Mind body problem What is the relationship between
Mind body problem What is the relationship between mental states and the physical world? Ren Descartes (1596-1650) Zoltn Dienes, Philosophy of Psychology DUALISM substance dualism Mind can exist independently
of any physical object vs property dualism Some objects, e.g. brains, can have nonphysical mental features, but when the object ceases to exist so do its mental features Dualism:
epiphenomenalism The physical world is causally closed; the mental cannot influence the physical vs interactionism The mental can influence the physical (e.g. intending to lift your arm) and the physical can influence the mental (perception)
Arguments for dualism: 1) Qualia: It is like something to have mental states: see colours, feel happy, etc. Why should it be like anything to be a brain? 2) parapsychology Is there evidence for effects of the mental above and beyond the laws of physics? But if there seems to be, is that evidence for dualism or a need to revise the laws of physics? Arguments against dualism:
1) the neural dependence of all known mental phenomena Take any mental phenomenon including those most basic to what it is to be a conscious person and we can monkey with it by playing with the brain 2) explanatory power What detailed characteristics of mental states have been explained by a well worked-out dualist theory? 3) evolution How does gradual natural selection lead to something non-physical popping into existence? MONISM:
idealism: Only mind exists Physicalism (materialism): Only the physical world exists Identity theory: mental states are physical states of the brain. Argument: 1. Mental states can cause physical events 2. The physical world is causally closed 3. Therefore mental states are physical states FUNCTIONALISM Mental states are functional states (software compared to hardware).
Arguments against: 1) Inverted spectra: could not my red quale be like your blue quale while our red mental states have the same functional roles and our blue mental states have the same functional roles? 2) zombies: Could there not be a system with all the right functional relationships but just no qualia?
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