lecture 4

lecture 4 - Philosophy262 NatureofMind The epistemological...

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            Philosophy 262 Descartes vs Ryle on the  Nature of Mind
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The epistemological question If minds are immaterial, and we have direct access only to our own minds, then how can we know whether anything else around us has a mind ; that is, has the capacity for conscious thought and reasoning that makes that thing a person?
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Evidence for the presence of mind (1) The ability to ‘produce different sequences of words so as to give an appropriately meaningful answer to whatever is said in its presence . (2) The ability to act appropriately in a wide range of situations .
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A creature is truly using language when (and only when): (1) Its verbal (or otherwise symbolic) responses, on a wide range of topics, are (reasonably) intelligible, or make sense. (2) Its responses are neither the products of mere instinct, rote learning—or conditioned responses that one trains a creature to utter in order to get a reward (or avoid a punishment).
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Two further questions (1) What is so special about language use? Why should a creature’s ability to use
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This note was uploaded on 03/15/2012 for the course PHIL 262g taught by Professor Yaffe during the Spring '06 term at USC.

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lecture 4 - Philosophy262 NatureofMind The epistemological...

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