Example: Empiricism is the view that knowledge is obtained through sensory experience.
Some proponents of empiricism are John Locke, who thought that the mind was a blank
slate, and David Hume. This view is contrasted with rationalism and rationalists
philosophers, such as Descartes, who believed that knowledge is obtained through reason.
6 Day movie
relation to personal identity.
What philosophy is?
It is the study of fundamental problems. Analytic Philosophy focuses on the analysis of
concepts. Continental Philosophy is more speculative, less focused on logic and
argumentation. There are many branches of philosophy including metaphysics,
epistemology, ethics, logic and esthetics.
Dualism: The mind and the body are separate.
Cartesian: Cartesian Dualism is the view that the mind and body are two distinct
substances that are intimately related. One proponent of Cartesian Dualism is Descartes,
who formulated the mindbody problem. In this view, mental states are non spatial and
qualitative. No one can observe your qualitative experiences, but they can observe your
brain state. For Plato, the mind is equivalent to the soul, the soul/mind is indivisible and
can live on after death of the body, distinct from the body and contains all true
Parallelism: Parallelism is the view that the mind (mental) and body (material) are two
distinct substances that only appear to interact, but do not. Proponent: Leibniz accepts the
view of the world being divided into two distinct substances. God intervenes to ensure
that mental and material sequences run in parallel. Seen as more advanced than
Cartesian Dualism, because it solves the problem of mindbody interaction
Occasionalism: A variant of parallelism, Occasionalism says that mental and material
substances only appear to interact. One proponent of Occasionalism is Nicolas
Malebranche. Occasionalism makes God actively responsible for the existence and
character of event sequences. (ex. When you sit on a tack, God wills the occurrence of a
sensation of pain in your mind). Like Cartesian dualism and parallelism,
occasionalism runs into the issue of proving the existence of God, before we can accept
the theory that causal interaction between the mind and the body is an illusion
Idealism: All that there is are mind and contents, no actual physical things. Most extreme
type is solipsism: the world is just a single mind and its contents. Proponent: Bishop
George Berkeley, think the physical is something unintelligible. All experiences of
material objects and events are nothing more than elaborate and prolonged dreams or
hallucinations. It banishes problems associated with causal interaction between minds
and the material world. Epiphenomenalism: The mind is a byproduct of the brain. The brain can cause the mind
to exist, but not vice versa. You can’t explain mental to physical phenomenon. Mental
events are real and cannot cause material events. Material events cause mental events.
Mental events are ‘epiphenomena’ > incidental side effects of material phenomena.
Mental phenomena resemble smoke produced by a locomotive, or the shadow cast by a
billiard ball rolling across a billiard table, or the squeaking noise produced by a pair of
new shoes. One perk of epiphenomenalism is that it doesn’t bother with qualia. First, the
nature of materialtomental causal relations is none too clear. The epiphenomenalist
contends that some material events cause mental events, but mental events cause nothing.
Ockham’s Razor: (William of Ockham) When given competing theories (in this case,
theories of mind), if all theories can equally explain X, accept the theory that makes the
Materialism/Physicalism: The mind and body are the same.
Materials: Democritus and Hobbes.
Philosophical/logical behavior: deemed implausible. Main doctrine: Mental state is just a
disposition to behave a certain way. Having a mental state is just being disposed to
Psychological/methodological: more plausible view. Skinner & Watson: thought that only
what is publicly observable is a fit topic of public inquiry. Behaviorists look at what
organisms do in response to environmental contingencies. They objected to dualism
because they claimed that questions about the mind are scientifically irrelevant. Mental
states were taken to be private.
**Wittgenstein – Beetle in the Box analogy: How we should think of mental states.
Meant to depict the relation that we bear our own and others’ states of mind. Our states of
mind are private and only we have access to these states. “Beetle” stands for the object in