Theories of Reality - Lane Community College

Theories of Reality - Lane Community College

PHL 203 Theories of Reality Lecture for January 11 & 13, 2011 Prof. Borrowdale The Mind-Body Problem Ontology Idealism

Materialism Dualism If the mind and body are the same, why do they seem different? If different, how do they interact? Dualist Answers Cartesian Interactionism Mind and brain interface in pineal gland

Interaction mysterious like gravity We know THAT it happens but not HOW We know mind & body are distinct because they are conceptually different Dualist Answers Epiphenomenalism Parallelism/Occasionalism

Eliminative or Reductive vs. Simple Materialism A theory about Mentalistic language Folk psychology How we talk about things Is talk about thoughts, beliefs and intentions unscientific or misleading?

Reductive materialists suggest restricting ourselves to precise, quantifiable terms and observations Materialist Answers Logical Behaviorism Gilbert Ryle Ghost in the machine criticism Descartes says that its NOT like a pilot and his ship, more intimate

and mysterious Category Mistakes The University Example The Baseball Game Example Materialist Answers Logical Behaviorism Mentalistic language refers to dispositions to behave in various ways under particular circumstances

Al is angry = Al is behaving angrily (red in the face, yelling, pounding his fist on the desk) Objection: Confusing mental states with evidence for them in others Materialist Answers The Mind-Brain Identity Theory Julien Offray La Mettrie, Man: A

Machine Arguments Against Dualism 1. Vitalism analogy 2. Brain injuries cause mind injuries 3. Sophistication of nervous system correlated with sophistication of consciousness 4. Restoring dead bodies to life restores consciousness - why does

the soul conveniently return?

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