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05/03/2015

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Very excited about your topics this month--I posted some basic material in your area in February and have a running post below on the Holmes case. I'm nowhere near your level of expertise, but I hope to learn a lot from your posts and the exchanges.

Alan, I'm very anxious to hear your comments in particular! I remember your posts but I'll try to go back and take a look so I don't repeat you (or worse, bore you!).

Awesome! Very much looking forward to your posts this month, Katirina.

Hi Katrina: Really looking forward to your month as Fof!

I recognize that this is putting the cart before the horse a bit, but I just have a quick question about the form of argument you say you want to utilize against non-reducitivism and mysterianism about mind.

My concern is whether such an argument has to be question-begging in a sense--at least as an argument against either of those two views. Here's why I have this worry: you say you want to argue that anyone who "thinks" criminal law properly ascribes responsibility in certain cases "should reject" non-reductivism and mysterianism. But, wait a minute. Shouldn't the non-reductivist or mysterian argue that they strong metaphysical grounds for running the argument in exactly the opposite direction (i.e. against how we think about responsibility in criminal law)? That is, shouldn't they say, "Non-reducitivism/mysterianism is true, and that's precisely why anyone who *thinks* certain criminal cases attribute responsibility correctly are mistaken"?

In other words, I worry about trying to derive the falsity of a metaphysical theory about the nature of mind from ordinary-everyday conceptions of what we may or may not *think* about moral responsibility (in criminal law or elsewhere). An analogy: when Einstein came up with the theory of relativity, many people argued, "Anyone who thinks space and time are absolute should reject relativity!" Of course, the proper response to this is that they had things the wrong way around. The proper thing to say, "Relativity makes true predictions, and so anyone who *thinks* that space and time are absolute has a false view of the nature of reality."

Why shouldn't the non-reductivist/mysterian say the same sort of thing against our ordinary-everyday responsibility attributions in criminal law--namely, that although we may think they are correct, metaphysically they're not correct?

(sorry for the rather rambling comment. Brain is fried!)

Marcus: I'm biting my pragmatist tongue! Well anyway I think pragmatism is the precipitate of titrating arguments against one another that result in a dialectical stalemate. I can't speak for Katrina of course.

Hi Marcus! I think the argument can be run the other way 'round. But I'm interested in convincing people like Morse, who think folk psychology and criminal law do get it right at least some of the time, that this view entails a rejection of non-reductivism/mysterianism.

For those who think non-reductivism/mysterianism is true, and thus all criminal law responsibility assessments are false, I say ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . Convince me.

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