METAPHYSICS PART II: Philosophy of Mind
Introduction to Philosophy of Mind
- Three Basic Questions in the Philosophy of Mind -
- What is the relationship between minds and bodies?
- What makes a person that person (personal identity)?
- Does consciousness exist before/after death?
- The Mind/Body Problem
- Common Sense Says: "I am distinct from my body"
- Bodies - physical, material (i.e., extended in space)
- Minds (or, soul, spirit, consciousness) - non-physical, immaterial (i.e., not extended in space)
- The Problem - If minds and bodies are composed of different substances (stuff), how do they causally interact?
Note: There are two distinct kinds of Dualism -
- Substance Dualism - there are two distinct substances (i.e., kinds of "stuff") in the universe: Matter and Minds
Plato - World of Ideas and World of Matter
Descartes - Thinking things (i.e., minds) and bodies
- Property Dualism - there may be only one substance (i.e.,matter) in the universe, but it can have peculiar properties we call "mental"
- Four Traditional Dualist Theories of Mind/Body Interaction
- Interactionism - Minds interact with Bodies, and Bodies interact with Minds
- Epiphenomenalism - Bodies interact with Minds, but Minds do not interact with Bodies
- Parallelism/Occasionalism - Minds do not interact with Bodies, and Bodies do not interact with Minds
- History of Neuroscience: Poking around in the brain - "Hey, is consciousness just a physical state after all?"
- Some Responses to Dualism: "Do we really need 'minds' after all?" (Materialism)
- Reductivism - Minds are equal to brain states
- Eliminativism - Mind-talk is non-sense and should be eliminated from our language
- Behaviorism - Mind-talk is just a description of our behavior
- Functionalism - There is not a one-to-one correlation between mental events and brain events
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