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20 votes

How do we know that the mind is not a physical entity?

I'd like to offer a biologist's perspective, and argue that we know the mind is a physical thing. It just makes us uncomfortable. How do we know? Traumatic brain injuries. A stroke can remove your ...
lupe's user avatar
  • 379
18 votes

What is lost upon death?

The state of being alive is lost (that is, it ends) when something dies. The state of being alive is mostly defined by having the ability to deliver the right chemistry to the right places in the ...
g s's user avatar
  • 6,325
18 votes

Is knowledge non-physical?

"Knowledge" is an abstract concept. It is a convenient label, generally considered to apply to true beliefs (with considerable wiggle around what exactly that means, and how one might know ...
mattdm's user avatar
  • 394
15 votes

Should the evidence of OBEs and NDEs increase our epistemic probability of non-physicalist views of consciousness?

Near death experiences seem to largely be culturally and theologically neutral, and when they'renot they match the beliefs of the person having them, which suggests to me it's an entirely ...
TKoL's user avatar
  • 3,462
14 votes

Is consciousness causally superfluous?

For me, the strongest argument for consciousness causing physical effects is our ability to make statements about our consciousness. If I move my mouth to say "I have a mind that experiences ...
Kaia's user avatar
  • 293
12 votes
Accepted

Is it possible that non-living systems possess consciousness?

I think the jury is still out on this one -- if you could answer it definitively that would be a huge discovery. The challenge is that we don't have a good theory of consciousness yet. There are ...
Annika's user avatar
  • 1,681
11 votes

What is lost upon death?

If I turn off the ignition, my car stops. The matter content of my car is unchanged, but various processes that took place while my car was running are no longer taking place. Death is clearly ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
  • 23.6k
9 votes

What do professional philosophers mean by physicalism or "everything is physical"

Physicalism is the ontological theory that what we call "ideas" do not exist by themselves, but only as configurations of physical stuff, what we can see, touch or interact with (in a sense, ...
armand's user avatar
  • 6,856
9 votes

What do professional philosophers mean by physicalism or "everything is physical"

Here's an interesting fact. Most real numbers are not describable by mathematics. It's true. To be more specific, most real numbers cannot be named by any mathematical formula. Why? There is an ...
causative's user avatar
  • 14.5k
9 votes
Accepted

How do we know that the mind is not a physical entity?

See: Dualism in the context of the mind-body problem (SEP). It appears to me that you're positing either physicalism (mental states are particular ways for the processes that make up your living body ...
g s's user avatar
  • 6,325
9 votes

Should the evidence of OBEs and NDEs increase our epistemic probability of non-physicalist views of consciousness?

I'll go ahead and say it. Yes, reports of out of body experiences and near death experiences make non-physicalist views of consciousness more likely than they otherwise would be. However this does not ...
causative's user avatar
  • 14.5k
8 votes

Do non physical causes exist?

To quote a cliche, the jury is still out on the question of the nature of the mind. There seems to be no doubt that thought and contemplation are somehow associated with physical processes in the ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
  • 23.6k
8 votes

What is lost upon death?

It's a common misconception that death is a "moment". There are, of course, more and less sudden ways to die. But death is generally a process. Your heart stops beating, your organs shut ...
NotThatGuy's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Is non-physicalism reasonable?

First Question, is belief in a non-physicalist worldview reasonable The key issue to consider to answer your first question is to realize how science is done. In a field of empirical inquiry the ...
Dcleve's user avatar
  • 14.6k
8 votes
Accepted

Should the evidence of OBEs and NDEs increase our epistemic probability of non-physicalist views of consciousness?

Very Short Answer Yes. Both physicalist and non-physicalist models of consciousness are testable in principle, and every observation that is compatible/predictable from the perspective of one of ...
Dcleve's user avatar
  • 14.6k
7 votes

The ultimate absurdity: if consciousness is an illusion, how can anything we know be real?

This is simply a corollary to what a few others have stated but felt like giving an empirical example to bolster their claims. Note: by no means am I an eliminitivist, I’m firmly a phenomenologist. ...
Hokon's user avatar
  • 732
7 votes

What is lost upon death?

Note: I am not a physicalist, so I am responding from my best understanding of their position. From a purely physicalist perspective, what is lost at the moment of death is a particular pattern--an ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 30.4k
7 votes

Is physicalism the simplest worldview in terms of the complexity of its ontology?

Its important to distinguish "explanatory" — which subdivides into "narrative" and "descriptive". And "predictive". Clearly and trivially the more idealistic ...
Rushi's user avatar
  • 3,399
6 votes

Is it possible that non-living systems possess consciousness?

We know from neuroscience that there are many unconscious processes operating in the human brain. It is even possible that a stimulus is registered in certain parts of our brain, but we do not have a ...
Jo Wehler's user avatar
  • 33.7k
6 votes

Is non-physicalism reasonable?

Physicalism as described in the linked article is so underdefined that it doesn't make any claims at all to be true or false. At best it's a commitment to investigate everything with the scientific ...
g s's user avatar
  • 6,325
6 votes
Accepted

Is knowledge non-physical?

I think this is unfortunately one of those questions where there's no canonical answer, and so the answer you get from each person really only tells you about their beliefs and not much more. The ...
TKoL's user avatar
  • 3,462
5 votes
Accepted

What's the problem with physicalism in philosophy of mind?

First a comment: I am surprised at your stating that "It seems that physicalism and functionalism in philosophy of mind has fallen out of popularity and into much criticism". All of the philosophy of ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Am I just a force of nature? (physicalist determinism)

Recall that forces are just mathematical structures that we have created as a convenience to help explain the behavior of the world around us; they do not define the behaviour of the world around us, ...
Carl Masens's user avatar
5 votes

On the connection between science and reality

I don't remember which one, but I think it was Special Relativity that Einstein formulated purely on the basis of thought and did not keep anything to fit observed reality. This is false. There were ...
Babu's user avatar
  • 2,188
5 votes

Do non physical causes exist?

The most convenient evidence (and as I'd soon argue, the most robust) for non-physical causation is introspection. I choose to raise my arm and the thing goes up. Period! To question that by ...
infatuated's user avatar
  • 1,665
5 votes

The ultimate absurdity: if consciousness is an illusion, how can anything we know be real?

Ok, so you spotted the (glaring indeed) logical contradiction at the heart of eliminative materialism. Good for you. In my experience, it sounds simple and obvious enough once you understood the idea, ...
Olivier5's user avatar
  • 2,234
5 votes

Which is the best explanation of the mind body relation, dualism or physicalism?

The mainstream view, physicalism, ie. materialistic monism, is the philosophical position that everything which exists is no more extensive than its physical properties, and that the only existing ...
Ioannis Paizis's user avatar
5 votes

How do we know that the mind is not a physical entity?

Most people believe that the mind is separate from the physical world. In the general public, I think that's true, but I am not at all sure it's true within the academic philosophical community. ...
Mark Foskey's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Is physicalism an unfalsifiable position?

Does physicalism include epistemological principles that make it impossible to disprove by its own standard ? No, yes, and maybe. No. Physicalism is not a theory of epistemology. It is commonly ...
Kevin's user avatar
  • 2,148

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