Chapter1 - [email protected] Daniel.levitin...

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[email protected] Daniel.levitin Chapter 1 : Visual Awareness By Stephen E. Palmer - Mind-body problem concerns the relation b/w mental events and physical events in the brain, and the problem of other minds concerns how people come to believe that other people (or animals) are also conscious - Dualism proposes that mind and body are two different kinds of entities - Substance dualism (Cartesian dualism after Descartes) says mind and body are conceived as two different substances. The mental substances are proposed to differ from physical ones in fundamental properties - Do experiences have any properties that ordinary physical matter does not? There are two considerations: 1) experiences are subjective phenomena in the sense that they cannot be observed by anyone but the person having them. Ordinary matter and events, in contrast, are objective phenomena b/c they can be observed by anyone, at least in principle. 2) Experiences have intentionality: they inherently refer to things other than themselves. - Property dualism: It’s possible to maintain a dualistic position and yet deny the existence of many separate mental substances, however. One can instead postulate that the brain has certain unique properties that constitute its mental phenomena. These properties are just the sort of experiences we have as we go through our everyday lives, including perceptions, pains, desires and thoughts. This is a form of dualism b/c these properties are taken to be nonphysical in the sense of not being reducible to any standard physical properties. It’s as though the physical brain constitutes some strange non physical features or dimensions that are qualitatively distinct from all physical features or dimensions. These mental features or dimensions are usually claimed to be emergent properties: attributes that simply do not arise in ordinary matter unless it reaches a certain level of complexity. -
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course PSYC 213 taught by Professor Levitin during the Winter '08 term at McGill.

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Chapter1 - [email protected] Daniel.levitin...

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