The mind body problem is the question
● Not a specific solution
● The problem:
○ How could a physical (material) entity have psychological (mental)properties Physicalism or materialism:
● Everything is physical (material)
● All mental properties are ultimately reduce a lot of physical properties ● compare: biological life is reducible to physical properties it can be entirely explain by them
Pros of monism:
-no interaction problem
-since there is only one kind of substance
-but it needs to explain how physical properties give rise to mental ones Three kinds of physicalism:
● Behaviorism, identity theory, functionalism
-There are no mental events in states, there are only regularities in external observable behavior ● To be in pain = when one is kicked one screams and jumps back
-We conceptualize these regularity and mental terms but there are really no mental states Identity theory
-A mental state of kind M is identical to bring state of kind B
● Pain( mental) is identical with the firing of C-fibers( brain)
The identity is contingent
● It is discovered empirically (compare: water= H2O)
Pros of identity theory
-No interaction problem
- no worry about existence of other minds
-psychology is a natural science
Cons of identity theory
● Where is the subject of a character of experience?
● to primitive
● to local
-A kind of object identified in terms of its function rather than its material composition Ex: Doorstop, doorstop is a heavy or fixed object with the function to keep the door open Functionalism Don't forget about the age old question of Why is it important to define the system and surroundings?
-Mental states are functional states
- they are constituted by their functional role
-ROLE: the casual relations the bear to
● sensory inputs
● behavioral Output
● other mental state (unlike behaviorism)
-No interaction problem : all physical casual relations
- multiple realizability
● mental states can be realized by Martians computers etc.
-preserves the autonomy of the psychological
-No complete functional specification of the mind is (yet?) available
-could A mind be realized by a large bureaucracy that initiate seems functional role? -what about the subjective character of experience?
-The subjective experience is just one way of accessing certain fact
● A fact that can be fully known without accessing it experimentally
Mary’s room and physicalism
-Some philosophers: Mary’s case shows that physical is false
● Some mental properties are reducible to physical ones Don't forget about the age old question of What is the impact of the 19th amendment in the us?
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Consciousness and physicalism
-Philosophers agree that most of consciousness could be explained in physical terms such as the ability to
2. integrate information
3. report mental states
4. focus attention etc.
What my not be physically explainable?
-Is only the phenomenal character of experience these so-called hard problem of consciousness
-It might be a hard problem
-But is it important if physicalism can explain everything else about consciousness including thought deliberation action and even motion then why should we be so concerned about a failure to account for phenomenal character of experience? Don't forget about the age old question of What are the elements of public disclosure of private facts?
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Two kinds of reduction
1. Ontological reduction
a. Mental states are physical states they are not made of a different kind of substance 2. Conceptual reduction
a. All the concepts we need to understand minds are just the concepts of physics The greedy reductionist
-Accepts both ontological and concept sure reduction there are really no mental states -But physicalism needs to not be greedy