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Lecture 14

Lecture 14 Notes

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Steve Joordens

PHLA10 – Lecture 14 Notes November 20 and 22 , 2012 The Philosophy of Mind: Part 2 Chapters 20 - 23  There are three non-dualist/materialist theories of mind 1. Behaviourism  Stands out because it denies mentalism o Mentalism: The idea that mental states are inner states which cause behaviour and are the effects of physical stimuli. Generally unobservable mental states. 2. Mind/Bind Identity Theory 3. Functionalism Logical Behaviourism  Theory that asserts the meaning of the words we use to try and describe mental state is the behaviour that ‘reveals them’ o When we attribute a belief, for example, to someone, we are not saying that he or she is in a particular internal state or condition. Instead, we are characterizing the person in terms of what he or she might do in particular situations or environmental interactions.  Ryle argued the ‘ghost in the machine’ problem: If mentalism is true, this means that nobody knows if anybody else has any mental states then since they are unobservable mental states.  The ‘problem of other minds’: We don’t observe what others think, we only observe how they behave.  How does logical behaviourism solve the problem of other minds? o Behaviour is observable o Are dispositions to behave observable?  Examples: Solubility and brittleness  Mental states: (1) In my own case, I notice that when I produce behavior B, I usually am in mental state M. (2) I observe that another individual (O) is now producing behavior B. So, O is now in mental state M.  Problems: 1. Circularity problem o Suppose we define (in part) ‘S believes it is raining’ as ‘If S goes out, S will take an umbrella’  Of course, we need many more clauses in the definition and we need to make it more precise  But there is a deep problem here: what if S wants to get wet and
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