Sections / TT Summary
- The Solution to the Mind-Body Problem and Why Many Prefer the Problem to the Solution
- Six Unlikely Theories of Mind
The Foundations of Modern Materialism3
- 1. Eliminative Materialism1
- 2. Complete Rejection of Folk Psychology
- 3. There is nothing specifically mental about the so-called mental states
- 4. Strong Artificial Intelligence2 or Computer Functionalism
- 5. The use of commonsense mental vocabulary is just adopting an “intentional stance” towards a system.
- 6. Phenomenal consciousness does not exist
Historical Origins of the Foundations
- 1. Consciousness is unimportant in the scientific study of the mind, which can proceed as if there were no such thing.
- 2. Science is objective … because reality is objective.
- 3. Cognitive science therefore has to be studied from a third-person, behaviourist perspective.
- 4. The only way we can know whether a system has mental properties is by its behaviour.
- 5. Intelligent behaviour and causal relations to intelligent behaviour are in some way the essence of the mental.
- 6. Because all reality is physical, all reality is in principle knowable by us.
- 7. The only things that exist are physical - as the physical is traditionally conceived - ie. as opposed to the mental.
Undermining the Foundations
- The terror of Cartesian Dualism
- The inheritance of a constraining vocabulary of apparent opposites: ‘physical’ vs ‘mental’; …; ‘matter’ vs ‘spirit’; …; ‘materialism’4 vs ‘immaterialism’.
- The persistent objectifying tendency in modern science, philosophy, life, …; third person.
- We aren’t content with humble and obvious truths about the mind; we want something deeper.
- Consciousness does matter
- Not all of reality is objective; some of it is subjective
- Because it is a mistake to suppose that the ontology of the mental is objective, it is a mistake to suppose that the methodology of a science of the mind must concern itself only with objectively observable behaviour
- It is a mistake to suppose that we know of the existence of mental phenomena in others only by observing their behaviour
- Behaviour or causal relations to behaviour are not essential to the existence of mental phenomena
- It is inconsistent with what we in fact know about the universe and our place in it to suppose that everything is knowable by us
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2021
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)