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PH100 Lecture Notes

Physicalism all that exists in the world are either

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Physicalism All that exists in the world are either physical entities or physical properties Varieties of physicalism Behaviorism Identity Theory Functionalism 1. Behaviorism To talk about the mind is to talk either about the way we behave or about the way we are disposed to behave. The mind can be explained without reference to mental events or inner psychological states/processes. The mind is its bodily manifestations. ex) “I believe that it's raining.” I believe that its' raining if: (1) when I go out I take an umbrella; (2) I close the windows; (3) I put on a jacket; (4) I take the bus instead of walking.. PROBLEMS WITH BEHAVIORISM A behaviorist analysis is either circular or infinite. Isn't there a distinction between the manifestation of x and x? Don't we have inner feelings or inner mental states that can occur without their behavioral manifestations? 2. Identity Theory The mind is identical to the brain. OR: Mental processes are identical to brain processes ex) The experience of seeing the setting sun just IS a brain process. Problems with identity theory 1. location 2. multiple realizability: mentality can be realized by many different things 3. Functionalism “Functionalism in the philosophy of mind is the doctrine that what makes something a mental state of a particular type does not depend on its internal constitution, but rather on the way it functions, or the role it plays, in the system of which it is a part.” ex) What makes a corkscrew a corkscrew is its function different shapes/kinds but all achieve the same function Varieties of minds humans have mind, computers have minds, robots have minds, animals have minds September 20/25, 2012: Epiphenomenal Qualia What is consciousness? Consciousness → polysemic (has multiple meanings) 1. “Consciousness” can be used to described a certain state of wakefulness. 2. “Consciousness” can mean a certain type of introspective awareness. 3. “Consciousness” can mean a certain discriminatory ability. 4. “Consciousness” is used to describe a certain kind of subjective experience. Phenomenal (phenomenally conscious) : mental states present subjects with certain qualitative characteristics or qualia.
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The introspectively accessible phenomenal aspects of our experiences. What is it like to undergo all of these experiences and countless many other is strikingly dissimilar to anything physical – be it simple or complex, microscopic or macroscopic. When we compare phenomenal consciousness to matter or physical entities, the two appear to be drastically different. What then is the best explanation of this appearance of difference? 1. Espouse a form of dualism. 2. Consciousness and matter/physical entities appear to be different because they are different.
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