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Philosophic Exchange

Philosophy of Mind

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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

How Can My Mind Move My Limbs? Mental Causation From Descartes To Contemporary Physicalism, Jaegwon Kim Jan 2000

How Can My Mind Move My Limbs? Mental Causation From Descartes To Contemporary Physicalism, Jaegwon Kim

Philosophic Exchange

Mental events enter into causal relations with bodily events. The philosophical task is to explain how this is possible. Descartes’ dualism of mental and material substances ultimately founders on the impossibility of pairing mental events with physical events as causes and effects. This is what I have called “the pairing problem.” Many contemporary views also fail to explain mental causation. In the end, we are left with a dilemma. If mental phenomena are irreducible to physical phenomena, then mental phenomena lose their causal efficacy. However, if mental phenomena are reducible to physical phenomena, then casts doubt on the very existence ...


On Being In The Mind, Roderick Firth Jan 1971

On Being In The Mind, Roderick Firth

Philosophic Exchange

There is exactly one good reason to prefer dualism to the identity theory, and it is is this: whereas brain events occur in a particular spatial location inside the head, it is nonsensical to say that mental events occur in any particular location. Professor Shaffer’s other objections to the identity theory are either parasitic on this one, or else unsuccessful.


Ethical And Epistemic Dilemmas Of Behaviorism And The Identity Thesis, George J. Stack Jan 1971

Ethical And Epistemic Dilemmas Of Behaviorism And The Identity Thesis, George J. Stack

Philosophic Exchange

Jerome Shaffer’s argument against behaviorism and the identity theory assume that the wrongness of causing pain is constituted entirely by that effect. However, the intrinsic wrongness of such actions lies in the intentions of the agent, not in the physical responses of the victim.


The Philosophy Of Mind And Some Ethical Implications, Jerome A. Shaffer Jan 1971

The Philosophy Of Mind And Some Ethical Implications, Jerome A. Shaffer

Philosophic Exchange

Materialism is the view that the only things in existence are material – matter in motion. Materialists hold that mental events are either identical to bodily events, or that mental events are particular kinds of behavior exhibited by particular material objects. These theories face several serious problems, involving spatial location, privileged access, and other phenomena. Moreover, these theories cannot explain why it is wrong to cause pain in another person. It is not obvious why it is wrong to cause another person to exhibit pain behavior, nor is it obviously wrong to cause physical events to occur in another person’s ...