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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy of Mind

Believing Fictions: A Philosophical Analysis Of Fictional Engagement, Jack Rhein Gleiberman Jan 2019

Believing Fictions: A Philosophical Analysis Of Fictional Engagement, Jack Rhein Gleiberman

CMC Senior Theses

Works of fiction do things to us, and we do things because of works of fiction. When reading Hamlet, I mentally represent certain propositions about its characters and events, I want the story and its characters to go a certain way, and I emotionally respond to its goings-on. I might deem Hamlet a coward, I might wish that Hamlet stabbed Claudius when he had the chance, and I might feel sorrow at Ophelia’s senseless suicide. These fiction-directed mental states seem to resemble the propositional attitudes of belief, desire, and emotion, respectively — the everyday attitudes that represent and orient us ...


Global Consciousness: A Functionalist Neurophilosophical Perspective, Connor C. Bowen Jan 2019

Global Consciousness: A Functionalist Neurophilosophical Perspective, Connor C. Bowen

CMC Senior Theses

The purpose of this thesis is to explore a thought-provoking consequence of the functionalist theory of mind. Given the current organizational structure of Earth and field theories of consciousness in neuroscience, Earth is probably conscious. The argument is explored through an examination of the current organizational structure of Earth and field theories of consciousness in neuroscience, which leads to the conclusion that Earth is conscious. Various theories of mind have been proposed by neuroscientists and philosophers alike in an attempt to qualify what consciousness is and what provides the basis for consciousness to occur. Support, in the form of data ...


Higher-Order Thought And Borderline Cases Of Consciousness: An Objection To Hot, Francesca Karin Beach Jan 2019

Higher-Order Thought And Borderline Cases Of Consciousness: An Objection To Hot, Francesca Karin Beach

Scripps Senior Theses

David Rosenthal, in his Higher-Order Thought (HOT) theory of consciousness, argues that it is a higher-order thought to the effect that the subject is in a conscious state that makes one conscious of his or her own mental states. In this paper, I argue that since phenomenal consciousness can be vague and Rosenthal’s HOT cannot, HOT is not a necessary condition of phenomenal consciousness. I use primarily Ned Blocks’ refrigerator hum case and Sartre’s example of non-positional awareness to argue that the threshold which determines the degree of first-person awareness necessary for a mental state to be conscious ...


Pursuing Natural Unity, Consciousness Included, Rowen Cox-Rubien Jan 2019

Pursuing Natural Unity, Consciousness Included, Rowen Cox-Rubien

Scripps Senior Theses

An ontological exploration of consciousness and how it is related to the body and other aspects of physical reality. Framed by David Chalmers' conception of "The Hard Problem", we begin from a physicalist perspective to discuss the problem of mental causation, which is the inquiry of how the mind communicates and interacts with the body. From here we examine the employment of identity reduction to functionalize and therefore physically explain mentality. We find that reductionist methods, the backbone of scientific investigation, do not work to explain conscious experience, because conscious experience is not quantifiable--it is qualitative. Thus we are left ...


Owning Our Implicit Attitudes: Responsibility, Resentment, And The Whole Self, Wesley Whitaker Jan 2018

Owning Our Implicit Attitudes: Responsibility, Resentment, And The Whole Self, Wesley Whitaker

CMC Senior Theses

Are implicit biases something we can rightly be held responsible for, and if so, how? A variety of social and cognitive psychological studies have documented the existence of wide-ranging implicit biases for over 30 years. These implicit biases can best be described as negative mental attitudes that operate immediately and unconsciously in response to specific stimuli. The first chapter of this thesis surveys the psychological literature, as well as presents findings of real-world experiments into racial biases. I then present the dominant model of implicit attitudes as mere associations, followed by evidence that at least some implicit attitudes take on ...


In The Mind Of The Machine, Marcia Yang Jan 2018

In The Mind Of The Machine, Marcia Yang

CMC Senior Theses

As technology becomes more sophisticated, it becomes increasingly important to understand how we should ethically use technology. One question within this area of study is whether we should treat certain types of technology, like artificial intelligence, with more respect. If we do owe these machines some sort of moral status, another question is what level of moral status they have. In order to answer these questions, I argue that machines can be considered as minds under the view of machine functionalism. A significant problem for machine functionalism is whether it can account for emotions within the system it suggests. First ...


Elements Of Art, Mike Doyle Dec 2017

Elements Of Art, Mike Doyle

The STEAM Journal

Through these paintings and my writing I share how elements of art and science overlap in the strokes of paint that create the perceptions of something familiar in our minds.


Real Intentions And Virtual Wrongs, Elaine Sohng Jan 2017

Real Intentions And Virtual Wrongs, Elaine Sohng

CMC Senior Theses

In this thesis, I answer the gamer's dilemma or the inability to find a moral distinction between virtual pedophilia and virtual murder. I expand virtual pedophilia to virtual rape to address increasing rates of sexual harassment and assault in virtual reality. In this thesis, I 1) explain what occurs when one engages in virtual rape; 2) identify relevant moral differences between physical rape and virtual rape; 3) challenge the existing relationship between committing harm and wrong in the case of rape; and 4) argue that virtual rape is morally reprehensible due to the agent’s intention to utilize a ...


Transformative Experience: Are Real-World Experiences As Transformative As We Think?, Janelle Shiozaki Jan 2016

Transformative Experience: Are Real-World Experiences As Transformative As We Think?, Janelle Shiozaki

CMC Senior Theses

This thesis analyzes L.A. Paul’s concept of transformative experience. It specifically analyzes Paul’s criteria for transformative experiences (TEs), which are experiences that are so epistemically (ET) and personally transformative (PT) that an agent can’t know what it’s like to have a TE until having the experience itself. Paul argues that the transformative nature of these experiences prevent us from being able to make a rational choice using our normative way of decision-making. According to Paul, this is especially problematic because some of life’s biggest choices involve TEs. I begin with an overview of Paul ...


The Numerous Forms Of Occam’S Razor And Their Effect On Philosophy Of Mind, Mikayla L. O'Neal Jan 2016

The Numerous Forms Of Occam’S Razor And Their Effect On Philosophy Of Mind, Mikayla L. O'Neal

CMC Senior Theses

In the first chapter of this paper I focus on the general overview of Occam's Razor, and develop several interpretations and adaptations of Occam's Razor as a principle of simplicity. In the second chapter I apply these different interpretations in the Physicalism/Dualism debate, and critically assess the validity of these implementations of Occam's Razor in philosophy of mind. In the final chapter I give an overview of my discussion thus far, and make assertions about what my paper means for the usage of Occam's Razor's as a whole.


Reducing Subjectivity: Meditation And Implicit Bias, Diana M. Ciuca Jan 2015

Reducing Subjectivity: Meditation And Implicit Bias, Diana M. Ciuca

CMC Senior Theses

Implicit association of racial stereotypes is brought about by social conditioning (Greenwald & Krieger, 2006). This conditioning can be explained by attractor networks (Sharp, 2011). Reducing implicit bias through meditation can show the effectiveness of reducing the rigidity of attractor networks, thereby reducing subjectivity. Mindfulness meditation has shown to reduce bias from the use of one single guided session conducted before performing an Implicit Association Test (Lueke & Gibson, 2015). Attachment to socially conditioned racial bias should become less prevalent through practicing meditation over time. An experimental model is proposed to test this claim along with a reconceptualization of consciousness based in ...


'I Am Rooted, But I Flow': Virginia Woolf And 20th Century Thought, Emily Lauren Hanna May 2012

'I Am Rooted, But I Flow': Virginia Woolf And 20th Century Thought, Emily Lauren Hanna

Scripps Senior Theses

My thesis is about Virginia Woolf’s novels, Mrs. Dalloway, The Waves, and To the Lighthouse. I examine these novels in relation to the theories of Henri Bergson, William James, and Sigmund Freud, and the groundwork of Modernism. I relate Woolf's use of water imagery and stream of consciousness technique to Bergson’s theory of “la durée,” or psychological, subjective time, James’ “stream of consciousness” theory in psychology, and Freud’s theory of the “oceanic” feeling of religious experience.


Mary’S Dilemma: A Novel Take On Jackson’S Famous Thought Experiment, Noah O. Abolafia-Rosenzweig Jan 2012

Mary’S Dilemma: A Novel Take On Jackson’S Famous Thought Experiment, Noah O. Abolafia-Rosenzweig

CMC Senior Theses

This paper explores and evaluates the famous Mary case put forward by Frank Jackson in support of what he calls the knowledge argument against physicalism. After laying out Jackson’s position, I set out to determine whether certain previous physicalist attempts at undermining it have been successful. Finding that they have not, I use their shortcomings to inform the construction of a new position, one which I argue renders the Mary case at odds with itself and frees physicalism from the knowledge argument’s grasp.


Does The Mind Extend Out Into The World, Andrew D. Kishino Jan 2011

Does The Mind Extend Out Into The World, Andrew D. Kishino

CMC Senior Theses

The extended mind debate juggles the possibilities of whether or not the mind extends out into the world. Today, with the rise in technology, we have an additional claim that our tools are responsible for extending our minds. The internet, smart phones, and other tools give us a foothold in the extended mind debate by providing real world examples of how our mind is perceived as extending out into the world. In discovering where the divide between mind and environment exists we can come up with a conclusion whether or not the mind truly extends out into the world.


A Theory Of Mental Credit, Jason Soll Jan 2011

A Theory Of Mental Credit, Jason Soll

CMC Senior Theses

Many philosophical subjects attempt to analyze the basis of human welfare. Theories of desert, distribution of property, and happiness tend to dominate philosophical discourse. Mental credit, which is the mental acquisition of credit for one’s accomplishments and the satisfaction one derives from this credit, is absent from this discourse despite its underlying role in the way people think about their lives. Mental credit is an eternal cognitive good that deserves thoughtful attention and pious decisions for implementation. The following theory of mental credit seeks to serve as a unifying theory for the mental calculations that guide life’s most ...