PHIL 101 - final exam practice essays_Essay

PHIL 101 - final exam practice essays_Essay - Philosophy...

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Philosophy practice questions 1 13. Why does Gilbert Ryle think minds cannot be immaterial souls? Descartes stated that the mind is separate from the body. He expanded upon this dualistic thought by stating that minds are not physical, but are affected by physical events and in turn affect the physical. Ryle was a major opponent of dualism, saying that it “is the dogma of the ghost in the machine.” He believed that if dualism was true, people would not know so much about other people’s minds. Ryle posed two major questions. The first has to do with metaphysics; how can non-physical things causally interact with physical things? The second deals with epistemology; how can we know as much as we do about non-physical things given that we have non-physical access to at most, our own minds? Ryle believes that the mind is not a separate entity from the body. He believes that the problem with other minds exists because people start thinking of minds as extra organs in the body, apart from the brain, etc. This is a category mistake . Take for example, that a university is not something over and above its colleges, departments, etc. Going through campus one doesn’t say there is the philosophy department, CALS, Cornell University. This does not mean that things cannot be attributed to the mind alone; if for example the university is doing more research, that doesn’t mean that all departments are more focused, etc. Another example is team spirit. It is a property of the team, and not specifically one part of it –it is not an extra part of it. Ryle believes that the mental properties we attribute to people are not properties they have in virtue of any one part of their bodies functioning properly. To have a good mind is just to have a body that works well in particular ways. 2 15. Describe the ‘Knowledge Argument’ for dualism about other minds. This knowledge argument is based primarily on a situation in which a person, Mary, is in a room with
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This essay was uploaded on 02/20/2009 for the course PHIL 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Cornell.

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PHIL 101 - final exam practice essays_Essay - Philosophy...

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