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Questions tagged [mind-body]

The mind–body problem is the problem of explaining how our mental states, events and processes—like beliefs, actions and thinking—are related to the physical states,events and processes in our bodies, given that the human body is a physical entity and the mind is non-physical.

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How does one bring mind and matter into a single ontology that accounts for subconscious mind?

How does one define mind and matter coherently... do these categories even make sense in a single framework? I can refer to my consciousness and the contents of my consciousness as "mind", this leaves ...
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Any philosophical theories that would allow thoughts to influence the probability of future events AND be consistent with the laws of physics?

I have some family members who believe a version of "don't think about [something undesirable] because it makes it more likely to happen". Similar belief, though in the opposite direction, seems to be ...
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What are book recommendations on Philosophy of Consciousness by contemporary authors?

I am looking for a book that is more focused on the philosophy of consciousness(rather than general topic of Phil. of Mind) which takes up the hard problem as a major theme. Can you guys give me ...
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What is the relationship between qualia and the fact/value dichotomy

Has anyone examined the relationship between qualia and the fact/value dichotomy? Consider a functional description of pain: Those who disagree with functionalism, typically do so because it leaves ...
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If a physical property is emergent, can it still be artificially recreated?

Let's assume that a physical property is emergent, in the sense that it cannot be reduced to a function of the properties of its components. Can such a property be artificially recreated, or is that a ...
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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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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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Does neurorealism imply a fear of Cartesian dualism that philosophy should rightly address? [closed]

Recently Nature published a computer-generated image of the brain sprinkled with colorful words representing a semantic map, i.e., parts of the brain cortex that responded to various spoken words ...
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'Physical parts just can't add up to a mental whole.' : Why does Thomas Nagel assert this impossible?

Source: p 33, What Does It All Mean? A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy (1987) by Prof. Thomas Nagel   But to discover that tasting chocolate was really just a brain process, we would have to ...
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Do some of us possess a godsense?

I have seen many debates on the existence of God and intelligence doesn't seem to be a deciding factor. I've seen both intelligent and ridiculous arguments coming from both quarters. Is it possible ...
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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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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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What is the difference between type identity physicalism and eliminativism?

Type identity physicalism says mental states are identical with brain states. Eliminativism on the other hand states that mental states don't exist at all. Isn't this just a word game? Does it ...
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456 views

Does materialism presuppose that a self is a bundle of mental states and perceptions?

The physicalist/materialist (going forward I'll use the two interchangeably) position on the mind body problem is the following: Nothing exits besides the physical and therefore the mind is just a ...
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How does mind discovers its own existence?

By mind I mean the observer, the self, something that perceive. I hope that you understand because I can't find the right word. So, your mind can observe the external existence, and can observe its ...
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How is it difficult to 'fill out this thought without relying in other ways on other mental states of the subject'?

Source: pp 79-80, Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (1 ed, 1999) by Simon Blackburn The most popular current approach to this is to concentrate upon the way in which we can attribute ...
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Why would God need an independent variation of the world to allow for painless pinpricks?

Source: pp 61-62, Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (1 ed, 1999) by Simon Blackburn   We can put the issue like this. Imagine God creating the universe. How much does he have to do? ...
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Why do philosophy of mind courses tend to bypass Kant?

All of the philosophy of mind courses I've seen seem to follow a basic pattern: Start with Descartes and substance dualism Jump to the 20th century and discuss behaviorism, functionalism, identity ...
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458 views

In which books does Descartes propose his ideas about mind-body dualism?

In which books does Descartes propose his ideas about mind-body dualism?
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Could you explain what the dualist, the behaviorist and the identity theorist each would say about what is going on?

Suppose I run into the room screaming and yelling, "I have a horrible toothache!" Could you explain what the dualist, the behaviorist and the identity theorist each would say about what is going on? ...
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What is Daniel Dennett's definition of a true believer?

I read that In his writings on the intentional stance, Dennett has often made the controversial further claim that the intentionality of a creature wholly consists in its behavior being well-...
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Does higher order conceptual processing present a challenge for Epiphenomenalism?

Epiphenomenalism is the view that physical neural processes have a causal effect on mental states, but that the reverse is not true: Mental states cannot effect neural states and only occur after the ...
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Can Empiricism and Ethics be linked via Neuro-Science?

A common idea in Empiricist schools of thought is that ethical questions can never be based on factual data. Consider Hume's "is-ought" problem or the Logical Positivist notion that ethical statements ...
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What is the difference between functionalism and property dualism?

Functionalism and property dualism are both physicalist theories of the mind in that they don't admit any substances other than physical substance. Property dualism holds that mental states are non-...
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Am I not a material thing?

I can not doubt that I exist. I can doubt that any material thing exists. Therefore, I am not a material thing This is a redux of Descartes's modal argument for dualism (e.g. in second and sixth ...
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The demarcation problem and the materialism/dualism debate?

Presumably the end game of dualist philosophers is to definitively prove the existence of ontologically separate mental states which cannot be reduced to brain states. If they succeed in doing so, ...
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Why is the existence of qualia considered an argument for dualism and against materialism?

Qualia is the term to used describe actual subjective experience and sensation, as opposed to mere knowledge and information. The concept is best described by Frank Jackson's color blind scientist ...
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How do modern dualists explain the mind-body interaction?

A serious challenge for dualism is explaining how mind and body interact if they are made of ontologically different substances, and more specifically how mental phenomena can causally drive bodily ...
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Are you familiar with a similar argument against the (nomological) supervenience of the mental on the physical?

The SEP article on supervenience claims "Just about everyone, even a Cartesian dualist, believes some version of this supervenience claim [that the mental nomologically supervenes on the physical]." ...
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Does idealism allow for thought without any sensory input?

As I understand, idealism is the view that the mind is fundamental and the body as well as the world we perceive are just derivatives of the mind. Is this right? If so, if we had a hypothetical being,...
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Can conjoined twins share a mind?

A unique recent case of conjoined twins having a neural bridge connecting their brains raises some philosophical questions concerning mind sharing and the mind-body problem. From the article by ...
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Am I a monad? Are we a monad? (Software and hardware)

In Haskell, a programming language, the concept of input/output monad is used to separate (or connect? (bind!)) the running software from its interaction with the hardware. This makes me wonder if it ...
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Is the physicalism/materialism vs dualism debate really just a question of semantics?

Substance dualism is defined as being different from physicalism because it posits 2 different categories of substances in the world as opposed to one category. But throughout the ages, all sorts of ...
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Does dualism in conjunction with strong AI imply pan-psychism?

Let's assume that at some hypothetical point in the future, we arrive at two results: Based on results like DesCartes or Kripke's, philosophers and logicians arrive at a conclusive proof in favor of ...
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Are dualism and the theory of evolution compatible?

From an evolutionary point of view there is a continuous gradient of intelligence (in the larger sense of the term), from lower life forms with no intelligence at all to higher life forms that exhibit ...
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Tomatoes, Wisdom and Intelligence?

A lighthearted topic after I came across this funny quote: Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing not to put tomatoes in a fruit salad. This had me wondering what ...
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How is soul-body hylomorphism different from property dualism?

From the SEP article on soul-body hylomorphism "The soul bears the same relation to the body which the shape of a statue bears to its material basis,", as well as other definitions (e.g. wikipedia), ...
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How does functionalism solve the mind-body problem?

I can see how dualism and physicalism addresses the mind-body problem, but I don't quite get how functionalism attempts to solve the mind-body problem. Functionalism is just the thesis that mental ...
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What does the “mind-body problem” mean?

I'm confused about what the mind-body problem means. On some accounts the mind-body problem is specific to dualism. The dualist has to explain how the mind, a non-extended substance, interacts with ...
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How do non-theistic dualists explain the emergence of the mind?

For a theistic dualist, the moment when the brain is no longer just a lump of living neurons but a conscious mind is the moment their deity of choice puts a soul in the body. For an identity ...
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Does claiming that strong AI is impossible imply a belief in substance dualism?

I was reading an article by J Mark Bishop "The danger of artificial stupidity" on ScientaSalon, where he quotes his own research, John Searle and Hilary Putnam, among others, as proof of the ...
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Can the existance of consciousness be proven by refering to it?

First question here. I'm new to Philosophy and I'm wondering if it is a correct thing to say "I can prove my consciousness (to myself) by referring to it"? This came up in my philosophy class. ...
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“How does an immaterial activity (eg thinking a thought) inform a material medium (eg the brain) in which it is manifested?” [closed]

I do not think this question can be answered adequately unless the thinker takes a 'moral realist' (moral reality) position - defined as a reality independent of the Mind. A Thought is an "immaterial ...
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101 views

Middle finger and it's curse [closed]

Why do people call/ consider the middle finger the cursing middle finger the cursing? Where did that concept originate from?
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Are human feelings and emotions overrated? [closed]

A human baby is born with very basic feelings like pain and hunger. I am not talking about the five senses, but rather what a baby can feel. As babies grows up, they learn other feelings such as fear, ...
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Philosophy and Psychology of Emotion

" We are all comfortable using terms to refer to things that seem non-physical objects, such as "Tuesday," "justice," and "luck." These things seem to be able to affect physical things, e.g. "Tuesday" ...
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in light of shaffers analysis, what do you think is the best position for and against dualism and materialism?

on shaffers arguments for and against dualism and materialism, what is the best position? and is there a solution to the mind body problem?
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What is the term for this idea about thought relative to action?

An idea was described to me once, that went something like this: Thoughts give rise to actions. But, given that mental activity involves movement of neurotransmitters, etc. then thought itself is an ...