough, but we lack the vocabulary.
p. 21 p.21 Pain has no reference or content
     Full Idea: Some mental phenomena - in particular, sensations like tickles and pains - do not seem to exhibit either reference or content.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 21)
     A reaction: This could be challenged. These sensations cannot be had without a bodily location, and they give information about possible contact or damage.
p. 21 p.21 Intentionality involves both reference and content
     Full Idea: There is referential intentionality (that some of our thoughts refer, or are 'about' something) and content intentionality (that propositional attitudes have content or meaning, often expressed by full sentences).
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 21)
     A reaction: So could these be the external and internal components of content? Which might be the causal/historical component, and the descriptive component? Which might be known by (indirect) acquaintance and description?
p. 22 p.22 Both thought and language have intentionality
     Full Idea: Mental states are not the only things which exhibit intentionality - words and sentences can also refer to or represent facts or states of affairs.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 22)
     A reaction: This points to Searle's distinction between 'intrinsic' and 'derived' intentionality (see Idea 3465). We must now explain the difference between verbal intentionality and non-verbal intentionality (both as phenomena, and as information).
p. 23 p.23 Mind is basically qualities and intentionality, but how do they connect?
     Full Idea: It is generally held that there are two broad categories of mental phenomena - qualitative states and intentional states (but what do they have in common?).
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 23)
     A reaction: I am happy to accept this orthodox modern analysis. Putting it more simply: minds exist to enable experience and thought. I judge a priori that the two aspects are not separate. Qualia exist to serve thought, and qualia are necessary for thought.
p. 29 p.29 Logical behaviourism translates mental language to behavioural
     Full Idea: Logical behaviourism says any meaningful statement about mental phenomena can be translated without loss of content into a statement solely about behavioural and physical phenomena.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 29)
     A reaction: Also called analytical behaviourism. If we are supposed to infer the ontology of mental states from language, this makes me cross. Maybe we only discuss mentality in behavioural terms because we are epistemologically, and hence linguistically, limited.
p. 32 p.32 What behaviour goes with mathematical beliefs?
     Full Idea: Is there even a loosely definable range of bodily behaviour that is characteristically exhibited by people when they believe, say, that there is no largest prime number?
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 32)
     A reaction: This is a highly persuasive argument against behaviourism. Very abstract and theoretical thoughts have no related behaviour, especially among non-mathematicians. I probably believe this idea about numbers, but I can't think what to do about it.
p. 35 p.35 Behaviour depends on lots of mental states together
     Full Idea: Mind-to-behaviour connections are always defeasible - by the occurrence of a further mental state.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 35)
     A reaction: But then an object's falling under gravity is always defeasible, by someone catching it first. This popular idea is meant to show that there could, as Davidson puts it, 'no psycho-physical laws', but I suspect the laws are just complex, like weather laws.
p. 36 p.36 Behaviour is determined by society as well as mental states
     Full Idea: The factors that determine exactly what you are doing when you produce a physical gesture include the customs, habits and conventions that are in force, so it is unlikely that anyone could produce correct behavioural definitions of mental terms.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 36)
     A reaction: This problem can be added to the problem that it is hard to specify behaviour without reference to mentalistic terms. The point is clearly right, as what I am doing when I wave my hand in the air will depend on all sorts of conventions and expectations.
p. 37 p.37 Snakes have different pain behaviour from us
     Full Idea: If it is an analytic truth that anyone in pain has a tendency to wince or groan, what about snakes?
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 37)
     A reaction: Snakes do, however, exhibit what looks like 'I really don't like that' behaviour, and their rapid avoidance movements are identical to ours. On the other hand, I'm not quite sure what a snake does what it has a stomach upset. I see Kim's point.
p. 61 p.61 Token physicalism isn't reductive; it just says all mental events have some physical properties
     Full Idea: Token physicalism (as opposed to type physicalism) is a weak doctrine which simply says that any event or occurrence with a mental property has some physical property or other. It is not committed to reductionism.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 61)
     A reaction: Sounds nice, but it seems incoherent to me. How can something have a physical property if it isn't physical? Try 'it isn't coloured, but has colour properties', or 'not a square, but with square properties'. 'Not divine, but divine properties' maybe.
p. 64 p.64 If an orange image is a brain state, are some parts of the brain orange?
     Full Idea: If an orange visual image is a brain state then, by the indiscernibility of identicals, some brain state must also be orange.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 64)
     A reaction: I think this is the Hardest of all Hard Questions: how can I experience orange if my neurons haven't turned orange? What on earth is orangeness? I don't believe it is a 'microproperty' of orange objects; it's in us.
p. 66 p.66 We can't assess evidence about mind without acknowledging phenomenal properties
     Full Idea: In order to make sense of the empirical character of mind-brain identity, we must acknowledge the existence of phenomenal properties.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 66)
     A reaction: Mind-brain identity is, of course, an ontological theory, not an epistemological one (like empiricism). I suspect that the basis for my belief in reductive physicalism is an intuition, which I am hoping is a rational intuition. Cf. Idea 3989.
p. 67 p.67 Elimination can either be by translation or by causal explanation
     Full Idea: The two best know attempts to analyse away mental states are Armstrong's causal conception of such states (e.g. pain is a neural event caused by tissue damage), and Smart's 'topic-neutral translation'.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 67)
     A reaction: Armstrong's view certainly seems to be missing something, since his 'pain' could do the job without consciousness. I take Smart's approach to be the germ of the right answer.
p. 76 p.76 Neurons seem to be very similar and interchangeable
     Full Idea: Most neurons, it has been said, are pretty much alike and largely interchangeable.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 76)
     A reaction: This fact, if true, is highly significant, because the correct theory of the mind must therefore be some sort of functionalism. If what a neuron is is insignificant, then what it does must be what matters.
p. 78 p.78 Are dispositions real, or just a type of explanation?
     Full Idea: Functionalists take a "realist" approach to dispositions whereas the behaviourist embraces an "instrumentalist" line.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 78)
     A reaction: A helpful distinction, which immediately shows why functionalism is superior to behaviourism. There must be some explanation of mental dispositions, and the instrumental view is essentially a refusal to think about the real problem.
p. 97 p.97 A machine with a mind might still fail the Turing Test
     Full Idea: The Turing test is too tough, because something doesn't have to be smart enough to outwit a human (or even have language) to have mentality or intelligence.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 97)
     A reaction: Presumably an alien with an IQ of 580 would also fail the Turing test. Indeed people of normal ability, but from a very different culture, might also fail. However, most of us would pass it.
p. 97 p.97 The Turing Test is too specifically human in its requirements
     Full Idea: The Turing test is too narrow, because it is designed to fool a human interrogator, but there could be creatures which are intelligent but still fail the test.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 97)
     A reaction: I think the key test for intelligence would be a capacity for metathought. 'What do you think of the idea that x?' Their thoughts about x might be utterly stupid, of course. How do you measure 'stupid'?
p.100 p.100 The person couldn't run Searle's Chinese Room without understanding Chinese
     Full Idea: It is by no means clear that any human could manage to do what Searle imagines himself to be doing in the Chinese Room - that is, short of throwing away the rule book and learning some real Chinese.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.100)
     A reaction: It is not clear how a rule book could contain answers to an infinity of possible questions. The Chinese Room is just a very poor analogy with what is envisaged in the project of artificial intelligence.
p.110 p.110 A culture without our folk psychology would be quite baffling
     Full Idea: A culture that lacked our folk psychology would be unintelligible to us, and its language untranslatable into our own.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.110)
     A reaction: Surely we can manage to discuss the processing life of a robot, without having to resort to anthropomorphic psychology? Its human-style behaviour will fit, but the rest blatantly won't.
p.110 p.110 Folk psychology has been remarkably durable
     Full Idea: Commonsense psychology seems to have an advantage over scientific psychology: its apparent greater stability. Scientific theories seem to come and go.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.110)
     A reaction: This seems to make the assumption that the folk are in universal long-term agreement about such things, which seems doubtful. See Ideas 2987 and 3410.
p.112 p.112 Machine functionalism requires a Turing machine, causal-theoretical version doesn't
     Full Idea: Machine functionalism requires a mental state to be a physical realisation of a Turing machine; causal-theoretical functionalism only requires that there be appropriate "internal states".
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.112)
     A reaction: Searle's objection to the Turing machine version seems good - that such a machine has an implicit notion of a user/interpreter, which is absent from this theory of mind.
p.114 p.114 Inverted qualia and zombies suggest experience isn't just functional
     Full Idea: If inverted qualia, or absent qualia (zombies), are possible in functionally equivalent systems, qualia are not capturable by functional definitions.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.114)
     A reaction: The point here (I take it) is that we don't have to go the whole hog of saying the qualia are therefore epiphenomenal, although that is implied. How about a fail-safe situation, where qualia do it for me, and something else does the same for zombies?
p.115 p.115 Crosswiring would show that pain and its function are separate
     Full Idea: If you crosswire your 'pain box' and your 'itch box', the functionalist says you are in pain if the inputs and outputs are for pain, even though the feeling is of an itch.
     From: report of Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.115) by PG - Db (ideas)
     A reaction: If functionalists would indeed say this, then the objection seems to me almost conclusive. But they might well say that such simple crosswiring won't work. Itching won't produce pain behaviour - it lacks the correct function.
p.115 p.115 Are inverted or absent qualia coherent ideas?
     Full Idea: Some philosophers doubt the coherence of the very idea of inverted or absent qualia.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.115)
     A reaction: The possibility of inverted qualia with identical brain structures strikes me as nil, but it would be odd to deny that qualia could be changed by brain surgery, given that insects can see ultra-violet, and some people are colourblind.
p.118 p.118 How do functional states give rise to mental causation?
     Full Idea: On the functionalist account of mental properties, just where does a mental property get its causal powers?
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.118)
     A reaction: That is the key problem. Something can only have a function if it has intrinsic powers (corkscrews are rigid and helix-shaped). It can't be irrelevant that pain hurts.
p.118 p.118 Mind is only interesting if it has causal powers
     Full Idea: Unless mental properties have causal powers, there would be little point in worrying about them.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.118)
     A reaction: This doesn't, on its own, actually rule out epiphenomenalism, but it does show why it barely qualifies as a serious theory. One might, in fact, say that we simply can't worry about something which has no causal powers. The powers might not be physical…
p.123 p.123 Maybe folk psychology is a simulation, not a theory
     Full Idea: There is the "theory" theory of commonsense psychology, and also a "simulation" theory, which says it is not a matter of laws, but of simulating the behaviour of others, using ourselves as models.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.123)
     A reaction: Using ourselves as models may be the normal and correct way to relate to people within our own culture, but we have to start theorising when we encounter (e.g.) suicide bombers.
p.128 p.128 Experiment requires mental causation
     Full Idea: Experimentation presupposes mental-to-physical causation and is impossible without it.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.128)
     A reaction: So an epiphenomenalist can't do experiments? Kim implies that there is some special mental assessment of the feedback from physical events, but presumably a robot or a zombie could do experiments. Spiders do experiments.
p.128 p.128 Beliefs cause other beliefs
     Full Idea: A brief reflection makes it evident that most of our beliefs are generated by other beliefs we hold, and "generation" here could only mean causal generation.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.128)
     A reaction: This seems right, and yet implies an uncomfortable determinism, as if all our beliefs just happened to us. I don't claim proper free will, but I do say there is an element in belief formation which is just caused by bunches of beliefs. Call it character.
p.130 p.130 If epiphenomenalism were true, we couldn't report consciousness
     Full Idea: If epiphenomenalism were true, it would be a mystery how such things could be known to us.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.130)
     A reaction: If a brain were asked whether it was conscious, it would presumably say 'yes', but (if epiphenomenalism were true) the cause of that would have to be brain events, and NOT information that it is conscious, which the brain could not have. Big objection.
p.133 p.133 A common view is that causal connections must be instances of a law
     Full Idea: A widely but not universally accepted principle is that causally connected events must instantiate a law.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.133)
p.135 p.135 We assume people believe the obvious logical consequences of their known beliefs
     Full Idea: We attribute to a subject beliefs that are obvious logical consequences of beliefs already attributed to him.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.135)
     A reaction: Depends what you mean by 'obvious'. Presumably they must be judged obvious to the believer, but only if they have thought of them. We can't believe all the simple but quirky implications of our beliefs.
p.135 p.135 If someone says "I do and don't like x", we don't assume a contradiction
     Full Idea: If someone says "I do and I don't like x", we do not take her to be expressing a literally contradictory belief.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.135)
     A reaction: It might mean 'one minute I like it, and the next minute I don't', where there seems to be a real contradiction, with a time factor. You can't sustain both preferences with conviction.
p.141 p.141 Counterfactuals are either based on laws, or on nearby possible worlds
     Full Idea: For counterfactuals there is the 'nomic-derivational' approach (which logically derives them from laws), and the 'possible world' approach (based on truth in worlds close to the actual one).
     From: report of Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.141) by PG - Db (ideas)
p.143 p.143 Laws are either 'strict', or they involve a 'ceteris paribus' clause
     Full Idea: Some laws are held to be 'strict', and others involve a 'ceteris paribus' clause.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.143)
p.146 p.146 Two identical brain states could have different contents in different worlds
     Full Idea: States that have the same intrinsic properties - the same neural/physical properties - may have different contents if they are embedded in different environments.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.146)
     A reaction: This is a way of expressing externalism. It depends what you mean by 'contents'. I struggle to see how "H2O" could be the content of the word 'water' among ancient Greeks.
p.147 p.147 Mental substance causation makes physics incomplete
     Full Idea: Since Cartesian dualism implies causation from outside of the physical domain, this means there can be no complete physical theory of the physical domain.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.147)
     A reaction: This, I think, should be taken as a very strong argument against dualism, rather than as bad news for physics. Some exception might make the closure of physics impossible, but the claim that our brain is the exception looks highly suspect.
p.158 p.158 Folk psychology has adapted to Freudianism
     Full Idea: Freudian depth psychology has now almost achieved the status of folk psychology of the sophisticates.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.158)
     A reaction: You don't need to be a 'sophisticate' to laugh knowingly when someone makes an embarrassing Freudian slip. Terms like 'neurotic' are commonplace among modern folk.
p.159 p.159 How do we distinguish our anger from embarrassment?
     Full Idea: How do we know that we are angry rather than embarrassed?
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.159)
     A reaction: A very nice question, because the only answer I (or anyone?) can think of is that they are distinguished by their content. Event A is annoying, while event B is embarrassing. Either of those feelings is almost inconceivable without its content.
p.159 p.159 How do we distinguish our attitudes from one another?
     Full Idea: How do you find out that you believe, rather than, say, doubt or merely hope, that it will rain tomorrow?
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.159)
     A reaction: There should be a special medal created for philosophers who ask reasonable questions which are impossible to answer. They are among the greatest discoveries.
p.171 p.171 What could demonstrate that zombies and inversion are impossible?
     Full Idea: Is there anything about the qualitative characters of mental states which, should we come to know it, would convince us that zombies and qualia inversion are not really possible?
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.171)
     A reaction: The issue is what causes the qualitative states, not their 'characters'. This strikes me as falling into the trap of thinking that 'what it is like to be..' is a crucial issue. I think zombies are impossible, but not because I experience redness.
p.171 p.171 Zombies and inversion suggest non-reducible supervenience
     Full Idea: The main argument for the physical supervenience of qualia, then, is the apparent conceivability of zombies and qualia inversion in organisms physically indistinguishable from us.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.171)
     A reaction: Since neither zombies nor qualia inversion for identical brains seem to me to be even remotely conceivable, I won't trouble myself with the very vague concept of 'supervenience'.
p.192 p.192 Content may match several things in the environment
     Full Idea: If content is said to be 'covariance' with something in the environment, then the belief that there are horses in the field covaries reliably with the presence of horses in the field, but also the presence of horse genes in the field.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.192)
     A reaction: That's the end of that interesting proposal, then. Or is it? Looking at the field from a distance this is right, but down the microscope, the covariance varies. The theory lives on.
p.193 p.193 Content depends on other content as well as the facts
     Full Idea: An objection to the 'covariance' theory of content is that what you believe is influenced, often crucially, by what else you believe.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.193)
     A reaction: I can't think of a reply to this, if the covariance theory is suggesting that content just IS covariance of mental states with the environment. Externalism says that mind extends into the world.
p.197 p.197 'Arthritis in my thigh' requires a social context for its content to be meaningful
     Full Idea: The example of someone claiming "arthritis in my thigh" shows that the content of belief depends, at least in part but crucially, on the speech practices of the linguistic community in which we situate the subject.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.197)
     A reaction: Personally I find this social aspect to meaning to be more convincing that Putnam's idea that the physical world is part of meaning. It connects nicely with the social aspects of justification.
p.198 p.198 Pain, our own existence, and negative existentials, are not external
     Full Idea: No external factors seem to be required for Fred's belief that he is in pain, or that he exists, or that there are no unicorns.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.198)
     A reaction: This is an extremely important observation for anyone who was getting over-excited about external accounts of content. Unicorns might connect externally to horns and horses.
p.203 p.203 Content is best thought of as truth conditions
     Full Idea: It is standard to take contents as truth conditions.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.203)
     A reaction: This tradition runs from Frege to Davidson, and has been extended to truth conditions in possible worlds. Rivals will involve intentions, or eliminativism about meaning.
p.203 p.203 Two types of water are irrelevant to accounts of behaviour
     Full Idea: The difference in the two types of 'water' in the Twin Earth experiment seem psychologically irrelevant, for behaviour causation or explanation.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.203)
     A reaction: A rather important point. No matter how externalist you are about what content really is, people can only act on the internal aspects of it.
p.207 p.207 Externalism about content makes introspection depend on external evidence
     Full Idea: Externalism about content would have the consequence that most of our knowledge of our own intentional states is indirect and must be based on external evidence.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.207)
     A reaction: I think this is a confusion, endemic in discussions of externalism. If what Shakespeare meant by 'water' is H2O, or Putnam means by 'elm' what experts say, the point is that their meanings are NOT part of their intentional states, which are bookmarks.
p.212 p.212 Most modern physicalists are non-reductive property dualists
     Full Idea: The most widely accepted form of physicalism today is the nonreductive variety, ...which combines ontological physicalism with property dualism.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.212)
     A reaction: I suspect that property dualism is actually in decline, but we will see. I have yet to find a coherent definition of property dualism. If being simultaneously red and square isn't property dualism, then what is it? Sounds like dualism to me.
p.215 p.215 If one theory is reduced to another, we make fewer independent assumptions about the world
     Full Idea: If we reduce one theory to another, we reduce the number of independent assumptions about the world.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.215)
p.216 p.216 Reductionism is impossible if there aren't any 'bridge laws' between mental and physical
     Full Idea: Most antireductionist arguments focus on the unavailability of bridge laws to effect the reduction of psychological theory to physical theory (as found in reducing the gas laws to theories about molecules).
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.216)
     A reaction: Reduction can, of course, be achieved by identity rather than by bridge laws. I would say that all that prevents us from predicting mental events from physical ones is the sheer complexity involved. Cf. predicting the detailed results of an explosion.
p.217 p.217 Behaviourism reduces mind to behaviour via bridging principles
     Full Idea: Behaviourism can be considered as an attempt to reduce the mental to the physical via definitional bridge principles (every mental expression being given a behavioural definition).
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.217)
     A reaction: Effectively these would (if they had been discoverable) have been the elusive psycho-physical laws (which Davidson says do not exist). The objection to behaviourism is precisely that there is no fixed behaviour attached to a given mental state.
p.219 p.219 Resemblance or similarity is the core of our concept of a property
     Full Idea: Resemblance or similarity is the very core of our concept of a property.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.219)
p.223 p.223 Supervenience suggest dependence without reduction (e.g. beauty)
     Full Idea: Supervenience opens up the possibility of a relationship that gives us determination, or dependence, without reduction (as beauty supervenes on physical properties, but can't be given a physical definition).
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.223)
     A reaction: Beauty is a bad analogy, since it rather obviously involves a beholder. There is nothing more to a statue than a substance of a certain shape. There are no good analogies for this sort of supervenience, because it doesn't exist.
p.228 p.228 Is weight a 'resultant' property of water, but transparency an 'emergent' property?
     Full Idea: Emergent properties are said to be irreducible to, and unpredictable from, the lower-level phenomena from which they emerge (as weight is a 'resultant' property, but the transparency of water is an 'emergent' property).
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.228)
     A reaction: So weight is predictable, but transparency is a surprise? But presumably the transparency of water is totally predictable, once you understand it. Emergent properties are either dualist or reducible, in my view.
p.229 p.229 Emergent properties are 'brute facts' (inexplicable), but still cause things
     Full Idea: For the emergentist why pain emerges when C-fibres are excited remains a mystery (a 'brute fact'), but such properties then take on a life of their own as 'downward causation'.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.229)
     A reaction: I don't think there are any 'brute facts', except perhaps at the lowest level of physics. Whatever happened to the principle of sufficient reason? Is the mind like God - a causal source which is uncaused?
p.229 p.229 The core of the puzzle is the bridge laws between mind and brain
     Full Idea: From the emergentist point of view, the reductionists bridge laws are precisely what need to be explained. Why do these mental-physical correlations hold?
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.229)
     A reaction: Everyone is happy with the bridge laws from chemistry to physics, but no one knows (deep down) why those exact laws hold. We need to understand what consciousness is; its cause will then, I think, become apparent.
p.230 p.230 Should properties be individuated by their causal powers?
     Full Idea: Arguably, properties must be individuated in terms of their causal powers.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.230)
p.232 p.232 'Physical facts determine all the facts' is the physicalists' slogan
     Full Idea: Physicalists are fond of saying that physical facts determine all the facts.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.232)
     A reaction: I totally agree with this slogan. As a view, it seems to me that it is reinforced by essentialism (see the ideas of Brian Ellis), which gives some indication of how facts are physically determined, and why there is no alternative.
p.232 p.232 Reductionists deny new causal powers at the higher level
     Full Idea: For the reductionist, no new causal powers emerge at higher levels, which goes against the claims of the emergentist and the non-reductive physicalist.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.232)
     A reaction: I would say that all higher level causes are simply the sums of lower level causes, as in chemistry and physics. What could possibly produced the power at the higher level, apart from the constituents of the thing? Magic?
p.236 p.236 Reductionism gets stuck with qualia
     Full Idea: The main obstacle to mind-body reduction is qualia.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.236)
     A reaction: Personally I am also impressed by Leibniz's Mill (Idea 2109). No microscope could ever reveal the contents of thought. How can it be so vivid for the owner, but totally undetectable to an observer?
p.237 p.237 Without reductionism, mental causation is baffling
     Full Idea: If reductionism goes, so does the intelligibility of mental causation.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p.237)
     A reaction: Quite so. Substance dualism turns mental causation into a miracle, but property dualism is really no better. If no laws connect brain and mind, you have no account. I don't see how 'reasons are causes' (Davidson) helps at all.
1998 Mind in a Physical World
p.160 Protagoras says arguments on both sides are always equal
     Full Idea: Protagoras declares that it is possible to argue either side of any question with equal force, even the question whether or not one can equally argue either side of any question!
     From: report of Jaegwon Kim (Mind in a Physical World [1998]) by Seneca the Younger - Letters from a Stoic 088
     A reaction: This is perhaps the most famous sceptical argument in the ancient world (though, note, Protagoras is most famous for his relativism rather than his scepticism). It is, of course, wrong. The arguments are sometimes equal, but often they are not.
§1 p.002 p.2 Identity theory was overthrown by multiple realisations and causal anomalies
     Full Idea: The two principle arguments which overthrew the mind-brain identity theory were the multiple realization argument of Hilary Putnam, and the anomalist argument of Davidson, which contained the seeds of functionalism and anomalous monism.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Mind in a Physical World [1998], §1 p.002)
     A reaction: The first argument strikes me as significant and interesting, but Davidson seems weak. It makes the unsubstantiated claim that mind is outside the laws of physics, and irreducible.
§1 p.008 p.8 Non-Reductive Physicalism relies on supervenience
     Full Idea: Many philosophers saw in mind-body supervenience a satisfying metaphysical statement of physicalism without reductionism. This widely influential position is now known as "nonreductive physicalism".
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Mind in a Physical World [1998], §1 p.008)
     A reaction: If two things supervene on one another, then we should be asking why. Occasionalism and Parallelism are presumably not the answer. Coldness supervenes on ice.
§1 p.011 p.11 Supervenience is linked to dependence
     Full Idea: It is customary to associate supervenience with the idea of dependence or determination.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Mind in a Physical World [1998], §1 p.011)
     A reaction: It is only 'customary' because, in principle, the supervenience might just be a coincidence. I might follow someone everywhere because I love them (dependence) or because they force me to (determination). There's always a reason.
§1 p.012 p.12 Maybe strong supervenience implies reduction
     Full Idea: Maybe strong supervenience is inconsistent with the irreducibility of the supervenient properties to their subvenient bases.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Mind in a Physical World [1998], §1 p.012)
     A reaction: If two things are really very very supervenient on one another (superdupervenient?), then you have to ask WHY? If there isn't identity, then there is surely a highly lawlike connection?
§1 p.013 p.13 Emergentism says there is no explanation for a supervenient property
     Full Idea: The emergentism (of Searle), like ethical intuitionism, views mind-body supervenience as something that admits no explanation - it is a brute fact.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Mind in a Physical World [1998], §1 p.013)
     A reaction: This is why 'emergence' is no sort of theory, and is really old-fashioned dualism in a dubious naturalistic disguise. If mind 'emerges', there is presumably a causal mechanism for that.
§1 p.017 p.17 Maybe intentionality is reducible, but qualia aren't
     Full Idea: It is possible to hold that phenomenal properties (qualia) are irreducible, while holding intentional properties, including propositional attitudes, to be reducible (functionally, or biologically).
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Mind in a Physical World [1998], §1 p.017)
     A reaction: This is the position which Kim has settled for, but I find it baffling. If the universe is full of irreducibles that is one thing, but if everything in the universe is reducible except for one tiny item, that is implausible.
§1 p.018 p.18 Mereological supervenience says wholes are fixed by parts
     Full Idea: Mereological supervenience is the doctrine that wholes are fixed by the properties and relations that characterise their parts.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Mind in a Physical World [1998], §1 p.018)
     A reaction: Presumably this would be the opposite of 'holism'. Personally I would take mereological supervenience to be not merely correct, but to be metaphysically necessary. Don't ask me to prove it, of course.
§1 p.025 p.25 Reductionism is good on light, genes, temperature and transparency
     Full Idea: Examples where reductionism seems to give a good account of things are light, genes, temperature and transparency.
     From: report of Jaegwon Kim (Mind in a Physical World [1998], §1 p.025) by PG - Db (ideas)
     A reaction: This a fairly simple examples, thoroughly confirmed by science a long time ago. Life is a nicer example, because it is more complex and less obvious, but pretty much beyond dispute these days.
§2 p.031 p.31 Agency, knowledge, reason, memory, psychology all need mental causes
     Full Idea: The following all require a belief in mental causation: agency (mind causes events), knowledge (perception causes beliefs), reasoning (one belief causes another), memory (events cause ideas), psychology (science of mental causes).
     From: report of Jaegwon Kim (Mind in a Physical World [1998], §2 p.031) by PG - Db (ideas)
     A reaction: A very good list, which I cannot fault, and to which I cannot add. The question is: is there any mental activity left over which does NOT require causation? Candidates are free will, and the contingent character of qualia. I say the answer is, no.
§3 p.066 p.66 Metaphysics is the clarification of the ontological relationships between different areas of thought
     Full Idea: Metaphysics is the domain where different languages, theories, explanations, and conceptual systems come together and have their mutual ontological relationships sorted out and clarified.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Mind in a Physical World [1998], §3 p.066)
§3 p.085 p.85 Properties can have causal powers lacked by their constituents
     Full Idea: Macroproperties can, and in general do, have their own causal powers, powers that go beyond the causal powers of their microconstituents.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Mind in a Physical World [1998], §3 p.085)
     A reaction: I don't see why the macro-powers 'go beyond' the sum of the micro-powers. Admittedly one molecule can't be slippery, but slipperiness can be totally reduced to molecule behaviour.
§4 p.095 p.95 Multiple realisation applies to other species, and even one individual over time
     Full Idea: Multiple realization goes deeper and wider than biological species, and even in the same individual the neural realizer, or correlate, of a given mental state or function may change over time through maturation and brain injuries.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Mind in a Physical World [1998], §4 p.095)
     A reaction: The tricky question here is what you mean by 'change'. How different must a pattern of neurons be before you say it is of a different type? How do you individuate a type?
§4 p.101 p.101 Emotions have both intentionality and qualia
     Full Idea: It has been customary to distinguish between two broad categories of mental phenomena, the intentional and the phenomenal, without excluding those that have both (e.g. emotions).
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Mind in a Physical World [1998], §4 p.101)
     A reaction: This has become the conventional modern account of the mind. It seems a little too simple to say that the mind is characterised by two clearcut phenomena like this. I suspect that his picture will be modified in time.
§4 p.101 p.101 Intentionality as function seems possible
     Full Idea: There has been much scepticism about a functionalist account of intentionality, particularly from Putnam (recently) and Searle, but, like many others, I don't see any principled objections to such an account.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Mind in a Physical World [1998], §4 p.101)
     A reaction: I agree. I don't believe that intentionality is a candidate for being one of those many 'magic' qualities which are supposed to make the reduction of mind to brain impossible.
§4 p.101 p.101 It seems impossible that an exact physical copy of this world could lack intentionality
     Full Idea: It seems to me inconceivable that a possible world exists that is an exact physical duplicate of this world but lacking wholly in intentionality.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Mind in a Physical World [1998], §4 p.101)
     A reaction: Personally I can't conceive of such a world lacking qualia either. The physical entails the mental, say I.
§4 p.102 p.102 Knowledge and inversion make functionalism about qualia doubtful
     Full Idea: My doubts about functionalist accounts of qualia are based on the much discussed arguments from qualia inversions, and from epistemic considerations.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Mind in a Physical World [1998], §4 p.102)
     A reaction: With a colour inversion experience changes but function doesn't. But maybe function does change if you ask the right questions. 'Is this a warm colour?' It certainly strikes me that qualia contain useful (epistemic) information.
§4 p.103 p.102 The only mental property that might be emergent is that of qualia
     Full Idea: If emergentism is correct about anything, it is more likely to be correct about qualia than about anything else.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Mind in a Physical World [1998], §4 p.103)
     A reaction: I'm puzzled by a view that says that nearly all of the mind is reducible, but one tiny aspect of it is 'emergent'. What sort of ontology is envisaged by that?
§4 p.119 p.119 Causal power is a good way of distinguishing the real from the unreal
     Full Idea: A plausible criterion for distinguishing what is real from what is not real is the possession of causal power.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Mind in a Physical World [1998], §4 p.119)
B01 p.84 Not every person is the measure of all things, but only wise people
     Full Idea: We do not agree that every person is the measure of all things, but only wise people.
     From: comment on Jaegwon Kim (Mind in a Physical World [1998], B01) by Plato - Theaetetus 183c
     A reaction: I fully agree with this, but only because I have an optimistic view that rational people converge on the truth.
B01 p.215 Why didn't Protagoras begin by saying "a tadpole is the measure of all things"?
     Full Idea: Why didn't he start 'Truth' off by saying "A pig is the measure of all things", or "a baboon",…or " tadpole"? That would have been a magnificently haughty beginning.
     From: comment on Jaegwon Kim (Mind in a Physical World [1998], B01) by Plato - Theaetetus 161d1
B06a p.126 There are two contradictory arguments about everything
     Full Idea: There are two contradictory arguments about everything.
     From: Jaegwon Kim (Mind in a Physical World [1998], B06a), quoted by (who?) - where?