02 December 2012

fragmented thoughts on materialist theory of mind

If the materialists were right, what would you expect to find? 

 I would expect thought to basically indeterminate in the way that it seems to be. No idea is so clear or distinct that it does not potentially extend to multiple other, contradictory ideas... 

But note here that the determinacy of thought altogether is dependent upon the absolute determinacy of some thoughts.  The pure functions of the mind would need to ground such a determinacy, which cannot be found in things.  But how do these "pure functions" subsist?  Material minds, like material things, cannot know things (they cannot receive the form of another as other), they can only signify them.  But can they signify determinately?  How?

 I would expect the meaning of thoughts to be determined by their relation to other thoughts, and by proximity to sense-objects: the significance of ideas is their being the building blocks of attitudes and actions, and the consequences of immediate experience--separated from these consequences, they would have neither meaning nor reality... 

I would expect the life of the mind to be bound by its own functions and incapable of apprehending or judging anything without recourse to them.

 I would not expect a fundamental incoherence between the wide extent of intellectual capability and the basic interests that characterize human life. Feelings of puzzlement and frustration at the futility of a faculty that so outstrips its material usefulness...