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Chapter 19

PHLA10H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 19: Mental Property, Neurophysiology, Aboutness

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William Seager

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Dualism and the Mind/Body Problem
The mind/body problem concerns the nature of the object and events that
exist at stage 2
Descartes’ Dualism
Dualism is the idea that there are two kinds of things in the world. There are
physical objects on the one hand, and, on the other, there are mental objects.
According to dualism, brains and the bodies in which they are found are
physical things; the mind is a non physical object
it distinct from both the whole body and is also distinct from all of the body’s
physical part.
The Mind/Brain Identity Theory
It says that your mind and your brain are one and the same object.
Second, it claims that the mental properties you have are physical properties
e.g. to be in pain, is to have a certain type of physical event occur in
your central nervous system
Analogy → The discovery was that water H20 are one and the same thing
Philosophers who defend the Mind/Brain Identity suggests that what
happened to water will happen to the mind. Eventually neurophysiology will
discover the nature of the mind.
In each case, the answer will be given in the vocabulary provided by brain
Immortality of the Soul
If the soul is part of the mind and if the soul lives forever and the body does
not, we have an argument for dualism
→ Descartes doesn’t use this argument because anyone who doubts dualism
will also probably doubt that any part of the mind survives the death of the
Leibniz’s law
The argument defends dualism by trying to find a property that the mind has
but the brain lacks → immortality
This can be identified by Leibniz’s law
sometimes called the principle of the indiscernibility of identicals
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