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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What is the modern solution to the mind-body problem for those who still hold the mind is separate?

René Descartes gave us the problem of how the mind interacts with the body in its modern formulation. Essentially, he asked how the incorporeal mind was able to influence the material body. He also ...
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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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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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If I upload my brain into a computer is it still me?

I think the answer is yes but I know a lot of people disagree. So, I would like to ask these people when exactly does it stop being me. Let's say I want to upload my brain into a computer using the ...
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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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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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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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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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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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From a functionalist point of view: when is an algorithm an A.I., and when is it just software?

Recently, The Atlantic published an article claiming that "Google Taught an AI That Sorts Cat Photos to Analyze DNA". When you look at the original paper published by the Google team, what they really ...
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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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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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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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Is feminism necessarily trans-exclusionary?

Transgender rights and feminism in the US are both considered part of the cultural left's causes, but it occurred to me that one might perceive an inherent tension between the two: The basis of ...
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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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What good books are there on the mind–body problem?

What good books are there on the mind–body problem? I would be especially curious whether there are any well-written books about the "mind vs. brain" problem and related questions like the hard/soft ...
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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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Would it be immoral to enslave your own simulated mind?

The following story has been envisioned in White Christmas episode (part II) of Black Mirror television series (see the short clip): Matt greets the confused and terrified "Greta cookie" ...
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How did Kant “undermine the soul”?

In the beginning of William James' 1904 paper "Does 'Consciousness' Exist?" he states the following: At first, 'spirit and matter,' 'soul and body,' stood for a pair of equipollent substances quite ...
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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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Did Descartes really doubt the existence of God?

I've learned about Descartes' universal doubt and as I understood it, he says mind that is supposed to interact with God isn't part of res extensa and therefore isn't part of the senses we can doubt. ...
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What has modern Neuroscience contributed to philosophy of mind (as opposed to science in general)?

Most introductory philosophy of mind lectures include a statement along the following line: "Modern developments in Brain and Neuroscience have influenced the way philosophers talk about the mind", ...
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Is there any way to have substance dualism without invoking God?

Can one solve these objections to substance dualism without invoking divine intervention? 1.Causal interaction 2.Brain damage affects mind 3.Why do only living things with brains have consciousness?...
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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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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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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 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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Why do philosophical discussions of the teleportation paradox seem to ignore the physics involved?

When I read philosophy treatments of the teleportation paradox and related subjects like swampman, they seem to focus primarily on drawing analogies to various entirely different scenarios (...
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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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Do human thoughts interact with matter? [closed]

In a Dan Brown book, the author claims that thoughts can interact with matter, and the entire field of study associated with this is called "Noetic Sciences". Is this actually true? What is the ...
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What is the purpose of a high in terms of it being created or intended by a creator

I Believe God is real, if believing God is real and that he created the universe and everything it it, what is the purpose of a high? (produced by weed or any other drug) Why would God create a high? ...
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Can science prove or provide evidence that the brain is the source of the mind

I am seeking published discussions or arguments about this proposition, though some discussion here would be useful: Science can prove or provide significant evidence that the brain is the source ...
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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 can Epiphenomenalism explain the brain's belief in the mind without invoking divine intervention?

Epiphenomenalism is a mind-body dualist proposal that states that the brain can affect the mind but the mind cannot affect the brain. However, it has a big problem. It doesn't explain why the brain ...
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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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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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Is there a world behind you when you do not look behind your back? [closed]

There is a very famous philosophical question that almost all of us have heard before: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? My question is a little ...
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If two brains A and B were 100% identical, why would A's self-awareness emerge in A instead of emerging in B and viceversa?

What I'm asking is basically how is the "self-awareness allocation problem" solved. I know this problem can be confusing, so let me try to explain it by means of examples: Example 1: Let’s imagine ...
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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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Imagine that you look at yourself as a cat, what do you think of your own behavior?

I recently thought very much about the life of mammals who live in our cities, such as cats, and dogs. To see if I will find a philosophy in this, because, as we know, the Nature Is Our Best Teacher!....
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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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Schrödinger: order and perception

In a book called What is life? the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger ask himself why we don't perceive atoms, and says: The reason for this is, that what we call thought is itself an orderly ...
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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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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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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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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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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 area of philosophy deals with that which is outside of the normal (physical) reality (i.e. the “paranormal”)?

I know that several different philosophy currents touch the subject of what we are as humans, what does it mean to be alive, and if we are something transcendent to the mere bodily representation that ...
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Can mind-body dualism be modelled by computer programs and their corresponding logic gates at the physical level?

If we a consider complex computer program (such as an operating system) running on an unknown architecture, then somebody observing the computer program at the logic gate level may be able to gain a ...
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If we would split my brain would there be two of me? [closed]

Considering that I can survive with only half of my brain, and I am a mind living in a body. If we would split my brain in two and then implant one part into some other body and leave other half in my ...