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A Psychiatric Dialogue on the Mind-Body Problem Notes

by: Sarah Parker

A Psychiatric Dialogue on the Mind-Body Problem Notes PHI 3453

Marketplace > Florida Atlantic University > Political Science, Philosophy, & Religion > PHI 3453 > A Psychiatric Dialogue on the Mind Body Problem Notes
Sarah Parker
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About this Document

These notes cover the different perspectives of the mind-body problem, including the identity theories, functionalism, dualism, and the arguments against them.
Philosophy of Psychiatry
Carol S Gould
Class Notes
philosophy, psychiatry




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sarah Parker on Friday August 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHI 3453 at Florida Atlantic University taught by Carol S Gould in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 45 views. For similar materials see Philosophy of Psychiatry in Political Science, Philosophy, & Religion at Florida Atlantic University.

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Date Created: 08/26/16
Philosophy of Psychiatry (Professor Gould) Article Notes Highlight = Important Principle Highlight = Important Concept Highlight = Key Term A Psychiatric Dialogue on the Mind-Body Problem The Terminology - Identity Relationships: When an entity has multiple names, also known as “self-sameness”. - Theoretical Identities: Identities that are conceived by scientists; folk concepts that are given scientific explanations. - Type-Identity Theory: The idea that if two entities have an identity relationship, then that relationship is fundamental and will always be the same. - Token Identity Theory: The possibility that different states of the brain may cause the same state of mind. - Dualism - Descartes: (1596-1650) Scientist who proposed substance dualism. - Substance Dualism: The universe is composed of two types of things: mental or material. - Property Dualism: The idea that there are two levels of identity, and things can be identical at the level of substance and/or the level of property. - Explanatory Dualism: The idea that two different types of explanation are necessary to fully understand humans—mental/psychological/first person and material/biological/third person. - Functionalism: Mental states are defined by what they do rather than by what they are made of. - Concept of Emergent Properties: New features of systems that have new capabilities emerge from higher levels of complexity. - Qualia: The subjective “feel” of mind; what it feels like to conscious. The Problem With: - Identity Theories - Leibniz’s Law states that a true identity relationship between two entities means that both entities share all the same properties or characteristics. If one entity has a property that the other does not, it cannot have an identity relationship. The brain has physical properties such as mass, direction, and temperature, while the mind has properties such as wishes, intentions, and fears. Leibniz’s law would state that the mind-brain relationship could not be an identity relationship. - The Problem of multiple realizability is the probability that many different brain states might all cause the same state of mind. This means that various brain states might all cause the same mind state, such as depression or happiness. This would disprove the type-identity theory. - The explanatory gap, also called the “hard problem of consciousness”, explains how most people tend to view the mind from the outside. This makes it difficult to truly understand how brain activity actually feels. This is known as the qualia problem, and brings up the question of whether an identity relationship can be held between brain activity—which is in the material world—and the way an experience feels. - Functionalism - The “Chinese room problem”, developed by philosopher John Searle, explains that using software as an analogy to understand the mind is a poor example because software works without understanding what it is doing. It is programed to follow directions and produce a certain outcome, but it is incapable of understanding what it is doing or the meaning behind it. The mind, on the other hand, does understand things. - The “inverted spectrum argument” explains how from a functionalist perspective, one’s subjective experience would not be taken into account. This is described through the example of a color-discrimination task in which the color of a piece of fruit is described. The inverted-spectrum problem proposes that if the wiring from your eye to your brain was inversed and made you see green where I saw red, from a functional point of view, you would never know. - Descartes: - Descartes had the issue of the apparent bidirectional casual relationship between the mind and the brain, which can be explained by brain damage changing mental functioning, and hearing bad news can cause a physical reaction of shaking and crying. This disrupts his theory of the brain and the mind being two separate entities as mental and material things.


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