For those interested, thank you to try to express the formal structure of the following argument as you understand it:
Premise 1 - For all we know, somebody’s conscious mind may be the state of a group of neurons in this person’s brain;
Premise 2 - What somebody does is determined by the state of a group of neurons in this person’s brain;
Conclusion - Therefore, for all we know, what somebody does may be determined by the conscious mind of this person.
Everything is admissible as long as it’s what you think is the best expression of the structure of the argument and that you are prepared to argue your view.
Still, I will myself keep away from this thread to let you all try to arrive at a consensus independently of my own view, hopefully through something like a rational debate.
Thank you in advance for your contribution.
Apparently I can’t even reply the normal way. So here is my response.
This thread is obviously different from the other one. I’m asking explicitly for a formal expression of the argument. This is obviously to get people to get their acts together and formally prove their point. I already have different people proposing different formal expressions, this in itself should be enough to give you pause for thought. So, instead of your derail, just address the topic at hand and provide whatever formal expression you think best represents the argument as it is worded. Short of that, thank you to abstain from irrelevant comments.
I’m pleased to announce I was able to obtain independent confirmation that the argument is valid. I am told it can be couched in the axiomatic S4 of modal logic. Not that I was worried myself, I was even rather embarrassed to ask for the confirmation of something pretty obvious to begin with, but you never know.
There are two specific qualifiers I didn’t expect (beyond necessity and possibility), which are nonetheless required in formal logic to capture the whole semantic of the argument. Good to know.
Still, apparently, it seems there is no metaphysically absolute formal proof that any logical argument is valid. To see that an argument is valid, we all have to rely on our own personal intuitive sense of logic.
Or rely on somebody else we trust, but he himself will have to rely on his own intuition, or possibly on whatever empirical evidence there is as to what people do in this respect.
Still, it’s not all bad. It means anyone here can still enjoy the luxury of being able to deny mordicus that the argument is valid, even obviously not valid, even patently not valid. I can’t prove metaphysically, absolutely, that you’re wrong. Good to know, hmm?
Mr. Pigeon, this is your same thread a second time. Are you unhappy with the first one? Are you looking for more satisfying responses? Please see your first thread through.
Personally, I find both premises to be unacceptable flights of fancy. As an example of formal logic, it seems to be a conclusion based on phrasing more than content.
If you read something that makes you angry, has your conscious mind determined what your body is doing in being angry? That’s just a notion that you can address in your first thread.