Lecture 2 Theories, Computation, and Philosophy of Mind

Lecture 2 Theories, Computation, and Philosophy of Mind -...

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Lecture 2: Theories, Computation & Philosophy of Mind 6/6/07 Big Questions How do you know that you are not a brain in a vat? How do you know that the color you perceive as red is the same as the color I perceive as red? Maybe your red is my green. Big Questions Big Questions • Theseus’s Ship • Replace one board at a time • Is this still Theseus’s Ship? AB
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Big Questions If each neuron in my brain is replaced one at a time with artificial silicon chips, at what point am I no longer conscious, if at all? Big Questions What is consciousness? What is intelligence? Can we create a computer or robot that is conscious and/or intelligent? Role of Philosophy • Philosophy asked the first question in any science: – “What is the origin of life?” – “Why does there seem to be a design to nature?” • Cognitive science is still on the frontier Role of Philosophy All major topics of cognitive science stem from philosophical debate: --knowledge --perception --concepts --language and thought --mind and brain
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Role of Philosophy Future Questions: --Mind-body problem --Nature of intelligence --Nature of consciousness These are still mysteries! The Mind-Body Problem Mind-Body Problem: Describes incompatibility between physical properties of the brain and mental qualities of the mind. Mind-Body Problem Monism: the mind and body are both made up of the same substance – mental or physical • Aristotle (384-322 BC) advocated a physical form of monism. Mind-Body Problem Dualism: the mind and body are of two different natures; the brain is a physical substance and the mind is a mental substance. • Plato (427-347 BC): – Body in a world that is material – Mind in an ideal world of forms
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Mind-Body Problem • Descartes (17 th century) – Dualist – We have material bodies but our minds are immaterial and non- physical Dualism Argument 1: – The creativity and spontaneity of human action. Argument 2: – “I think, therefore I am.” Psychology • Arguments against psychology as an empirical science: – Psychology deals with subjective phenomena—hard to measure empirically – We have to use psychology to study psychology— not possible, or at least limited – Psychology should only chart historical contexts of thoughts—not attempt to crack its nature Dualism Seems Right 1. Language “My arm”, “My heart”, “My body”, “My brain
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Dualism Seems Right 2. Personal Identity Same person after radical bodily changes Dualism Seems Right 2. Personal Identity – Same person after radical body changes – Many people—one body Dualism Seems Right 3. The survival of the self after the destruction of the body. Dualism in Children • Children start off with no understanding that the brain plays a special role in mental life.
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This note was uploaded on 01/20/2010 for the course S 110 taught by Professor Janeerickson during the Summer '07 term at Yale.

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Lecture 2 Theories, Computation, and Philosophy of Mind -...

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