Class Notes (836,052)
Canada (509,597)
Philosophy (644)
PHIL 1301 (86)
Lecture

January 14.docx

4 Pages
57 Views
Unlock Document

Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 1301
Professor
Nalini E Ramlakhan
Semester
Winter

Description
th January 14 , 2014 Cartesian Dualism What is a mind? • Mind as a soul • Mind as part of the body (an emergent property) o A mind is present when a body is organized in a certain way o Minds no longer exist when the body dies • A mind is a brain How can we figure out what the mind is? • What sort or philosophical investigations can we do to figure out what the mind is? • What sort of scientific investigations can we do to figure out what the mind is? • What role does Philosophy play in answering such questions? o Most philosophers theorize about what a mind is, or about the relationship between the mind and the body o Experimental philosophy and Cog.Sci. theorize about what the mind is, but also carry out studies on the brain in an attempt to determines what the mind is o Studies in science are usually not in conflict with many contemporary versions of ‘mind’ o Philosophers don’t ignore evidence – which is a common misconception  Philosophers take the evidence from science and decide what to make of it • Ie. How should the findings be interpreted o Eg. some studies show eating breakfast is good for increasing your metabolism, while others show that there is no effect  What do you do with the evidence and how do you interpret it? o In Descartes time, science was not as advanced as it is now  Need to consider arguments that were relevant in the time he was writing  Also think about whether studies done today support this theory Descartes • Born in France (1556-1650) • Philosopher (metaphysician), mathematician, scientist • Major works: Discourse on the Method, Principles of Philosophy, and Passions of the Soul • In his day, he was known as one of the best mathematicians and as a philosopher who brought about a new form of metaphysics • After his death, his philosophical theories were widely discussed and he remained very influential th o In the 18 century, his theory on philosophy remained influential o Remembered, and still is, for his method of doubt and the formulation of the mind-body problem o In his schooling, he was exposed to the ancient philosophers (Plato, Aristotle, Epictetus) o Very religious and showed this in his philosophical work • Descartes believed that mind and body are two distinct substances that are intimately related o Mind: mental, non-divisible, non-extended o Body: physical, divisible, extendable Where do experiences happen? • Do experiences occur in the mind, body, or both? o If someone pinches your arm, where do you feel pain?  What about phantom pains?  Bodily pains may not necessarily need to have a corresponding mental sensation and vice versa • For Descartes, mental states are no spatial ->experiences do not need to have an exact location o Bodily states are spatial o Mental states are qualitative – recall our discussion last class on qualia  Neuroscientists cannot see your qualitative experience  What are the implications of this on ‘mind’? o Qualities of conscious experiences are unlike qualities of material objects o Mental qualities appear to differ from material qualities o From this, one can draw the conclusion that mental qualities are not qualities of material experiences • For Descartes, the knowledge that we have our stages of minds are direct and immediate o The knowledge that we have of our mental states are unchangeable in a way that our knowledge of material objects are not o For Descartes, we cannot doubt out mental states  You cannot doubt that you are thinking a thing o The fact that you are a thinking thing affirms your existence  “I think, therefore I am” • The mind is: o 1. Transparent: you have direct access to your mind  I you are in a particular state of mind, you know and cannot doubt that you are in the state o 2. Incorrigible: being in a mental state is thinking that you are in that state o Even if you deny that the mind is transparent, you cannot deny that only you have access to your mental state and experiences  Thomas Nagle, “What is it like to be a bat?” • Mental items are private, material objects are public o Material – spatial, public, material qualities o Mental – non-spatial, private, distinctively (different from one another’s) mental qualities  Everyone can observe material objects and have direct access to it  No one can observe your qualitat
More Less

Related notes for PHIL 1301

Log In


OR

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


OR

By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.


Submit