phi101 20110323 Notes

Posted in phi101 by bnmng on 2011 03/23

Epiphenomenalism is a form of metaphysical materialism. denies any seperate reality of the mind. It says that brain states cause other brain states. Arising out of brain states are the mental states.

Epiphenomenalism: Property dualism. Brain states have two kinds of properties, physical and mental. It recognizes the reality of mental states as special properties of brain states. This seems to be contradicted by the findings of mind body medicine.

Cognitive Science: Still a materialist theory, but a lot looser. Strongly influenced by computer science and draws on many other fields. We cannot understand human behavior without understanding mental processes (which cannot be objectively observed). Relies of a functionalist theory of mind. The essential nature of mental processes is not to be found in the stuff that their made of, but it’s function.

Functionalist theories are completely neutral about what is stuff. Leadeing thikers in Artificial Intelligence are aligned with functionalist theory. According to functionalist theory, if something behaves like a human then it can be credited with intelligence.

Spinoza: Dual Aspect Theory: Maybe what human experience as mind and what human experience as matter are simply aspects of something that’s more fundamental than either. This is a speculative solution. Spinoza’s arguments became even more realistic with the advance of quantum science, then they were when he came up with them.

Spinoza was one generation after Descartes.

Metaphysical Materialism: Only matter is real. Is this an adequate theory?

Metaphysical Materialism seems to have a lot of anomalies.

Anomaly: Unexplained relevant fact. Of A theory that is generating a lot of anomalies, it’s adequacy can be questioned.

Irreducibility: explained by the story of the smell scientist who cannot smell.


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