debates was guilty / innocent was debates

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Mon Oct 16 08:55:20 PDT 2000

Daniel Davies wrote:

> Just to interject that this sort of statement, and a
> lot of ken's other stuff about refusing to identify a
> single Cartesian "I", is perfectly consistent with
> what Daniel Dennett and a whole load of other
> cognitive philosophers of altogether hard-headed bent
> think.

I claim no real knowledge here, but I think it worthwhile to note that at least one critique of the Cartesian "I" is grounded in the claim that to divide "brain" and "[rest of] body" is as incorrect as the original Cartesian split between "mind" and "body." (Cf. science fiction tales based on a brain kept alive in a bottle -- the tendency in neuroscience of which I speak denies that this is intelligible.) How Dennet fits in I do not know.

But returning to Ken. It seems to me that what he is pushing could be termed vulgar materialism. He believes in a "stuff" hidden somewhere in the brain which carries on some kind of strange dialogue with itself, then issues marching orders to Homonunculus #2; another "stuff" hidden up there in the brain, which then talks to a third "stuff" called "the subject" who then talks about these invisible "stuffs" that are sending it signals. Creepy.


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