- Created by: amyquince
- Created on: 03-06-19 23:32
The metaphysics of consciousness
- logical privacy - No one other than me can know my thoughts
- Subjectivity - first person point of view
- Qualia - describes how an experience feels to someone
- Non-spatial - it would seem our consciousness does not take up space
-2 main theories:
-Substance dualism - Descartes and Plato, the mind is separate to body
- Materialism - Aristotle, we are one material substance
- possible to doubt all things:
- have senses been unreliable? are the always unreliable?
- It is ften hard to know difference between dreaming and being awake
- an evil demon could be in charge of universe (hypothetical)
Descartes - differences between mind and body
- 'i think therefore i am' enables him to identify the essential nature of the mind
- the wax argument enables us Descartes to identify to essential nature of physical matter
- mind and body composed of substances with incompatible qualities
- soul is mythological
- rejects platonic idea of soul
- does accept to use of it metaphorically
- soul 1 - the traditonal idea on the principle of life - contains personality
- soul 2 - intellectual or spiritual power
- the dogma of the ghost in the machine is mistaken - consciousness or mind carried in a physical entity. criticism of Descartes
- evolution can be explained through genes, so too the contents of our minds can be explained by memes, cultural ideas that 'stick' on the pathways of our brain.
Plato's arguments for dualism
- innate knowledge - soul required to explain a priori knowledge, particularly innate knowledge.
- The linguistic argument - draws distinction between how we speak of ourselves and our body.
Descartes arguments for dualism
- divisibility - the body is divisible and can be separated into parts
- doubt - it is possible for descartes to doubt the existence of the body.
- Neuroscience - we know which parts of the brains are responsible for language, memory and emotions
- The problem of interaction - how can a non-physical mind interact with a physical body
- Category error - Gilbert Ryle - argues that belief that there is a separate soul is a category mistake
- simplicity - materialists argue that consciousness being explained by physical and material events in the brain is the simplest explanation.