Notes on Block's "Troubles with functionalism"
According to functionalism, each mental state consists of a disposition to act in certain ways and
to have certain mental states, given certain sensory inputs and certain mental states.
Smarts Response to after-images in physical space:
o There is no such thing as the after-image. The after-image doesnt
exist (in physical space or otherwise). What does exist is the
experience of an after-image, and that experience is identical to
Zombie argument, argument that consciousness is irreducible to anything
that isnt conscious.
o Zombies are metaphysically possible. Identity is metaphysically
necessary, if theyre simply the same thing. It follows that
consciousness can be reduced
We can formulate physicalism as a view of what kind of facts there are. We
get the facts from our best scientific theories. If we know all the physical facts
then we know all that there is to know.
o If there are facts that we dont know about somet
* Extra credit final exam to cover materials since last exam.
Arguments for representationalism
o Argument from veridicality.
o Argument from transparency
Only representational content. If other kind of content then we
could introspect it, but we cant so
o Reductive materialism: mental states are brain states. Whatever brain
state neuroscience finds to be correlated with some mental state is
that mental state. What it is to have a mind, is to have a certain
Deductive argument for idealism:
o Premise: Objects are whatever it is that we perceive.
We perceive objects.
o Premise: What we perceive are ideas.
We can perceive only ideas.
o Conclusion: Therefore objects are ideas.
So objects are ideas.
Major objections to behaviorism and reductive materialism charge that they
are too liberal and or too chauvinistic.
That is behaviorist and reductive materialist analyses of mental states rule in
too much (say some unconscious
There Is Something It Is Like
Consciousness is what makes the mind-body problem really intractable. Without
consciousness the mind-body problem would be much less interesting. With consciousness it
seems hopeless (Nagel 1974, 219). The mind-brain Identi
Final thoughts on substance dualism:
o How can we learn if there are physical stuff and non-physical stuff?
Did life come from a supernatural origin? These types of questions
must be studied empirically. Descartes says we dont need to study the
The Problem Of Other Minds
What justifies the belief, regarding other things (people, non-human animals,
etc.). That they are conscious? What justifies the belief that the conscious
state of other things is like this or that? How can you know something e
Individualism and the mental
Do your thoughts depend on your environment?
One obvious answer:
Some of your thoughts are caused by your environment.
So the content of your thoughts depends on the environment in at lea
Visual qualia and visual content revisited
Qualia vs. Qualia
Two uses of the term qualia
qualia (little q)
the introspectively accessible qualities of experience that characterize
what it is like to have those expe
Can we solve the mind-body problem?
Recap: The knowledge argument
1. Mary knew all the physical facts about color vision.
2. Mary did not know all the facts about color vision.
3. SO, some facts are not physical facts.
A recipe for thought
How do you build a thinking thing?
Explain how our thoughts have the ability to represent the world to us.
Determine what it would take to build a thing that thinks
Terence Horgan & John Tienson
The intentionality of phenomenology and
the phenomenology of intentionality
The property of being about something.
The what its like character
What is an emotion?
Phil / Psyc 241
Two types of mental states
states that are about something
e.g., thoughts, beliefs, doubts
states for which there is something that it is like to be in those states
A theory of emotion
Phil / Psyc 241
Basic propositional attitudes
Philosophers distinguish two kinds of propositional attitudes
Both are required for action.
Markss theory of emotion
Phil / Psyc 241
Prinz: Emotions as embodied appraisals
perceptions of patterned changes in the body
that represent an organism-environment relation that bears on well-being.
Can computers think?
Phil / Psyc 214
the property of being about or representing something
X's intentionality is derived if X is intentional because Y is intentional.
Meditations on rst philosophy (2 & 6)
Sunday, August 28, 11
Born in La Haye, France. The
town was later renamed
Developed important work in
mathematics, biology, physics,
Phil/Psyc 241 | Fall 2011
Your paper should address one of the following topics. Papers must be 1500-2000 words and are
due no later than December 15th at the time of the nal exam.
1. Searle's Chinese Room argument aims to show that computers
Sensations as brain processes
1920 - present
Emeritus professor at Monash
Important contributions to
metaphysics, ethics, and the
philosophy of mind
If dualism is true, menta
Notes on Jacksons Epiphenomenal qualia
Physicalism: All correct information is physical information.
Physical information is the kind information provided by the physical, chemical, and biological
sciences. Information about functional role is
Notes on Lau and Passinghams
Relative blindsight in normal observers and the neural correlate of visual consciousness
Roughly, the neural correlate of consciousness (NCC) would be a state of the brain that correlates
with states of consciousnes
Need: 1/19, 1/26, 1/28
Issue: explaining how the brain gives rise to conscious activity
o Little advancement in understanding the role of neurons firing in this
Brain functions are much better understood
WHY is it that when neurons do