Metaphysics Assignment

671 words - 3 pages

The metaphysical view of reality that I support is from a monist position. Monism isbelieving that everything in the universe is one kind or type. To be more specific, the viewwithin monism that I believe to be true is materialism. This is defined in our textbook TheEnduring Questions by Jerry H. Hill as a "belief that reality is composed exclusively ofmatter and its patterns of organization." In other words, it is a view that everything thatactually exists is material, or physical. What it means to say something is material is that itis extended in space. In an article titled "Philosophical Materialism," Richard C. Vitzthumclaims that "materialism has always inferred its theories from the best empirical evidence athand and has as a result always had its metascientific hypotheses scientifically confirmedbecause the ba ...view middle of the document...

And by that, I mean that there isabsolutely no way for dualists to prove that there are two kinds of "stuff" in the universe.Granted, materialists have always had the difficult task of explaining how their materialismcan account for such psychological phenomena as thoughts, beliefs, desires, intentions, andsensory experiences. However, if we consider how much more we have learned that thebrain can do in the past couple of hundred years, I'm sure there is much more that we haven'tfigured out yet. I personally found "A Critique of Dualism" by Paul Churchland, which weread in class, particularly persuading towards a monist's position. He claims that "there is nodoubt at all that physical matter exists, while spiritual matter remains a tenuous hypothesis."Plus, he goes on to make the point that a neuroscientist these days can tell us so much aboutwhat the brain can do, but what can the dualist tell us about spiritual substance? He or shecan't tell us about the internal constitution of mind-stuff, or about anything that makes it up,or explain connections between the mind and body. "The fact is," says Churchland, "thedualist can do none of these things, because no detailed theory of mind-stuff has ever beenformulated." Another good point that he makes is about some dualists believing that themind is seperate from the brain, and this is where such things as reasoning, emotions, andconsciousness take place without any dependence on the brain. However, when we considerwhat alcohol, drugs, and other emotion-controlling chemicals can do to alter the way wethink or feel, it makes sense only if reason, emotion, and consciousness are activities of thebrain itself. It doesn't make sense that they would be activities of something else, such as amind totally seperate and independent from the brain.


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