Ontology Powerpoint


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Ontology Powerpoint

  1. 1. Ontology Unit 5
  2. 2. What is Ontology? <ul><li>Ontology refers to the theory of reality, or the theory of being </li></ul><ul><li>It deals with the question of appearance vs. reality: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What does it mean to exist? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How is my existence different from that of a chair, or a tree, or a chicken patty? Is there even a difference? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Categories of Ontology <ul><li>Monism : the belief that there is only one reality or one sort of thing that is real </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ex: Berkeley’s idealism (ideas are all the we can know; everything is merely an idea) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Dualism: there are two kinds of reality or two sorts of real things </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ex: Descartes’ mind/body dualism </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Pluralism: the belief that despite our best efforts, common sense correctly tells us that reality is composed of many different kinds of real things </li></ul><ul><li>Nihilism: the view that nothing is real, or that nothing deserves to exist </li></ul>
  4. 4. Dualism <ul><li>Descartes’ mind/body distinction </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Defined body as “an extended thing whose characteristics are extension, size, shape, location, divisibility, motion, and rest.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Defined mind as a thing which thinks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>According to Descartes’ these two things are completely distinct from one another, and are able to exist independently of one another </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But how do they live WITH each other! </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Dualism – The Problem <ul><li>Mind is by definition nonextended and without location, as it is completely different from the body, which has both extension and location. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How then can this nonextended, shapeless, sizeless, motionless, locationless entity [the mind] have an effect on the body? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This problem is referred to as the mind/body problem or, more creatively, “the ghost in the machine” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Dualism – The Problem <ul><li>It is clear to us that there does seem to be a connection between the mind and body. If we bite our tongue, or stub our toe, our mind reacts – and we feel the sensation of pain. If we see a chicken patty on the other side of the cafeteria that we would like to eat, our mind communicates with our legs to walk across the cafeteria, and communicates with our hands and mouth to enable us to eat it. It seems as though we perceive a connection between the mind and the body. But HOW do they communicate? What is the link between this nonextended spiritual entity and our physical bodies? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Dualism – Descartes’ Response <ul><li>Descartes perceived the mind/body problem as well, and selected a point where mind and body meet and communicate: the pineal gland. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Why? Because it didn’t seem to do anything else! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>This is problematic. By saying that the mind meets the body at the pineal gland, Descartes has located mind. Remember, location is a characteristic of body, not mind. If mind has a location, then it becomes body, and his whole mind/body dualism gets thrown out the window! </li></ul>
  8. 8. Monism <ul><li>As previously stated, George Berkeley is considered a monist because of his idealism. </li></ul><ul><li>However, idealism has fallen out of vogue in modern times, replaced by materialism </li></ul><ul><li>Materialism states that all that exists is matter </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No mind/body distinction </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Several versions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Behaviorism </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mind-Brain Identity Theory (MBIT) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Eliminative Materialism </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Functionalism </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Monism - Behaviorism <ul><li>John Watson is considered father of behaviorism, but B. F. Skinner was most outspoken </li></ul><ul><li>Three types: hard behaviorism, soft behaviorism, logical behaviorism </li></ul>
  10. 10. Hard & Soft Behaviorism <ul><li>Hard Behaviorism </li></ul><ul><li>No such things as minds (including states of mind, processes, events, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>There are only bodies in motion </li></ul><ul><li>This view is open to many obvious criticisms (to be discussed on the next slide) </li></ul><ul><li>Soft Behaviorism </li></ul><ul><li>Says that minds may exist, but science can provide adequate explanations of activity without referring to the mind </li></ul><ul><li>All statements about human activity can be translated into statements about observable behaviors or else can be proven to be false or nonsensical </li></ul>
  11. 11. Logical Behaviorism <ul><li>Put forth by Gilbert Ryle </li></ul><ul><li>Calls Descartes’ mind/body distinction a “category mistake” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A category-mistake is that of taking a term or phrase that belongs in one category and mistakenly placing it in another category while drawing absurd conclusions from the incorrect categorization (like much of the humor in Alice in Wonderland ) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Ryle claims the mentalistic terms like “peaceful,” “intentional,” and “stupid” are not names of ghostly events within the mind, but rather ways that people do things </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Intentionality” refers to the manner in which an action is taken </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. The Problems with Behaviorism <ul><li>We certainly come to understand that another person has a headache when they hold their head, rub their temples, lie down in a dark room, or take some pain medication. But that’s not how we discover that we have a headache. We discover our own headache by experiencing the pain, not by taking pain medication and realizing, “Oh! I must have a headache because I’m taking Advil.” </li></ul><ul><li>B. F. Skinner’s own publications are full of vocabulary referring to thinking and mental acts! </li></ul>
  13. 13. Mind-Brain Identity Theory <ul><li>Another monist perspective, Mind-Brain Identity Theory argues that mental terms actually refer to real neurological [physical] events </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Philosopher JJ Smart states that “sensations are nothing over and above brain processes.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There are a couple compelling criticisms of this particular theory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jerome Shaffer claims that there are things that make perfect sense to say about brain states but are nonsense when said about mental states </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Therefore, mental states are not brain states, and the identity theory is false! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Got that? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Another argument claims that what the identity theory argues is actually that mental states are correlated with brain states </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Correlation does not indicate that the two correlated events are the same </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It is impossible to establish that just because thoughts are always correlated with events in the brain, that they are in fact identical to those events </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Even if the mind-brain identity theory were true, it could never be known to be true, and is therefore non-scientific </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Eliminative Materialism <ul><li>Eliminativism claims that what people used to call “mental states” is now know as “brain states” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Richard Rorty claims not that a sentence like “I am in pain” is false, but that someday, there might be a better way to say it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>We have now “eliminated” the language of the mind for better language – that of the brain and neurobiology </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Mentalistic” talk is simply part of folk psychology – a prescientific way of thinking </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Functionalism <ul><li>Attempts to develop a theory of mind that incorporates philosophy, computer science, and neurology </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The mind should be thought of as a system </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Claims that mental events are realized in parts of brains, but are not themselves identical to parts of brains </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Argues that we don’t have to hcoose between the language of the neurologist and the language of common sense. We’re right when we say that “I think A” or “I feel B.” There are mental events and they are real. (I intend to eat that chicken patty, and that intention will produce an action – I will eat that chicken patty). Materialism is also correct – all mental events are realized in material systems (as far as we know). We can have our cake and eat it too! </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Pluralism <ul><li>In addition to dualism and monism, there exists a third perspective: that of pluralism </li></ul><ul><li>Pluralism is the view that there is a plurality of real things and this plurality cannot be reduced either to a duality or to a oneness </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Everything in the world does not fit neatly into two boxes (matter and mind) as the dualist says; nor does it all fit into one box (ideas or matter) as the idealist or materialist says. There are thousands and thousands of boxes!! </li></ul></ul></ul>