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