What is the nature of mind?
How does the mind relate to the body and the rest of the physical world?
What is consciousness and how can it be explained, if at all?
(1) Descartes thought he was identical to his mind.
(2) Descartes thought that his mind was not a physical thing.
o He contended that he could exist without his body or any other bodies
Descartes was a dualist.
A dualist is someone who thinks there are such things as physical and non-
What does it mean to say that there are completely non-physical mental substances?
It means that mental substances have none (or almost none) of the
properties that physical objects have.
Mental substances aren’t located in space
Mental substances don’t have shapes
Mental substance don’t have mass, charge, spin, velocity, momentum, etc.
Most people who are not dualists are monists.
A monist is someone who thinks that the only kinds of substances
there are either only physical or only non-physical substances.
Monists who think that the only kinds of
things in the world are mental things are idealists.
Monists who think that the only kinds of things in the
world are physical things are physicalist (also known as materialist). Armstrong’s Argument For Physicalism
1. Science can explain all of the phenomena in the world.
2. If science can explain all of the phenomena in the world, then
physicalism is true.
3. Therefore, physicalism is true.
Justification for premise 1:
- Armstrong believes science is truthful because science alone among religion,
philosophy, art and other disciplines has actually seemed to reach an intellectual
consensus about controversial matter. (settle controversies, scientific method).
Justification for premise 2:
-Science only studies physical things interact