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22 JULY 2014

Substance Dualism, Property Dualism and Mind-Body Dualism

"Consider the following three Cartesian theses:

Substance dualism: Any substance with mental properties lacks material properties and any substance with material properties lacks mental properties.

Property dualism: Mental properties and material properties are different properties.

Real distinction between mind and body: The mind and the body are numerically distinct substances.

How are these theses logically related? Substance dualism is the strongest of the three, and entails the other two. It entails the real distinction between mind and body. For the mind is a substance with mental properties, and the body is a substance with material properties. Now if the mind lacks material properties, and the body lacks mental properties, then the mind and the body cannot be the same substance. But the real distinction between mind and body does not entail substance dualism. For that mind and body are two numerically distinct substances is compatible with both of them having both mental and material properties.

Substance dualism also entails property dualism. For if a substance with mental properties lacks material properties, then mental and material properties are different properties–otherwise, a substance with mental properties would be a substance with material properties. But property dualism does not entail substance dualism. It could be that mental properties and material properties are different properties and yet a substance with mental properties is also a substance with material properties.

But the real distinction between mind and body and property dualism do not entail each other. It could be that mind and body are numerically distinct substances but mental and material properties are the same. For instance, it could be that mind and body are distinct because they have different properties: the mind has a property M that the body lacks, and the body has a property B that the mind lacks. This does not preclude that both M and B are both mental and material properties. So the real distinction between mind and body does not entail property dualism. Nor does property dualism entail the real distinction between mind and body. For even if mental and material properties are different properties, it can still be the case that the mind, which has mental properties, and the body, which has material properties, are the same substance."

(Gonzalo Rodriguez–Pereyra, pp.70–71)

Rodriguez–Pereyra, G. (2008). "Descartes's Substance Dualism and His Independence Conception of Substance". Journal of the History of Philosophy 46(1): 69–90.
Fig.1 Lucy Jones "Philosophy of the Mind Episode Two: Criticisms of Substance Dualism", YouTube.

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TAGS

bodyCartesian dualismcognitionconsciousnessdefining features of modernitydifferentiationdistinctionsdualism • epiphenomenalism • Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra • introspectionlogical-analytical paradigmmaterial environmentmaterial object • material properties • material realitymaterial space • material substances • material thinkingmaterial world • mental properties • mental substance • mindmind-body dualism • mind-body problem • minds divorced of bodiesobjective knowledgeobjective realityobjectivity • other minds • parallelism • philosophical position • philosophy of mind • physical worldproperties of nature • property dualism • realm of existenceRene Descartesscientifically established objective facts • separability argument • separate thinking • solipsism • soul • subject-object orientated philosophy • subjectificationsubjective conditionsubjectivismsubjectivity • substance dualism

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
12 JANUARY 2013

The Last Picture Show: ode to a Texan small town

"It's hard to overestimate the influence of Peter Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show (1971) ... on all those other elegiac movies about lost youth and crumbling dreams in small American towns that followed it in such huge numbers. We know the storylines, which never vary much. Boy meets girl. They fall in love and think their relationship will last forever but war/adulthood/pregnancy intervenes. Old school friends spend a last summer of high jinks together. They vow eternal loyalty to one another but then the autumn rolls in and their lives drag them off in very different directions. The visual clichés are familiar, too: by the final reel, the once teeming street is empty, with wind blowing the dust, or the old café where the friends used to meet is boarded up. ...

When Bogdanovich revisited Thalia with a belated sequel, Texasville, in 1990, the results were mixed at best. What had made the original so distinctive was the youth of the characters played by Shepherd, Bottoms and Bridges – their curiosity, innocence and their sense of yearning. Witnessing their travails in middle age simply didn't have the same impact. The real follow–up to The Last Picture Show wasn't Texasville but the films that were made – and are still being made today – in its mould."

(The Independent, 18 March 2011)

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1971adolescence • American Graffiti (1973) • Archer City • arthouse cinema • Big Wednesday (1978) • black and white • broken dreams • Cloris Leachman • coming of age • crumbling dreams • Cybill Shepherd • Diner (1982) • Easy Rider (1969) • Eileen Brennan • femme fatale • football coach • Hank Williams • high school • illicit relationship • innocenceintrospectionJeff Bridges • juvenile • Korean War • Larry McMurtry • lost youth • nakedPeter Bogdanovich • pool hall • provincial town • rites of passage • roughhouse • Rumble Fish (1983) • Sam Bottoms • self-conscious • sense of yearning • sexsmall townsmall town America • sombre • soulful • Stand By Me (1986) • swimming • teenage temptress • teenagersTexas • Texasville (1990) • Thalia • The Last Picture Show (1971) • The Outsiders (1983) • Timothy Bottoms • would-be rebel • youth

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
05 AUGUST 2012

Hannah Starkey: reconstructed scenes from everyday life

"Using actors within carefully considered settings, Hannah Starkey's photographs reconstruct scenes from everyday life with the concentrated stylisation of film. Starkey's images picture women engaged in regular routines such as loitering in the street, sitting in cafes, or passively shopping. Starkey captures these generic 'in between' moments of daily life with a sense of relational detachment. Her still images operate as discomforting 'pauses'; where the banality of existence is freeze–framed in crisis point, creating reflective instances of inner contemplation, isolation, and conflicting emotion.

Through the staging of her scenes, Starkey's images evoke suggestive narratives through their appropriation of cultural templates: issues of class, race, gender, and identity are implied through the physical appearance of her models or places. Adopting the devices of filmography, Starkey's images are intensified with a pervasive voyeuristic intrusion, framing moments of intimacy for unapologetic consumption. Starkey often uses composition to heighten this sense of personal and emotional disconnection, with arrangements of lone figures separated from a group, or segregated with metaphoric physical divides such as tables or mirrors.

Often titling her work as Untitled, followed by a generalised date of creation, her photographs parallel the interconnected vagueness of memory, recalling suggestions of events and emotions without fixed location or context. Her work presents a platform where fiction and reality are blurred, illustrating the gap between personal fragility and social construction, and merging the experiences of strangers with our own."

(Saatchi Gallery)

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artificeawkwardnessbanalitycinematic conventionscultural appropriationcultural signals • cultural templates • daily lifedetachmentemotionlesseveryday life • fiction and reality • film stylisationframed momentsfreeze frame • Hannah Starkey • in-betweenin-between narratives • inner contemplation • intimacyintrospectionisolation • loitering • momentsnarrative photographynarrative scenesobservationpausephotographyplaceness • regular routines • routineSaatchi Galleryscene reconstructionsettingstagingstylisedsuggestive narrativesvignette • voyeuristic intrusion

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
21 MARCH 2011

Returning to Michael Powell's Peeping Tom after 15 years

"Peeping Tom has been widely celebrated as one of the great films about looking, about consumption, about cinema, about art, about the artist, about the relation between the artist, the artwork and the audience, about the relation between looking and pleasure, looking and desire, looking and death, and so on. All very familiar stuff from Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis and film studies (the film's tailor–made for film studies – bring in some Freud here, some Bataille and de Sade there, add a little Lacan and Virillio, etc). The aggressive and violating camera, as Scorsese put it. And this is partly the problem with Peeping Tom. Like the films of Peter Greenaway or David Cronenberg, Peeping Tom is more like an academic essay about voyeurism and scopophilia, a join–the–dots lecture on the pleasures, risks and dangers of art. Plus, Peeping Tom employs the most stereotypical, cliched thriller/ murder mystery plot you can imagine: a young man, a loner, a misfit, introspective, morbid, an outsider figure, abused as a child, etc etc etc, who murders sexualized women (prostitutes and actresses), and is befriended by an innocent he cannot bring himself to corrupt or kill.

Powell attacks the subject of voyeurism and murder aggressively in the opening scenes: the close–ups on cameras, projectors and eyes, the mirrors and reflections, exaggerated sounds (the rattle of a projector, a dripping tap, a heartbeat, whispered voiceover), and his love of visual rhymes and puns (eyes, drinks, sticks and tripods). You can see Powell having a ball in orchestrating his elaborate camera moves, his erotic, sleazy mise–en–abyme, his film–within–a–film tropes (Powell playing the murderer's father and torturer in home movies which he shot himself), the multiple reflections, mirrors, lenses, cameras, projections and screens (every shot in Peeping Tom seems to have been lit by a raking, unfiltered, unflattering horizontal light). It's not that Powell isn't at the top of his game in Peeping Tom – in its way, Peeping Tom is every bit as inventive as Powell's best work – it's that the plot, the characters, the situations are so cheesy, predictable, and shallow.

Despite all this, though, Peeping Tom does have bite and a nastiness which age hasn't dimmed. Peeping Tom also still feels 'contemporary' in its psychoanalytic treatment of a serial killer plot which draws on prostitution, cinema, acting, and pornography. And the conceit of having a murder in the opening shots which's replayed a moment later over the credits is a tour–de–force (one of the film's best cinematic ideas, this says everything necessary, and economically, in the first five minutes)."

(Jeremy Robinson)

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1960abuseaggressionartartistartworkaudienceBritish directorBritish film directorcameracinemaclicheclose-upconsumptionDavid Cronenbergdeathdesire • Emeric Pressburger • erotic • essayfilmfilm studies • film-within-a-film • Freudian • Georges Bataille • innocenceintrospectionJacques Lacan • join-the-dots • Leo Marks • loner • looking • Marquis de Sade • Martin ScorseseMichael Powellmirrormise-en-abymemisfitmorbidmurdermurder mysteryoutsider • Paul Virilio • Peeping Tom (film) • Peter Greenawaypleasurepornographyprojectorprostitutionpsychoanalysis • pun • reflectionscopophilia • scoptophilia • serial killer • sexualised • sleazy • stereotypethrillerUKviolation • visual rhyme • voyeurism

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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