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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy of Mind

Re-Humanizing Descartes, Alison Simmons Jul 2011

Re-Humanizing Descartes, Alison Simmons

Philosophic Exchange

Descartes’ mind-body dualism and his quest for objective knowledge can appear de-humanizing. My aim in this paper is to re-humanize Descartes. When we take a closer look at what Descartes actually says about human beings, it casts his entire thought in a much different light.


The Emergence Of Consciousness, William Seager Jan 2006

The Emergence Of Consciousness, William Seager

Philosophic Exchange

According to the mainstream view in philosophy today, the world is a purely physical system, in which consciousness emerged as a product of increasing biological complexity, from non-conscious precursors composed of non-conscious components. The mainstream view is a beautiful, grand vision of the universe. However, it leaves no real place for consciousness. This paper explains why.


The Search For The Semantic Grail, John Perry Jan 2003

The Search For The Semantic Grail, John Perry

Philosophic Exchange

One factor that has engendered skepticism about semantic content is the idea that there can be content only if there is exactly one thing that performs all the functions that have been associated with content. This paper argues that there is no such thing as content in this unified sense. Rather, what exists is a structure of related contents. Instead of a single grail, there is more of a semantic tea service.


The Plurality Of Consciousness, William G. Lycan Jan 2002

The Plurality Of Consciousness, William G. Lycan

Philosophic Exchange

There are many, distinct phenomena that have gone under the name “consciousness,” and there are many corresponding problems that have all been labeled “the problem of consciousness.” This paper distinguishes several of these distinct problems of consciousness, and proposes solutions to each of them.


Animal Minds, Fred Dretske Jan 2001

Animal Minds, Fred Dretske

Philosophic Exchange

One particular form of the problem of other minds is the problem of animal, non-human minds. Do dogs feel pride? Are cats ever embarrassed? Do ants feel anything when you step on them? In order to answer these questions, we must first ask and answer the question of what minds are supposed to do. Only then can we answer the question of animal minds.


The Scope Of Motivation And The Basis Of Practical Reason, Robert Audi Jan 1999

The Scope Of Motivation And The Basis Of Practical Reason, Robert Audi

Philosophic Exchange

This paper explores the relationship between motivation, desire, pleasure and value. I argue that the motivational grounds of action are the kinds of desires that tend, in rational persons, to be produced both by experience of the good, and by beliefs that something one can do would be good.


Mind And Brain In The 17th Century, Jonathan Bennett Jan 1994

Mind And Brain In The 17th Century, Jonathan Bennett

Philosophic Exchange

The 17th century saw an enormous amount of energy dedicated to the question of whether matter can think. This paper follows certain strands of this debate in Descartes, Locke, Leibniz and Spinoza. These strands of the debate are still relevant today.


Unconscious Actions Emanating From The Human Cerebral Cortex, John C. Eccles Jan 1972

Unconscious Actions Emanating From The Human Cerebral Cortex, John C. Eccles

Philosophic Exchange

This paper presents some recent work of Roger Sperry and his associates on “split-brain cases.” The remarkable finding is that, after surgery, the actions that are programmed from one side of the cerebral cortex are not recognized by the other side of the cerebral cortex as belonging to the subject.


An Honest Ghost?, A. J. Ayer Jan 1970

An Honest Ghost?, A. J. Ayer

Philosophic Exchange

Gilbert Ryle’s The Concept of Mind purports to exorcise “the ghost in the machine” by translating all talk about the mind into talk about behavior, and sometimes Ryle asserts that he has succeeded in this endeavor. However, on closer inspection, there is still a residue of our private, mental lives left in Ryle’s account. So the ghost remains. But perhaps it is a more honest ghost, and that is still quite an achievement.


Professor Ayer’S Honest Ghost, Justus Hartnack Jan 1970

Professor Ayer’S Honest Ghost, Justus Hartnack

Philosophic Exchange

Professor Ayer is right that Ryle’s strongest thesis is incorrect. However, I do not agree with all of Ayer’s arguments for that conclusion. I also wish that Professor Ayer had examined some other mental concepts, which also seem to resist any kind of behaviorist reduction.


Response To Professor A. J. Ayer, Richard Taylor Jan 1970

Response To Professor A. J. Ayer, Richard Taylor

Philosophic Exchange

Professor Ryle does not deny the common distinction between inner and outer, nor that between public and private. What he denies is that either of these distinctions entail a third distinction – between minds and bodies. As far as I can tell, Professor Ayer has not shown that Ryle is mistaken about that.