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The Mind-Body Relation. Dualism : human beings are composed of a material body and an immaterial mind which are distinct from each other (Descartes) Problem: how do minds and bodies interact?

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The mind body relation l.jpg

The Mind-Body Relation

Dualism: human beings are composed of a material body and an immaterial mind which are distinct from each other (Descartes)

Problem: how do minds and bodies interact?

Proposed answers: parallelism (Leibniz), occasionalism (Malebranche)

Reductive materialism: all so-called mental actions are really nothing more than measurable physical processes (Hobbes)


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Contemporary Materialist Theories

Mind-Brain (Identity) Theory: thoughts and states of consciousness are simply brain states

Problem: brain states and consciousness have different (e.g., spatial) properties

Behaviorism: to have a mind is to behave or be disposed to behave in certain ways

Functionalism: mental states are associations or linkages of sensory stimuli and behaviors

Eliminative Materialism: we should replace terms like “thought” with material expressions


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The Turing Test

If there is no difference between the performances of a computer and a human being, the computer can be said to think

Objection: thinking involves more than following a program; it involves awareness or consciousness of what following the program means (Searle)


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