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“Big” essays are due next Wednesday. (Don’t try to write them next Tuesday!)

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Presentation on theme: "“Big” essays are due next Wednesday. (Don’t try to write them next Tuesday!)"— Presentation transcript:

1 “Big” essays are due next Wednesday. (Don’t try to write them next Tuesday!)

2 Overview of the Course: 1)Arguments / Methods 1)Phil of Religion 1)Epistemology / Phil of Science 2)Free Will 1)Phil of Mind Five Topics (“Units”)

3 Overview of the Course: 1)Arguments / Methods 1)Phil of Religion 1)Epistemology / Phil of Science 2)Free Will 1)Phil of Mind Five Topics (“Units”)

4 Philosophy of Mind What’s the difference between philosophy of mind and psychology? Only 150 years ago, there was no difference. Psychology didn’t exist yet, so all questions about the mind were viewed as philosophical questions.

5 Psychology vs. Philosophy of Mind Psychology is a scientific discipline; it asks questions that can be answered by the scientific method. As a result, psychology is all about prediction (like the rest of science).*

6 * Explanation is also important, but only because it helps with prediction. Psychology vs. Philosophy of Mind Psychology is a scientific discipline; it asks questions that can be answered by the scientific method. As a result, psychology is all about prediction (like the rest of science).*

7 Philosophy is wider in scope. Questions of prediction fall within its scope, but it isn’t limited to questions of prediction. Psychology vs. Philosophy of Mind

8 Since all science is ultimately about prediction, scientific fields are defined by the types of observation they try to predict (and explain). Psychology vs. Philosophy of Mind

9 Since all science is ultimately about prediction, scientific fields are defined by the types of observation they try to predict (and explain). What observations define psychology, as a scientific field? Psychology vs. Philosophy of Mind

10 Philosophy of Mind Psychology is not “the science of the mind” (strictly speaking).

11 Philosophy of Mind Psychology is not “the science of the mind” (strictly speaking). You can’t observe minds.

12 Philosophy of Mind Psychology is the prediction and explanation of behavior. Psychology is not “the science of the mind” (strictly speaking). You can’t observe minds.

13 Philosophy of Mind Concepts of the mind explain observations of behavior, but scientific fields aren’t defined by the explanations they provide. Newton and Einstein gave different explanations for the same observations, but they were both physicists. Physics is defined by what it tries to explain, not by the explanations it actually offers.

14 Philosophy of Mind Concepts of the mind explain observations of behavior, but scientific fields aren’t defined by the explanations they provide. For the same reason, psychology is not the science of the mind: the mind is the explanation, not the thing being explained.

15 Philosophy of Mind Psychology focuses specifically on how the mind explains behavior. Philosophy of mind doesn’t have this focus. It’s open to any (theoretical) question about the mind.

16 Philosophy of Mind The central issue in philosophy of mind is the mind/body problem. If the mind is just the body, then when we die, that’s it. You have no soul. There is no life after death.

17 Philosophy of Mind The central issue in philosophy of mind is the mind/body problem. If the mind is just the body, then when we die, that’s it. You have no soul. There is no life after death. But if the mind is not just the body, how is it possible to get drunk?

18 Philosophy of Mind And even if the mind is just the body, some difficult questions arise...

19 Exercise: Define the emotion of homesickness in terms of the body. Suppose someone claims to be homesick. If the mind is just the body, this claim implies facts about this person’s body. What would we have to observe about a person’s body in order to observe her homesickness?

20 The Mind/Brain Identity Theory Water = H 2 O Mind = Brain

21 Leibniz’s Law: If two things are identical, they must share all their properties. (There aren’t really two things, after all. There’s just one thing, with one set of properties.) If water is identical to H 2 O, it’s impossible for water to have a property that H 2 O doesn’t have.

22 Descartes’ First Argument for Dualism: 1) It’s possible to doubt the existence of your body. 1)People often have false experiences and sensations. 2)It’s at least possible that your beliefs about your body are all based on false experiences. So it’s possible to doubt that your body actually exists.

23 Descartes’ First Argument for Dualism: 2) It’s not possible to doubt the existence of your mind. In order to doubt anything, you must have a mind to do the doubting. Even if all your experiences are false, you have to have a mind to have false experiences. (“I think, therefore I am.”)

24 Descartes’ First Argument for Dualism: 1)It’s possible to doubt the existence of your body. 2)It’s not possible to doubt the existence of your mind. 3)Your body has a property your mind doesn’t have. 4)If your body has a property your mind doesn’t have, your body can’t be identical to your mind. Your body can’t be identical to your mind.

25 Descartes’ First Argument for Dualism: 1)It’s possible to doubt the existence of your body. 2)It’s not possible to doubt the existence of your mind. 3)Your body has a property your mind doesn’t have. 4)If your body has a property your mind doesn’t have, your body can’t be identical to your mind. Your body can’t be identical to your mind. What do you think of this argument?

26 Descartes’ First Argument for Dualism: 1)It’s possible to doubt the existence of your body. 2)It’s not possible to doubt the existence of your mind. 3)Your body has a property your mind doesn’t have. 4)If your body has a property your mind doesn’t have, your body can’t be identical to your mind. Your body can’t be identical to your mind.

27 Descartes claims that the mind has the property of indubitable existence, while the body does not. Is indubitable existence a property of the mind?

28 Doubt is a form of thinking, a cognitive activity. (That’s why it requires a mind, as Premise 2 says.) As a result, what can or cannot be doubted depends upon the cognitive abilities of the agent doing the doubting.

29 Even if all cognitive agents are incapable of doubting something about the world, that’s a property of the agents, not of the things their doubts are about.

30 If I doubt it will rain tomorrow, that’s not a property of the weather. It’s a property of my thoughts about the weather.

31 Even if all cognitive agents are incapable of doubting something about the world, that’s a property of the agents, not of the things their doubts are about. If I’m unable to doubt that I have a mind, that’s a property of my thoughts about my mind. It’s not a property of my mind. If I doubt it will rain tomorrow, that’s not a property of the weather. It’s a property of my thoughts about the weather.

32 Descartes’ First Argument for Dualism: 1)It’s possible to doubt the existence of your body. 2)It’s not possible to doubt the existence of your mind. 3)Your body has a property your mind doesn’t have. 4)If your body has a property your mind doesn’t have, your body can’t be identical to your mind. Your body can’t be identical to your mind.

33 Descartes’ Second Argument for Dualism:

34 1)Bodies have extension. (They take up space, and have locations in space.)

35 Descartes’ Second Argument for Dualism: 1)Bodies have extension. (They take up space, and have locations in space.) 2)Minds don’t have extension.

36 Descartes’ Second Argument for Dualism: 1)Bodies have extension. (They take up space, and have locations in space.) 2)Minds don’t have extension. 3)Bodies have a property that minds don’t have. 4)If bodies have a property that minds don’t have, bodies can’t be identical to minds. Bodies can’t be identical to minds.

37 Descartes’ Second Argument for Dualism: 1)Bodies have extension. (They take up space, and have locations in space.) 2)Minds don’t have extension. 3)Bodies have a property that minds don’t have. 4)If bodies have a property that minds don’t have, bodies can’t be identical to minds. Bodies can’t be identical to minds. Where’s the flaw in this argument?

38 Descartes’ Second Argument for Dualism: 1)Bodies have extension. (They take up space, and have locations in space.) 2)Minds don’t have extension. 3)Bodies have a property that minds don’t have. 4)If bodies have a property that minds don’t have, bodies can’t be identical to minds. Bodies can’t be identical to minds. It’s not clear that this premise is false, but there is definitely a problem. What is it?

39 Descartes’ view is called substance dualism, because he considers minds and bodies to be different kinds of substances. Physical substance is extended in space. Mental substance has no spatial properties.

40 Descartes’ view is called substance dualism, because he considers minds and bodies to be different kinds of substances. Physical substance is extended in space. Mental substance has no spatial properties. There’s one GLARING objection to this view. What is it?

41 Logical Behaviorism

42 Since it isn’t possible to observe minds, some have proposed simply dropping the whole idea of the mind. That’s behaviorism.

43 Logical Behaviorism Since it isn’t possible to observe minds, some have proposed simply dropping the whole idea of the mind. That’s behaviorism. Logical behaviorism proposes that we translate all mental concepts into physical concepts about behavior.

44 Logical Behaviorism Mentalistic Concepts -Thoughts -Beliefs -Intentions -Desires -Emotions -Doubts -Wishes -Hopes -Etc.

45 Logical Behaviorism Mentalistic Concepts Behavior-Thoughts -Beliefs -Intentions -Desires -Emotions -Doubts -Wishes -Hopes -Etc.

46 Logical Behaviorism Mentalistic Concepts Behavior -Thoughts -Beliefs -Intentions -Desires -Emotions -Doubts -Wishes -Hopes -Etc.

47 Logical Behaviorism Mentalistic Concepts Behavior -Thoughts -Beliefs -Intentions -Desires -Emotions -Doubts -Wishes -Hopes -Etc.

48 Logical Behaviorism Mentalistic Concepts Behavior -Thoughts -Beliefs -Intentions -Desires -Emotions -Doubts -Wishes -Hopes -Etc.

49 It’s called Logical Behaviorism because it’s a claim about what mentalistic concepts mean. Behavior -Thoughts -Beliefs -Intentions -Desires -Emotions -Doubts -Wishes -Hopes -Etc.

50 Logical Behaviorism Negative Thesis: The common sense view of the mind is based on a myth: the myth of the ghost in the machine. Positive Thesis: The mind is just the activity of the machine.

51 The Negative Thesis Mentalism: mental states are internal causes of behavior. Ryle rejects two features of the common sense concept of the mind: mentalism and dualism. Dualism: the mind is a thing, and it’s not the same thing as the body.

52 The Negative Thesis The body is a physical system, like a machine. Mental states are causes of this system’s activities, but they aren’t part of the physical system. Mentalism: the ghost is in the machine. Dualism: the ghost isn’t part of the machine. The Myth of The Ghost in the Machine

53 The Negative Thesis Mentalism: mental states are internal causes of behavior (but there’s no ghost). These days... ✔ ✗ Dualism: the mind is a thing, and it’s not the same thing as the body.

54 The Negative Thesis Mentalism: mental states are internal causes of behavior. Why did Ryle reject mentalism?

55 The Negative Thesis Mentalism: mental states are internal causes of behavior. Why did Ryle reject mentalism? He thought it led to third-person skepticism: We can know about our own mental states, but not other people’s.

56 The Negative Thesis Ryle’s argument against mentalism: 1)If mental states were inner causes of behavior, we wouldn’t have knowledge of others’ mental states. 2) We do have knowledge of others’ mental states. So mental states are not inner causes of behavior.

57 The Negative Thesis Ryle’s argument against mentalism: 1)If mental states were inner causes of behavior, we wouldn’t have knowledge of others’ mental states. 2) We do have knowledge of others’ mental states. So mental states are not inner causes of behavior.

58 The Negative Thesis Ryle’s argument against mentalism: 1)If mental states were inner causes of behavior, we wouldn’t have knowledge of others’ mental states. Ryle is relying on the problem of other minds: since we never observe others’ minds, how do we even know they have minds?

59 The Negative Thesis Ryle’s argument against mentalism: The traditional solution to the problem of other minds was an argument from analogy: When I say “ouch!”, I’m feeling pain. Other people must experience the same mental state when they exhibit the same observable behavior.

60 The Negative Thesis Ryle’s argument against mentalism: The traditional objection to this argument is that it’s based on a terrible inductive inference drawn from a sample of one. Compare: Since I prefer dijon mustard, probably everyone prefers dijon mustard.

61 The Negative Thesis Ryle’s argument against mentalism: Ryle understandably rejected the argument from analogy, so he thought mentalism still led to the problem of skepticism about others’ minds.

62 The Negative Thesis Ryle’s argument against mentalism: However, there’s another solution to the problem of other minds: use abduction, not induction. Ryle understandably rejected the argument from analogy, so he thought mentalism still led to the problem of skepticism about others’ minds.

63 The mind is a postulate in a theory that provides the best explanation for our observations of behavior. The mind is an unobservable that explains what we actually observe.

64 The mind is a postulate in a theory that provides the best explanation for our observations of behavior. The mind is an unobservable that explains what we actually observe. This happens all the time in science: unobservable entities are postulated, then verified by abduction.

65 Newton couldn’t observe gravity. Mendel couldn’t observe genes. Physicists recently spent billions of dollars to observe the Higgs boson, but interest in this particle is due to more fundamental interest in something that can’t be observed: a “field” that “permeates the universe and gives energy to the vacuum” (Science, 2012). Unobservables:

66 Newton couldn’t observe gravity. Mendel couldn’t observe genes. The mind is just another unobservable postulate. Physicists recently spent billions of dollars to observe the Higgs boson, but interest in this particle is due to more fundamental interest in something that can’t be observed: a “field” that “permeates the universe and gives energy to the vacuum” (Science, 2012). Unobservables:

67 The Negative Thesis Ryle’s argument against mentalism: 1)If mental states were inner causes of behavior, we wouldn’t have knowledge of others’ mental states. 2) We do have knowledge of others’ mental states. So mental states aren’t inner causes of behavior. We have knowledge about minds in the same way that we know about gravity.

68 The Positive Thesis The positive claim of logical behaviorism is that mentalistic concepts can be translated into dispositions to behave. To be thirsty is just to have a disposition to drink water.

69 The Positive Thesis The problem with this analysis of mental concepts is that mental states always interact with other mental states in causing behavior. The effects of being thirsty on behavior will depend on what other beliefs and desires the person has at the time.

70 The Positive Thesis The problem with this analysis of mental concepts is that mental states always interact with other mental states in causing behavior. The effects of being thirsty on behavior will depend on what other beliefs and desires the person has at the time. Thus, you can’t map any particular type of mental state onto any particular way of behaving.

71 The Positive Thesis Also note: the dispositional analysis of mental state terms would still be consistent with mentalism. Even if being thirsty is just a disposition to drink water, that disposition could be explained by more specific dispositions of internal systems in the mind.

72 Logical Behaviorism Since it isn’t possible to observe minds, some have proposed simply dropping the whole idea of the mind. That’s behaviorism. Logical behaviorism proposes that we translate all mentalistic concepts into physicalistic concepts of behavior.

73 Methodological Behaviorism Since it isn’t possible to observe minds, some have proposed simply dropping the whole idea of the mind. That’s behaviorism.

74 Methodological Behaviorism Since it isn’t possible to observe minds, some have proposed simply dropping the whole idea of the mind. That’s behaviorism. Methodological behaviorism proposes that we just drop mentalistic concepts from our explanations of behavior.

75 Methodological behaviorism doesn’t disagree with the meaning of these concepts, it just says they’re useless. We don’t need internal states to explain behavior. Logical behaviorism says common sense gets the meaning of mental concepts wrong. The right meaning is in terms of dispositions to behave.

76 Logical behaviorism wants us to change mental concepts into behavioral concepts. Methodological behaviorism wants us to just drop mental concepts (at least in science).

77 Methodological behaviorism: even if internal states exist, we can explain behavior better by appealing to the history of conditioning for the individual.

78 Objection #1 (p ) : How to explain novel behaviors, which haven’t been conditioned? Which of your past behaviors are relevant when explaining new behaviors?

79 Methodological behaviorism: even if internal states exist, we can explain behavior better by appealing to the history of conditioning for the individual. Objection #2: What about the role of genes, since conditioning is an environmental factor? Example: The Garcia Effect

80 In theory, methodological behaviorism could be justified by abduction, just as mentalistic accounts of behavior are justified. In practice, however, explanations appealing to internal states are better. They explain things that behaviorism can’t explain.

81 In theory, methodological behaviorism could be justified by abduction, just as mentalistic accounts of behavior are justified. In practice, however, explanations appealing to internal states are better. They explain things that behaviorism can’t explain. The horse raced past the barn fell.


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