Lec 6 - Phil 1, Fall 2011 Prof. Sven Bernecker Slides for...

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Phil 1, Fall 2011 Prof. Sven Bernecker Slides for Lecture 6: Dualism
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What is the Mind-Body Problem? The mind-body problem focuses on two question. First question: Is a human being composed of just one ultimate component or two components -- mental events and physical events? Second question: if the answer is two, how do these two relate to one another? We believe that mind and body are connected somehow: whenever we drink too much or injure our bodies physical events are affecting our mental lives; typically when we think „raise arm‟ our arm rises, and in this case, mental events are affecting physical events. But how are mental and physical events related?
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Physical Events: spatial and temporal extension physical properties (shape, mass, color, etc) knowledge of physical events can be challenged and is subject to skepticism knowledge of physical events is indirect or mediated Mental Events: non-spatial mental properties (pleasant vs. unpleasant, mind-to- world direction of fit vs. world-to-mind direction of fit, factive vs. non-factive) knowledge of one„s own mental events is special, privileged or authoritative knowledge of one„s own mental events is direct or unmediated
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Monistic Approaches to the Mind-Body Problem Dualism is the view that there are two types of elemental substance. Monism is the view that there is only one kind of elemental substance. There are two kinds of monisms: materialism (or physicalism) and idealism
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Dualistic Approaches to the Mind-Body Problem
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Descartes: I am a Thinking Thing “But what then am I? A thing which thinks. What is a thing which thinks? It is a thing which doubts, understands, [conceives], affirms, denies, wills, refuses, which also imagines and feels. . .. for although it may happen (as I formerly supposed) that none of the things which I imagine are true, nevertheless this power of imagining does not cease to be really in use, and it forms part of my thought” (Descartes, 2nd Meditation, pp. 208-9). Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
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Descartes: I am a Thinking Thing “I am a thing that thinks, that is to say, that doubts, affirms, denies, that knows a few things, that is ignorant of many [that loves, that hates], that wills, that desires, that also imagines and perceives; for as I remarked before, although the things which I perceive and imagine are perhaps nothing at all apart from me and in
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Lec 6 - Phil 1, Fall 2011 Prof. Sven Bernecker Slides for...

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