Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy that studies the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, consciousness, and their relationship to the physical body, particularly the brain.

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Philosophical Implications of Connectionism and Pattern Recognition

As a machine learning researcher and amateur philosopher, I'm interested in the current status of the debate between the symbolic AI and connectionism\pattern-recognition schools from the perspective ...
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Question regarding whether different souls transcend matter [on hold]

What does it mean to say that souls transcend matter? Does each kind of soul transcend matter in the same way? Explain.
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How is Descartes Sure of Things When He is “Attending” to Them?

On SparkNotes, Rene Descartes apparently knows some things to be true as long as he is "attending" to them. These clear and distinct perceptions are only indubitable so long as he is attending to ...
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Euler's 1746 philosophy paper

In 1746, Euler, a famous mathematician, published what I believe to be a little-known philosophy paper. It seems interesting, but it is difficult for me to follow as I lack adequate philosophy ...
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Mind-body problem: supervenience vs dependence vs realisation

Could someone shed some light on the differences of these 3 hypotheses? For me, it seems all 3 relations mean the same. I can't seem to grasp the difference between supervenience physicalism and ...
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How was Descartes sure that his doubt was his own?

We recently studied about Descartes in school and my teacher said that Descartes was a sceptic, he doubted everything and had an idea of creator who decieves us. But the only thing he didn't doubt ...
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does exclusion + supervenience + pairing necessitate reductionism?

If one accepts the exclusion argument (no physical event has a non-physical cause), the supervenience argument (no mental event causes any other mental event), and the pairing problem (no physical ...
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Is the simulation of emotional states equivalent to actually experiencing emotions?

According to the 'Mario Lives!' video, researchers have been able to develop an AI unit that is able to experience emotional states, such as greed, hunger, and curiosity. If the AI is currently ...
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Can Mind-Body Functionalism be true yet General Artificial Intelligence still be impossible?

In this lecture Hilary Putnam says the following: Mind-body Functionalism is true. In fact not only is it true, but it makes ontological questions of philosophy of mind mostly irrelevant. The laws ...
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Cognitions influence on the physical body

This question is related to the mind body problem, specifically how cognition, which is mental, plays a role in causal processes. Cognition includes thinking, seeing, imagining, understanding, ...
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What's the problem with physicalism in philosophy of mind?

It seems that physicalism and functionalism in philosophy of mind has fallen out of popularity and into much criticism. I haven't delved too deeply into the literature, but I find it somewhat strange ...
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What is the significance of Wittgenstein's discussion of sensations before the private language argument?

In Philosophical Investigations 244-254, before talking about private signs, Wittgenstein is talking about sensations. He seems to divide this section into addressing in what way words refer to ...
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Understanding Sellars' The Myth of the Given rigorously

I understand the general view presented by Sellars in "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind". Yet, I can't get rigorously convinced. The main point is shown in part XIII, specifically in section 35. ...
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Does having free will presuppose consciousness?

Philosophical zombies may lack a consciousness, but does this preclude the ability to have a free will? Why does consciousness matter, for agency, if at all, if determinism is real? (I've framed the ...
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Does unconsciousness exist? Do we have sufficient warrant to believe consciousness is interruptible?

I posted this question on Reddit's /r/AskPhilosophy sub, but didn't receive much of a response. Hoping you guys can help. As I see it, there are two versions to the claim that consciousness is ...
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Do qualia have an evolutionary purpose? (assuming they exist)

Do qualia have an evolutionary function, and if so what is it? Could qualia help us solve problems that Turing machines can't solve? Could qualia help us solve problems faster than normal computers? ...
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Is it intellectually dishonest for an atheist to become a Freemason

Concern I am debating the merits of becoming a Freemason. My interest is primarily out of curiosity, and finding a social group to join that isn't a gun club or church group. Not that I don't enjoy ...
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Do we not exist when we don't think, according to Descartes? Or are we continuously thinking?

Descartes teached that because he thinks therefor he is. But did he tell something about the question whether there are gaps between thoughts? So probably we could not exist between those gaps? Or ...
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Can anything be declared as fact?

Every fact we attempt to prove relies on information interpreted by our brains, which it recieves as electrical impulses. Apart from this information we have no way of confirming whether the reality ...
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In what fundamental ways, if any, does Husserl break with Kant?

I've read only slim secondary works on Husserl some time ago, and recently started "The Crisis in the European Sciences." So far, the framework seems faithfully Kantian. Husserl, for example, ...
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Is laziness and sloth a behavioural problem only?

I'd perhaps be better off asking on cogsci stackexchange. But, can laziness and sloth be a behavioural problem only? Or does it always implicate a cognitive / affective deficiency? Given that the ...
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Was indeterminacy of linguistic meaning, as understood by Quine, anticipated by the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition?

Quine held that the meaning of words was indeterminate. The reasons he holds this view all seem to have in common a certain aspect; the indeterminacy that occurs occurs within what might be called '...
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Does Epictetus State “Only One Cause Motivates Us”, Or “One Cause More than Others”?

1. Question: From Epictetus, Discourses, 1.11, (Perseus English Link): Is Epictetus implying there is only ever just one cause for our actions? Or, is Epictetus arguing there is one cause which ...
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What is Intelligence in philosophical context?

At the beginning I have to state that I am a novice and an amateur in philosophy. However I am trying to expand my knowledge and that's why I decided to join this community. Recently I've came ...
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What would non-reductive physicalists say about the mind and teleportation?

Non-reductive physicalists have a view in dualism that creates an idea of mental properties that can be mapped to neurobiological properties, but said mental properties are not ontologically reduced ...
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Do alternative theories of self eventually dissolve into either the substance theory or the bundle theory?

It seems upon first glance that attitudes towards the existence of the self must either be defending the notion that it exists in its own right as a real thing imbued with sensible and rational power (...
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Can the correspondence theory of truth really be completely avoided?

Let us assume that 'truth' is a construct of the human mind. In this case truth is defined as some product of the mind's 'verification', and nothing else. What 'makes' a statement true is simply the ...
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The mind-body problem in antiquity and the middle ages

In a sense the mind-body problem is in reality a whole set of problems which are all based on an alleged insurmountable difference between the mental and the physical. But this question is about the ...
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Can Humans Maintain a Free Relationship With Technology?

Heidegger argues in the “The Question Concerning Technology” that the essence of technology is a mode of disclosure or revealing, aletheia. However, modern technology has a special character which ...
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How to judge ethically? [closed]

In my opinion the correct way on approaching a person which is doing something wrong is to judge their behavior, rather than them as a person. Compare for instance: Option A: John you are an absolute ...
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What is the connection between conscious mind and Gödel's incompleteness in a mathematical universe?

Assume that our universe is a mathematical one, similar to the one that Tegmark proposed (see here). In contrast to what I read there, let's assume that the axioms upon we build the universe are such ...
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What Qualifies Sentience?

If there is a non-sentient being, (e.g. A Non-Player Character in a video game), who understands what sentience is, and is aware that they are not sentient, does that make them, in fact, sentient? ...
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Is an active principle of the mind necesarry for the existence of error?

Error might be defined as a disagreement between two objects of thought. But if we also hold error to be an actual state that bears a negative relation to some truth, then doesn't error as such need ...
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What does Marcus Aurelius mean by 'sympathetic link'?

I am reading Meditation by Marcus Aurelius and finding difficulty in understanding this sentence: When they (agitations of the flesh) make their way into your thoughts, through the sympathetic ...
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If one agrees with the bundle theory of self, then isn't human society itself a real (as in non-metaphorical) self-aware mind?

Hegel's world spirit is usually described as way of philosophizing about history, more so than an actual mind. Yet when describing the world spirit, he ascribes intentionality and agency to it, ...
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How does free will relate to external determination? [closed]

Many believe free will is having the ability to make your own choices without outside influence. But everything you see, hear and smell is an outside influence. Every lesson learnt through past ...
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What is a mental state?

A great deal of the theory of mind is based upon supposedly obvious observations about our mental states. E.g. that they are immediately available, or that they are introspectable, at least in theory....
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Doubt: who worked on it? [closed]

I'm trying to dive into the doubts and so I'm searching about philosophers having worked on the doubts, and related books. I'm talking about generic/existential/thinking doubts, not about scientific ...
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Who are contemporary notable non materialist women in the field of philosophy of mind?

(It seems it is kind of difficult to post a question that fits nicely in its own title, but the fact of the matter is that it does fit)
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Can you argue that you are not selfish?

Psychological egoism, can anyone provide an everyday action which a healthy human mind would carry out which doesn't have the motive of preservation of the individuals own life at heart? For example, ...
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Is there causal influence of the mental on the physical?

Regardless of whether the mental is ultimately physical or not... doesn't the impact of human knowledge (science, mathematics, etc) on the world (ie: technology, agriculture, basically everything), ...
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How are subconscious mental states possible?

One of the most important defining mental features of mental states is that they are directly knowable. Indeed this is at the heart of the mind body problem: the mind is so special because mental ...
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Is color intrinsic to light?

Is there any proof to Sir Isaac Newton's claim that color exists only in the mind? That there is nothing intrinsically blue about light with a short wavelength. To us it would look the same whether ...
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If there is granted the fact of a 'state of awareness', must it be considered a condition of a 'subject'?

There are certain facts that are the beginning place for psychological study. Impressions are typically the most frequently considered facts. But there is also the fact that there is an awareness of ...
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In what regard does conceptualism consider universals or the fact of them in the mind to be objective (if at all)?

Conceptualism seeks a sort of middle ground between realism and nominalism regarding universals, but in what way does it achieve this exactly? What does it mean to say that universals exist 'only in ...
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Montaigne's “Of Experience”: was he delusional? How does he justify using experience so much?

I've been reading Montaigne's Of Experience and, to be quite frank, a lot of his arguments seem circular in nature. He says that our own intuition “…is more familiar to us, and, doubtless, ...
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What is wrong with the following argument for dualism?

In listening to the following philosophy of mind lecture by John Searle, and he mentions in passing the following argument against materialism (starting around 43 minutes into to the lecture): ...
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Can Wittgenstein's critique of private language be turned against (modernized) Kant?

Wittgenstein argued, roughly, that a language has to be learned, and to be learned it has to be used first. Therefore, no private language. But if language has to be learned what then are the a priori ...
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How does Wittgenstein's argument against recognizing private sensations work?

Wittgenstein writes in his Philosophical Investigations in paragraph 270: Let us imagine a use for the entry of the sign "S" in my diary. I discover that whenever I have a particular sensation a ...