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January 9

3 Pages

Course Code
PHIL 1301
Nalini E Ramlakhan

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January 9 , 2014 Cartesian Dualism • Hebbian Framework: neurons that fire together, wire together • Apriori: Descartes, Plato – rationalism – “I think, therefore I am” o Truth vs. truth • Aposteriori: Locke, Hume – empiricism – blank slate o Learning through experience What gives rise to experience? • Does the brain cause experience? o Generally, people think it does o Ex. Phineas Gage - survived of an accident in which a large iron rod was driven completely through his head, destroying much of his brain's left frontal lobe. Injury's reported effects on his personality and behavior over his remaining life o Must be something more, however Primary vs. Secondary Qualities • Primary qualities: o Are thought to be properties of objects that are independent of any observer o Ie. Solidity, extension, motion, number and figure. o These characteristics convey facts o They exist in the thing itself, can be determined with certainty, and do not rely on subjective judgments o Eg. If a ball is round, no one can reasonably argue that it is a triangle. • Secondary qualities: o Are thought to be properties that produce sensations in observers o Ie. Color, taste, smell, and sound. o They can be described as the effect things have on certain people. Knowledge that comes from secondary qualities does not provide objective facts about things. o Eg. The colour grey • Primary qualities are measurable aspects of physical reality. Secondary qualities are subjective. Theories • Reductionists: mind can be reduced to the brain (innate knowledge) • Physicalists: the ontological thesis that "everything is physical", or that there is "nothing over and above" the physical. o Two questions immediately arise.  First, what is meant by "the physical"?  Second, what is it for non-physical properties to be "nothing over and above" the physical? o Physicalism is closely related to materialism. o Only you can experience the experiences you experience o Using FMRI to observe areas of the brain, but not consciousness • Dualism: view that minds and brain are completely separate o Descartes:  1. Mind – A,B,C  2. Body – X,Y,Z • } work together o Pineal gland – mediating factor How do we know we are experiencing reality correctly? • Brain in the vat o If the mind is the brain and it is physical, where is it?
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