Questions tagged [philosophy-of-mind]

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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Does having free will presuppose consciousness, can philosophical zombies have it?

Philosophical zombies may lack a consciousness, but does this preclude the ability to have a free will? Why does consciousness matter, for agency, or at all, if determinism is real? (I've framed the ...
NationWidePants's user avatar
3 votes
7 answers
602 views

Is it plausible to believe in the existence of other minds if all arguments have been criticized?

I believe that other people also have minds. To believe in other minds, arguments are needed. All arguments in favor of the existence of other minds are subject to strong criticism. So it turns out ...
Johnny5454's user avatar
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12 answers
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Can someone be an atheist and subscribe to substance dualism at the same time?

I consider myself to be firmly in the atheist camp. None of the arguments for the existence of a higher being or prime mover convince me, let alone attempts at proving the existence of the old God of ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
11 votes
8 answers
2k views

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 ...
Left SE On 10_6_19's user avatar
8 votes
6 answers
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What are the problems with the argument for the mind-body dualism from immateriality of thoughts?

I have started studying philosophy of mind and I am currently reading an introduction to the field. The first topic that is presented in the book is dualism of the Cartesian brand, and the case for it ...
Adrian's user avatar
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18 answers
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Aren't we all philosophical zombies?

I've been reading about the philosophy of the mind, and I'm a bit confused. Everything I've read seems to start with the (unjustified) assumption that there is some aspect of the mind that isn't ...
Alex's user avatar
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21 votes
16 answers
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Why am I this particular human being?

Some philosophers dismiss this as a question about a tautology: when Alice asks "Why am I Alice?", this is equivalent to her asking "Why is Alice Alice?", which is not an interesting question. But ...
present's user avatar
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What counters are there to Spinoza's argument that acts of free will create infinite regress?

My 16-to-21-year-old self was very preoccupied with free will. When I was 21 years old I rejected the notion as ill-defined as both my reason and my inner experience told me that my will was caused ...
ymar's user avatar
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23 votes
7 answers
3k views

Does anyone assert the real existence of p-zombies?

Philosophical zombies are usually presented as, let say, "conceivable" and then this assertion is used to infer dualism. Have any philosophers taken the position that p-zombies are in fact real, and, ...
Dave's user avatar
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9 votes
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How do epiphenomenalists make sense of discussions about qualia?

Epiphenomenalists believe that mental events have no causal effect on the physical. They may differ in what they consider "mental events" but it seems all of them would consider qualia / phenomenal ...
present's user avatar
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Philosophy and the question 'When is a robot considered alive and thinking?'

I originally posted this question in Robotics Stack Exchange, but it was deemed off-topic there and it was recommended I post here: I was watching a youtube video of a robot: https://www.youtube.com/...
mrnovice's user avatar
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2 answers
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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 ...
Conifold's user avatar
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Strawson on Free Will: What are the most persuasive challenges to his position?

There are arguments against free will and moral responsibility which rely on strict causal determinism and/or determinism modified by quantum randomness. Criticisms of these views raise doubt as to ...
Futilitarian's user avatar
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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 ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
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6 answers
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What are the differences between sentience, consciousness and awareness?

Dictionary definitions such as this one often seem to use the terms sentience, awareness, and consciousness as if they are synonymous with each other. Is this really the case? If not, how do they ...
coleopterist's user avatar
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7 answers
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Is there a 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), ...
Ameet Sharma's user avatar
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11 answers
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How can consciousness be an illusion?

Regarding this New Scientist article: Metaphysics special: What is consciousness? It contains this strapline: “You may know beyond a doubt that you exist, but your ‘I’ could still be an illusion“. (...
user2808054's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
658 views

Are humans becoming more hive-like? Does this have philosophical implications?

Have any philosophers taken up human hive-like behaviour and its implications? EO Wilson and others have outlined eusociality, a mode of group selection acting in addition to selection at the ...
CriglCragl's user avatar
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15 answers
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Is it reasonable to believe that others have sentient minds?

Obviously I'm not looking for a valid deductive proof using formal logic, but at least a relatively convincing argument. How do I know that humans who I encounter other than myself have sentient ...
That Guy's user avatar
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4 answers
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Has Hofstadter's concept of strange loop been given a more formal treatment (by him or anyone else) than "GEB" and "I am a strange loop"?

I find Hofstadter's concept of strange loop and how it explains consciousness to be very compelling. However I find the writing style in "Goedel Escher and Bach" to be too distracting and "I am a ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
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9 answers
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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 ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
5 votes
6 answers
572 views

PhilPapers Survey 2020, Why do so many physicalists deny consciousness of future AI systems?

According to PhilPapers Survey from 2020 there are 239 philosophers who identify as accepting or leaning towards Physicalism and yet reject consciousness of future AI. To me this seems very puzzling, ...
ArAj's user avatar
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3 votes
5 answers
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Why does Man ask Why questions? [closed]

I am not a particularly educated or intelligent individual. If this question is easily answered, forgive me. As I can think of no answer, I am compelled to ask. I'm afraid this line of questioning ...
John G's user avatar
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18 answers
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Is Nothing actually imaginable?

It's possible to imagine something, for example a table, we see one everyday and can bring it in front of our minds eye (although it's a moot point whether we can see it - I certainly don't). But of ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
15 votes
4 answers
2k views

How does Penrose defeat the computational theory of mind?

In Shadows Of The Mind Roger Penrose puts forth a Gödelian argument against the computational theory of mind. He then goes on to suggest that quantum mechanics plays a central role in the realization ...
Not_Here's user avatar
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6 votes
11 answers
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The ultimate absurdity: if consciousness is an illusion, how can anything we know be real?

Epiphenomenalism holds that conscious experience is an ineffectual by-product of brain activities. Eliminationists go further and add that this by-product is an illusion. I was wondering whether ...
infatuated's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
829 views

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 (...
Kevin's user avatar
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5 votes
6 answers
613 views

Are there laws which govern minds?

After much discussion of my question, How could 'objective morality' be known/investigated?, I've come to think that two earlier questions must first be asked: Are there laws which govern how any ...
labreuer's user avatar
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5 votes
7 answers
484 views

What is the most useful boundary on the definition of 'thinking'?

Hard AI is one of the perennial problems of philosophy, but it immediately becomes mired down in notions like consciousness, qualia, etc. and whether a machine can have those. This usually skips ...
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4 votes
6 answers
485 views

How does the Chinese Room Argument handle the pile of sand paradox?

The Chinese Room setup is as follows, quoted from an earlier question on the same topic: Imagine a native English speaker who knows no Chinese locked in a room full of boxes of Chinese symbols (a ...
quarague's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
716 views

Does modern philosophy believe in solipsism?

Does modern philosophy support solipsism? How many philosophers support this idea? Does solipsism scare philosophers? For example, the fact that all their close people can be unconscious, without ...
Android's user avatar
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3 votes
5 answers
1k views

Is the human mind capable of distinguishing between time running forward and time runing backward? [closed]

The title really says it all. Would we be able to feel anything if time started running backward?
overkill's user avatar
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3 votes
8 answers
503 views

Why do people hide the assumption contained in the philosophical zombies question/idea?

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article called "Zombies" https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/zombies/ makes no mention of an assumption that seems to be hidden in the famous ...
Matthew Christopher Bartsh's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
290 views

Can Cogito, ergo sum be formalized?

I was wondering lately whether Descartes argument for the existence of undoubtable truth could be formalized. I tried to formalize his argument in FOL, but only his light version proving that there ...
Eauriel's user avatar
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0 votes
8 answers
612 views

Is an omniscient entity self-refuting?

Consider a thought experiment involving 'something' and three individuals attempting to understand it: one person claims it is a red ball, another asserts it is a simulation, and the third insists it ...
Siddharth Chakravarty's user avatar
-2 votes
2 answers
297 views

Can "why-is" close the "is-ought" gap? [closed]

[UPDATE: Clarified that choosing what-ought-to-be from what-can-be is based on our knowledge of ourselves, not on our knowledge of good and evil] “I know you won't believe me, but the highest form of ...
Yuri Zavorotny's user avatar
29 votes
18 answers
12k views

Why is it impossible for a program or AI to have semantic understanding?

relatively new to philosophy. This question is based on John Searle's Chinese Room Argument. I find it odd that his main argument for why programs could not think was that because programs could only ...
Abraham's user avatar
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28 votes
16 answers
43k views

Are people capable of generating a random number?

Let's say you tell me to produce randomly a number from 1-100, and I choose the number 47. Can it be said that there is a specific reason I chose the number 47, and that it is not completely random? ...
Snowman's user avatar
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19 votes
9 answers
6k views

What is the term for the fallacy/strategy of ignoring logical reasoning intended to disprove a belief?

Updated 10/19/2018 -- Regards for all the responses. Much appreciated. To address the point of fact that one cannot "prove" anything about reality: Yes, I agree. This is the reason I now set my ...
McMahon's user avatar
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17 votes
9 answers
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What are the retorts to Searle's Chinese Room?

Searle's Chinese Room basically argues that a program cannot make a computer 'intelligent'. Searle summarises the argument as Imagine a native English speaker who knows no Chinese locked in a room ...
dorzey's user avatar
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14 votes
16 answers
16k views

Does consciousness depend on our five senses?

Does consciousness depend on our five senses? If we never have senses, would we have consciousness? It seems that if we lose our senses, we would maintain our consciousness. But if we never had senses ...
Fred Oakman's user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
2k views

If zombies are possible would that imply that physicalism is false?

The SEP article on Zombies writes: Zombies in philosophy are imaginary creatures used to illuminate problems about consciousness and its relation to the physical world. Unlike those in films or ...
stoicfury's user avatar
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13 votes
5 answers
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How can a stream of thoughts and perceptions have freewill?

William James believed that there was no central entity or ego that embodied the "I" in "I feel" or "I think". That the continuous stream of thoughts and sensations generated the illusion of their ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
12 votes
5 answers
2k views

Does Gödel's argument that minds are more powerful than computers have the inconsistency loophole?

In "Raatikainen, P., 2005, “On the Philosophical Relevance of Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems,” , the author argues that Penrose's and others use of Gödel's theorem as an argument against mechanism (...
Alexander S King's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
3k views

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, ...
Nelson Alexander's user avatar
10 votes
6 answers
2k views

Is it possible that I see color differently?

Is it possible that I see color differently; for example what I call 'red' is 'blue' in your vision. Edited.. As we know the science of color, nothing is colored. Red is not "in" an apple. The ...
KMan's user avatar
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10 votes
7 answers
7k views

What is "intuition" for Kant?

Intuition appears to be a relatively abstract concept, an incomplete cognition, and thus not directly experienceable. Kant says that all knowledge is constituted of two parts: reception of objects ...
Ootagu's user avatar
  • 201
8 votes
7 answers
2k views

Does Searle's Chinese Room model computers correctly?

Searle invented a thought experiment, the Chinese Room, which he proposes is an argument against Strong AI (that machines think) but not against Weak AI (that machines simulate thinking), he has a man ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
661 views

What is the role of sensations in Wittgenstein's 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 ...
Mos's user avatar
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7 votes
6 answers
701 views

Assuming a mind could be uploaded, how would we know if it worked?

Let's assume that all of the technology for uploading a mind actually exists. This is the hope held by some that we could one day transfer our brain contents onto digital media - in other words, ...
Ampage Grietu's user avatar

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