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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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Is the android a kind of mankind?

In St.Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica, it said But to know distinctly what is contained in the universal whole is to know the less common, as to "animal" indistinctly is to know it as "animal"; ...
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Are we actually in control of what we want?

Are we really in control of what we want? What might be the most significant philosophical theories or works discussing this problem?
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What is your definition of happiness? [closed]

My primary question is your personal definition of happiness. What I have understood so far is there is some feeling which I have felt which makes me feel happy. This happens in different occasions, ...
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How to answer this interview question [closed]

My friend is an artist and she has to answer this question but is not sure of the meaning. What does it mean, do you think? I find you to be incredibly productive and driven, as someone who as Rilke ...
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Can we create the Matrix?

Can we fully simulate the reality for a Brain in the Vat (BIV)? For example i clone myself and connect the clone's brain to a very sophisticated computer, which simulates a part of the universe (for ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
757 views

Is there a philosophical difference between consciousness and self-consciousness?

I was contemplating Heideggers idea of Being whose Being is a problem. Self-consciousness to me, whilst directly speaks of consciousness that is aware of its own self as a consciousness, also carries ...
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What are the arguments against the emergence of mind?

There are theories that state that a mind or human consciousness emerged from the properties of underlying systems, e.g. physical properties of the atoms of the brain, or biological properties of the ...
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Are the Sims self aware?

According to Professor Nick Bostrom of Oxford University: ...at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” ...
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1answer
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Is it possible to measure the differences in processing and interpretation of reality between individuals?

What variables can be measured to compare, for example, two different individual's conscious processing and interpretation of the same objective reality? For example, when terms like "distorted view ...
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2answers
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Convincing a brain in a vat of reality

Pondering at the arguments at wiki: In other words, if a brain in a vat stated "I am a brain in a vat", it would always be stating a falsehood. If the brain making this statement lives in the "...
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1answer
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Is experience a superposition of psychophysical data?

Synesthesia has been instrumental in allowing us to ask questions about the nature of perception, but it also raises questions about the nature of our experience. When I ask myself what experience is,...
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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 ...
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1answer
92 views

Can there be a philosophy of the passions?

Hume said that reason is the slave of the passions. In this case can we reason about the passions? What philosophers have taken steps in this direction. I would finger freud, and maybe foucault with ...
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1answer
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Is it arguable that philosophy is a crucial ingredient to a theory of mind?

I do not mean that there are philosophical positions on the theory of mind (as there most certainly are), but that philosophising must be part of the theory of mind, with a natural 'osmotic' unwilled ...
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1answer
429 views

Why does Aquinas argue that rationality of the universe points to a creator?

In the Summa, Aquinas, working from an Aristotelian philosophical position, argues that the rationality of the universe points to a creator. If I am correct in interpreting his work, he says that the ...
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Best books on philosophy of mind and/or consciousness?

I'm looking for a book that isn't too dense and that is usually recommended for someone who wants to learn of the mind/consciousness but doesn't know where to start.
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1answer
434 views

What or who studies classification of thinking?

What branch of philosophy or what philosopher(s) study the classification of different types and processes of thinking (thought)? Mortimer J. Adler in his 1972 book "How to read a book" defines 3 ...
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1answer
491 views

How would Wittgenstein respond to Functionalist accounts of consciousness?

So far, I've only been able to dig up a partial footnote by Kripke in his essay "Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language" where he tantalizingly writes that "... Wittgenstein would regard his ...
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Language or idea? Which comes first? (language of thought hypothesis)

I'm a physicist, but I do like philosophy, so I was arguing with a friend about what comes first: Ideas or the language/symbolism? More Precisely: If we define thinking process as: a kind of ...
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Are the experiences of the “flow of time” and of “cause and effect” qualia?

Physics and biology have no answer why or how we personally experience the color red and we say that the experience of the color red is a quale. Physics also has no answer why or how we experience ...
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Conception of honor and why human are happy about it and see it valuable

I have this question haunting me for a while now. I always appreciate Feynman's saying about Nobel prize most: "I appreciate the work that I did, and all the people who appreciated it, and I noticed ...
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Are we in self control of the thoughts?

Recently listening to my thoughts I think that it's reasonable to affirm that thoughts are randomly generated. It is correct to say so because you can't think an infinite pattern of thoughts at once, ...
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Corporations can spend, but can they speak?

The US Supreme Court has ruled that the act of spending money (buying political ads) is a form of speech, or, a speech act (political speech). The implication being, of course, that political spending,...
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Is the human mind immune to paradox?

In the sense of why the Barber in the Barber Paradox doesn't go mad or enter an infinite decision loop. What makes our minds paradox proof? Can an artificial intelligence be made paradox proof? I ...
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1answer
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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 the self exist instantaneously/without time?

Certainly your past experiences will affect how you perceive the world, process events, think about things, and behave but do you think the high level thinking required for the conception of self ...
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Why do we naturally regard the unfamiliar as ridiculous?

(Since there is no Psychology.SE, Ph.SE seemed like the best place to ask this question.) I have noticed that when a person is presented with an unfamiliar idea, the default reaction is often to ...
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1answer
411 views

What is Hofstadter's ontology for symbols?

I really liked GEB a few years ago, and have been following up with "I am a Strange Loop" recently. In the book, Douglas Hofstadter tries to better explain his concept of symbols and in particular the ...
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3answers
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What are the characteristics of consciousness which seem to pervade all sentient creatures? [closed]

There seems to be a great disparity when it comes to the definition of Consciousness in the western and eastern schools. Now, in India, according to Advaita Vedanta(non-dualistic school of ...
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1answer
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Massive Modularity and Qualia

I read Pinker's How the Mind Works a few years back, and a thought occurred to me that I couldn't find in the two serious reviews (Fodor and somebody else, I forget)I dredged up afterwards. If one's ...
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Which of Plato's Dialogues should I read to learn about Socrates' views on science and epistemology?

Which of Plato's Dialogues should I read to learn about Socrates' views relevant to the philosophy science and epistemology? I'm quite a beginner in these things and the titles of the Dialogues are ...
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Is “opacity of mind” specifically a Nyingma position within Buddhism?

In various Nyingma Buddhist groups in Nepal there is a local theory of mind that, most basically, holds that you can not ever know what another person is thinking. This is a phenomenon that I have ...
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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? ...
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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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Can we be Boltzmann brains? Or, how can we be sure there is no conspiracy about the past?

The way things are traditionally presented about time, there is the present, the past is fixed, and the future is open. The second law of thermodynamics is invoked. But how can we be so sure the past ...
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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 ...
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Does it make sense to think that algorithms can be specified only for all that which is manmade? [closed]

I've been asking myself the following question over and over again: can one write an algorithm (a series of steps for solving a problem) for something that came about through a process that is at ...
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What other philosophy of mind books might be recommended if I like John Searle?

What other philosophy of mind books might be recommended if I like John Searle? I am an engineer who is interested in AI and the possibility of machines become able to think and the philosophy behind ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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How can you support the idea of qualia as distinct from neuronal firing when you only experience one thing?

Physicalists are people who equate brain states with mental states. There are people in this category; and yet there are many people who do not hold this view. Such people hold that there is an ...