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Contents:
  1. Dewey, John | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  2. 1 Introduction
  3. Mind: Mind-Body Dualism

Henning, review of H. Jackson Memorial Volume , Bombay, , pp. Beckwith, ed. Monnot, Penseurs musulmans et religions iraniennes. Brionne, France, Bianchi, ed. Rudolph, Die Gnosis. Paris, Urbach, R. Z Werblowsky, and C. Wirszubski, eds. First Century B. Davis and L. Finkelstein, eds. Steinkellner and H. Tauscher, eds. Dietrich, ed. Submitted tags will be reviewed by site administrator before it is posted online. If you enter several tags, separate with commas. Topic select a topic Idem, Problemi di storia delle religioni , 2nd ed.

Boyce, Zoroastrians. Their Religious Beliefs and Practices , London, Histoire et mythes , Paris, Darmesteter, Ohrmazd et Ahriman , Paris, Idem, Zoroaster. Politician or Witch-Doctor? London, Hoffmann, Tibet. A Handbook , Bloomington, Ind. Idem and E. Pirart, Les textes vieil-avestiques I, Wiesbaden, Idem, Islam et religions , Paris, Moulton, Early Zoroastrianism , London, Ringgren, Fatalism in Persian Epics , Uppsala, Idem, Dualism in Transformation.

Varieties of Religion in Sasanian Iran , London, Tucci, Tibetan Painted Scrolls , 3 vols. Idem, The Religions of Tibet , London, Zaehner, Zurvan. A Zoroastrian Dilemma , Oxford, The work of Sigmund Freud was very important, at minimum, in bringing about the near universal acceptance of the existence of unconscious mental states and processes. It must, however, be kept in mind that none of the above had very much scientific knowledge about the detailed workings of the brain.

The relatively recent development of neurophysiology is, in part, also responsible for the unprecedented interdisciplinary research interest in consciousness, particularly since the s. There are now several important journals devoted entirely to the study of consciousness: Consciousness and Cognition , Journal of Consciousness Studies , and Psyche. For a small sample of introductory texts and important anthologies, see Kim , Gennaro b, Block et. Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with the ultimate nature of reality.

There are two broad traditional and competing metaphysical views concerning the nature of the mind and conscious mental states: dualism and materialism. While there are many versions of each, the former generally holds that the conscious mind or a conscious mental state is non-physical in some sense.

On the other hand, materialists hold that the mind is the brain, or, more accurately, that conscious mental activity is identical with neural activity. For something to be non-physical, it must literally be outside the realm of physics; that is, not in space at all and undetectable in principle by the instruments of physics.

However, something might be physical but not material in this sense, such as an electromagnetic or energy field. Thus, to say that the mind is non-physical is to say something much stronger than that it is non-material. Dualists, then, tend to believe that conscious mental states or minds are radically different from anything in the physical world at all. There are a number of reasons why some version of dualism has been held throughout the centuries. For one thing, especially from the introspective or first-person perspective, our conscious mental states just do not seem like physical things or processes.

That is, when we reflect on our conscious perceptions, pains, and desires, they do not seem to be physical in any sense. Consciousness seems to be a unique aspect of the world not to be understood in any physical way. Although materialists will urge that this completely ignores the more scientific third-person perspective on the nature of consciousness and mind, this idea continues to have force for many today. The metaphysical conclusion ultimately drawn is that consciousness cannot be identical with anything physical, partly because there is no essential conceptual connection between the mental and the physical.

Arguments such as these go back to Descartes and continue to be used today in various ways Kripke , Chalmers , but it is highly controversial as to whether they succeed in showing that materialism is false. Materialists have replied in various ways to such arguments and the relevant literature has grown dramatically in recent years.

Historically, there is also the clear link between dualism and a belief in immortality, and hence a more theistic perspective than one tends to find among materialists. Indeed, belief in dualism is often explicitly theologically motivated. If the conscious mind is not physical, it seems more plausible to believe in the possibility of life after bodily death. On the other hand, if conscious mental activity is identical with brain activity, then it would seem that when all brain activity ceases, so do all conscious experiences and thus no immortality.

After all, what do many people believe continues after bodily death? There is perhaps a similar historical connection to a belief in free will, which is of course a major topic in its own right. Although materialism may not logically rule out immortality or free will, materialists will likely often reply that such traditional, perhaps even outdated or pre-scientific beliefs simply ought to be rejected to the extent that they conflict with materialism.

After all, if the weight of the evidence points toward materialism and away from dualism, then so much the worse for those related views. Somewhat related to the issue of immortality, the existence of near death experiences is also used as some evidence for dualism and immortality. In response, materialists will point out that such experiences can be artificially induced in various experimental situations, and that starving the brain of oxygen is known to cause hallucinations.

Various paranormal and psychic phenomena, such as clairvoyance, faith healing, and mind-reading, are sometimes also cited as evidence for dualism. However, materialists and even many dualists will first likely wish to be skeptical of the alleged phenomena themselves for numerous reasons. There are many modern day charlatans who should make us seriously question whether there really are such phenomena or mental abilities in the first place. Second, it is not quite clear just how dualism follows from such phenomena even if they are genuine.

A materialist, or physicalist at least, might insist that though such phenomena are puzzling and perhaps currently difficult to explain in physical terms, they are nonetheless ultimately physical in nature; for example, having to do with very unusual transfers of energy in the physical world. The dualist advantage is perhaps not as obvious as one might think, and we need not jump to supernatural conclusions so quickly. For example, my desire to drink something cold causes my body to move to the refrigerator and get something to drink and, conversely, kicking me in the shin will cause me to feel a pain and get angry.

Dewey, John | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

But a modern day interactionist would certainly wish to treat various areas of the brain as the location of such interactions. Three serious objections are briefly worth noting here. The first is simply the issue of just how does or could such radically different substances causally interact.

How something non-physical causally interacts with something physical, such as the brain? No such explanation is forthcoming or is perhaps even possible, according to materialists. Moreover, if causation involves a transfer of energy from cause to effect, then how is that possible if the mind is really non-physical? So any loss of energy in the cause must be passed along as a corresponding gain of energy in the effect, as in standard billiard ball examples. But if interactionism is true, then when mental events cause physical events, energy would literally come into the physical word.

On the other hand, when bodily events cause mental events, energy would literally go out of the physical world. At the least, there is a very peculiar and unique notion of energy involved, unless one wished, even more radically, to deny the conservation principle itself. Third, some materialists might also use the well-known fact that brain damage even to very specific areas of the brain causes mental defects as a serious objection to interactionism and thus as support for materialism.

This has of course been known for many centuries, but the level of detailed knowledge has increased dramatically in recent years. Now a dualist might reply that such phenomena do not absolutely refute her metaphysical position since it could be replied that damage to the brain simply causes corresponding damage to the mind. However, this raises a host of other questions: Why not opt for the simpler explanation, i. Will the severe amnesic at the end of life on Earth retain such a deficit in the afterlife? If proper mental functioning still depends on proper brain functioning, then is dualism really in no better position to offer hope for immortality?

It should be noted that there is also another less popular form of substance dualism called parallelism, which denies the causal interaction between the non-physical mental and physical bodily realms. It seems fair to say that it encounters even more serious objections than interactionism. While a detailed survey of all varieties of dualism is beyond the scope of this entry, it is at least important to note here that the main and most popular form of dualism today is called property dualism.

Substance dualism has largely fallen out of favor at least in most philosophical circles, though there are important exceptions e. Property dualism, on the other hand, is a more modest version of dualism and it holds that there are mental properties that is, characteristics or aspects of things that are neither identical with nor reducible to physical properties. There are actually several different kinds of property dualism, but what they have in common is the idea that conscious properties, such as the color qualia involved in a conscious experience of a visual perception, cannot be explained in purely physical terms and, thus, are not themselves to be identified with any brain state or process.

Two other views worth mentioning are epiphenomenalism and panpsychism. The latter is the somewhat eccentric view that all things in physical reality, even down to micro-particles, have some mental properties. All substances have a mental aspect, though it is not always clear exactly how to characterize or test such a claim. Finally, although not a form of dualism, idealism holds that there are only immaterial mental substances, a view more common in the Eastern tradition.

The most prominent Western proponent of idealism was 18th century empiricist George Berkeley. The idealist agrees with the substance dualist, however, that minds are non-physical, but then denies the existence of mind-independent physical substances altogether. Such a view faces a number of serious objections, and it also requires a belief in the existence of God.

Some form of materialism is probably much more widely held today than in centuries past. No doubt part of the reason for this has to do with the explosion in scientific knowledge about the workings of the brain and its intimate connection with consciousness, including the close connection between brain damage and various states of consciousness.

Brain death is now the main criterion for when someone dies. Stimulation to specific areas of the brain results in modality specific conscious experiences. Indeed, materialism often seems to be a working assumption in neurophysiology. The idea is that science is showing us that conscious mental states, such as visual perceptions, are simply identical with certain neuro-chemical brain processes; much like the science of chemistry taught us that water just is H2O. In this case, even if dualism could equally explain consciousness which would of course be disputed by materialists , materialism is clearly the simpler theory in so far as it does not posit any objects or processes over and above physical ones.

Materialists will wonder why there is a need to believe in the existence of such mysterious non-physical entities. Moreover, in the aftermath of the Darwinian revolution, it would seem that materialism is on even stronger ground provided that one accepts basic evolutionary theory and the notion that most animals are conscious.

Given the similarities between the more primitive parts of the human brain and the brains of other animals, it seems most natural to conclude that, through evolution, increasing layers of brain areas correspond to increased mental abilities. For example, having a well developed prefrontal cortex allows humans to reason and plan in ways not available to dogs and cats.

It also seems fairly uncontroversial to hold that we should be materialists about the minds of animals. If so, then it would be odd indeed to hold that non-physical conscious states suddenly appear on the scene with humans. There are still, however, a number of much discussed and important objections to materialism, most of which question the notion that materialism can adequately explain conscious experience. Although not concerned to reject the metaphysics of materialism, Levine gives eloquent expression to the idea that there is a key gap in our ability to explain the connection between phenomenal properties and brain properties see also Levine , The basic problem is that it is, at least at present, very difficult for us to understand the relationship between brain properties and phenomenal properties in any explanatory satisfying way, especially given the fact that it seems possible for one to be present without the other.

There is an odd kind of arbitrariness involved: Why or how does some particular brain process produce that particular taste or visual sensation? It is difficult to see any real explanatory connection between specific conscious states and brain states in a way that explains just how or why the former are identical with the latter.

There is therefore an explanatory gap between the physical and mental. Unlike Levine, however, Chalmers is much more inclined to draw anti-materialist metaphysical conclusions from these and other considerations. The easy problems generally have more to do with the functions of consciousness, but Chalmers urges that solving them does not touch the hard problem of phenomenal consciousness.

Their theories ignore phenomenal consciousness. There are many responses by materialists to the above charges, but it is worth emphasizing that Levine, at least, does not reject the metaphysics of materialism. That is, it is primarily a problem having to do with knowledge or understanding.

This concession is still important at least to the extent that one is concerned with the larger related metaphysical issues discussed in section 3a, such as the possibility of immortality. Perhaps most important for the materialist, however, is recognition of the fact that different concepts can pick out the same property or object in the world Loar , In contrast, we can also use various concepts couched in physical or neurophysiological terms to refer to that same mental state from the third-person point of view.

There is thus but one conscious mental state which can be conceptualized in two different ways: either by employing first-person experiential phenomenal concepts or by employing third-person neurophysiological concepts. Qualia would then still be identical to physical properties. Moreover, this response provides a diagnosis for why there even seems to be such a gap; namely, that we use very different concepts to pick out the same property.

There is a pair of very widely discussed, and arguably related, objections to materialism which come from the seminal writings of Thomas Nagel and Frank Jackson , Like Levine, Nagel does not reject the metaphysics of materialism. Jackson had originally intended for his argument to yield a dualistic conclusion, but he no longer holds that view. The general pattern of each argument is to assume that all the physical facts are known about some conscious mind or conscious experience.

Yet, the argument goes, not all is known about the mind or experience. It is then inferred that the missing knowledge is non-physical in some sense, which is surely an anti-materialist conclusion in some sense. The idea, then, is that if we accept the hypothesis that we know all of the physical facts about bat minds, and yet some knowledge about bat minds is left out, then materialism is inherently flawed when it comes to explaining consciousness.

Even in an ideal future in which everything physical is known by us, something would still be left out. Mary never sees red for example, but she learns all of the physical facts and everything neurophysiologically about human color vision. Eventually she is released from the room and sees red for the first time. This is a new piece of knowledge and hence she must have come to know some non-physical fact since, by hypothesis, she already knew all of the physical facts.

Thus, not all knowledge about the conscious mind is physical knowledge. The influence and the quantity of work that these ideas have generated cannot be exaggerated. Various suspicions about the nature and effectiveness of such thought experiments also usually accompany this response. More commonly, however, materialists reply by arguing that Mary does not learn a new fact when seeing red for the first time, but rather learns the same fact in a different way.

Recalling the distinction made in section 3b. We might say that Mary, upon leaving the black and white room, becomes acquainted with the same neural property as before, but only now from the first-person point of view. In short, coming to learn or know something new does not entail learning some new fact about the world.

Analogies are again given in other less controversial areas, for example, one can come to know about some historical fact or event by reading a reliable third-person historical account or by having observed that event oneself. But there is still only the one objective fact under two different descriptions. Finally, it is crucial to remember that, according to most, the metaphysics of materialism remains unaffected.


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Drawing a metaphysical conclusion from such purely epistemological premises is always a questionable practice. Indeed, a materialist might even expect the conclusion that Nagel draws; after all, given that our brains are so different from bat brains, it almost seems natural for there to be certain aspects of bat experience that we could never fully comprehend. Only the bat actually undergoes the relevant brain processes. Despite the plethora of materialist responses, vigorous debate continues as there are those who still think that something profound must always be missing from any materialist attempt to explain consciousness; namely, that understanding subjective phenomenal consciousness is an inherently first-person activity which cannot be captured by any objective third-person scientific means, no matter how much scientific knowledge is accumulated.

Some knowledge about consciousness is essentially limited to first-person knowledge. Such a sense, no doubt, continues to fuel the related anti-materialist intuitions raised in the previous section. Perhaps consciousness is simply a fundamental or irreducible part of nature in some sense Chalmers For more see Van Gulick Finally, some go so far as to argue that we are simply not capable of solving the problem of consciousness McGinn , , More specifically, McGinn claims that we are cognitively closed as to how the brain produces conscious awareness. McGinn concedes that some brain property produces conscious experience, but we cannot understand how this is so or even know what that brain property is.

Our concept forming mechanisms simply will not allow us to grasp the physical and causal basis of consciousness. We are not conceptually suited to be able to do so. McGinn does not entirely rest his argument on past failed attempts at explaining consciousness in materialist terms; instead, he presents another argument for his admittedly pessimistic conclusion. McGinn observes that we do not have a mental faculty that can access both consciousness and the brain. We access consciousness through introspection or the first-person perspective, but our access to the brain is through the use of outer spatial senses e.

Thus we have no way to access both the brain and consciousness together, and therefore any explanatory link between them is forever beyond our reach. Materialist responses are numerous. Both first-person and third-person scientific data about the brain and consciousness can be acquired and used to solve the hard problem.

Presumably, McGinn would say that we are not capable of putting such a theory together in any appropriate way. Third, it may be that McGinn expects too much; namely, grasping some causal link between the brain and consciousness. Indeed, this is sometimes also said in response to the explanatory gap and the hard problem, as we saw earlier. Rats, for example, have no concept whatsoever of calculus. Rats are just completely oblivious to calculus problems. On the other hand, we humans obviously do have some grasp on consciousness and on the workings of the brain -- just see the references at the end of this entry!

It is not clear, then, why we should accept the extremely pessimistic and universally negative conclusion that we can never discover the answer to the problem of consciousness, or, more specifically, why we could never understand the link between consciousness and the brain.

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Unlike many of the above objections to materialism, the appeal to the possibility of zombies is often taken as both a problem for materialism and as a more positive argument for some form of dualism, such as property dualism. Thus, it is logically possible for me to jump fifty feet in the air, but not empirically possible. The objection, then, typically proceeds from such a possibility to the conclusion that materialism is false because materialism would seem to rule out that possibility. It has been fairly widely accepted since Kripke that all identity statements are necessarily true that is, true in all possible worlds , and the same should therefore go for mind-brain identity claims.

See Identity Theory. It is impossible to do justice to all of the subtleties here. A few lines of reply are as follows: First, it is sometimes objected that the conceivability of something does not really entail its possibility. Perhaps we can also conceive of water not being H2O, since there seems to be no logical contradiction in doing so, but, according to received wisdom from Kripke, that is really impossible.

Much of the debate centers on various alleged similarities or dissimilarities between the mind-brain and water-H2O cases or other such scientific identities. Second, even if zombies are conceivable in the sense of logically possible, how can we draw a substantial metaphysical conclusion about the actual world? It seems that one could take virtually any philosophical or scientific theory about almost anything, conceive that it is possibly false, and then conclude that it is actually false.

Something, perhaps, is generally wrong with this way of reasoning. Third, as we saw earlier 3b. On the one side, we are dealing with scientific third-person concepts and, on the other, we are employing phenomenal concepts. We are, perhaps, simply currently not in a position to understand completely such a necessary connection.

Despite the apparent simplicity of materialism, say, in terms of the identity between mental states and neural states, the fact is that there are many different forms of materialism. The idea is simply that it seems perfectly possible for there to be other conscious beings e. It seems that commitment to type-type identity theory led to the undesirable result that only organisms with brains like ours can have conscious states.

But for more recent defenses of type-type identity theory see Hill and McLaughlin , Papineau , , , Polger This view simply holds that each particular conscious mental event in some organism is identical with some particular brain process or event in that organism. This seems to preserve much of what the materialist wants but yet allows for the multiple realizability of conscious states, because both the human and the alien can still have a conscious desire for something to drink while each mental event is identical with a different physical state in each organism.

Taking the notion of multiple realizability very seriously has also led many to embrace functionalism, which is the view that conscious mental states should really only be identified with the functional role they play within an organism. For example, conscious pains are defined more in terms of input and output, such as causing bodily damage and avoidance behavior, as well as in terms of their relationship to other mental states. It is normally viewed as a form of materialism since virtually all functionalists also believe, like the token-token theorist, that something physical ultimately realizes that functional state in the organism, but functionalism does not, by itself, entail that materialism is true.

Some materialists even deny the very existence of mind and mental states altogether, at least in the sense that the very concept of consciousness is muddled Wilkes , or that the mentalistic notions found in folk psychology, such as desires and beliefs, will eventually be eliminated and replaced by physicalistic terms as neurophysiology matures into the future Churchland Materialism is true as an ontological or metaphysical doctrine, but facts about the mind cannot be deduced from facts about the physical world Boyd , Van Gulick In some ways, this might be viewed as a relatively harmless variation on materialist themes, but others object to the very coherence of this form of materialism Kim , Most specific theories of consciousness tend to be reductionist in some sense.

The classic notion at work is that consciousness or individual conscious mental states can be explained in terms of something else or in some other terms. This section will focus on several prominent contemporary reductionist theories. We should, however, distinguish between those who attempt such a reduction directly in physicalistic, such as neurophysiological, terms and those who do so in mentalistic terms, such as by using unconscious mental states or other cognitive notions.

The more direct reductionist approach can be seen in various, more specific, neural theories of consciousness. The basic idea is that mental states become conscious when large numbers of neurons fire in synchrony and all have oscillations within the hertz range that is, cycles per second. However, many philosophers and scientists have put forth other candidates for what, specifically, to identify in the brain with consciousness. The overall idea is to show how one or more specific kinds of neuro-chemical activity can underlie and explain conscious mental activity Metzinger Even Crick and Koch have acknowledged that they, at best, provide a necessary condition for consciousness, and that such firing patters are not automatically sufficient for having conscious experience.

Many current theories attempt to reduce consciousness in mentalistic terms. Much of what goes on in the brain, however, might also be understood in a representational way; for example, as mental events representing outer objects partly because they are caused by such objects in, say, cases of veridical visual perception. Although intentional states are sometimes contrasted with phenomenal states, such as pains and color experiences, it is clear that many conscious states have both phenomenal and intentional properties, such as visual perceptions.

It should be noted that the relation between intentionalilty and consciousness is itself a major ongoing area of dispute with some arguing that genuine intentionality actually presupposes consciousness in some way Searle , Siewart , Horgan and Tienson while most representationalists insist that intentionality is prior to consciousness Gennaro , chapter two. The other related motivation for representational theories of consciousness is that many believe that an account of representation or intentionality can more easily be given in naturalistic terms, such as causal theories whereby mental states are understood as representing outer objects in virtue of some reliable causal connection.

The idea, then, is that if consciousness can be explained in representational terms and representation can be understood in purely physical terms, then there is the promise of a reductionist and naturalistic theory of consciousness. Alternatively, conscious mental states have no mental properties other than their representational properties.

Two conscious states with all the same representational properties will not differ phenomenally. A First-order representational FOR theory of consciousness is a theory that attempts to explain conscious experience primarily in terms of world-directed or first-order intentional states. Probably the two most cited FOR theories of consciousness are those of Fred Dretske and Michael Tye , , though there are many others as well e. Like other FOR theorists, Tye holds that the representational content of my conscious experience that is, what my experience is about or directed at is identical with the phenomenal properties of experience.

Whatever the merits and exact nature of the argument from transparency see Kind , it is clear, of course, that not all mental representations are conscious, so the key question eventually becomes: What exactly distinguishes conscious from unconscious mental states or representations? What makes a mental state a conscious mental state? Without probing into every aspect of PANIC theory, Tye holds that at least some of the representational content in question is non-conceptual N , which is to say that the subject can lack the concept for the properties represented by the experience in question, such as an experience of a certain shade of red that one has never seen before.

Actually, the exact nature or even existence of non-conceptual content of experience is itself a highly debated and difficult issue in philosophy of mind Gunther Gennaro , for example, defends conceptualism and connects it in various ways to the higher-order thought theory of consciousness see section 4b.

This condition is needed to handle cases of hallucinations, where there are no concrete objects at all or cases where different objects look phenomenally alike. For example…feeling hungry… has an immediate cognitive effect, namely, the desire to eat…. If so, then conscious experience cannot generally be explained in terms of representational properties Block Tye responds that pains, itches, and the like do represent, in the sense that they represent parts of the body.

And after-images, hallucinations, and the like either misrepresent which is still a kind of representation or the conscious subject still takes them to have representational properties from the first-person point of view. Indeed, Tye admirably goes to great lengths and argues convincingly in response to a whole host of alleged counter-examples to representationalism. Historically among them are various hypothetical cases of inverted qualia see Shoemaker , the mere possibility of which is sometimes taken as devastating to representationalism.

These are cases where behaviorally indistinguishable individuals have inverted color perceptions of objects, such as person A visually experiences a lemon the way that person B experience a ripe tomato with respect to their color, and so on for all yellow and red objects. For more on the importance of color in philosophy, see Hardin On Inverted Earth every object has the complementary color to the one it has here, but we are asked to imagine that a person is equipped with color-inverting lenses and then sent to Inverted Earth completely ignorant of those facts.

Since the color inversions cancel out, the phenomenal experiences remain the same, yet there certainly seem to be different representational properties of objects involved. The strategy on the part of critics, in short, is to think of counter-examples either actual or hypothetical whereby there is a difference between the phenomenal properties in experience and the relevant representational properties in the world.

Such objections can, perhaps, be answered by Tye and others in various ways, but significant debate continues Macpherson Intuitions also dramatically differ as to the very plausibility and value of such thought experiments. For more, see Seager , chapters 6 and 7. See also Chalmers for an excellent discussion of the dizzying array of possible representationalist positions.

As we have seen, one question that should be answered by any theory of consciousness is: What makes a mental state a conscious mental state? There is a long tradition that has attempted to understand consciousness in terms of some kind of higher-order awareness. In general, the idea is that what makes a mental state conscious is that it is the object of some kind of higher-order representation HOR.

This is sometimes referred to as the Transitivity Principle. Any theory which attempts to explain consciousness in terms of higher-order states is known as a higher-order HO theory of consciousness. HO theorists are united in the belief that their approach can better explain consciousness than any purely FOR theory, which has significant difficulty in explaining the difference between unconscious and conscious mental states.

HOT theorists, such as David M. Rosenthal, think it is better to understand the HOR as a thought of some kind. HOTs are treated as cognitive states involving some kind of conceptual component. HOP theorists urge that the HOR is a perceptual or experiential state of some kind Lycan which does not require the kind of conceptual content invoked by HOT theorists. A common initial objection to HOR theories is that they are circular and lead to an infinite regress.

It also might seem that an infinite regress results because a conscious mental state must be accompanied by a HOT, which, in turn, must be accompanied by another HOT ad infinitum. However, the standard reply is that when a conscious mental state is a first-order world-directed state the higher-order thought HOT is not itself conscious; otherwise, circularity and an infinite regress would follow.

When the HOT is itself conscious, there is a yet higher-order or third-order thought directed at the second-order state. In this case, we have introspection which involves a conscious HOT directed at an inner mental state. When one introspects, one's attention is directed back into one's mind. For example, what makes my desire to write a good entry a conscious first-order desire is that there is a non-conscious HOT directed at the desire. In this case, my conscious focus is directed at the entry and my computer screen, so I am not consciously aware of having the HOT from the first-person point of view.

The basic idea is that the conscious status of an experience is due to its availability to higher-order thought. Thus, no actual HOT occurs. Daniel Dennett is sometimes credited with an earlier version of a dispositional account see Carruthers , chapter ten. It is worth briefly noting a few typical objections to HO theories many of which can be found in Byrne : First, and perhaps most common, is that various animals and even infants are not likely to have to the conceptual sophistication required for HOTs, and so that would render animal and infant consciousness very unlikely Dretske , Seager Although most who bring forth this objection are not HO theorists, Peter Carruthers is one HO theorist who actually embraces the conclusion that most animals do not have phenomenal consciousness.

Gennaro , has replied to Carruthers on this point; for example, it is argued that the HOTs need not be as sophisticated as it might initially appear and there is ample comparative neurophysiological evidence supporting the conclusion that animals have conscious mental states. Most HO theorists do not wish to accept the absence of animal or infant consciousness as a consequence of holding the theory. The debate continues, however, in Carruthers , , and Gennaro , , , chapters seven and eight. When I have a thought about a rock, it is certainly not true that the rock becomes conscious.

So why should I suppose that a mental state becomes conscious when I think about it? This is puzzling to many and the objection forces HO theorists to explain just how adding the HO state changes an unconscious state into a conscious. There have been, however, a number of responses to this kind of objection Rosenthal , Lycan, , Van Gulick , , Gennaro , , chapter four.

Here I will concentrate on two: the fact that mind and body seem to interact causally, and the distinctive features of consciousness. One reason for believing this is the belief that the soul, unlike the body, is immortal. Another reason for believing it is that we have free will, and this seems to require that the mind is a non-physical thing, since all physical things are subject to the laws of nature.

A primary goal of this chapter is to highlight neglected epistemic parallels between dualism and physicalism. Both dualist and physicalist arguments employ a combination of empirical data and armchair reflection; both rely on considerations stemming from how we conceptualize certain phenomena; and both aim to establish views that are compatible with scientific results but go well beyond the deliverances of empirical science. Section 2 outlines two influential arguments for dualism and explains how dualists defend those arguments from key criticisms.

Sections 3 and 4 examine the most powerful objections to dualism: that it is inferior to physicalism as regards the theoretical virtue of simplicity, and that it cannot explain mental causation. I show that each of these objections to dualism depends on substantial assumptions that cannot be empirically justified. And the objection from mental causation rests on an ambitious assumption about how we conceptualize physical phenomena.

Section 5 briefly reviews how epistemic considerations inform arguments on both sides of this debate. The Knowledge Argument in Philosophy of Mind. Free Will and Neuroscience in Philosophy of Action. Theories of Consciousness, Miscellaneous in Philosophy of Mind. Saigle, Dubljevic, and Racine claim that Libet-style experiments are insufficient to challenge that agents have free will. They support this with evidence from experimen- tal psychology that the folk concept of freedom is consis- tent with monism, that our minds are identical to our brains.

However, recent literature suggests that evidence from experimental psychology is less than determinate in this regard, and that folk intuitions are too unrefined as to provide guidance on metaphysical issues like monism. In light of We conclude that, were dualism true, then Libet- style experiments would tell us no more about freedom and moral responsibility than what the authors initially claimed, thus further bolstering their point that Libet-style experiments are ill-suited to speak to the free will of agents.

In what follows we first discuss some of the reasons to be skeptical of using folk intuitions to make claims about the nature of freedom and moral responsibility. We then draw from the work of E. Lowe to demonstrate that Libet-style experiments would likely give the same results regardless of the truth of monism or dualism.

Determinism in Philosophy of Action. This work addresses the challenge of contemporary materialism for thinking about God. The book examines contemporary theories of consciousness and defends a non-materialist theory of persons, subjectivity and God. A version of dualism is articulated that seeks to avoid the fragmented outlook of most dualist theories. Dualism is often considered to be inadequate both philosophically and ethically, and is seen as a chief cause of denigrating the body and of promoting individualism and scepticism.

Charles Taliaferro defends a holistic understanding of This integrated dualism is spelled out in a way that avoids the ethical and philosophical problems associated with other dualistic accounts, especially in its Platonic and Cartesian forms. A defence is then made of the intelligibility of thinking about God as non-physical, yet integrally present to creation. Dualism in Philosophy of Mind. Metaphysics of Mind in Philosophy of Mind. Philosophy of Consciousness in Philosophy of Mind. Philosophy of Religion.

1 Introduction

Theories of Consciousness, Misc in Philosophy of Mind. In order to defend mental explanations dualists may appeal to dispositions powers. By accepting a powers theory of causation, a dualist can more plausibly defend mental explanations that are given independently of physical explanations. Accepting a power-based theory still comes with a price. Absences and double preventers are not causes in a powers theory, and solutions based on them can only defend their explanatory relevance in mental explanations.

There is still a chance that such mental explanations can be causal explanations, Causal Explanation in Metaphysics. Dispositions and Powers in Metaphysics. Mental Causation, Misc in Philosophy of Mind. This paper provides an initial, multidimensional map of the complex relationships among consciousness, mind, brain, and the external world in a way that both follows the contours of everyday experience and the findings of science.


  1. Sections in this entry;
  2. Encyclopædia Iranica.
  3. Ich weiß, dass ich nichts weiß (Sokrates): Die Auffassung Sokrates bezüglich Wissen, Weisheit und Philosophie (German Edition).
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  5. (PDF) An Unfortunate Dualist Revisited | Felipe G. A. Moreira - jozomibola.tk.
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  8. It then demonstrates how this reflexive monist map can be used to evaluate the utility and resolve some of the oppositions of the many other 'isms' that currently populate consciousness studies. While no conventional, one-dimensional 'ism' such as physicalism can do justice to this web of For example, physicalism and functionalism provide a useful understanding of consciousness, mind, brain, and the external world when viewed from a third-person perspective, while neutral monism provides a useful way of understanding first- versus third-person views of external phenomena.

    On the other hand, dual-aspect monism provides a useful way of understanding first- versus third-person views of mind, including eastern versus western views of mind. Dual-aspect monism also provides a useful understanding of the 'unconscious ground of being' that gives rise to, supports, and embeds all these observable phenomena. For an integrated understanding one needs to understand how these phenomena and relationships combine into an integrated whole.

    Monism in Metaphysics. It seems certain to me that I will die and stay dead. I am so intertwined with the chiasmus of lives, bodies, ecosystems, symbolic intersubjectivity, and life on this particular planet that I cannot imagine this identity continuing alone without them.

    Perhaps, we bring this back with us to the Source Awareness, consciousness, is universal — it comes with the territory — so maybe you will be one of the few prepared to become unexpectedly enlightened after the loss of body and self. You may discover your own apotheosis — something you always were, but after a lifetime of primate experience, now much more. Those who awaken beyond the death of self will have changed Reality. Death and Dying, Misc in Applied Ethics.

    Neutral Monism in Philosophy of Mind. Self-Consciousness in Experience in Philosophy of Mind.

    What is DUALISM? What does DUALISM mean? DUALISM meaning, definition & explanation

    The Soul in Philosophy of Religion. In this paper, I explore anomalous dualism about consciousness, a view that has not previously been explored in any detail. We can classify theories of consciousness along two dimensions: first, a theory might be physicalist or dualist; second, a theory might endorse any of the three following views regarding causal relations between phenomenal properties properties that characterize states of our consciousness and physical properties: nomism the two kinds of property interact through deterministic laws , acausalism they do not causally interact , and I suggest that a kind of anomalous dualism, nonreductive anomalous panpsychism, promises to offer the best overall answer to two pressing issues for dualist views, the problem of mental causation and the mapping problem the problem of predicting mind-body associations.

    Anomalous Monism in Philosophy of Mind. David Ray Griffin does not fully come to terms with the fact that science has already abandoned the narrow materialist view of bits of matter pushing each other around. Even as early as Newton's law of gravitation, and most obviously with quantum physics, science has embraced the view that the world consists of relationships often described as laws between different types of processes and states. Philosophy of Consciousness, Misc in Philosophy of Mind. Modal Logic in Logic and Philosophy of Logic. Next, we indicate that, This version of the argument, however, is epistemically circular.

    Mind: Mind-Body Dualism

    Standard definitions of causal closure focus on where the causes in question are. In this paper, the focus is changed to where they are not. Causal closure is linked to the principle that no cause of another universe causes an event in a particular universe. This view permits the one universe to be affected by the other via an interface.

    An interface between universes can be seen as a domain that violates the suggested account of causal closure, suggesting a view On this basis, universes are not affected by other universes directly but rather indirectly. Physics in Natural Sciences. Some physicalists Balog , Howell , and most dualists, endorse the acquaintance response to the Knowledge Argument. This is the claim that Mary gains substantial new knowledge, upon leaving the room, because phenomenal knowledge requires direct acquaintance with phenomenal properties.

    The acquaintance response is an especially promising way to make sense of the Mary case. I argue that it casts doubt on two claims often made on behalf of physicalism, regarding parsimony and mental causation. I show that those who endorse I propose that pleasures and pains, while themselves epiphenomenal, can nonetheless explain positive and negative associations with stimuli, associations that can contribute to fitness. Epiphenomenalism in Philosophy of Mind. Introspection and Introspectionism in Philosophy of Cognitive Science. Knowledge of Consciousness in Philosophy of Mind.

    Three big philosophical problems about consciousness are: Why does it exist? How do we explain and understand it? How can we explain brain-consciousness correlations? If functionalism were true, all three problems would be solved. But it is false, and that means all three problems remain unsolved in that there is no other obvious candidate for a solution. Here, it is argued that the first problem cannot have a solution; this is inherent in the nature of explanation. The second problem is There is also the space of all possible sentient brain processes.

    There is just one, unique one-one mapping between these two spaces that preserves continuity and linearity. It is this which provides the explanation as to why brain processes and sensations are correlated as they are. I consider objections to this unique-matching theory, and consider how the theory might be empirically confirmed. Qualia, Misc in Philosophy of Mind. Subjectivity and Objectivity in Philosophy of Mind. I argue that a strong mind—body dualism is required of any formulation of quantum mechanics that satisfies a relatively weak set of explanatory constraints.

    Dropping one or more of these constraints may allow one to avoid the commitment to a mind—body dualism but may also require a commitment to a physical—physical dualism that is at least as objectionable.