Philosophy Glossary #3
Dani Yaneva (10102331)
Mind - body problem - a problem in philosophy that looks at the relationship between mind
and matter and asks the question of how and if mental and physical things are connected.
Dualist - a person who believes there is a clear distinction between mind and matter and that
the mind and body are completely different things; the belief that in the world there are
material things and non-material things such as numbers, abstract shapes, etc.
Monist - a person who believes there is only one kind of “stuff”; in philosophy - people who
believe the mind and matter are both aspects of it and not two separate things like dualists
Idealist - a person who believes only in ideas and suggests reality is only made up of
ideals/principles/values/goals; a person who is a strong advocate of imagination and affirms
there is only one kind of “stuff” and that is ideas
Freedom - the ability to make choices or actions that could have been made otherwise; having
no freedom would mean it would not be possible to do otherwise if you chose (ex. if one had
no arms, they would not have the freedom raise their arm - because even if they chose not to
raise it - there is no option of choosing otherwise, therefore they have no freedom)
Interactive Dualism - this view (also known as Cartesian dualism) is a theory that explains
how immaterial minds and the material world are connected. According to this Decartes view,
it is obvious that the mind isn’t material, and there is a being inside you (a ghost of some sort)
that receives data through your senses and then puts out behaviour as a result.
Homunculus - the name given to the person inside you (according to Cartesian dualism) that is
running you/your mind. This “little man” observes surroundings, makes decision and then
sends out commands.
Behaviourism - the belief that behaviour is evidence humans have minds and that if we want
to study the mind, we should study behaviour (since science can’t study the non-material and
the mind is a non-material thing)
Reduction - a concept of explaining a theory or phenomenon in terms of another, more simple
Argument for Analogy - an argument by Russel that argues there are other minds because of
the relationship between thoughts and actions. Russel thinks about what his actions are when he
thinks about being thirsty, and then sees other people carry out the same actions when they are
thirsty - therefore they must have minds also.
Solipsism - the view that rejects other minds exist except for one’s own
Syntax - the set of rules or structure for a language (ex. grammar); Syril claims computers have
Semantics - the li