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 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”
2. 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
3. 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
4. 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
5. 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
6. 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
7. 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
8. 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
9. 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
10. 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