Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Elliminative Materialism is the idea we should replace our casual and more "dumbed down" language that we use to describe everyday occurences with a strictly reductionist language. An example would be instead of saying that you are seeing a certain color you would say that your eyes are looking at the specific patterns of pigmentation and light waves that are associated with that color. It is describing things strictly from a physical and objective standpoint. Terms like emotions and desires would be seemed obsolete. The critique for this would be in the nature of reductism itself, which is the idea that all things can be reduced to terms describing the most basic aspect of their phenomenon. The problem is that when reducing things, new and more complicated fields of knowledge are going to keep emerging and as this happens the reductive language of elliminative materialism would keep getting more and more complicated until it becomes senseless and impractical to use.
The self has been something that has been a major issue all year especially during our unit on identity. It's all comes down to the question of who am I. The fact that my body is trillions of atoms that come together to sustain something bigger, which ultimately leads them towards the creation of a greater the state of mind I call me, Matt DiMarco. Not only that though, they all interact and integrate in ways to sustain me. Why? What makes life into life? They don't know I exist and don't really gain anything special for sustaining me. Those atoms don't even know they themselves exist. Yet I, Matt DiMarco, some mysterious result of those atoms cooperating in one of the most mysterious ways that this universe has ever seen, know they exist. Why is that? What happens when you give a point of view to something that shouldn't have one? The answer: me. But who am I really?