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    11 Sep '16 21:191 edit
    Sonship, I brought up the subject of supervenience physicalism, and you implied that you have some arguments to wage against it. Please bring your charges against it here, so that we can discuss them.

    There are many different flavors of physicalism, but supervenience physicalism is, I believe, widely considered to represent one of the most basic, core tenets of physicalism. In other words, whereas different physicalists will in general disagree in their views, the aspect of supervenience is not likely to be the issue of disagreement (though they may disagree in how exactly it should be formulated).

    To start, it is useful to review again the basic notion of supervenience. The basic idea is that A-properties supervene on B-properties just in case it is impossible for two objects to differ in their A-properties without differing in their B-properties. That's the general idea.
  2. Standard membersonship
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    13 Sep '16 14:44
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Sonship, I brought up the subject of supervenience physicalism, and you implied that you have some arguments to wage against it. Please bring your charges against it here, so that we can discuss them.

    There are many different flavors of physicalism, but supervenience physicalism is, I believe, widely considered to represent one of the most basic, core ...[text shortened]... differ in their A-properties without differing in their B-properties. That's the general idea.
    Are you talking about property dualism ?
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    14 Sep '16 19:461 edit
    Originally posted by sonship
    Are you talking about property dualism ?
    No, I'm talking about supervenience physicalism, which is generally incompatible with property dualism.

    Remember? In the absurd escapism thread, you asked if I was a physicalist; and I responded that yes, I consider myself committed to a form of supervenience physicalism (which is considered a minimal version of physicalism); and you retorted that "supervenience has its weakness which I will talk to latter". Well, it's latter. So, please go ahead and talk to those weaknesses.

    If you do not even understand what supervenience physicalism holds (which seems likely if you are eager to conflate it with property dualism), then why comment on it at all?

    To give some background, supervenience physicalism holds that everything supervenes on the physical. But of course, there are different ways to state the thesis more formally and precisely. The basic gist as it regards supervenience, though, can be evinced through an analog. The classic analog (pace David Lewis) would be something like a dot matrix picture. A dot matrix picture is just a bunch of dots (or not) at matrix points. But the picture can have many globalistic properties that manifest as various patterns in the dots. Regardless, these all supervene on the dots. So the suggestion, then, is that something similar holds between the physical and the psychological, biological, etc, aspects of the world. Generically, supervenience physicalism would hold that a physical duplicate of our world would not only duplicate all the physical respects but all other respects as well (such as the psychological, biological, etc). However, fundamentally, this is not itself a reductive thesis. It does not, for example, entail that for every, say, psychological predicate, the analysis of it reduces to the terms of some physical predicate. So, this view admits of predicate dualism, affirming that, say, psychological predicates are necessary for describing the world and yet do not simply reduce to physical predicates. (And for disclosure, this would be the view that I currently endorse: a version of supervenience physicalism, along with predicate dualism). Going back to the dot matrix analog, I guess this would be like saying that mutually irreducible terms are needed to analyze on one hand the dots themselves and on the other hand whatever properties manifest in the patterns of the dots; and that, ultimately, both are necessary for full description. But this is not the same as property dualism, which is ontologically stronger.
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    It might help those interested in this thread to read one of:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physicalism
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/physicalism/

    It may also help to read:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/supervenience/
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/possible-worlds/

    There are also Wikipedia pages with similar names for these. I'm most of the way through the Stanford physicalism one, it looks at supervenience physicalism and discusses other forms of physicalism in comparison with it. It is fairly tough going but, amongst other things, explains why supervenience physicalism is not property dualism. The Wikipedia article is an easier read, but not as rigorous or complete. I haven't read the entry on supervenience, I don't know if it adds anything. If you don't know what a possible world is then read section 1 of the thing on possible worlds. It's needed to follow the discussion in the physicalism article.
  5. Standard membersonship
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    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Firstly, thanks for your explanation. I am studying it. As a Christian who believes God has revealed revelation to man, I do want to expand some on some philosophy, with patience. I would like to think you would have a reciprocal attitude about the revelation of the Bible. But perhaps you don't.

    If you do not even understand what supervenience physicalism holds (which seems likely if you are eager to conflate it with property dualism), then why comment on it at all?


    I do not know as much about it.

    Perhaps is much like, when you refer to Christ as a zombie it sounds so stupidly ignorant that I wonder where to start. That little provoking action was very ignorant given Haitian occultic voodoo related backround of the term "zombie."

    But then I guess you were just attempting to poison the well of discussion against this contemptible Christian believer. This doesn't intimidate me any more than your being far more conversant on the philosophy of supervenance does.

    From what I read supervening seems is said to have occurred when the nervous system reached a certain level of complexity in Evolution the psychological self
    began to "ride" upon the physical brain.

    In an Emergent view of the origin of mind there are these different but complementary levels of systems in a hierarchy. IE subatomic particles to atoms to molecules to cells to organs to whole organisms. At each level properties belong to that combination of levels which do not belong to lower constituent levels.

    Ie. the property of "wet" is relevant to "water". But "wet" is not a property associated with either constituents parts of hydrogen or oxygen. Each level is spoken of with concepts appropriate to that level in the hierarchy.

    I'm in the ball park.

    To move forward "self" is thought in this philosophy not to be a property added from "outside" when evolution caused the brain to reach a certain level of complexity. Rather in this philosophy "self" and "mind" supervenes or rides upon the brain. Self and mind are different discontinuous states that ride on top of the brain.

    Changing brain states cause changing mind states to supervene upon the brain.

    B for Brain states and M for Mind states in the diagram below runs something like this to express supervening:


    B1 ---> B2 ---> B3 ---> B2
    where
    M1 supervenes on B1, M2 supervenes on B2, M3 supervenes of B3, M4 supervenes on B4.

    Of course as a former programmer this symbolism is all rather interesting to me.

    Now something of the critique of this concept by a critic ( if I understand correctly ):

    I understand that we can say M1 is [the] hearing of a train coming at two miles away is thought to be a mental state of conscious awareness. It is something that is true of minds and not of matter. Add M2 as the hearing the train at a distance of 50 feet away.. add M3 as the state of feeling an itch on the neck. add M4 as the state of hearing music playing in a nearby car. In all these B1, B2, B3, B4 are brain states associated with each of these mental states.


    Brain states B1 through B4 stand in a causal relationship with one another. The physical determines all the action. The mental states are mere byproducts of the physical states like smoke is a byproduct of fire. No intervening rational agent influences the sequence of brain states.

    I wonder where a unified enduring self fits into this succession of supervening mental states. The self is not identically the same as the mental states. We should understand that the self HAS its states. In the example above the same mind has the combination of varied mental states - the train at different distances, the itch on the neck, and the hearing of music in a car. The self is present at all these experiences of changing mental states as an enduring constant entity.

    In the emergent property view the "self" is a series of mental events where mental properties are had by physical states. It is pointed out to me that in this philosophy there is no enduring mental substance which has mental states M1, M2, M3, M4. Rather there is just one mental property at one time. A particular mental property is replaced by another mental property.

    J.P Moreland writes:

    When a leaf goes from green to red, green does not become red. Rather, green leaves and is replaced by red in the leaf. The leaf is the same substance present at both ends of the process.


    Where is there room for an enduring continuous SELF or Mind as mental states come and go, replacing one another ?

    Mental state replaces mental state. But in real life an enduring mental substance HAS this changing of states. This is suggested as a problem of the self being the supervening of mental states upon changing physical states.

    Back to the changing leaf color, Moreland says -

    When a substance gains or loses properties, it remains the same while the properties come and go. They are replaced. Red replaces green.


    How do you account for an enduring single self encompassing these series of changing mental states in supervenience physicalism ?
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    15 Sep '16 17:361 edit
    Originally posted by sonship
    Firstly, thanks for your explanation. I am studying it. As a Christian who believes God has revealed revelation to man, I do want to expand some on some philosophy, with patience. I would like to think you would have a reciprocal attitude about the revelation of the Bible. But perhaps you don't.

    [quote] If you do not even understand what supervenience ...[text shortened]... [b] self
    encompassing these series of changing mental states in supervenience physicalism ?[/b]
    From what I read supervening seems is said to have occurred when the nervous system reached a certain level of complexity in Evolution the psychological self
    began to "ride" upon the physical brain.


    No, the notion of supervenience just concerns what I outlined in the opening post: there cannot be a difference with respect to the supervening properties (the A-properties in the language of the OP) without a difference with respect to the subvening properties (B-properties). You seem intent on reading extraneous stuff into the notion.

    In an Emergent view of the origin of mind there are these different but complementary levels of systems in a hierarchy. IE subatomic particles to atoms to molecules to cells to organs to whole organisms. At each level properties belong to that combination of levels which do not belong to lower constituent levels.

    Ie. the property of "wet" is relevant to "water". But "wet" is not a property associated with either constituents parts of hydrogen or oxygen. Each level is spoken of with concepts appropriate to that level in the hierarchy.


    What does this have to do with supervenience physicalism? What you say here is underdescribed with respect to the ontological commitments involved. If, for example, one holds such a view but maintains that the higher level properties are nonetheless reducible to the lower-level properties, then, okay, that is going to entail a relationship of supervenience: generally, such reduction will require supervenience to hold. If, on the other hand, one holds that the higher-level properties are nonreductive; that they are, basically, something metaphysically distinct over and above the lower ones; well, then, that is a different story. That is some form of emergentism leading to property dualism. There's little reason to think it implicates supervenience. Just the opposite: if the nonreductive emergentist also wants to still, somehow, claim supervenience, it is not clear that this story of theirs will be a coherent one. You don't seem appropriately sensitive to the different ontological ramifications between these different types of views and how they tie into (or not) the notion of supervenience. These distinctions may, in a sense, be sutble; but they are important.

    Brain states B1 through B4 stand in a causal relationship with one another. The physical determines all the action. The mental states are mere byproducts of the physical states like smoke is a byproduct of fire. No intervening rational agent influences the sequence of brain states.


    This idea (that mental events are causally inert byproducts) is called epiphenomenalism. Now, here again, the specifics of the ontological commitments is important. I don't deny that what you have outlined is a concern, but I think it is only a concern for the nonreductive emergentist view that implies property dualism but not supervenience. It is only this sort of emergent property that turns out to be epiphenomenal. The best arguments that show this were given by Jaegwon Kim in the 1990s. For instance, see his influential collection of essays Supervenience and Mind (1993), which shows that on a supervenient view, physical closure (that, as you say, "the physical determines all the action" ) does not lead to epiphenomenalism; also, see his later essay Making Sense of Emergence (1999), which shows that nonreductive emergentism on the other hand does.

    I wonder where a unified enduring self fits into this succession of supervening mental states. The self is not identically the same as the mental states. We should understand that the self HAS its states. In the example above the same mind has the combination of varied mental states - the train at different distances, the itch on the neck, and the hearing of music in a car. The self is present at all these experiences of changing mental states as an enduring constant entity.

    In the emergent property view the "self" is a series of mental events where mental properties are had by physical states. It is pointed out to me that in this philosophy there is no enduring mental substance which has mental states M1, M2, M3, M4. Rather there is just one mental property at one time. A particular mental property is replaced by another mental property.
    Where is there room for an enduring continuous SELF or Mind as mental states come and go, replacing one another ?

    Mental state replaces mental state. But in real life an enduring mental substance HAS this changing of states. This is suggested as a problem of the self being the supervening of mental states upon changing physical states.


    You seem to labor under some misunderstanding here. Occurrent mental states come and go, yes. That doesn't mean that there can be no stable notion of 'self' because the self is not constituted merely on the basis of whatever mental state happens to be occurrent. In fact, occurrent states are probably, if anything, a small factor into the self. More constitutionally important are dispositional states, such as integral and abiding features of one's character, beliefs, evaluative commitments, etc. How is any of this a problem for the supervenience physicalist?

    How do you account for an enduring single self encompassing these series of changing mental states in supervenience physicalism ?


    This point goes not just to the subject of what constitutes the self but to the subject of personal identity (i.e., what makes one the same person – same, as in the sense of numerical identity, not qualitative identity – over time). My answer is that supervenience physicalism is not in the business of accounting for the notion of personal identity. It allows for a wide range of views on personal identity, just to that extent that whatever features tie into the self and its persistence supervene on the physical. That's all. My notion of personal identity has to do primarily with psychological features and overlapping chains of strong psychological connectedness through time. That's basically irrelevant to my commitments to supervenience physicalism, except insofar as I am committed to the idea that such psychological features supervene on the physical.
  7. Standard membersonship
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    Originally posted by LemonJello
    No, the notion of supervenience just concerns what I outlined in the opening post: there cannot be a difference with respect to the supervening properties (the A-properties in the language of the OP) without a difference with respect to the subvening properties (B-properties). You seem intent on reading extraneous stuff into the notion.


    Maybe we are just talking past one another then. My interest in supervenience is connect with the origin of mind, origin of moral reasoning, And that is precisely what I am studying - supervening in relationship to the origin of consciousness, self, mind in the evolutionary process.

    If all this is completely not relevant to what you wish to educate me about, we might have two different interests going on here.


    In an Emergent view of the origin of mind there are these different but complementary levels of systems in a hierarchy. IE subatomic particles to atoms to molecules to cells to organs to whole organisms. At each level properties belong to that combination of levels which do not belong to lower constituent levels.

    Ie. the property of "wet" is relevant to "water". But "wet" is not a property associated with either constituents parts of hydrogen or oxygen. Each level is spoken of with concepts appropriate to that level in the hierarchy.


    What does this have to do with supervenience physicalism? What you say here is underdescribed with respect to the ontological commitments involved.


    It has precisely to do with what I am interested in concerning supervening of mind and self upon the evolved brain. I do not intend to write a book here and describe all of this exhaustively. i was writing enough to arrive at a point to be able to discuss supervening in my area of interest - how some people believe evolution of matter caused mind and subsequently moral reasoning to emerge.

    And since this thread you started apparently has another purpose, then, these thoughts of mine perhaps belong on another thread.

    I am interested in physicalism and supervening as it is theorized in the emergence of non-material Mind from the matter of an evolving central nervous system and brain in man.

    skipping down some ...



    This idea (that mental events are causally inert byproducts) is called epiphenomenalism.


    I saw that too.


    Now, here again, the specifics of the ontological commitments is important. I don't deny that what you have outlined is a concern, but I think it is only a concern for the nonreductive emergentist view that implies property dualism but not supervenience. It is only this sort of emergent property that turns out to be epiphenomenal. The best arguments that show this were given by Jaegwon Kim in the 1990s. For instance, see his influential collection of essays Supervenience and Mind (1993), which shows that on a supervenient view, physical closure (that, as you say, "the physical determines all the action" ) does not lead to epiphenomenalism; also, see his later essay Making Sense of Emergence (1999), which shows that nonreductive emergentism on the other hand does.


    I try to keep that in mind, that you said so.


    I wonder where a unified enduring self fits into this succession of supervening mental states. The self is not identically the same as the mental states. We should understand that the self HAS its states. In the example above the same mind has the combination of varied mental states - the train at different distances, the itch on the neck, and the hearing of music in a car. The self is present at all these experiences of changing mental states as an enduring constant entity.

    In the emergent property view the "self" is a series of mental events where mental properties are had by physical states. It is pointed out to me that in this philosophy there is no enduring mental substance which has mental states M1, M2, M3, M4. Rather there is just one mental property at one time. A particular mental property is replaced by another mental property.
    Where is there room for an enduring continuous SELF or Mind as mental states come and go, replacing one another ?

    Mental state replaces mental state. But in real life an enduring mental substance HAS this changing of states. This is suggested as a problem of the self being the supervening of mental states upon changing physical states.


    You seem to labor under some misunderstanding here. Occurrent mental states come and go, yes. That doesn't mean that there can be no stable notion of 'self' because the self is not constituted merely on the basis of whatever mental state happens to be occurrent.


    So you can explain why.


    In fact, occurrent states are probably, if anything, a small factor into the self. More constitutionally important are dispositional states, such as integral and abiding features of one's character, beliefs, evaluative commitments, etc.


    it is not yet clear to me why you believe there should be abiding features such that identity is established and continuous.


    How is any of this a problem for the supervenience physicalist?


    My interest is the origin of an immaterial self or what some call Soul emerged from the evolutionary progress of the nervous system and brain. For what it is worth THAT is the area in this large field into which I went to research some.

    Apparently, this has little to do with what you want this thread to be about.


    How do you account for an enduring single self encompassing these series of changing mental states in supervenience physicalism ?


    This point goes not just to the subject of what constitutes the self but to the subject of personal identity (i.e., what makes one the same person – same, as in the sense of numerical identity, not qualitative identity – over time).


    So how then ? If the phrase in my sentene "supervenience physicalism" throws the question off, then i am sorry. And I don't know enough about the subject yet to contribute to what you want to talk about in this thread.

    However, I am in the area of physicalism and in the area of supervening as it relates to the emergence of mind. That is where I went to review some discussion on this subject, if it is not your preferred one here.


    My answer is that supervenience physicalism is not in the business of accounting for the notion of personal identity.


    Does it imply the origin of the identity in any way along the way to whatever it's "business" happens to be ?


    It allows for a wide range of views on personal identity, [just to that extent that whatever features tie into the self and its persistence supervene on the physical.


    The thread is entitled For sonship: on Physicalism.

    Am I to understand that under this varied array of aspects to "Supernience Physicalism" there is a notion that puts for the following ?

    Moral properties supervene necessarily on certain physical states.

    For example - a peculiar non-physical property of moral goodness supervenes on a human female's nursing her infant. Yes ?

    For example - a curiously strange non-physical property of moral badness supervenes man's borrowing without returning, a laptop from his office of employment.

    Could there conceivably be a large list of all the physical properties of any given situation which determine any supervening moral properties riding upon those physical states ?

    Could a catalog be conceived of the mapping of physical states to each corresponding supervening moral property emerged from them ?

    If this is not conceptual in theory, what is the explanation for why moral properties supervene on certain physical states ? What makes their associated principles true ones ?


    That's all. My notion of personal identity has to do primarily with psychological features and overlapping chains of strong psychological connectedness through time. That's basically irrelevant to my commitments to supervenience physicalism, except insofar as I am committed to the idea that such psychological features supervene on the physical.


    If you want to address my concern you could speak to this "strong psychological connectedness" . What is connecting between the succession of mental states supervening on changing brain states ?

    Why is there an enduring "I" in your favored brand of supervenience physicalism ?
    Exactly why is your brand without the problem of un-enduring continuous personal identity ? (A problem of epiphenomenalism which you does not concern you?)

    Maybe that is not relevant to your OP and maybe I am not even using your phrase "subservience physicalism" rightly. But in your complaint here you do say a couple of things which interest me about my interest in physicalism, supervenience, evolution and the emergence of moral properties from matter.
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    Originally posted by sonship
    No, the notion of supervenience just concerns what I outlined in the opening post: there cannot be a difference with respect to the supervening properties (the A-properties in the language of the OP) without a difference with respect to the subvening properties (B-properties). You seem intent on reading extraneous stuff into the notion.


    M ...[text shortened]... rest in physicalism, supervenience, evolution and the emergence of moral properties from matter.
    I am interested in physicalism and supervening as it is theorized in the emergence of non-material Mind from the matter of an evolving central nervous system and brain in man….
    ….My interest is the origin of an immaterial self or what some call Soul emerged from the evolutionary progress of the nervous system and brain. For what it is worth THAT is the area in this large field into which I went to research some.


    So your interest, then, is in how a thesis like supervenience physicalism factors in "an immaterial self or what some call Soul emerged from the evolutionary progress of the nervous system and brain".

    Again, such a project is probably underdescribed until we can clarify what is meant by “an (emergent) immaterial self or what some call Soul”. What sort of dualism does this imply in terms of the ontological commitments involved? For simplicity, we could outline three levels of dualism, roughly in order of increasing ontological baggage: predicate dualism, property dualism, substance (Cartesian) dualism.

    First, predicate dualism. I have already tried to outline this somewhat. This holds that there are two disparate kinds of predicates required; that in order to fully describe our world, it is necessary to employ both psychological and physical predicates and that the two are mutually irreducible. This does not implicate extra ontological baggage, but rather some extra linguistic baggage. It says that a language of purely physical terms is not sufficient to fully analyze the features of the world; but it does not imply that there are features of the world that are something ontologically over and above the physical. This sort of dualism is compatible with supervenience physicalism.

    Next, property dualism. This holds there are two disparate kinds of properties that feature in the world. This is consistent with the "emergent" phenomena that you have mentioned, which would hold that fundamentally physical property arrangements give rise to new properties that are irreducible with respect to the former. Taken at face value, this has ontological baggage. It's not merely saying that we need more than a language of physical terms to fully describe the world; rather, it implies that an ontology of the purely physical and its properties is not sufficient to constitute the world. If the purely physical is not sufficient to constitute the world, then there's probably no reason to think a minimally physical duplicate of our world would duplicate all the respects of our world (even if it duplicates all the physical respects). So, I would say property dualism generally should not be viewed as compatible with supervenience physicalism.

    Lastly, Cartesian dualism. Properties are possessed by objects, and objects in turn are composed of substance. A property dualist may hold that there are two disparate kinds of properties but that they are possessed by objects of only one substance. But another may find it inadequate to say, for example, that the self is a physical thing possessing irreducible mentalistic properties (or some such). So, one can also adopt dualism with respect to substance as well and say that the self is composed of an irreducible, immaterial substance. Clearly, this adds even more ontological baggage. And, clearly, it is not compatible with supervenience physicalism.

    So, I am not sure what the "immaterial self" you speak of would commit us to. My guess is it is either property dualism or full-blown Cartesian dualism. Your previous wording with respect to the Moreland quotes makes it sound like you think the self is an immaterial thing to which mentalistic properties get added or substracted. And that sounds to me like Cartesian dualism. At any rate, whether your view of "immaterial self" is committed to property dualism or substance dualism, I would say neither in general is going to be compatible with supervenience physicalism.

    So, if you are trying to understand how such a thing as the "immaterial self" fits in with the thesis of supervenience physicalism, I would say that it generally doesn't. Supervenience physicalism allows differing views on what features would constitute the self, but it delimits them to features that supervene on the physical. Of course, in the lack of further independent considerations, this is no strike against supervenience physicalism. After all, your conception of the "immaterial self or what some call Soul" could be pure fantasy.

    Am I to understand that under this varied array of aspects to "Supernience Physicalism" there is a notion that puts for the following ?

    Moral properties supervene necessarily on certain physical states.

    For example - a peculiar non-physical property of moral goodness supervenes on a human female's nursing her infant. Yes ?

    For example - a curiously strange non-physical property of moral badness supervenes man's borrowing without returning, a laptop from his office of employment.


    Supervenience physicalism does not have anything meaningful to say regarding whether or not moral properties exist (let alone that such properties would be "peculiar" or "curiously strange" ). Rather, supposing that such properties exist, the truth of supervenience physicalism would imply that such properties supervene on the physical.

    Could there conceivably be a large list of all the physical properties of any given situation which determine any supervening moral properties riding upon those physical states ?

    Could a catalog be conceived of the mapping of physical states to each corresponding supervening moral property emerged from them ?

    If this is not conceptual in theory, what is the explanation for why moral properties supervene on certain physical states ? What makes their associated principles true ones ?


    If moral properties exist and supervene on the physical, then yes it follows there would be some true principles that basically connect or bridge the physical and the moral. For this, it is perfectly reasonable for you to ask what would make these principles true. This would get into discussion of the nature of such principles and whether they are contingent or necessary; general or particularist; direct or indirect; analytic or synthetic; etc, etc; and, additionally, what would justify them. The worst that could happen for the proponent of this view, would be that in pursuit of such answers he or she would bottom out into some set of fundamental principles for which no more explanation could be given. So, the worst that could happen is for the proponent to have to admit that some set of physical-moral bridging principles are brutely true.

    Now, perhaps you think you are on some better footing in your theological views. If so, you are mistaken. On your view, moral properties tie into God-reflective properties. This is also a relation of supervenience, is it not? After all, on your view, is it not true that no two things (persons, actions, institutions, whatever else unto which you would predicate moral properties) can differ in their moral properties without differing in their God-reflective properties? Regardless, this much would be clear: your view also stands in need of some basic principles to bridge that which is God-reflective to that which is moral. And it would also be perfectly reasonable to ask what exactly makes those principles true. Please go ahead and try this exercise in skepticism. You will see that at the end of the day, your view is also left with some brute principles, best case. There is a clear dialectic symmetry in this respect between, say, the supervenience physicalist moralist and yourself. Whatever questions you want to raise in pressure against the former could be leveled back against you with the same force.

    This, to me, seems to be a general problem with theistic “answers” to these sorts of questions. They end up no more explanatorily potent than non-theistic views (not that “God must have done it” or “God explains it” offers any non-ersatz explanatory power in the first place), and at the same time they are decidedly less parsimonious, requiring that we take on some nebulous extra-physical ontology. The worst we can say about the physicalist moralist is that he or she will have to accept some brute principles. But we can say worse about your own view: you will have to accept some brute principles, and they are handcuffed to some additional dubious metaphysical baggage.

    [bunch of questions]....

    If you want to address my concern you could speak to this "strong psychological connectedness" . What is connecting between the succession of mental states supervening on changing brain states ?

    [followed by more questions]....


    I still do not really understand your concern. Looking at what you have said, it seems like your concern is that supervenience physicalism does not allow for your conception of the self (where your conception, if I had to guess, implicates some form of Cartesian dualism). If that is your concern, then I agree: supervenience physicalism does not allow for that. But that's no concern to me, since I do not share in your conception of the self. Is this the alleged "weakness" of supervenience physicalism to which you initially alluded? If it turns out that your view (or some Moreland-ian view) of the self is fantasy, then it is no weakness of supervenience physicalism that it disallows such a view.

    Please use some declarative sentences to outline the alleged weakness of supervenience physicalism. If there is some critical explanatory component of the self or personal identity that supervenience physicalism disallows, then please state what it is.
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