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Lecture 15_The Hard Problem

Lecture 15_The Hard Problem - Consciousness A What Is...

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Consciousness A. What Is Consciousness? i. Descartes said there are two kinds of substances: mind or mental substance and body or physical substance. This idea is called Cartesian dualism . Descartes insisted that the self is a mental substance. What connects his body (a physical substance) to his mind (a mental substance)? That is, how do they interact? ii. Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz define mind as unextended in space. But we tend to think of the mind in spatial terms (something gets stuck in your head, something slips from your mind, etc.). How can we describe consciousness itself? iii. There is a further difficulty: If I can talk about my mind only with difficulty, how can I talk about your mind at all? Other minds present a problem. iv. Some people have tried to reject the notion of mind altogether. But the idea of mind can be rejected only with reference to other people because of Descartes’ premise: “I think, therefore I am.” The statement “I am not thinking” is absurd and unintelligible, and it is self-refuting. A
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