Mind Lectures 1

Mind Lectures 1 - MIND LECTURES 1 Philosophy of Mind The...

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MIND LECTURES 1
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Philosophy of Mind The philosophy of mind is that area of philosophy that deals with topics that in one way or another relate to mental life. The most commonly identified question in the philosophy of mind is: I What is the relation between human mental life and human bodies? Historically the philosophy of mind was a non- interdisciplinary subject. It was studied only in philosophy, and very few subjects were brought to bear on it.
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The 20 th century shift The 20 th century began with the dominance of philosophy focused on language, logic, mathematics and epistemology. The philosophy of mind was largely seen as posterior to discussions of language and epistemology. Two shifts occurred in the philosophy of mind as the 20 th century developed. I First, philosophy of mind became an interdisciplinary subject. Currently, it is impossible to study the philosophy of mind without knowing a great deal about: computer science, phenomenology, neuroscience, linguistics, cognitive science, traditional philosophy, and non-western philosophy, such as ancient Asian techniques of meditation. I Second, language and epistemology are now seen to be less basic than philosophy of mind. Questions about how language works and how we know things are taken to be dependent in part on how the mind works. We now think of inquiring into the mind as a way of learning about
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Main Outline The Cartesian Backdrop of 20 th Century Philosophy of Mind Behaviorism Identity theory Functionalism Physical Reduction
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The Cartesian Backdrop of 20 th century Philosophy of Mind Cartesian Dualism The Divisibility Argument The Conceivability Argument Arnauld’s Criticism Princess Elizabeth’s Criticism
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Cartesian Dualism Cartesian dualism is the inherited picture of the relation between mind and body that 20 th century philosophers use as a backdrop for developing new ideas about the mind and the body. Here is the core view of Cartesian Dualism: Mind Body Essence Thinking (conscious) Extension (having spatial dimensions) Properties Known directly Free Indivisible Indestructible Known indirectly Determined Infinitely divisible Destructible
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The Divisibility Argument 1. (Leibniz Law): x = y if and only if every property of x is a property of y. 2. (Mind Essence): Mind is essentially indivisible. 3. (Material Essence): Matter is essentially divisible. 4. So, mind ≠ matter. Questions: Is consciousness essentially indivisible? Is there a sense in which we can divide the mind?
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The Conceivability Argument 1. If I can conceive of my mind existing without my body, then it is possible for my mind to exist without my body. 2. I can conceive of my mind existing without my body. 3.
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Mind Lectures 1 - MIND LECTURES 1 Philosophy of Mind The...

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