Hmmm. I wonder how this so called interaction problem with dualism is similar to abstract objects interacting with the physical.

It would be interesting to know how many mathematical realists, who are mind/brain physicalists, that reject dualism because of the interaction problem there are.

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No true pure vacuums exist. They contain some amount of particles. Pure vacuums are only idealizations. They do not exist in nature.

But even if pure vacuums existed, there are fatal problems with your view.

First, virtual particles are either material or immaterial.

If they are material, then they are much like "ordinary" material particles and you are still left with the problem of how material particles interact with vacuums when they are supposed to be the absence of them. Virtual particles are no better than ordinary ones as a causal intermediary.

But if virtual particles are immaterial, then you have the problem (again) of how immaterial particles interact with ordinary material particles or anything physical.

Thus, you are left with an unpleasant dilemma, which only reiterates the original problem and solves nothing.

Virtual particles are useless as an explanation of how the immaterial soul (or vacuum) interacts with physical matter.

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Hey Giorgi. Thanks for the reply. Here is my response.

Your definitions of “material” and “immaterial” are problematic. They contain the epistemic terms “detectable/undetectable” of a concept that is resoundingly ontological. Detectability/undetectability are largely irrelevant to the nature of material and immaterial objects. Whether humans can detect material objects is inessential to their nature. It is only a contingent fact that material objects are detectable through human senses or instruments because is it possible material objects exist that are undetectable by any human instrument or senses.

For example, dark matter may very well be undetectable but is surely material matter. It is only inferred but that is different than being detectable (if by that you mean observable through our senses or instruments). Similarly, under a multiverse model, there may be spatially-temporally separated universes containing undetectable material objects. Undetectable because we have no possible access to them.

Furthermore, immaterial substances may be detectable. For example, if mathematical objects are immaterial, we detect them through insight of some sort. Also, it seems possible (but perhaps not actual) that ghosts exist and could manifest themselves in an observable way, which, is detectable.

But whether ghosts, immaterial mathematical objects, other spatially separated universes, or dark matter “actually” exists is irrelevant. The point is that these things “could” exist and have their essential material or immaterial properties undisturbed by the detectable/undetectable criteria you proposed. So, detectability/undetectability is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for the concept of material/immaterial.

Despite this definitional problem, there is a greater fatality with your characterization of virtual particles (VP for short). Your characterization of virtual particles as a synthesis of partially material/immaterial nature is notoriously circular. It is question-begging to say the least. Here is why.

You are explaining immaterial soul and material body interaction by using another object that is partially material/immaterial (a virtual particle). But the problem of how the VP’s immaterial and material natures can interact (whether the interaction is causally, compositely, or by synthesis) is THE same problem you are addressing with the material body and immaterial soul interaction. Saying the VPs are partially material and immaterial but a synthesis of both, as an explanation of immaterial soul and the material body interaction is just an explanatory circle.

Merely asserting that VPs are a fusion (or syntheses) of material and immaterial is just that: an assertion. But assertions are not explanations. For a skeptic of the soul/body interaction will reapply their criticism to the very nature of VPs that you are using to fix this problem. For “How is that synthesis possible? How is it that two fundamentally different ontological categories causally interact or synthesize into one particle?” they would retort.

The same problem remains. Just replace: the synthesis of immaterial/material human composite, with the synthesis of a material/immaterial VP composite.

It explains nothing since it needs the very same explanation it is trying to solve.

So, in sum, the definition above is problematic since the detectable/undetectable criterion is neither a sufficient nor a necessary condition an object being for material/immaterial.

But the bigger problem is that your claim that VP are both partially immaterial and material (but not completely so); a synthesis of both. For THAT IS THE VERY PROBLEM that lacks an explanation of how immaterial souls interact with the material bodies.

It is a viciously circular explanation that solves nothing, it only pushes the problem up one level: From, “How does the material body interact (or synthesize) with the immaterial soul?” to “How does the VP’s material and immaterial natures interact (or synthesize)?”

Either your explanation is viciously circular or my original dilemma in the previous post stands. Thus, VPs are useless as an explanation for how the material body interacts with the immaterial soul.

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