PHIL 1F91 Chapter Notes -Eliminative Materialism, Mental Property, Occasionalism

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19 Apr 2012
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19/04/2012
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Ultimate Questions
Thinking About Philosophy
3rd Edition
Nils Ch. Rauhut
Chapter Six:
The Mind/Body Problem
The Problem
The Body
described through physical properties
Observable and therefore public
The Mind
described through mental states
based on first-person perspective, not observable, and therefore private
Possible Solutions
Physicalism: the physical states of the body are more fundamental than the mental
states of the mind.
Dualism: the mind and body are two different and equally real substances.
Idealism: the mental states of the mind are more fundamental than the physical
states of the body.
Substance Dualism:
The body is a physical substance, located in time and space and subject to the laws
of physics.
The mind is a nonextended thinking substance, which is not subject to the laws of
physics.
Arguments for Substance Dualism
Near-death experiences
The Conceivability Argument
Leibniz’s Law
Intentionality
Arguments Against Substance Dualism
The Problem of Interaction
parallelism
occasionalism
A Category Mistake
Varieties of Physicalism
Behaviorism: mental states are dispositions to behave.
Identity Theory: mental states are brain states.
Functionalism: mental states are functional states that causally relate inner states
with behavioral effects.
Eliminative Materialism: mental states do not exist.
Behaviorism:
The study of human behavior in order to understand the mind.
Identity Theory
Mental states are brain states.
Weaknesses:
Assumes that no brain = no mind
Ignores the mental states of animals, because they have brains that are different
from humans
Functionalism
Mental states are functional states.
The mind can be realized in different physical materials outside the brain.
Turning Test
The Proposed Experiment
Have a human being ask a computer questions without knowing whether the
computer itself or some unseen person is actually answering back.
If the human can be led to believe that another human is answering when the
answers actually come from the computer, then the computer has a “mind.”
Arguments Against Functionalism
The Chinese Room Argument
systems reply
Problems with Qualia
Qualia: the phenomenal aspect of mental states.
Eliminative Materialism
Mental states do not really exist. They are illusions.
Property Dualism
Combines physicalism and dualism
Rejects substance dualism and asserts that our minds have a purely physical
foundation
Not all mental properties can be reduced to physical processes (ex. Qualia)
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