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Philosophy of mind

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Introduction

Philosophy of mind What is it? The problem of how the existence of minds fits into our understanding of the word. One key question is still unresolved: the mind/brain identity theory. Dualism Substance dualism is the view that mind and matter are two different kinds of 'stuff'. Matter is what the physical sciences deal with and is the stuff out of which the universe is made. Mind, however, is a different kind of substance which is not the subject of physical science, but exists within conscious beings, like ourselves. Classical principles of identity: 1. Leibniz's law- if A is identical to B, then any property is A is a property of B or whatever is true of A is true of B. 2. The principle of the identity of indiscernibles- If A and B are identical in all respects, then they are identical objects. I.e. one and the same object. If identity is understood in this ways, then if one thing is identical with another, both must occupy the same time and space and have identical properties. ...read more.

Middle

When considering the properties of matter, we can count the fact that matter exists in definite moments of time and space. So, you can always say where and when a bit of matter is. Another feature of matter is that it is observable by all; PUBLIC (you can even see the smallest particles under a microscope). And FINALLY, matter is always DIVISIBLE. When considering the properties of mind, we find it doesn't fit the same description. If I think 'where is Kate?' that thought cannot be located in time and space in the same way an object/particle can (matter). It doesn't make any sense to say my thought occurred three inches behind my nose. ALSO, minds are not observable by any one (PRIVATE)...feelings, thoughts and sensations cannot be seen by 'looking into my mind'. And our mind seems to be INDIVISIBLE; my consciousness cannot be split up into infinitely small parts. Minds seem to have a feature which matter doesn't. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore, mind is not identical to matter. WHAT THEN IS THE MIND!!?!???!?!?! Given that matter is a kind of substance, it seems natural to think that mind must be some other kind of substance. THIS IS DUALISM. There are two types of substance in the world: mind and matter. Good things about Dualism: 1. It fits in with our intuitive views about the mind. 2. The argument for it is straightforward. ARGUMENTS AGAINST DUALISM (OBJECTIONS) One major problem is interaction-how does the mind affect/interact with matter? We have an idea how matter affects matter they are the same substance. But how can the mind interact with matter if they are fundamentally different types of thing? If the mind is not in space, how can it be affected by something that is in space? WE KNOW THAT MIND AND MATTER DO INTERACT (MIND AND BODY). My arm moves when I when I want it too etc. Reply: if the argument for dualism is good and interaction is a fact, it must be true that mind and matter can interact. Just because we don't understand how they interact, doesn't mean dualism is wrong. ...read more.

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