Context and IntroductionIn this article Patricia Churchland is arguing against David Chalmers’ assertion that the physical sciences, including contemporary disciplines like neuroscience, will never be able to explain consciousness. More specifically, they will never be able to explain the hard problem of consciousness: how and why physical processes give rise to subjective experience. Otherwise stated, […]Read More Chalmers’ Zombies and The Hornswoggle Problem: Patricia Churchland
Introduction and Context:In describing what philosophy does, I’ve heard Prof. Todd Jones (of UNLV) say “philosophy is usually about one of two things: Things that are so abstract and obscure that most people wouldn’t bother to think about them, and things that are so obvious that most people wouldn’t bother to think about them.” Substance […]Read More Brain Damage, Mind Damage, and Dualism (Phelan, Mandelbaum, and Nichols)
Introduction and Context:In the previous post we got a quick introduction to substance dualism (aka Cartesian dualism), the idea that the mind/soul and the body are not one and the same and are therefore fundamentally distinct substances. That is, your brain is not your mind and your mind is not your brain. We looked at […]Read More How Can Souls Move Bodies? Descartes and Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia
Introduction and Context:Watch the Video first: http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/9CqbO_5FKRc&source=uds https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CqbO_5FKRc So, is the brain the mind? Is the mind the brain? Are they separate things? If so, are you your brain or your mind? Or are you somehow both but they aren’t the same thing? Are you confused? Poor Karl. Lets try to help him clear up […]Read More Descartes and Philosophy of Mind: The Conceivability Argument and the Divisibility Argument
This section of the sixth and final meditation is for me the most interesting and raises the most philosophical issues. I still remember when I first encountered it 12 years ago in my second philosophy class. Arguments For What My Senses Can and Can’t Tell Me About the World and Myself There is nothing […]Read More What Can A Pain in Your Butt Teach You About Metaphysics?
Descartes: Second Meditation Recap Lets very briefly recap the 1st meditation. Descartes says that if we really think about it, pretty much everything we know can be called into doubt. Knowledge is typically viewed as what we learn from experience but everything we experience when we (think we) are awake is exactly the same […]Read More What is the Only Thing You Can Know For Certain?