Issue 1 Outline - Issue 1: Are Mind and Brain the Same?...

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Issue 1: Are Mind and Brain the Same? -Yes: Tang says “the argument that anything usually attributed to the mind is only brain activity by describing the position of Paul Churchland, a leader in the field of cognitive science. -No: “Mills points out five dangers of dismissing a concept of mind, such as the elimination of free will and a sense of self, and instead proposes a psychic holism. Teleology – refers to actions or thoughts that have a purpose and that are designed to reach an end state. Mills – rejecting state of mind reduces human beings to behavioral objects, totally controlled by outside forces, and lacking any free will. I. A Review Essay: Recent Literature on Cognitive Science (Materialism) A. Eliminative materialism – claims among other things, that mental processes or mental states (e.g., believing) as traditionally conceived do not exits. 1. What do humans have that material objects and lower life forms do not have that allows us to cognize (learn languages, math, etc)? Mental substance, the essence of thinking. (vs. material substance) a. two substances are basis for Descartes’ metaphysical dualism. (God was a third) 2. Contemporary Dualism: a. Reductive materialism – “identity theory”; mental states are physical states of the brain. b. Functionalism- defining feature of any type of mental state is the set of casual relations it bears to environmental effects on the body; to other types of mental states; and to bodily behavior. i. ex: pain; any state that plays exactly the same functional role is pain c. eliminative materialism – (Churchland’s); well supported by advances in neurosciences; studying cases of brain damage, degeneration, and disequilibrium i. ex: lesions to the the connections between the secondary visual cortex and the secondary auditory cortex of the left hemisphere may result inability to identify colors, whereas lesions to secondary auditory cortex of left hemisphere results in more drastic effect of total and permanent loss of speech comprehension, whereas bilateral damage to hippocampus results in inability to lay down new memories. ii. must account for introspection and “qualitative feel” of mental
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This note was uploaded on 09/17/2009 for the course ISYE/PSYC/ 3790 taught by Professor Arriaga during the Fall '08 term at Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Issue 1 Outline - Issue 1: Are Mind and Brain the Same?...

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