Dualism is a philosophical concept that posits the existence of two distinct substances: a mental substance and a physical substance. These two substances interact with each other according to different rules. The physical world is described as causally closed and built on a foundational causal structure which is purely mechanical or computational in nature. This viewpoint likens the interaction to a computer where there's hardware (the physical) and software (the mental), with each operating under different principles but interconnected in a system. Dualism suggests that the mental realm exists in a different implementation than the physical realm and both are considered real and distinct but interacting substances 1.

Furthermore, dualism faces challenges from advancements in neuroscience and other empirical sciences which suggest a more integrated view of mind and body without requiring separate substances. This has led to critiques of dualism, arguing that if there were truly a nonphysical mind interacting with the brain, this interaction would be detectable through neuroscience, creating phenomena in the brain that could not be explained purely physically. However, current understanding of brain function and the complex interaction of its components suggests we might still be far from being able to definitively rule out or confirm dualism based purely on empirical evidence 2.

Understanding Dualism

Joscha Bach explains the concept of dualism, where there are two substances - mental and physical, and how they interact with each other. He also discusses materialism, which is the belief that the world is made up of physical matter, and idealism, which is the belief that the world is made up of ideas and thoughts.

Lex Fridman Podcast

Joscha Bach: Artificial Consciousness and the Nature of Reality | Lex Fridman Podcast #101