Category:Philosophy of mind literature
Pages in category "Philosophy of mind literature"
The following 36 pages are in this category, out of 36 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 36 pages are in this category, out of 36 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. The Concept of Mind – In the chapter Descartes Myth, Ryle introduces the term the dogma of the Ghost in the machine to describe the philosophical concept of the mind as an entity separate from the body. He argues, I hope to prove that it is entirely false and it is not merely an assemblage of particular mistakes. It is one big mistake and a mistake of a special kind and it is, namely, a category mistake. Ryle rejects Descartes theory of the relation between mind and body, on the grounds that it approaches the investigation of processes as if they could be isolated from physical processes. Practical actions may not necessarily be produced by highly theoretical reasoning or by sequences of intellectual operations. The meaning of actions may not be explained by making inferences about hidden mental processes, according to Ryle, mental processes are merely intelligent acts. There are no mental processes that are distinct from intelligent acts, the operations of the mind are not merely represented by intelligent acts, they are the same as those intelligent acts. Logical propositions are not merely clues to modes of reasoning, they are those modes of reasoning and this theory of the separability of mind and body is described by Ryle as the dogma of the ghost in the machine. Cartesian theory holds that mental acts determine physical acts and that acts of the body must be caused by volitional acts of the mind. This theory, according to Ryle, is the myth of the ghost in the machine, there is no contradiction between saying that an action is governed by physical laws and saying that the same action is governed by principles of reasoning. The motives of observable actions are propensities and dispositions, these explain why behaviors occur, for example, the disposition to want or not to want something is not explained by an intellectual motive for that thing. The disposition to want something is explained by the behaviors that are involved in wanting that thing, thus, the mind does consist of abilities and dispositions that do explain behaviors, for example the learning, remembering, knowing, feeling, or willing behaviors. However, personal abilities and dispositions are not the same as mental processes or events, to refer to abilities or dispositions as if they were purely mental occurrences is to make a basic kind of category-mistake. The nature of a persons motives may be defined by the actions and reactions of that person in various circumstances or situations, the nature of a persons motives in a particular situation may not necessarily be determined by any hidden mental processes or intellectual acts within that person. Motives may be revealed or explained by a behavior in a situation. Ryle criticizes the theory that the mind is a place where mental images are apprehended, perceived, sensations, thoughts, and feelings do not belong to a mental world which is distinct from the physical world. Knowledge, memory, imagination, and other abilities or dispositions do not reside within the mind as if the mind were a space in which these dispositions could be placed or located. Furthermore, dispositions are not the same as behavioral actions, dispositions are neither visible nor hidden, because they are not in the same logical category as behavioral actions
2. Consciousness Explained – Dennetts view of consciousness is that it is the apparently serial account for the brains underlying parallelism. One of Dennetts more controversial claims is that qualia do not exist as qualia are described to be, so, as Dennett wryly notes, he is committed to the belief that we are all p-zombies —adding that his remark is very much open to misinterpretation. Dennett claims that our brains hold only a few salient details about the world, thus, we dont store elaborate pictures in short-term memory, as this is not necessary and would consume valuable computing power. Research subsequent to Dennetts book indicates that some of his postulations were more conservative than expected, a year after Consciousness Explained was published, Dennett noted I wish in retrospect that Id been more daring, since the effects are stronger than I claimed. And since then examples continue to accumulate of the nature of our visual world. This approach allows the reports of the subject to be a datum in psychological research, Dennett says that only a theory that explained conscious events in terms of unconscious events could explain consciousness at all, To explain is to explain away. This has led detractors to nickname the book Consciousness Ignored and Consciousness Explained Away, however, John Searle argues that Dennett, who insists that discussing subjectivity is nonsense because it is unscientific and science presupposes objectivity, is making a category error. Searle argues that the goal of science is to establish and validate statements which are epistemically objective, Searle calls any value judgment epistemically subjective. Thus, McKinley is prettier than Everest is epistemically subjective, whereas McKinley is higher than Everest is epistemically objective, in other words, the latter statement is evaluable by an understood criterion for mountain height, like the summit is so many meters above sea level. No such criteria exist for prettiness, Searle said further, To put it as clearly as I can, in his book, Consciousness Explained, Dennett denies the existence of consciousness. He continues to use the word, but he means something different by it, for him, it refers only to third-person phenomena, not to the first-person conscious feelings and experiences we all have. I do this for a readership that I assume is conscious, how then can I take seriously his claim that consciousness does not really exist. Consciousness Explained, The Penguin Press, ISBN 978-0-7139-9037-9 Spinney, Laura, Blind to change, New Scientist, pp. 29–32 Dennett, lormand, E. Qualia. de Leon, D
3. Disquisitions relating to Matter and Spirit – Disquisitions relating to Matter and Spirit is a major work of metaphysics written by eighteenth-century British polymath Joseph Priestley and published by Joseph Johnson. In the first of these works, The Examination of Dr. Reids Inquiry, Dr. Beatties Essay. and Dr. Oswalds Appeal, Priestley had strongly suggested that there was no mind-body duality. Such a position shocked and angered many of his readers who believed such a duality was necessary for the soul to exist. Moreover, he contended that discussing the soul was impossible because it is made of a divine substance and he therefore denied the materialism of the soul while simultaneously claiming its existence. Gibbs, F. W. Joseph Priestley, Adventurer in Science, london, Thomas Nelson and Sons,1965. The Enlightened Joseph Priestley, A Study of His Life and Work from 1773 to 1804, University Park, Pennsylvania State University Press,2004. Dictionary of Literary Biography 252, British Philosophers 1500–1799
4. The Doors of Perception – The Doors of Perception is a philosophical essay, released as a book, by Aldous Huxley. First published in 1954, it details his experiences when taking mescaline, the book takes the form of Huxleys recollection of a mescaline trip that took place over the course of an afternoon in May 1953. The book takes its title from a phrase in William Blakes 1793 poem The Marriage of Heaven, Huxley recalls the insights he experienced, which range from the purely aesthetic to sacramental vision. He also incorporates later reflections on the experience and its meaning for art, Mescaline is the principal agent of the psychedelic cactus peyote and San Pedro cactus, which has been used in Native American religious ceremonies for thousands of years. A German pharmacologist, Arthur Heffter, isolated the alkaloids in the cactus in 1897. These included mescaline, which he showed through a combination of animal, in 1919, Ernst Späth, another German chemist, synthesised the drug. The book stated that the drug could be used to research the unconscious mind, in the 1930s, an American anthropologist Weston La Barre, published The Peyote Cult, the first study of the ritual use of peyote as an entheogen drug amongst the Huichol people of western Mexico. La Barre noted that the Indian users of the cactus took it to obtain visions for prophecy, healing, most psychiatric research projects into the drug in the 1930s and early 1940s tended to look at the role of the drug in mimicking psychosis. In 1947 however, the US Navy undertook Project Chatter, which examined the potential for the drug as a truth revealing agent. In the early 1950s, when Huxley wrote his book, mescaline was still regarded as a chemical rather than a drug and was listed in the Parke-Davis catalogue with no controls. Mescalin also played a paramount part in influencing the beat generation of poets, most notable, William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, and Allen Ginsberg-all of whom were respected contemporary beat artists of their generation. Theirs and many contemporary artists works were heavily influenced by over the counter forms of mescalin during this time due to its potency. Huxley had been interested in matters and had used alternative therapies for some time. He had known for time of visionary experience achieved by taking drugs in certain non-Christian religions. The cultivation of the San Pedro cactus is legal in almost all countries and these include but are not limited to, Sweden, Norway, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, Mexico, Spain and Canada. However, in Australia, cultivation must be strictly for ornamental and gardening purposes, the active ingredients are also found in many species of plant native to Australia, prominently, the Golden Wattle. The United States deemed mescaline illegal in 1970 under the Controlled Substances Act, Huxley had first heard of peyote use in ceremonies of the Native American Church in New Mexico soon after coming to the United States in 1937. Osmonds paper set out results from his research into schizophrenia using mescaline that he had been undertaking with colleagues, doctors Abram Hoffer, in the epilogue to his novel The Devils of Loudun, published earlier that year, Huxley had written that drugs were toxic short cuts to self-transcendence”
5. The Emperor's New Mind – The Emperors New Mind, Concerning Computers, Minds and The Laws of Physics is a 1989 book by mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose. Penrose argues that consciousness is non-algorithmic, and thus is not capable of being modeled by a conventional Turing machine. Penrose hypothesizes that quantum mechanics plays an role in the understanding of human consciousness. The collapse of the wavefunction is seen as playing an important role in brain function. Penrose intermittently describes how each of these bears on his developing theme, only the later portions of the book address the thesis directly. Penrose states that his ideas on the nature of consciousness are speculative, and his thesis is considered erroneous by experts in the fields of philosophy, computer science, the modern computer is a deterministic system that for the most part simply executes algorithms. Penrose shows that, by reconfiguring the boundaries of a table, one might make a computer in which the billiard balls act as message carriers. The billiard-ball computer was first designed some years ago by Edward Fredkin, Penrose won the Science Book Prize in 1990 for this book. Church–Turing thesis The Emperors New Clothes Orchestrated objective reduction Quantum mind Shadows of the Mind Raymond Smullyan Alan Turing Turing test Anathem
6. A History of the Mind – A History of the Mind is a 1992 book about the mind–body problem by Nicholas Humphrey. It has been called one of the most interesting attempts to solve the problem, Humphrey attempts to solve the mind-body problem, and responds to philosopher Colin McGinns argument that the problem cannot be solved. Humphrey holds that consciousness is immediate sensory experience and that sensation-arousing stimuli define who we are, how we feel, author Richard Webster, writing in Why Freud Was Wrong, called A History of the Mind one of the most interesting attempts to solve the mind/body problem. Paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson noted that Humphreys views on consciousness differ from those of Daniel Dennett in Consciousness Explained
7. Incomplete Nature – Incomplete Nature, How Mind Emerged from Matter is a 2011 book by biological anthropologist Terrence Deacon. The book covers topics in biosemiotics, philosophy of mind, deacons first book, The Symbolic Species focused on the evolution of human language. In that book, Deacon notes that much of the mystery surrounding language origins comes from a profound confusion on the nature of semiotic processes themselves, accordingly, the focus of Incomplete Nature shifts from human origins to the origin of life and semiosis. Incomplete Nature can be viewed as a contribution to the growing body of work positing that the problem of consciousness. Deacon tackles these two linked problems by going back to basics, a central thesis of the book is that absence can still be efficacious. A good example of concept is the hole that defines the hub of a wagon wheel. When a pattern is broken down, the constraints are no longer at work, there is no hole, imagine a hub, a hole for an axel, produced only when the wheel is rolling, thus breaking the wheel may not show you how the hub emerges. Deacon notes that the apparent patterns of causality exhibited by living systems seem to be in ways the inverse of the causal patterns of non-living systems. That is, orthograde changes are generated by the elimination of asymmetries in a thermodynamic system in disequilibrium. Because orthograde changes are driven by the geometry of a changing system. More loosely, Aristotles final cause can also be considered orthograde, contragrade changes are imposed from the outside. Contragrade change is induced when one thermodynamic system interacts with the changes of another thermodynamic system. The interaction drives the first system into an energy, more asymmetrical state. Because contragrade changes are driven by interactions with another changing system. Deacon defines three hierarchically nested levels of thermodynamic systems, Homeodynamic systems combine to produce morphodynamic systems which combine to produce teleodynamic systems, teleodynamic systems can be further combined to produce higher orders of self organization. In general, a system is any collection of components that will spontaneously eliminate constraints by rearranging the parts until a maximum entropy state is achieved. Morphodynamic systems require constant perturbation to maintain their structure, so they are rare in nature. The paradigm example of a system is a Rayleigh–Bénard cell
8. Intention (book) – Intention is a 1957 book by the philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe. Anscombe argues that the concept of intention is central to our understanding of ourselves as rational agents, the intentions with which we act are identified by the reasons we give in answer to questions concerning why we perform actions. Such reasons usually form a hierarchy that constitutes a practical syllogism of which itself is the conclusion. Hence our actions are a form of practical knowledge that normally leads to action. She contends that the mistake of post-medieval philosophy is to think that all knowledge is of the latter kind, intention initiated extensive discussion of intentional action and its explanation
9. Richard Jefferies – John Richard Jefferies was an English nature writer, noted for his depiction of English rural life in essays, books of natural history, and novels. His childhood on a small Wiltshire farm had a influence on him. Jefferiess corpus of writings includes a diversity of genres and topics, including Bevis, a childrens book, and After London. For much of his life, he suffered from tuberculosis. Jefferies valued and cultivated an intensity of feeling in his experience of the world around him and this work, an introspective depiction of his thoughts and feelings on the world, gained him the reputation of a nature mystic at the time. John Richard Jefferies was born at Coate, in the parish of Chiseldon, near Swindon, Wiltshire and his birthplace and home is now a museum open to the public. James Jefferies had the farm from his father, John Jefferies, Richards mother, Elizabeth Gyde, always called Betsy, was the daughter of John Jefferiess binder and manager. These relationships are mirrored in the characters of Jefferiess late novel Amaryllis at the Fair, James Jefferies, like Iden in Amaryllis, was devoted to his garden, while struggling to make a financial success of the farm. The garden, lovingly recalled in Wood Magic and Amaryllis, also makes an impression on the memories of those who knew the Jefferies at the time. The farm was very small, with 39 acres of pasture, and a mortgage of £1500 would later begin a slide into debt for James Jefferies, but these difficulties were less evident in Richards childhood. One part of the Jefferies family is missing from the books. In Wood Magic, Bevis and Amaryllis, the hero has no siblings, only After London gives the main character brothers, James and Elizabeths first child, Ellen, had died young, but Richard had two younger brothers and a younger sister. His uncle, Thomas Harrild, was a son of the printing innovator Robert Harrild, Jefferies kept a close friendship with Mrs. Ellen Harrild and his letters to her are an important source for biographers. At Coate, he spent most of his time in the countryside and his father had taken him shooting when he was eight, and already at nine he had shot a rabbit. He was soon spending much of his hunting and fishing. He also, like Bevis, added home-made rigging to a boat to sail on the reservoir, in November 1864, at the age of sixteen, he and a cousin, James Cox, ran off to France, intending to walk to Russia. After crossing the channel, they found that their schoolboy French was insufficient. Before they reached Swindon, they noticed an advertisement for cheap crossings from Liverpool to America and set off in this new direction
10. The Master and His Emissary – The Master and His Emissary, The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World is a 2009 book written by Iain McGilchrist that deals with the specialist hemispheric functioning of the brain. The Master and His Emissary received mostly favourable reviews upon its publication, critics praised the book as being a landmark publication that could alter readers perspective of how they viewed the world, A. C. The Master and His Emissary was shortlisted for the 2010 Bristol Festival of Ideas Book Prize, in an interview with Frontier Psychiatrist, McGilchrist cites two main influences on his work, the psychiatrist John Cutting, and the Chicago psychologist David McNeill. McGilchrist states, What I began to see – and it was John Cuttings work on the hemisphere that set me thinking – was that the difference lay not in what they do. The 608-page book is divided into an introduction, two parts and a conclusion, in the introduction, McGilchrist states that there is, literally, a world of difference between the hemispheres. The book received mixed reviews in newspapers and journals. In The Times Literary Supplement W. F. Bynum wrote, McGilchrists careful analysis of how work is a veritable tour de force. I know of no better exposition of the current state of functional brain neuroscience, in a mixed review in Literary Review A. C. Owen Flanagan alleged many shortcomings of the book and delivered a dismissive statement, The fact is, hemispheric differences are not well understood. Neither are patterns over 2500 years of western history, trying to explain the ill-understood latter with a caricature of the former does little to illuminate either. Has our civilisation suffered from a failure to manage the division of our brains. Talk given by McGilchrist at the Wellcome Collection in April 2012 Authors profile at All Souls College, University of Oxford The Divided Brain, RSA Keynote by Iain McGilchrist McGilchrist, Iain. The Battle of the Brain, The minds great conflict spills over onto the world stage, the Master and his Emissary, the divided brain and the reshaping of Western civilisation. ABC Radio National All in the Mind, two worlds of the left and right brain. The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World, the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce. Parts of this lecture were republished by the RSA in October 2011 as one of a series of RSA Animates with cartoonist Andrew Parks illustrations, the twelve-minute animation accompanying McGilchrists talk took Park two months to complete. Things Are Not What They Seem, big Ideas, Dr. Iain McGilchrist on The Divided Brain, Our Mind at War. Iain McGilchrist on the divided brains impact on our world, the Pennoni Honors College, Drexel University. Studiu, Emisferele cerebrale dreaptă şi stângă au personalităţi opuse, what the other half doesnt know
11. The Meaning of Meaning – The Meaning of Meaning, A Study of the Influence of Language upon Thought and of the Science of Symbolism is a book by C. K. Ogden and I. A. Richards, Magdalene College, University of Cambridge and it is accompanied by two supplementary essays by Bronisław Malinowski and F. G. Crookshank. The book has been in print continuously since 1923, the most recent edition is the critical edition prepared by W. Terrence Gordon as volume 3 of the 5-volume set C. K. The full publication history, including serialised publication in The Cambridge Magazine prior to the first edition of the book, is in W. Terrence Gordons, C. K. Ogden, a bio-bibliographical study. In this context system, Richards develops a tri-part semiotics—symbol, thought, symbols are “those signs which men use to communicate one with another and as instruments of thought, occupy a peculiar place”. “All discursive symbolization involves weaving together of contexts into higher contexts”, so for a word to be understood “requires that it form a context with further experiences”. The book would later influence A. J. S. Lewis in the writing of his defence of law and objective values. Embodied cognition General semantics Gostak Pragmatics Psycholinguistics Charles Sanders Peirce
12. Mind and Cosmos – Mind and Cosmos, Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False is a 2012 book by Thomas Nagel, Professor of Philosophy at New York University. In the book, Nagel argues that the materialist version of evolutionary biology is unable to account for the existence of mind and consciousness and he writes that mind is a basic aspect of nature, and that any philosophy of nature that cannot account for it is fundamentally misguided. He stresses that his argument is not a one. Meyer, and David Berlinski do not deserve the scorn with which their ideas have met by the overwhelming majority of the scientific establishment. Mind and Cosmos, Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False, a Review of Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos The Partially Examined Life Louis B. Jones and P. N. On Thomas Nagel The Nation October 3,2012 Adam Frank, Is There A Place For The Mind In Physics
13. The Mind's I – Dennett and Hofstadter both support the idea that we can learn much about human minds and souls by exploring human mentality in terms of information processing. A few views that run counter to this notion, such as John Searles widely known presentation of the Chinese room argument, are included in this mainly as targets for refutation. The book is divided into six sections, each focusing on an aspect of the problem of self. Part I, A Sense of Self, begins with two works of fiction that challenge the notions of self and identity, provoking the reader to think more closely about just what is meant by self. It closes with an essay by Harold J. Morowitz on the reductionist view of the mind, Part II, entitled Soul Searching, takes on the idea of soul — that spark which separates thinking beings from unthinking machines. No machine has yet come close to passing the Turing test, a dialogue of Hofstadters own picks up the idea of the Turing test and spins a thought-provoking scenario from it. Two chapters excerpted from a novel by Terrel Miedaner end the section, the formation of mind from elements individually incapable of thought is the central theme of Part III, From Hardware to Software. The evolution of the mind toward its current state is addressed in the first two reprinted works, following that is a reprint of Prelude. Part IV explores its titular issue, Mind as Program, what is the self, the mind, or the body. Can the location of the consciousness be separate from ones physical location, in that case, where are you, really. Dennetts fantastical account of being separated from his brain and David Sanfords response tackle these issues. In this section the mind is considered as software, as patterns of thought and action, Part V, Created Selves and Free Will, includes John Searles notorious Minds, Brains and Programs, which states. mental processes are computational processes over formally defined elements. A dramatic and famous rejection of the formal systems idea was that of Ludwig Wittgenstein, after first embracing the idea of reducing everything to logical atoms, Wittgenstein later rejected the idea that human language games should be formulated as formal systems. However, many philosophers and artificial intelligence researchers remain captivated by the systems approach. For example, Dennett has tried to help the MIT Cog project develop formal computer programming methods towards the goal of producing human-like intelligence, the book closes with The Inner Eye, a collection of short pieces on the subjective nature of experience. How can one describe what it is like to be a particular entity, thomas Nagel, Raymond Smullyan, Douglas Hofstadter, and Robert Nozick tackle the problem of translating the experiences of one being into terms another can understand. But can we know what it is like to be another self. For that matter, what can we know about what it is like to be ourselves, Hofstadter and Dennetts commentary suggest that self-knowledge is elusive, to say nothing of the experience of other minds
14. Minds and Machines – Minds and Machines is a peer-reviewed academic journal covering artificial intelligence, philosophy, and cognitive science. The journal was established in 1991 with James Henry Fetzer as founding editor-in-chief and it is published by Springer Science+Business Media on behalf of the Society for Machines and Mentality, a special interest group within the International Association for Computing and Philosophy. The current editor-in-chief is Mariarosaria Taddeo, previous editors-in-chief of the journal have been James H. Fetzer, James H. Moor, and Gregory Wheeler. The journal is abstracted and indexed by the services, According to the Journal Citation Reports. The journal publishes articles in the categories Research articles, Reviews, Critical and discussion exchanges, Letters to the Editor, and Book reviews. According to the Web of Science, the five articles have been cited most frequently, Edelman, S. Representation, similarity. Learning causes, Psychological explanations of causal explanation, on the Morality of Artificial Agents. Hadley, R. F. Hayward, M. B, strong Semantic Systematicity from Hebbian Connectionist Learning
15. Naming and Necessity – The transcript was brought out originally in 1971 in The Semantics of Natural Language, edited by Donald Davidson and Gilbert Harman. Among analytic philosophers, Naming and Necessity is widely considered one of the most important philosophical works of the twentieth century, Language is a primary concern of analytic philosophers, particularly the use of language to express concepts and to refer to individuals. In Naming and Necessity, Kripke considers several questions that are important within analytic philosophy, are all statements that can be known a priori necessarily true, and are all statements that are known a posteriori contingently true. Do objects have any essential properties, what is the nature of identity. How do natural kind terms refer and what do they mean, kripkes three lectures constitute an attack on descriptivist theories of proper names. Kripke attributes variants of descriptivist theories to Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein and John Searle, Kripke rejects both these kinds of descriptivism. He gives several examples purporting to render descriptivism implausible as a theory of how names get their reference determined, Kripke also raised the prospect of a posteriori necessities — facts that are necessarily true, though they can be known only through empirical investigation. Examples include Hesperus is Phosphorus, Cicero is Tully, Water is H2O, finally, Kripke gave an argument against identity materialism in the philosophy of mind, the view that every mental fact is identical with some physical fact. Similar arguments have been proposed by David Chalmers, Kripke delivered the John Locke lectures in philosophy at Oxford in 1973. Titled Reference and Existence, they are in many respects a continuation of Naming and Necessity and they have recently been published by Oxford University Press. Quentin Smith has claimed that some of the ideas in Naming & Necessity were first presented by Ruth Barcan Marcus, Kripke is alleged to have misunderstood Marcus ideas during a 1969 lecture which he attended, and later arrived at similar conclusions. Marcus, however, has refused to publish the verbatim transcript of the lecture, smiths view is controversial, and several well-known scholars have subsequently offered detailed responses arguing that his account is mistaken. In the first lecture, Kripke introduced a schematic semi-formal version of the kind of theory of naming he was criticising and he began the second lecture by recapitulating the theses of this theory, together with the noncircularity condition he had discussed in closing the first lecture. Apparently, the theses and condition had been written up on a board for all to see and this text was reproduced, as quoted below, in the lightly edited transcript of 1980. To every name or designating expression X, there corresponds a cluster of properties, one of the properties, or some conjointly, are believed by A to pick out some individual uniquely. If most, or a weighted most, of the φs are satisfied by one unique object y, If the vote yields no unique object, X does not refer. The statement, If X exists, then X has most of the φs is known a priori by the speaker, the statement, If X exists, then X has most of the φs expresses a necessary truth. For any successful theory, the account must not be circular, the properties which are used in the vote must not themselves involve the notion of reference in such a way that it is ultimately impossible to eliminate
16. On the Content and Object of Presentations – On the Content and Object of Presentations is an 1894 book by the Polish philosopher Kazimierz Twardowski, a student of Franz Brentano. Twardowski argues that the object of an act is not immanent in the act. Twardowski holds that even though every mental act has an object or intention, Reinhardt Grossmann has observed that Twardowskis book greatly influenced the course of philosophy. Alexius Meinong adopted Twardowskis distinction between the mental act, its content and its object, and his contention that there are many objects of acts that do not exist. This helped Meinong to clearly separate presentations from the objects which they intend, logik Books Kasimir Twardowski, On the Content and Object of Presentations. A Psychological Investigation, translation and introduction by Reinhardt Grossmann, The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff,1977
17. On the Soul – On the Soul is a major treatise written by Aristotle c.350 B. C. E on the nature of living things. His discussion centres on the kinds of souls possessed by different kinds of living things, thus plants have the capacity for nourishment and reproduction, the minimum that must be possessed by any kind of living organism. Lower animals have, in addition, the powers of sense-perception and self-motion Humans have all these as well as intellect. Aristotle holds that the soul is the form, or essence of any living thing, that it is not a distinct substance from the body that it is in. That it is the possession of soul that makes an organism an organism at all and it is difficult to reconcile these points with the popular picture of a soul as a sort of spiritual substance inhabiting a body. Some commentators have suggested that Aristotles term soul is better translated as lifeforce, in 1855, Charles Collier published a translation titled On the Vital Principle, George Henry Lewes, however, found this description also wanting. The treatise is divided into three books, and each of the books is divided into chapters, the treatise is near-universally abbreviated “DA, ” for “De anima, ” and books and chapters generally referred to by Roman and Arabic numerals, respectively, along with corresponding Bekker numbers. Book I contains a summary of Aristotles method of investigation and a determination of the nature of the soul. He begins by conceding that attempting to define the soul is one of the most difficult questions in the world. But he proposes a method to tackle the question, just as we can come to know the properties and operations of something through scientific demonstration. It is like finding the term to a syllogism with a known conclusion. Therefore, we must seek out such operations of the soul to determine what kind of nature it has, from a consideration of the opinions of his predecessors, a soul, he concludes, will be that in virtue of which living things have life. Book II contains his scientific determination of the nature of the soul, by dividing substance into its three meanings, he shows that the soul must be the first actuality of a naturally organised body. This is its form or essence and it cannot be matter because the soul is that in virtue of which things have life, and matter is only being in potency. The rest of the book is divided into a determination of the nature of the nutritive and sensitive souls, all species of living things, plant or animal, must be able to nourish themselves and reproduce others of the same kind. If they can feel pleasure and pain they also have desire, some animals in addition have other senses, and some have more subtle versions of each He discusses how these function. Some animals have in addition the powers of memory, imagination, book III discusses the mind or rational soul, which belongs to humans alone. e. to be actually thinking about them. These are called the possible and agent intellect, the possible intellect is an unscribed tablet and the store-house of all concepts, i. e. universal ideas like triangle, tree, man, red, etc
18. Philosophical Explanations – Philosophical Explanations is a 1981 metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical treatise by philosopher Robert Nozick. The work has received praise, and the sections in which Nozick discusses knowledge, Nozick discusses problems in the philosophy of mind, ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics. The issues Nozick explores include personal identity, knowledge, free will, value, the meaning of life and he suggests instead that the Parthenon should be the model for philosophy, and advocates an explanatory model of philosophical activity rather than an argumentative or coercive one. In the Parthenon model, separate philosophical insights are placed one after another, like columns and that way, when the philosophical ground crumbles, something Nozick regards as likely, something of interest and beauty remains standing. Philosopher Bernard Williams writes that Nozick provides the most subtle and ingenious discussion of knowledge that I know. According to philosopher Jonathan Wolff, the sections of Philosophical Explanations in which Nozick discusses knowledge, michael E. Bratman describes Philosophical Explanations as a rich and wide-ranging exploration of some of the deepest issues in philosophy. He praises Nozicks discussion of free will, writing there is much about it that is, fascinating, suggestive
19. Zen and the Art of Consciousness – Zen and the Art of Consciousness, originally titled Ten Zen Questions, is a book by Susan Blackmore. It describes her thoughts during zazen retreats and other self-directed meditative exercises, most chapters in the book center around a Zen question and describe Blackmores inner monologue contemplating the questions implications for subjective experience. The final chapter features a response by Blackmores Zen teacher, Blackmore regards her book as an attempt to see whether looking directly into ones own mind can contribute to a science of consciousness. Blackmore practices Zen, though not a Buddhist herself. Rather, I am someone with a questioning mind who has stumbled upon Zen, some of Blackmores questions are not strictly Zen but rather come from Mahamudra traditions, though she got them from a Zen instructor, John Crook. Blackmores discussion revolves around ten questions, discussed in the following sections, Blackmore asks herself, Am I conscious now. And answers Of course I am, but she feels as though by asking the question, she has in a sense awakened herself, which leads her to wonder if she was conscious just before asking. She repeatedly asks herself the question, each time saying yes, as she continues asking it over the years, the waking up experience becomes more gradual. Likewise, asking the question all the time becomes easier, and eventually, rather, there just seems to be a questioning attitude, an openness of mind. Blackmore tries to figure out what she was conscious of just beforehand, when she asks, she can remember many sensations—for instance, the wood floor and the cats purr. It seems as though she had been aware of them for a back in time. Likewise, Blackmore thinks about her breath, which is always there, one approach is to find a boundary, or edge, or divide between what shes looking at and the person doing the looking. For instance, noticing a twist of her hair, she asks, Am I this side of the hair and she tries to trace a path from the external world through to herself, but she can never find herself. Look for the self and find only the view. I am, it seems, the world I see, Blackmore observes flowers and asks where resides the experience of them—e. g. Clearly its not in the flowers themselves because, for instance, another option is that the color is represented by a pattern of neural firing in her visual cortex, but its not clear why that neural activity is yellow itself. Blackmore reflects on the nature of abiding in tranquillity and moving in thought and she notices that her thoughts can seem to take on parallel threads. Some thoughts happen right here, in the midst of tranquillity while others are more active, the latter drag part of the mind away and split it in two