Philosophy of Mind. Reductionism & Cartesian Dualism.

Philosophy of mind, focusing on cartesian dualism and functionalism. Pro's and Cons and detail to create a coherent argument for and against both sides.

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  • Philosophy of mind
    • Substance/ Cartesian Dualism
      • The view that the MIND & BODY are 2 distinct LOGICAL SUBSTANCES that exist independently of one another.
      • DESCARTES. The mind is essentially CONSCIOUS and NON-PHYSICAL. Body is essentially PHYSICAL and NON-CONSCIOUS
        • ARGUMENT FROM DOUBT
          • 1. I can doubt that my body exists. 2. I cannot doubt that I exist. 3. Therefore, I am DISTINCT from my body.
            • 1. Body can be doubted using POWERFUL DEMON thought experiment. Dreaming. Illusion etc.
            • 2. Existence cannot be doubted as doubting it confirms it.
            • 3. PROBLEM WITH CONCLUSION. "Masked Man Fallacy"
              • 1. I know who my dad is. 2. I do not know who the masked man is. 3. Therefore the masked man cannot be my dad.
                • Conclusion is false. Premise of the argument is about MY KNOWLEDGE not the masked man. Same way, premise of doubt argument is about my DOUBT not my body/mind.
        • ARGUMENT FROM CLEAR & DISTINCT PERCEPTION
          • 1. I have a clear & distinct understanding of my mind as a THINKING, NON-EXTENDED thing. 2. Clear&Distinct perception of my body as NON-THINKING, EXTENDED thing. 3. From 1+2 i am clearly & distinctly a thinking thing apart from my body and extended thing apart from myself. 4. Therefore i can clearly& distinctly conceive of my mind existing independantly of my body
          • 1. Essential properties, defining properties without which we'd not exist.
            • Descartes doesn't allow for more than 1 essential property.
          • 2. Clear and distinct understanding: complete conception of a thing, guaranteed by benevolence of god
            • When explaining clear and distinct perception he uses God and falls into the CARTESIAN CIRCLE
          • ARNAULD: can clearly & distinctly conceive of a TRIANGLE with a right angle WITHOUT conceiving it obeys PYTAHGORAS
            • Descartes: failed to conceive the triangle clearly & distinctly as the two properties are logically linked
        • ARGUMENT FROM DIVISIBILITY
          • 1. Body is Divisible into parts. 2. Mind is not divisible into parts. 3. Therefore Mind and Body must be different distinct entities
            • 2. Statement that mind is not divisible is INCOHERENT. Consciousness is a STATE not an object.
            • Mind if it is intimatley connected to the brain POSSIBLY COULD BE DIVISIBLE.
      • Further problems
        • SOLIPSISM
          • The idea that our mind is the only mind in existence. which is ofcourse wrong and leads to refutation of any theory
          • Descartes' idea of the mind is it is PRIVATE, this privacy if the mental realm cuts us off from the mental realm of others and implies solipsism
            • ARGUMENT FROM INDUCTIVE REFERENCE
              • can't argue deductively from behavior about mental states cos they don't always reflect mental/ so inductively we could just say: When i'm happy i smile so when others smile they're happy.
                • BAD INDUCTIVE REASONING. only using one particular case to make a broad conclusion
            • ARGUMENT FROM ANALOGY
              • we observe a correltion between our BEHAVIOURand MENTAL STATES. given the biological similarities and behavioural similarities reasonable to conclude BY ANALOGY they have the same correlations
                • Not a water tight reason for analogy cos there's no way of checking our analogy is true and that other people do have minds
            • LUDWIG WITTGENSTIEN
              • Argued Cartesian dualism implies a private mental language. we only have access to our mental states so meaning of our words will be specific to us. BEETLE IN A BOX ANALOGY
                • so instead he argued we learn PUBLIC MEANING of words before we apply them to ourselves...
                  • well if we learn public meanings, then other people must have minds. SOLIPSISM CURED.
        • MIND-BODY RELATION
          • IF the MIND is NON-Physical and the body is essentially PHYSICAL. how do the two interact?
            • DESCARTES: Soul substance resides in the PINEAL GLAND and gives it a tiny push WHICH CAUSES a physical chain reaction
              • SOUL is essentially physical, how does it PUSH pineal gland?
            • LEIBNIZ: propsed they don't INTERACT it only seems like they do cos they run parrallel to each other and correspond. God set the two parralells in motion
              • This implies no free will. That our mental can't effect our actions and its all pre-determined
    • Reductionism
      • The view that the MENTAL realm can be understood in PHYSICAL terms
        • FUNCTIONALISM
          • Mental process are PHYSICAL INPUTS which lead to BEHAVIOURAL OUTPUTS and other MENTAL STATES
            • Mental states made up of SENSORY INPUTS into FUNCTIONAL MIND. like a record player.
              • INPUT = Pain. OUTPUT = Behavior (attempts to reduce pain) and relationship to other mental state (relief).
                • Functionalism doesn't map particular functions to particular processes so it focuses just on the function. it explains mental by functional role so sees mind ABOVE behavior.
                  • HAS BAD IMPLICATIONS. NED BLOCK "china mind" and SEARLE's "Chinese Room". seen as completing functions so a MIND
            • Instantiating a series of functions IS NOT enough to posses the complexity of mental states
        • IDENTITY THEORY
          • MIND is PART of the MATERIAL world. both mind and body are PHYSICAL ENTITIES.
            • Working of the human mind FULLY EXPLAINABLE in terms of physics. Pain = C-Fibres firing
              • GOTTLIEB FREGE. Morning star and Evening star. 2 SENSES of the same REFERENCE. Pain + C-fibres both SENSES of the same REFERENCE
                • TYPE-TYPE THEORY: EVERY mental state will CORRELATE with a PHYSICAL state and every 1-1 correlation will be the same
                  • implies no ANIMAL/ HUMAN can feel pain if C-fibers aren't firing
                  • TOKEN-TOKEN THEORY: each token instance of mental states must correspond to a TOKEN INSTANCE of a physical process
                    • Implies no systematic relationship between Mental and Physical state
              • SEARLE; 2 people could be in same mental state but diff physical brain state. what makes them the same?
        • ELIMINATIVE MATERIALISM
          • Mental states DO NOT EXIST. we should rid ourselves of the entire mental vocab
            • Mental vocab is "folk psychology".over the years we've believed in many strange mystical things. Science proved them wrong.
              • Science indicates that feelings/ consciousness don't exist they're just physical brain processes. so they'll be next to go.
                • Argument from failed past theories does not conclude that this time we are wrong too.
            • existence of mental states is obvious to everyone on a personal level and we'd need a stronger argument to reject our own mental states
        • ANALYTIC BEHAVIOURISM
          • All statements of the MIND/ MENTAL STATES can be described as ACTUAL/ POTENTIAL BEHAVIOUR
            • Analysis of the Mental language can be translated to BEHAVIORAL DESCRIPTIONS.
              • CARL HEMP: 1. Paul weeps and gestures. 2. replies I have a toothache. 3. closer examination reveals decay. 4. BP CNS Digestion show appropriate changes
                • Fails to analyse properly. 1. weeps is not strictly behavioural. 2. answering implies mental state of understanding. 3. none of this is essential to THOOTACHE
                  • RYLE: SOFT BEHAVIOURISM. To have a belief/ Mental state is to be PREDISPOSED TO ACT A CERTAIN WAY
                    • Much more to mental states than dispositions. Disposition itself is due to mental states
                  • Many ways mental states can be realised and impossible to mention all of them in a description
              • General problem is WE EXPLAIN BEHAVIOUR IN TERMS OF MENTAL STATES. so to explain behaviour you'd need other behaviour but the underlying cause will still be mental
      • Further problems
        • INTENTIONALITY
          • ABOUTNESS the way our mental states can be about something other than themselves
        • QUALIA
          • RAW FEELS of experience. INVERTED QUALIA: born with seeing RED and GREEN. however still call red - red. so only thing thats different is the QUALIA
            • BEHAVIOURISM: call red red so by behaviour unable to explain inverted qualia. FUNCTIONALISM: fuction of calling red red is normal so cannot explain inverted qualia. IDENTITY THEORY; loads of ways brain coukd process green/red cannot tell them apart with physical states. ELIMATIVE: cannot explain qualia without mental vocab
  • All statements of the MIND/ MENTAL STATES can be described as ACTUAL/ POTENTIAL BEHAVIOUR
    • Analysis of the Mental language can be translated to BEHAVIORAL DESCRIPTIONS.
      • CARL HEMP: 1. Paul weeps and gestures. 2. replies I have a toothache. 3. closer examination reveals decay. 4. BP CNS Digestion show appropriate changes
        • Fails to analyse properly. 1. weeps is not strictly behavioural. 2. answering implies mental state of understanding. 3. none of this is essential to THOOTACHE
          • RYLE: SOFT BEHAVIOURISM. To have a belief/ Mental state is to be PREDISPOSED TO ACT A CERTAIN WAY
            • Much more to mental states than dispositions. Disposition itself is due to mental states
          • Many ways mental states can be realised and impossible to mention all of them in a description
      • General problem is WE EXPLAIN BEHAVIOUR IN TERMS OF MENTAL STATES. so to explain behaviour you'd need other behaviour but the underlying cause will still be mental
  • LUDWIG WITTGENSTIEN
    • Argued Cartesian dualism implies a private mental language. we only have access to our mental states so meaning of our words will be specific to us. BEETLE IN A BOX ANALOGY
      • so instead he argued we learn PUBLIC MEANING of words before we apply them to ourselves...
        • well if we learn public meanings, then other people must have minds. SOLIPSISM CURED.

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