Taiz says that the writings of the plant neurobiologists suffer from “over-interpretation of data, teleology, anthropomorphizing, philosophizing, and wild speculations.” He is confident that eventually the plant behaviors we can’t yet account for will be explained by the action of chemical or electrical pathways, without recourse to “animism.”
Crazyism about X is the view that something that it would be crazy to believe must be among the core truths about X. In this essay, I argue that crazyism is true of the metaphysics of mind.
I will argue that any well developed materialist metaphysics will be crazy, in the intended sense of the term. I will argue the same for any well developed dualist metaphysics. And the same for idealism (well developed or not). And the same for positions that reject all three of these views or aim to reconcile or compromise among them. But some metaphysical theory of this sort must be true – that is, either some form of materialism, dualism, or idealism must be true or some sort of rejection or compromise approach must be true. So something crazy must be among the core truths in the metaphysics of mind.
Yet it’s unclear by what materialist standard the United States lacks consciousness. Nations, it would seem, represent and self-represent. They respond (semi-)intelligently and self-protectively, in a coordinated way, to opportunities and threats. They gather, store, and manipulate information. They show skillful attunement to environmental inputs in warring and spying on each other. Their subparts (people and subgroups of people) are massively informationally interconnected and mutually dependent, including in incredibly fancy self-regulating feedback loops. These are the kinds of capacities and structures that materialists typically regard as the heart of mentality. Nations do all these things via the behavior of their subparts, of course; but on materialist views individual people also do what they do via the behavior of their subparts.
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