Soul, Mind and Body

  • 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

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- 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)

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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

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- 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

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Gilbert Ryle

- the dogma of the ghost in the machine is mistaken - consciousness or mind carried in a physical entity. criticism of Descartes

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Susan Balckmore

- 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.

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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. 

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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.

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Evaluating materialism

- 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. 

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