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Lecture 19

PHLA10H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 19: Testability, Methamphetamine, Environmental Determinism

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William Seager

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PHLA10: Reason and Truth Thursday November 19, 2015
Lecture 19: Philosophy of the Mind Cont’d
Solve this puzzle: Alex, Bret, Chris, Derek, Eddie, Fred, Greg, Harold and John are nine
students who live in a three storey building, with three rooms on each floor. A room in
the West wing, one in the centre, and one in the East wing. If you look directly at the
building, the left side is west and the right side is East, Each student
1. Harold does not live on the bottom floor.
2. Fred lives directly above John and directly next to Bret (who lives in the West
3. Eddie lives in the East wing and one
floor higher than Fred.
4. Derek lives directly above Fred.
5. Greg lives directly above Chris.
To solve, start with Fred.
Mental Causation in Dualism:
Descartes believed that mental states cause behaviour and physical states
caused mental states
oEx. mental state of desiring beer causes physical body to move to fridge
oPhysical state of beer bottle dropped on toe causes mental state of pain
Descartes and Princess Elizabeth:
In 1643, Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia asked Descartes: “I beseech you tell me
how the soul of man can determine the body to produce voluntary action’
oDescartes replied: ‘the question your highness proposes seem to me that
which can be asked with the greatest justification
oHis only answer: the causal connection between mind and body is
Mind-Body Causation and Conservation Laws:
Conservation of Energy: the total amount of energy in a closed system remains
If a non-physical entity (ex. the mind) can produce changes to in the body, these
changes will add energy to the physical system
oThis energy has no source, violating the law of energy conservation
Leibnez showed that energy is conserved not motion
Non-Dualist Approaches to Mind
3 non-dualist theories of mind:
oMind/Brain Identity Theory
They agree that a materialist viewpoint is the most promising starting point for
investigating the mind
Harold Derek Eddie
Bret Fred Greg
Alex John Chris
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