Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

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.

12
votes
12answers
3k views

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 ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

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 ...
10
votes
8answers
790 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
2k 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, ...
8
votes
1answer
427 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
434 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
700 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 ...
9
votes
8answers
3k views

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 ...
14
votes
4answers
701 views

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 ...
14
votes
7answers
729 views

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), ...
11
votes
9answers
2k views

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“. (...
9
votes
4answers
478 views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
399 views

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 ...
17
votes
13answers
3k views

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 ...
4
votes
4answers
383 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 ...
8
votes
7answers
352 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
278 views

On cloning minds, persons and selves

Consider a teleportation booth which exactly replicates ones body and mind in Mars, whilst destroying that on Earth; as in Parfits Reasons and Persons. There is only one you at any one time; so ...
19
votes
9answers
5k 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 ...
21
votes
15answers
12k 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? ...
17
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
6k views

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 ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
6
votes
7answers
465 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, ...
5
votes
2answers
276 views

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 ...
12
votes
2answers
1k 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, ...
11
votes
12answers
5k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
393 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
107 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
313 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 (...
0
votes
2answers
225 views

What is it like to be happy?

I accept that pain is a quale, or qualia. But does anyone suggest that happiness and sadness, aren't - that someone who has never been happy doesn't learn what happiness is by being happy, that we ...
9
votes
6answers
904 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 (...
7
votes
11answers
2k views

Why do people believe a turing machine can be fully conscious?

In his book Consciousness Explained Dennett writes "Anyone or anything that has such a virtual machine as its control system is conscious in the fullest sense" [p281] referring to a Joycean machine ...
13
votes
4answers
911 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
626 views

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 ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

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 ...
5
votes
11answers
448 views

Can a machine, lacking reflection, be a Person?

We are well beyond Frankenstein and the experience that the machine—“it’s alive”! As we continue to rely on Suri’s for GPS directions, “self”-checkout aisles, or the artificial intelligence of robotic ...
5
votes
2answers
176 views

Difference between information and knowledge?

As far as I think projection of data unto subject mind is information for the subject whereas indentation or impressions accumulated owing to projection of data unto subject mind is knowledge for the ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
8
votes
9answers
597 views

How does materialism understand affect?

Materialism seems very intuitive to me, so much so that when we speak of 'apparently' non-physical things (ie: belief, awareness, concepts, ideas, sensations), my initial reaction is that there must ...
7
votes
7answers
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 ...
6
votes
0answers
216 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
123 views

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 ...
1
vote
3answers
230 views

Should we think twice about dualism?

With the rise of Materialism and Physicalism a dualistic ontology has fallen out of favor. The successes of Science makes makes us comfortable to deny any entity beyond the "Observable Universe". ...
7
votes
4answers
390 views

Is humanity as a whole a philosophical zombie?

In some respects human communities function like intelligent subjects. They acquire and process knowledge, and then act on it. This collective "intelligence" is not reducible to individuals: ...
6
votes
3answers
373 views

Is ethics anthropocentric?

Is ethics anthropocentric? It seems as if ethics mainly revolves around the issues that human intelligence faces? Do we treat ethics as just a mere end and not a means, and if so, does that make ...
4
votes
4answers
221 views

Do experiences need to be “real” to be worthwhile or desireable?

This is an offshoot of another discussion: Can "expected future happiness" be quantified, or at least ranked among alternative futures?, where both respondents brought up the concept of the ...
3
votes
6answers
728 views

Dreaming and Awakening: Both False?

Please pardon my layman's language as I am not a student of philosophy. I was talking to a friend who has read Advaita Philosophy of Shankara in-depth. He iterated the fundamental theory of this ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

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? ...
14
votes
9answers
744 views

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 ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

How does Gödel's incompleteness theorem apply to materialism and the mind

Assertion 1: Humans use some logical system to understand the universe Assertion 2: Gödel proved through a formal logic what is provable about a logical system is a subset of what is true about it, ...