Philosophy of mind

  • Created by: Katrina
  • Created on: 28-05-14 13:37
Who are the 2 important philosophers in substance dualism?
Descartes and Aristotle
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Briefly, what is substance dualism?
Mind and body are 2 ontologicaly distinct substances
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Give 2 criticisms of substance dualism
Fails to explain what kind of entity an immaterial substance is, can't explain how the mind and body interact
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Who is the important philosopher in property dualism?
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What is Leibniz's law?
If 2 substances: x and y have exactly the same properties, then x is y
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Briefly, what is property dualism
Says that matter is the only substance which possess 2 distinct properties: mental and physical which are both within the brain. Conscious states cannot be reduced to physical states.
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Explain the properties of mental states argument to support dualism
broken into 3 parts: privacy, qualia and intentionality. People may have an idea about my bodily states but not my mental states, what it is like to be me cannot be reduced to the physical. Mental events are about something whereas physical NEVER are
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Explain the free will argument to support dualism
Bodies are subject to the laws of physics whereas minds aren't. If a strong sense of freedom requires that our actions aren't fixed then a non-physical mind controlling the body is essential.
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Explain the doubt and indubitability argument for dualism
I cannot doubt that I am a thinking thing but I can doubt the existence of my body. By Leibniz's law my mind cannot be identical to my body
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What is Arnauld's criticism of the doubt and indubitability argument for dualism?
We can't doubt that a triangle has 3 sides, you can doubt that the triangle possess Pythagoras' theorem. Just because I can doubt this doesn't mean that Pythagoras' theorem doesn't apply to the triangle.
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What is Descartes' reply to Arnalud's criticism of the doubt and indubitability argument?
Arnauld's criticism uses completely different principles to his own argument and so is not a valid criticism
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What is Hobbes' criticism of the doubt and indubitability argument for dualism?
Descartes is right to say that his knowledge that he is a thinking being is not based on the knowledge of a body but that doesnt mean that he can rule out the possibility that being a thinking thing depends upon a body
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What is that argument of indivisibility for dualism?
The body is divisible but the mind is not. If they posses distinct attributes then they must be distinct substances (leibniz's law)
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Give an objections to the argument of indivisibility for dualism
Is the mind actually indivisible? Freud split it into the conscious and unconscious mind and we regularly split it into imagination and understanding.
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What is the mind body problem for dualists?
How can you explain the relationship between mind and body?
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What is Descartes' reply to the mind body problem?
The mind and body causally interact and influence each other. Mental events can cause bodily events and visa versa. The pineal gland is the sight of interaction
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What is leibniz's psycho-parallelism?
Rather than interact, the mind and body are presented as being in harmony with each other. This harmony is due to God. Mind and body run in parallel like 2 clocks that have been set to the same time.
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What is Melbranches' occasionalism?
Our thoughts are simply the consequence/ product of God's will for our bodily actions.
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What is the problem of other minds and who is it mainly a problem for?
Mainly a problem for dualists. Comes from attributing certain properties to minds, especially privacy and privalleged access. we cannot be certain that other people have minds at all as we cannot be certain of their feelings etc.
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What is Mill's argument from analogy about the problem of other minds?
If 2 things are similar in some respects, they are likely to be similar in others. We can tell what another is thinking/ feeling through analogy. Comparing the way you feel in the same or similar circumstances to someone else.
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What are the problems with Mill's argument from analogy?
We can question whether human social behaviour is uniform. It is an inductive argument, cannot be applied to others who are not sufficiently like me, and there is no criteria for determining whether a human does or doesn't have feelings like mine.
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List all 4 of the reductive materialist arguments
Eliminative materialism, behaviourism, type/token identity theory and functionalism (machine, psycho, teleological, analytic)
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List the 2 dualist arguments
Property dualism, substance dualism
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List the 2 non-reductive materialist arguments
anomalous monism and biological naturalism
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Who are the 2 important philosophers in behaviourism?
Ryle and Hempel
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Explain Hempel's version of behaviourism
He is a logical positivist with the view that a statement that claims to be factual can only have meaning if it is verifiable here and now. The same goes with psychological statements and they are largely verified by behaviour.
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Explain Ryle's version of behaviourism
His approach draws upon our understanding of what we and others are like through what we do and what our dispositions are. Not neccessarily describing behaviour or a mental state, often we are describing a proneness to behave a certain way.
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What is the behaviour is false criticism of behaviourism (super-spartans)(super-pretenders)?
Behaviour is not a necessary condition of having experiences, beliefs and desires. If it was paraletics would not have beliefs etc. Hilary Putnam's super-spartans. Behaviour is also not a sufficient condition of having beliefs etc.super-pretenders
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Explain Hilary Putnam's super-spartans
All super-spartans suppress their pain behaviour by willing themselves not to exhibit pain. A behavioural analysis would show that they are not in pain at all when in actual fact they are.
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Explain the super-pretenders
Capable of putting on convincing displays of the whole range of generic pain behaviours when actually not in pain. Behaviourism cannot draw a distinction between when this person is actually in pain and when they are showing the behaviour of pain
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What is the "behaviour is vauge" argument against behaviourism?
In order to talk about the cause of behaviour, we must refer to mental states, however there is difficulty specifying particular behaviour to particular mental states.
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What is the "Behaviourism is non-explanatory" argument against behaviourism?
On a behavioural analysis, mental events are not causes of behaviour because they do not exist independantly of behaviour, however, surely mental events lead to behaviour. Can a behaviourist distinguish between behaviour and non-behaviour
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what features of mental states does behaviourism neglect?
Appears to neglect qualia and the privacy of some aspect of our experience.
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Who is the important philosopher(s) (same name) in eliminative materialism?
The churchlands
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What is the aim of eliminative materialism?
To eliminate our conception of mentality. Mental states are irreducible because they do not exist! Claims that folk psychology doesn't describe anything that actually exists. It will be replaced with neuroscience when we know enough about it
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What is folk psychology?
Our common sense understanding of psychological events
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What do we mean when we say that eliminative materialism is counter-intuitive?
Mental states are so central to our lives that it would require a very convincing argument to persuade us that we are mistaken. Eliminative materialism doesn't seem strong enough to do this.
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What do we mean when we say that eliminative materialism is self-refutuing?
Some eliminative materialists would say that beliefs do not exist however this is knowledge and the defenition of knowledge is true belief. Therefore they have a belief that beliefs don't exist
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What was identity theory, originally the response to?
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Briefly, what is the overall position of identity theory?
That mental states are the same as physical states. To have a mind is to have a brain
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What is type identity theory?
Identifies types of mental states with types of physical states eg pain is numerically identical to c-fibres firing.
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What is token identity theory?
Each particular instance of pain is identical with an instance of a physical state of some type. Also includes other physical states such as a being that doesn't have c-firbres can still be in pain.
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Which, out of type and token identity theory, makes the strongest claim?
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What are the basic, early objections to identity theory?
We are aware of our mental states but unaware of the identical physical state, therefore they cannot be identical. Mental states appear to have some properties which physical states do not and visa versa.
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What is the problem with individual differences for type identity theory?
Can we really identify mental states of the same type? If we cannot say what a thought of the same type is then type theory fails. Brain damage victims tend to move the job which the damaged part does to another part of the brain.
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What is multiple realisability and why is it a problem for type identity theory?
Multiple realisability means that mental states can also be found in non-humans (ie animals). it is a problem because type theory says that pain= c-fibres firing and if an animal doesn't have c-fibres (which then don't) then they cannot be in pain.
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What is the problem with the irreducibility of consciousness for type identity theory?
Conscious mental states involve the subjective point of view of the individual. There is something it is like to be in a particular conscious state and this cannot be reduced down to brain states.
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What are the 4 types of functionalism?
Analytic, machine, psycho and teleological
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Briefly, what is substance dualism?


Mind and body are 2 ontologicaly distinct substances

Card 3


Give 2 criticisms of substance dualism


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Card 4


Who is the important philosopher in property dualism?


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Card 5


What is Leibniz's law?


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