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Week Four - Part Two

by: Stephani Mager
Stephani Mager

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Philosophy 205 week four, part two notes of Armstrong's article. It includes key terms and concepts as well as in-class discussions.
Intro to Philosophy
Benjamin Bagley
Class Notes
philosophy, Armstrong, consciousness
25 ?




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Stephani Mager on Wednesday September 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to phi 205 at North Carolina State University taught by Benjamin Bagley in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Intro to Philosophy in Philosophical / Religious / Ethical Perspectives at North Carolina State University.

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Date Created: 09/14/16
Philosophy 205 – Week Four, Part Two Armstrong, “The Nature of Mind” Key Terms:  Behaviourism: o The study of behavior believed to be the best way to scientifically study mental states o The perception of behaviorism cannot be perceived on a first-person point of view, only by another’s point of view  Consciousness: o The connection between yourself and your mind  Dispositions to behave: o (Important to Ryle’s concept of the mind) o The way in which people behave in certain situations  Materialist or Physicalist: o “Reality consists of material objects and their material, spatial, and temporal properties and relations” (Glossary) Armstrong’s Theory: Mental states are identical to physical states that cause relevant behavior in normal circumstances  The counter argument Armstrong considers – o Can’t explain consciousness; mental states have different properties that can’t be explained 1. Characteristically you can’t be in the state of having a conscious experience without perceiving or being aware you’re having the experience in that state a. It starts with a thought (a special, unique thing) – if you’re having a conscious experience without being aware you’re in that conscious state b. Example: can’t be in pain without being aware you’re having pain 2. Perceptual states are “inner states or events apt for the production of selective behavior towards our environment” (285) a. Animal perception – can an animal distinguish between blue and green i. Rewards offered in two pathways – the one with the treat is always green – observe over time if the animal eventually knows the green pathwayalways has a treat ii. Can explain concept of perception 3. Armstrong proposes consciousness is the capacity to have perceptions of one’s own inner states a. Example: you see a stick in the water and perceive it as bent, and you are aware of that inner state of perceiving the image, then tell others it’s bent i. Not successfullyperceiving stick selectivelyas you would if you perceived the stick as it actually is (straight) ii. Not directly perceiving the stick just your mental state of perception iii. Responding to experience rather than the stick itself b. Person behaving based on perceptions of inner state Consciousness:  Perceptions of perceptions, feelings, emotions, desires, etc. in a state causing you to respond based on perception  Example: wake up, see it’s eight a.m., then relax for a moment before realizing you’re late for class o Being late for class is the perception of the perception (consciousness) o Reactions to reactions  Example: when a little kid labels something unknown to them as something they do know o Saying “dog” when really seeing a horse  Unconscious reaction  Responding selectively to mental state


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