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Question 1: “Yoda does not exist”

The case of Quine worrying about a sentence that claims something does not exist, lies in describing a difference of opinion, which means Quine chooses to reject certain entities. Quine is worried about such sentences, and he would probably protest that the sentence is wrong in its formulation not to recognize reality of such an entity as Yoda, but he is more dedicated to considering that such a phrase is wrong in its ontology. He tries to articulate a difference of beliefs with the sentence, but he also seems to be in fix. He cannot acknowledge which there are some things that the sentence stands for and he does not, which worries him since in admitting that there are such things he will be contradicting his own rejection of them, such as the existence of Yoda.

To defuse his worry, Quine would appeal to his sound reasoning that in any ontological difference of opinion, the proponent of the adverse side suffers the drawback of not being able to admit that his antagonist disagrees with him. (Quine, 1948). This means he would ascribe being where they might otherwise be quite satisfied to recognize that there is nothing, therefore he would reframe his thoughts to support the fact that Yoda does not exist. If Yoda does exist, nothing would worry Quine when talking about the word or being, therefore it would be nonsense to claim that Yoda does not exist. Thinking to show thus that he cannot coherently maintain the denial of Yoda, he concludes that Yoda exists.

To reframe the interpretation of the question, and such similar questions is a good solution to Quine’s worry since it would solve the fact that he is at a disadvantage of not accepting that the question disagrees with him, and place him in a better position to state his case and reasons. By accepting the differences in opinion, he will not just persuade himself to the existence or nonexistence of the being, but will press further to clarify whether such a being is a unique entity or just an idea in men’s minds.

Question 2: Mind – “rocks are blind”

Gilbert Ryle would react to the belief that rocks are blind by citing conventional understanding of consciousness that depends of Cartesian dualism. From the Cartesian tradition, reality bifurcates into two realms: matter, of which science can accurately model, and mind, which will forever remain mysterious. Therefore, Gilbert Ryle’s outlook would be trying to distinguish between matter and mind, or between world and mind. When one cites that a rock is blind, it gives the rock some form of consciousness, since the rock has to has to have some sensation that make it feel and respond to the state of blindness.

Gilbert Ryle’s dependence on Cartesian dualism leads to a review of the two main classes of dualism. The first category of substance dualism that advocates that the mind developed out of a distinct type of substance not controlled by the laws of physics does not explain the fact that the rock can be blind or not. The second category of property dualism that advocates that the laws of physics are generally correct but cannot help in understanding the mind helps to explain the fact that he rock is matter, but whether it has a mind (therefore a consciousness) is a different thought all together. Ryle would have difficulty seeing the sensory conscious (blindness) that would justify the claim that rocks are blind. Similarly, Ryle would find it difficult to comprehend that a robot or machine would feel pain. It is for the same reasoning that a rock is blind that make him not find the logic that a machine has sensory conscious to feel pain since it a matter without any proven mind.

Question 3: Personal Identity

The series of cases that Bernard Williams uses to test intuitions are a demonstration of different frame to check how people would respond to torture. The first case is where an individual has induced amnesia and then tortured to check if they are afraid of torture. The next case is when a person’s memories are erased, they are given another person’s real memories, and then tortured. Third case, an individual has his memories erased, is given new fake memories, and then tortured. Next two individual have their memories interchanged, they are promised that one will get a reward while the other will get punishment. (Nichols & Bruno, 2010)

The other case is before a captor who has informed an individual that he/she will be tortured the next day and that he will induce complete amnesia beforehand. In addition, the captor informs victim that he will also extinguish his (victim’s) entire other distinctive psychological traits and insert false memories. Then he begins the torture. The sixth case is when two individuals have their memories and bodies interchanged but unlike the fourth case they are not promised a reward or torture but are asked if they want the other respective body are tortured. There is no point at which I stop being afraid for the future of my body since in the end, there will be some form of pain to be felt.

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