Mind-Body Problem - world, life, history, beliefs, time, person, human, Dualism, Monism
There are countless forms of dualism in different philosophical traditions -far too many to cover in one article! So in this article, we'll cover “mind-body” dualism, which is by far the most important form of dualism in Quotes About Dualism. Dualism is the view that there are, indeed, at least two kinds of realities: the For Plato, the relationship between the mind and body is not an ideal one—in fact, . popular theories to emerge since the s is the "mind-brain identity theory,". port for mind-body substance dualism and argue that a systems-theoretical an- alysis of the . and its relation to the body by studying the NDE evidence and that a .. quotes), on the understanding that conventional meanings are to be.
Locke, as a moderate empiricist, accepted that there were both material and immaterial substances. Berkeley famously rejected material substance, because he rejected all existence outside the mind. Finally, he decided that the self, conceived as something over and above the ideas of which it was aware, was essential for an adequate understanding of the human person. Although the self and its acts are not presented to consciousness as objects of awareness, we are obliquely aware of them simply by dint of being active subjects.
Hume rejected such claims, and proclaimed the self to be nothing more than a concatenation of its ephemeral contents. In fact, Hume criticised the whole conception of substance for lacking in empirical content: This position has been labelled bundle dualism, and it is a special case of a general bundle theory of substance, according to which objects in general are just organised collections of properties.
The problem for the Humean is to explain what binds the elements in the bundle together. This is an issue for any kind of substance, but for material bodies the solution seems fairly straightforward: For the mind, mere causal connection is not enough; some further relation of co-consciousness is required. We shall see in 5. One should note the following about Hume's theory. His bundle theory is a theory about the nature of the unity of the mind.
As a theory about this unity, it is not necessarily dualist. Parfitand Shoemakerch. In general, physicalists will accept it unless they wish to ascribe the unity to the brain or the organism as a whole. Before the bundle theory can be dualist one must accept property dualism, for more about which, see the next section. A crisis in the history of dualism came, however, with the growing popularity of mechanism in science in the nineteenth century.
This means that everything that happens follows from and is in accord with the laws of physics. There is, therefore, no scope for interference in the physical world by the mind in the way that interactionism seems to require. According to the mechanist, the conscious mind is an epiphenomenon a notion given general currency by T. In this way, the facts of consciousness are acknowledged but the integrity of physical science is preserved. However, many philosophers found it implausible to claim such things as the following; the pain that I have when you hit me, the visual sensations I have when I see the ferocious lion bearing down on me or the conscious sense of understanding I have when I hear your argument—all have nothing directly to do with the way I respond.
It is very largely due to the need to avoid this counterintuitiveness that we owe the concern of twentieth century philosophy to devise a plausible form of materialist monism. But, although dualism has been out of fashion in psychology since the advent of behaviourism Watson and in philosophy since Rylethe argument is by no means over.
Some distinguished neurologists, such as Sherrington and Eccles Popper and Eccles have continued to defend dualism as the only theory that can preserve the data of consciousness. Amongst mainstream philosophers, discontent with physicalism led to a modest revival of property dualism in the last decade of the twentieth century. At least some of the reasons for this should become clear below. Ontology There are various ways of dividing up kinds of dualism.
One natural way is in terms of what sorts of things one chooses to be dualistic about. The most common categories lighted upon for these purposes are substance and property, giving one substance dualism and property dualism.
There is, however, an important third category, namely predicate dualism. As this last is the weakest theory, in the sense that it claims least, I shall begin by characterizing it. For a mental predicate to be reducible, there would be bridging laws connecting types of psychological states to types of physical ones in such a way that the use of the mental predicate carried no information that could not be expressed without it.
An example of what we believe to be a true type reduction outside psychology is the case of water, where water is always H2O: But the terms in many of the special sciences that is, any science except physics itself are not reducible in this way.
Not every hurricane or every infectious disease, let alone every devaluation of the currency or every coup d'etat has the same constitutive structure. These states are defined more by what they do than by their composition or structure. Their names are classified as functional terms rather than natural kind terms.
It goes with this that such kinds of state are multiply realizable; that is, they may be constituted by different kinds of physical structures under different circumstances. Because of this, unlike in the case of water and H2O, one could not replace these terms by some more basic physical description and still convey the same information.
It is widely agreed that many, if not all, psychological states are similarly irreducible, and so psychological predicates are not reducible to physical descriptions and one has predicate dualism.
The classic source for irreducibility in the special sciences in general is Fodorand for irreducibility in the philosophy of mind, Davidson Property dualism can be seen as a step stronger than predicate dualism.
One might say that we need more than the language of physics to describe and explain the weather, but we do not need more than its ontology.
There is token identity between each individual hurricane and a mass of atoms, even if there is no type identity between hurricanes as kinds and some particular structure of atoms as a kind. Genuine property dualism occurs when, even at the individual level, the ontology of physics is not sufficient to constitute what is there.
The irreducible language is not just another way of describing what there is, it requires that there be something more there than was allowed for in the initial ontology. In the case of mind, property dualism is defended by those who argue that the qualitative nature of consciousness is not merely another way of categorizing states of the brain or of behaviour, but a genuinely emergent phenomenon.
One is that of substance, the other is the dualism of these substances. A substance is characterized by its properties, but, according to those who believe in substances, it is more than the collection of the properties it possesses, it is the thing which possesses them.
So the mind is not just a collection of thoughts, but is that which thinks, an immaterial substance over and above its immaterial states.
Properties are the properties of objects. If one is a property dualist, one may wonder what kinds of objects possess the irreducible or immaterial properties in which one believes. One can use a neutral expression and attribute them to persons, but, until one has an account of person, this is not explanatory.
One might attribute them to human beings qua animals, or to the brains of these animals. Then one will be holding that these immaterial properties are possessed by what is otherwise a purely material thing.
But one may also think that not only mental states are immaterial, but that the subject that possesses them must also be immaterial. Then one will be a dualist about that to which mental states and properties belong as well about the properties themselves. Now one might try to think of these subjects as just bundles of the immaterial states.
This is Hume's view. But if one thinks that the owner of these states is something quite over and above the states themselves, and is immaterial, as they are, one will be a substance dualist. Lowe, for example, is a substance dualist, in the following sense. He holds that a normal human being involves two substances, one a body and the other a person. The latter is not, however, a purely mental substance that can be defined in terms of thought or consciousness alone, as Descartes claimed.
But persons and their bodies have different identity conditions and are both substances, so there are two substances essentially involved in a human being, hence this is a form of substances dualism. Lowe claims that his theory is close to P. Strawson'swhilst admitting that Strawson would not have called it substance dualism.
Interaction If mind and body are different realms, in the way required by either property or substance dualism, then there arises the question of how they are related. Common sense tells us that they interact: I shall now consider briefly the problems for interactionism, and its main rivals, epiphenomenalism and parallelism. That this is so is one of our common-sense beliefs, because it appears to be a feature of everyday experience.
The physical world influences my experience through my senses, and I often react behaviourally to those experiences. My thinking, too, influences my speech and my actions. There is, therefore, a massive natural prejudice in favour of interactionism. It has been claimed, however, that it faces serious problems some of which were anticipated in section 1. The simplest objection to interaction is that, in so far as mental properties, states or substances are of radically different kinds from each other, they lack that communality necessary for interaction.
But if causation is either by a more ethereal force or energy or only a matter of constant conjunction, there would appear to be no problem in principle with the idea of interaction of mind and body. Even if there is no objection in principle, there appears to be a conflict between interactionism and some basic principles of physical science. For example, if causal power was flowing in and out of the physical system, energy would not be conserved, and the conservation of energy is a fundamental scientific law.
Various responses have been made to this. One suggestion is that it might be possible for mind to influence the distribution of energy, without altering its quantity. See Averill and Keating Another response is to challenge the relevance of the conservation principle in this context.
Robins Collins has claimed that the appeal to conservation by opponents of interactionism is something of a red herring because conservation principles are not ubiquitous in physics. He argues that energy is not conserved in general relativity, in quantum theory, or in the universe taken as a whole. Why then, should we insist on it in mind-brain interaction? This is a very natural assumption, but it is not justified if causal overdetermination of behaviour is possible. There could then be a complete physical cause of behaviour, and a mental one.
The strongest intuitive objection against overdetermination is clearly stated by Mills For X to be a cause of Y, X must contribute something to Y. The only way a purely mental event could contribute to a purely physical one would be to contribute some feature not already determined by a purely physical event. But if physical closure is true, there is no feature of the purely physical effect that is not contributed by the purely physical cause.
Hence interactionism violates physical closure after all. Mills says that this argument is invalid, because a physical event can have features not explained by the event which is its sufficient cause. It is this kind of feature that the mental event would have to cause, but physical closure leaves no room for this.
These matters are still controversial. The problem with closure of physics may be radically altered if physical laws are indeterministic, as quantum theory seems to assert.
If physical laws are deterministic, then any interference from outside would lead to a breach of those laws. But if they are indeterministic, might not interference produce a result that has a probability greater than zero, and so be consistent with the laws?
This way, one might have interaction yet preserve a kind of nomological closure, in the sense that no laws are infringed.
Because it involves assessing the significance and consequences of quantum theory, this is a difficult matter for the non-physicist to assess. Some argue that indeterminacy manifests itself only on the subatomic level, being cancelled out by the time one reaches even very tiny macroscopic objects: For discussion of this, see Eccles, and Popper and Eccles Still others argue that quantum indeterminacy manifests itself directly at a high level, when acts of observation collapse the wave function, suggesting that the mind may play a direct role in affecting the state of the world Hodgson ; Stapp According to this theory, mental events are caused by physical events, but have no causal influence on the physical.
I have introduced this theory as if its point were to avoid the problem of how two different categories of thing might interact. In fact, it is, at best, an incomplete solution to this problem. If it is mysterious how the non-physical can have it in its nature to influence the physical, it ought to be equally mysterious how the physical can have it in its nature to produce something non-physical. But that this latter is what occurs is an essential claim of epiphenomenalism.
For development of this point, see Green— There are at least three serious problems for epiphenomenalism. First, as I indicated in section 1, it is profoundly counterintuitive. What could be more apparent than that it is the pain that I feel that makes me cry, or the visual experience of the boulder rolling towards me that makes me run away?
At least one can say that epiphenomenalism is a fall-back position: The second problem is that, if mental states do nothing, there is no reason why they should have evolved.
This objection ties in with the first: Frank Jackson replies to this objection by saying that it is the brain state associated with pain that evolves for this reason: Evolution is full of useless or even harmful by-products. For example, polar bears have evolved thick coats to keep them warm, even though this has the damaging side effect that they are heavy to carry. Jackson's point is true in general, but does not seem to apply very happily to the case of mind. The heaviness of the polar bear's coat follows directly from those properties and laws which make it warm: But with mental states, dualistically conceived, the situation is quite the opposite.
The laws of physical nature which, the mechanist says, make brain states cause behaviour, in no way explain why brain states should give rise to conscious ones.
The laws linking mind and brain are what Feigl calls nomological danglers, that is, brute facts added onto the body of integrated physical law. Why there should have been by-products of that kind seems to have no evolutionary explanation. The third problem concerns the rationality of belief in epiphenomenalism, via its effect on the problem of other minds.
It is natural to say that I know that I have mental states because I experience them directly. But how can I justify my belief that others have them?
I know that certain of my mental states are correlated with certain pieces of behaviour, and so I infer that similar behaviour in others is also accompanied by similar mental states. Many hold that this is a weak argument because it is induction from one instance, namely, my own. I seem to know from my own case that mental events can be the explanation of behaviour, and I know of no other candidate explanation for typical human behaviour, so I postulate the same explanation for the behaviour of others.
But if epiphenomenalism is true, my mental states do not explain my behaviour and there is a physical explanation for the behaviour of others. It is explanatorily redundant to postulate such states for others. I know, by introspection, that I have them, but is it not just as likely that I alone am subject to this quirk of nature, rather than that everyone is? For more detailed treatment and further reading on this topic, see the entry epiphenomenalism.
The parallelist preserves both realms intact, but denies all causal interaction between them. They run in harmony with each other, but not because their mutual influence keeps each other in line. That they should behave as if they were interacting would seem to be a bizarre coincidence. This is why parallelism has tended to be adopted only by those—like Leibniz—who believe in a pre-established harmony, set in place by God. The progression of thought can be seen as follows. Descartes believes in a more or less natural form of interaction between immaterial mind and material body.
Malebranche thought that this was impossible naturally, and so required God to intervene specifically on each occasion on which interaction was required. Leibniz decided that God might as well set things up so that they always behaved as if they were interacting, without particular intervention being required. Outside such a theistic framework, the theory is incredible. Even within such a framework, one might well sympathise with Berkeley's instinct that once genuine interaction is ruled out one is best advised to allow that God creates the physical world directly, within the mental realm itself, as a construct out of experience.
Because this argument has its own entry see the entry qualia: One should bear in mind, however, that all arguments against physicalism are also arguments for the irreducible and hence immaterial nature of the mind and, given the existence of the material world, are thus arguments for dualism.
The knowledge argument asks us to imagine a future scientist who has lacked a certain sensory modality from birth, but who has acquired a perfect scientific understanding of how this modality operates in others. This scientist—call him Harpo—may have been born stone deaf, but become the world's greatest expert on the machinery of hearing: Suppose that Harpo, thanks to developments in neurosurgery, has an operation which finally enables him to hear.
It is suggested that he will then learn something he did not know before, which can be expressed as what it is like to hear, or the qualitative or phenomenal nature of sound. These qualitative features of experience are generally referred to as qualia. If Harpo learns something new, he did not know everything before. He knew all the physical facts before. So what he learns on coming to hear—the facts about the nature of experience or the nature of qualia—are non-physical.
This establishes at least a state or property dualism. See Jackson ; Robinson There are at least two lines of response to this popular but controversial argument. This essentially behaviouristic account is exactly what the intuition behind the argument is meant to overthrow.
Putting ourselves in Harpo's position, it is meant to be obvious that what he acquires is knowledge of what something is like, not just how to do something. Such appeals to intuition are always, of course, open to denial by those who claim not to share the intuition. Some ability theorists seem to blur the distinction between knowing what something is like and knowing how to do something, by saying that the ability Harpo acquires is to imagine or remember the nature of sound. In this case, what he acquires the ability to do involves the representation to himself of what the thing is like.
But this conception of representing to oneself, especially in the form of imagination, seems sufficiently close to producing in oneself something very like a sensory experience that it only defers the problem: The other line of response is to argue that, although Harpo's new knowledge is factual, it is not knowledge of a new fact.
Rather, it is new way of grasping something that he already knew. Demonstrative concepts pick something out without saying anything extra about it. Similarly, the scientific knowledge that Harpo originally possessed did not enable him to anticipate what it would be like to re-express some parts of that knowledge using the demonstrative concepts that only experience can give one.
The knowledge, therefore, appears to be genuinely new, whereas only the mode of conceiving it is novel. Proponents of the epistemic argument respond that it is problematic to maintain both that the qualitative nature of experience can be genuinely novel, and that the quality itself be the same as some property already grasped scientifically: Furthermore, experiencing does not seem to consist simply in exercising a particular kind of concept, demonstrative or not.
When Harpo has his new form of experience, he does not simply exercise a new concept; he also grasps something new—the phenomenal quality—with that concept.
How decisive these considerations are, remains controversial. This, however, can be disputed. The argument from predicate to property dualism moves in two steps, both controversial. The first claims that the irreducible special sciences, which are the sources of irreducible predicates, are not wholly objective in the way that physics is, but depend for their subject matter upon interest-relative perspectives on the world.
This means that they, and the predicates special to them, depend on the existence of minds and mental states, for only minds have interest-relative perspectives. The second claim is that psychology—the science of the mental—is itself an irreducible special science, and so it, too, presupposes the existence of the mental.
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Mental predicates therefore presuppose the mentality that creates them: First, let us consider the claim that the special sciences are not fully objective, but are interest-relative. A mass of matter could be characterized as a hurricane, or as a collection of chemical elements, or as mass of sub-atomic particles, and there be only the one mass of matter.
But such different explanatory frameworks seem to presuppose different perspectives on that subject matter.
This is where basic physics, and perhaps those sciences reducible to basic physics, differ from irreducible special sciences. On a realist construal, the completed physics cuts physical reality up at its ultimate joints: If scientific realism is true, a completed physics will tell one how the world is, independently of any special interest or concern: It would seem that, by contrast, a science which is not nomically reducible to physics does not take its legitimation from the underlying reality in this direct way.
Rather, such a science is formed from the collaboration between, on the one hand, objective similarities in the world and, on the other, perspectives and interests of those who devise the science. The concept of hurricane is brought to bear from the perspective of creatures concerned about the weather. Creatures totally indifferent to the weather would have no reason to take the real patterns of phenomena that hurricanes share as constituting a single kind of thing.
With the irreducible special sciences, there is an issue of saliencewhich involves a subjective component: The entities of metereology or biology are, in this respect, rather like Gestalt phenomena. Even accepting this, why might it be thought that the perspectivality of the special sciences leads to a genuine property dualism in the philosophy of mind?
It might seem to do so for the following reason. Having a perspective on the world, perceptual or intellectual, is a psychological state.
So the irreducible special sciences presuppose the existence of mind. If one is to avoid an ontological dualism, the mind that has this perspective must be part of the physical reality on which it has its perspective. But psychology, it seems to be almost universally agreed, is one of those special sciences that is not reducible to physics, so if its subject matter is to be physical, it itself presupposes a perspective and, hence, the existence of a mind to see matter as psychological.
If this mind is physical and irreducible, it presupposes mind to see it as such. We seem to be in a vicious circle or regress. We can now understand the motivation for full-blown reduction. A true basic physics represents the world as it is in itself, and if the special sciences were reducible, then the existence of their ontologies would make sense as expressions of the physical, not just as ways of seeing or interpreting it.
The irreducibility of the special sciences creates no problem for the dualist, who sees the explanatory endeavor of the physical sciences as something carried on from a perspective conceptually outside of the physical world.
But psychology is one of the least likely of sciences to be reduced. If psychology cannot be reduced, this line of reasoning leads to real emergence for mental acts and hence to a real dualism for the properties those acts instantiate Robinson There is an argument, which has roots in Descartes Meditation VIwhich is a modal argument for dualism.
One might put it as follows: It is imaginable that one's mind might exist without one's body. The rationale of the argument is a move from imaginability to real possibility.
I include 2 because the notion of conceivability has one foot in the psychological camp, like imaginability, and one in the camp of pure logical possibility and therefore helps in the transition from one to the other. See, for example, Chalmers94—9. This latter argument, if sound, would show that conscious states were something over and above physical states.
It is a different argument because the hypothesis that the unaltered body could exist without the mind is not the same as the suggestion that the mind might continue to exist without the body, nor are they trivially equivalent.
The zombie argument establishes only property dualism and a property dualist might think disembodied existence inconceivable—for example, if he thought the identity of a mind through time depended on its relation to a body e.
When philosophers generally believed in contingent identity, that move seemed to them invalid. But nowadays that inference is generally accepted and the issue concerns the relation between imaginability and possibility. No-one would nowadays identify the two except, perhaps, for certain quasi-realists and anti-realistsbut the view that imaginability is a solid test for possibility has been strongly defended.
There seem to be good arguments that time-travel is incoherent, but every episode of Star-Trek or Doctor Who shows how one can imagine what it might be like were it possible. It is worth relating the appeal to possibility in this argument to that involved in the more modest, anti-physicalist, zombie argument.
The possibility of this hypothesis is also challenged, but all that is necessary for a zombie to be possible is that all and only the things that the physical sciences say about the body be true of such a creature. As the concepts involved in such sciences—e. There is no parallel clear, uncontroversial and regimented account of mental concepts as a whole that fails to invoke, explicitly or implicitly, physical e. For an analytical behaviourist the appeal to imaginability made in the argument fails, not because imagination is not a reliable guide to possibility, but because we cannot imagine such a thing, as it is a priori impossible.
The impossibility of disembodiment is rather like that of time travel, because it is demonstrable a priori, though only by arguments that are controversial.
The argument can only get under way for those philosophers who accept that the issue cannot be settled a priori, so the possibility of the disembodiment that we can imagine is still prima facie open.
A major rationale of those who think that imagination is not a safe indication of possibility, even when such possibility is not eliminable a priori, is that we can imagine that a posteriori necessities might be false—for example, that Hesperus might not be identical to Phosphorus. But if Kripke is correct, that is not a real possibility.
Another way of putting this point is that there are many epistemic possibilities which are imaginable because they are epistemic possibilities, but which are not real possibilities.
Richard SwinburneNew Appendix Cwhilst accepting this argument in general, has interesting reasons for thinking that it cannot apply in the mind-body case. In the case of our experience of ourselves this is not true. Now it is true that the essence of Hesperus cannot be discovered by a mere thought experiment. That is because what makes Hesperus Hesperus is not the stereotype, but what underlies it.
But it does not follow that no one can ever have access to the essence of a substance, but must always rely for identification on a fallible stereotype. One might think that for the person him or herself, while what makes that person that person underlies what is observable to others, it does not underlie what is experienceable by that person, but is given directly in their own self-awareness. This is a very appealing Cartesian intuition: Now it could be replied to this that though I do access myself as a conscious subject, so classifying myself is rather like considering myself qua cyclist.
Just as I might never have been a cyclist, I might never have been conscious, if things had gone wrong in my very early life. I am the organism, the animal, which might not have developed to the point of consciousness, and that essence as animal is not revealed to me just by introspection.Descartes' Dualism of the Mind & Body
But there are vital differences between these cases. A cyclist is explicitly presented as a human being or creature of some other animal species cycling: Consciousness is not presented as a property of something, but as the subject itself.
Yet, even if we are not referring primarily to a substrate, but to what is revealed in consciousness, could it not still be the case that there is a necessity stronger than causal connecting this consciousness to something physical? To consider this further we must investigate what the limits are of the possible analogy between cases of the water-H2O kind, and the mind-body relation.
We start from the analogy between the water stereotype—how water presents itself—and how consciousness is given first-personally to the subject. It is plausible to claim that something like water could exist without being H2O, but hardly that it could exist without some underlying nature.
There is, however, no reason to deny that this underlying nature could be homogenous with its manifest nature: The claim of the proponents of the dualist argument is that this latter kind of situation can be known to be true a priori in the case of the mind: What grounds might one have for thinking that one could tell that a priori? The only general argument that seem to be available for this would be the principle that, for any two levels of discourse, A and B, they are more-than-causally connected only if one entails the other a priori.
And the argument for accepting this principle would be that the relatively uncontroversial cases of a posteriori necessary connections are in fact cases in which one can argue a priori from facts about the microstructure to the manifest facts. In the case of water, for example, it would be claimed that it follows a priori that if there were something with the properties attributed to H2O by chemistry on a micro level, then that thing would possess waterish properties on a macro level.
What is established a posteriori is that it is in fact H2O that underlies and explains the waterish properties round here, not something else: This is, in effect, the argument that Chalmers uses to defend the zombie hypothesis. The suggestion is that the whole category of a posteriori more-than-causally necessary connections often identified as a separate category of metaphysical necessity comes to no more than this.
If we accept that this is the correct account of a posteriori necessities, and also deny the analytically reductionist theories that would be necessary for a priori connections between mind and body, as conceived, for example, by the behaviourist or the functionalist, does it follow that we can tell a priori that consciousness is not more-than-causally dependent on the body?
It is helpful in considering this question to employ a distinction like Berkeley's between ideas and notions. The self and its faculties are not the objects of our mental acts, but are captured only obliquely in the performance of its acts, and of these Berkeley says we have notions, meaning by this that what we capture of the nature of the dynamic agent does not seem to have the same transparency as what we capture as the normal objects of the agent's mental acts.
It is not necessary to become involved in Berkeley's metaphysics in general to feel the force of the claim that the contents and internal objects of our mental acts are grasped with a lucidity that exceeds that of our grasp of the agent and the acts per se.
Though we shall see later, in 5. The conceivability argument creates a prima facie case for thinking that mind has no more than causal ontological dependence on the body. Let us assume that one rejects analytical behaviourist or functionalist accounts of mental predicates.
The localization of the Mind. The mind or, in the Scholastic, Greek-Platonic terminology, the "soul" is indeed a non-material "thing," as Descartes would have liked, however it is not a "substance" that is complete in its being in the way it is stated by the dualist theories.
It is the formal principle of unity of a stratified whole of material parts today we would say: It is rather a non-material or "formal" component of a substance made of material parts that experience constant modification.
Where the notion of "form" is understood according to the Aristotelian philosophy of nature, as a constantly adapting plastic whole of relationships of disposition of dynamic material parts, continually modifying and interacting among themselves and with the external world. An example of it, is given, at the cellular level, by the metabolic physical-chemical activity of the cell itself. In this context the "mind," according to the dual theories, has a unique location with respect to the body, which the mind itself organizes.
Instead of being located "in the body" and at the most "in the head", as in all of the dualist theories Plato assigned its location to the attachment point of the neural cord with the cerebellum, Descartes in the "pineal gland" epiphysisEccles in the synapses of the populations of neurons in the cerebral cortexand in the ancient and modern monist theories, an illustrative solution that M.
Schlick defined "principle of introjection", the dual theories rather affirm that "it is the mind that contains the body. In a book which is strongly and justly critical towards the functionalist approach to the cognitive sciences, Penrose expresses himself on the matter: It is not all unreasonable to suppose that the persistence of the 'self' might have more to do with the preservation of patterns than of actual material particles" Penrose,pp. Here is instead what was stated on the same argument by Donald M.
MacKayone of the founders of the non-functionalistic approach to the cognitive sciences, to whom, amongst other things, we must acknowledge the definition of "dual theories" applied to this particular type of theories of the mind: Mental activity would be meaningfully locatable in principle in specific flow-structures of the information-diagram; but this meant that the relevant flow-lines would in general extend beyond the confines of any one component structure, and during conscious action might even run out-and-back through the environment.
Mentality, as a system-property, could be rendered invisible or destroyed by attempts to localize its action to any subsystem of the total information-flow pattern in which it was currently embodied" MacKay,p.
More recently, the same idea that the mind is embodied within the informational flow schemes, internal and external to the body, received support from A. It stands as the new post-functionalist paradigm in the cognitive sciences, one that tries to unite different elements, albeit not without some confusion. Regarding the localization of the mind or of the "rational soul" of the human being with respect to its body, in the Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas held a position that was very similar to that of the modern supporters of the dual theory.
He said precisely that non-material entities, such as the soul, can be localized with respect to the matter that they control and organize, not through a relationship of contact between the external surfaces of a body "that contains" and those of one that is "contained," as it takes place between material entities. Non-material entities, rather, must be localized through "the extension of the capacity to control and organize Lat.
For Aquinas the attempt to localize the soul and its action in specific parts of the brain, such as that brought forward at his times by the interactionism of the Platonists, is totally wrong and misleading cf. Summa TheologiaeI, q. Resorting to this same principle, he justified the omnipresence of God in the universe, for His actual capacity to govern everything and not just a body as in the case of the human soul in each one of us.
A second characteristic of the dual metaphysical theory of the mind, immediately linked to the original localization of the mind with respect to the body in the theory itself, is that it appears connected to an "intentional" theory of knowledge, as much as the other two types of theories are, at least in modern times, dependent upon an exclusively "representational" theory representationism of knowledge.
How the history of modern philosophy teaches us, the emergence of a representational theory of knowledge is nothing more than the epistemological counterpart of the progressive establishment of the absolutization of the axiomatic method in modern mathematics and logic, that identifies in the theory of demonstration and proof the only object of logic as science and as organon of the mathematical and natural sciences. So much the questioning about the truth and the foundation of axioms is well far beyond the interest and the capacity of the axiomatic method, how much, in a similar way, does the questioning about the "thinking thought" the intellectus for the thinkers of the medieval period that formulates ideas and produces logical symbols in a truthful relationship with the object, with respect to the representational theory of knowledge.
A questioning, that on the thinking thought, which limits itself just to the analysis of the "thought which is thought," the thought that manipulates symbols which are already constituted according to logical and formal rules the ratio in medieval terms. This got to a point in the 19th century when a project was conceived to reduce epistemology and logic to a unique "universal algebra" of thought, reduced to a pure syntactic formalism occupied with the manipulation of graphical "signs", no longer without a symbolic semantic value.
The building of a TM is probably the higher expression of the formalist approach to logic and epistemology, but for this very reason it indicates, at the same time, the beginning of an unstoppable decline. It is certainly not due to mere chance that the principle of intentionality came to acquire an ever greater relevance in the contemporary epistemological and logical-foundational debate, as it became increasingly evident that there was on the one hand a failure in the formalist approach to the foundations of logics and mathematics, and, on the other, the insufficiency of the functionalist interpretation in the cognitive sciences.
In the 13th century, when Thomas Aquinas had to face these problems as a philosopher and a theologian, he was in a very similar situation to ours. In a particular way, in the last part of his life, Aquinas, in Paris, had to face up to that "lay" interpretation of the Latin Averroism of Siger of Brabant ca.
As an answer to these theories Aquinas proposed his own interpretation of the Aristotelian rational soul as form of the body.
In so doing, he wished to obtain two main results: Dual Theory of the Mind and Spirituality of the Soul 1. As far as the first problem is concerned, that is how to ensure the immateriality of the intellectual faculties, the solution proposed by Aquinas is similar to that which is proposed today by the functionalist theory. The latter, in order to justify why the human being has the capacity of rational thought, particularly the "creative" capacities, hypothesize the existence, "outside" of the system, of a "closure" of the hierarchy of partially self-referential controls that characterizes the living body.
The function of the agent intellect is precisely that of producing a "universal" logical thinking in real time abstraction"correcting its own errors"; a function that cannot be performed by Turing's oracle or by Hofstadter's universal intelligence, but can be always executed by the intentional intelligence of the individual human being: Thomas Aquinas interprets the active component of human intelligence "agent" intellect as a capacity to constantly re-define the context of the problem "possible" intellect in order to adapt it to the single present datum adaequatio intellectus ad rem.
In this way, the passive component of the intellect - its capacity to comprehend in a conscious way, because it is controlled by its active counterpart- can be considered as a tabula rasaaccording to a famous Aristotelian expression.
However, the passive intellect is not a tabula rasa absolute absence of any data in itself, but rather in respect to each new datum that the neurophysiological and cerebral activity presents to the intellect. Aquinas' position differs from what was pursued by the myths of absolute innatism, as meant by John Locke or by the modern Empiricists up to Popperdeceiving Aristotle and the Scholastics.
In fact, rather than speaking of a tabula rasa, we should speak of a tabula which is constantly swept rasata. Due to its capacity to generalize abstraction with respect to all conditioned and singular datum, human knowledge can be applied to, or focus on an infinity of similar cases, becoming in such a way an "a priori" of the mind.
When it results inadequate for a new set of data "knowing of not knowing"the procedure of adaptation can repeat itself indefinitely. Such a closure is nothing but a self-consciousness of non-organic nature, hence not materially conditioned by the past, what the Ancients used to call intellectushaving the capacity to act immediately on itself distinction between the "agent" and the "possible" components of the intellectand therefore capable of intelligere se intelligere to know that it is knowing.
This way of solving the problem of the relationship between the spiritual and the material component of the human psyche has two main consequences. It is a sort of closure on itself of the informational flux, a "black hole", a "singularity" on the informational space that closes on itself.
Moreover, it can be partially or totally prevented by the wrong functioning of some of its material sub-structures which control our cerebral activity and that are informed by it, thus creating the illusion, accepted to be the truth by some thinkers, that these cerebral structures would be the "subjects" of human rational operations.
A text by St. In De Anima, I, lec. Here, he distinguishes between sensory cognitive operations, which have the body as both an object and a means of the operation itself, and which can therefore be only partially self-referential, and intellectual cognitive operations, which have the body only as an object, and which can therefore be completely self-referential intellectus intelligit se intelligere.
We just need the "exchange of information" without any violation of the physical principle of energy conservation, as we would say today.
Within the context of the ancient physiology of the "corporeal spirits", all of this is explicitly stated by Aquinas of the "pneumatic" non-electric principle of the transmission through a distance of the nervous impulse, before the discoveries of the Italian physiologist Galvani. In order to be able to talk today in similar terms, the only physical condition we need is that the physical system we are dealing with, that is, the brain, possess a sufficient level of complexity and a sufficient dynamical instability, derived from its nature which is strongly and irreducibly non-linear unpredictability on the medium-long range behaviour, as occurs in chaotic systems.
This immediately implies that energetic and informational fluxes cannot be superimposed to each other in such systems, unlike what happens in the stochastic systems studied by statistical mechanics and linear thermodynamics.
In fact, what characterizes chaotic dynamics that dissipates all living systems are "dissipative systems" and "feed" upon free energy subtracted from the environment is that there is a generation of information within them, that proceeds from the microstate to the macrostate, exactly in the opposite direction, from the macrostate to the microstate, through which the system dissipates energy. The system behaves in an unpredictable way with respect to what we knew about it from the initial conditions Although each individual quasi-periodical trajectory within the space of the states of the system is predictable step by step, it is a characteristic of the system to "jump" in a way that is absolutely unpredictable from one trajectory to another.
The unpredictability of the macrostate is therefore generated from the microstate of the trajectories of particles that compose the system. In a classic thermodynamic system, the two energetic and informational fluxes proceed instead in the same direction from the macrostate to the microstate, meaning that as soon as the system is described in terms of its microstate, its behaviour becomes perfectly predictable cf.
On the one hand, being of spiritual nature, it can be considered capable of autonomous subsistence and must be therefore in some way a "substance," as it was intended by the Platonic dualist.
On the other hand, according to the principles of Christian anthropology regarding the person, it must be considered a component, and therefore "part" of a unique psychophysical substance, that is the person.
At this point it is clear that if we do not want to fall into contradiction, the soul must be considered as "substance", but in a way different from what is intended for the person in its completeness.
Thomas solves the question by referring to the general Aristotelian doctrine on the category of "substance", as discussed by the Stagirite in Book V of the Categories.
According to this doctrine, "substance" can be intended in three main ways. In the first way, as a being that is defined and complete in its nature and that exists as an individual "first" substance: In the second way, the substance can be intended as a defined and complete being that exists only in the individuals, understood as "parts of them" "second" substance: An analogy for the notion of substance as intended in this second sense can be found in logic, in the notion of property that defines an "ordinary class" of elements, a class that does not belong to itself because it is determined by a non "autologic" predicate, that does not apply to itself.
In such a way "humanity", intended as a property that defines all human beings and only human beings, "is not itself a human being," as Aristotle would say. In fact, as Russell discovered, if we consider the notion of "total class of all the ordinary classes," the class of all the classes that do not belong to themselves, whenever we ask ourselves if such a class does or does not belong to itself, we soon find an antinomy.
Finally, there is a third way of speaking of substance. A substance can be considered as a being that is defined, but non complete in its nature, and that exists in the individuals as "part of them", a part that, however, determines the totality to which it belongs "third" substance or "substantial form". An analogy to the notion of substance as intended in this third meaning can be found again in logic, in the notion of property that determines a "non-ordinary class" of elements, a class that belongs to itself because it is determined by an autologic predicate, that can be applied to itself.
For example, "polysyllabic," intended as a property that determines all the polysyllabic words, is itself a polysyllabic word, and therefore belongs to the class that it defines. Regarding this matter Aristotle used the physical, indeed biological, example of the "feet," that although being part of the totality of an animal individual, nonetheless they are a part that can define the totality to which they belong.
In fact, an animal can be defined as "biped" or "quadruped.
The soul is the form of a first, individual substance, that is the person, thus it is part of that, which is however specified by this part.
Person means in fact "individual substance of a rational nature," according to the classic definition given by Boethius. The problem of the survival of the rational soul after death still remains unsolved. According to the previous proof, the soul has its own operations that it "must" execute independently from the organs of the body.
Thus, as Aquinas states, if it has the capability to act by itself per sethen it must also have the capability to be by itself cf. Quaestio De Anima, a.
However, it does not have the being by itself as a "first" substance, but rather as a "third" substance, as a part of that totality that is specified by it. In other terms, in order to continue with the Aristotelian example of the hand and the body, and of how the hand cannot survive if separated from the body, with which the former constantly exchanges matter and energy for its vital operations of metabolic nature, analogously the mind, in order to perform its cognitive operations, needs to continually exchange information with the body, and through it with the rest of the world.
In other words, a living organism can be defined as such if it is able to exert its characteristic vital operations. Nowadays, it is possible to put an explanted organ in a compatible chemical environment and maintain it for a short time in order to allow it to carry out its main metabolic operations up until the moment when it is transplanted in a new organism.
The characteristic vital operations of the human mind are not, however, of chemical-metabolic type, but rather of the "informational" type. Therefore, how Thomas Aquinas already stated, the human mind can continue to carry out its vital operations hence to "live" after death provided that it receives from a source other than the body the pieces of information species on which to operate.
The question posed by the philosopher Thomas, doctor humanitatis, was answered by the theologian Thomas, doctor angelicus. The human soul can continue to survive temporarily in the after life, provided that it receives "through illumination" by God, as the angels, the "information" that can enable it to carry out its characteristic vital functions which are of the cognitive type.
The souls of the dead can continue to see the world and be in communion with us "through God," just as the angels which do not have a body This until the moment when each soul will be "transplanted" in a matter similar to the present one that the soul will reorganize as the body of a defined individual, that is to fully carry out once again its function of substantial form or "third substance" of a complete human person, "first substance", in agreement with the biblical dogma of the final resurrection of the bodies cf.
Apart from theology, much more nowadays than in the Middle Ages, the "dual" approach to the mind-body relationship offers to metaphysics and anthropology new ways to indicate unexpected solutions to the eternal problem of the survival of the mind after death.
Johnson-Laird at Princeton University, one of the first "critics" of the absolutism of the functionalist paradigm in the cognitive sciences, writes at the end of his manual of cognitive psychology: It suggests an alternative to the traditional philosophies of mind: This thesis is incompatible with the Dualistic philosophy that holds mind and matter to be independent domains.
It is also incompatible with both Materialism and Idealism - the traditional attempts to abandon one domain or the other. It implies that certain organizations of matter enable processes to occur that represent events elsewhere in the world. It also implies that the fabric of a computer does not matter. What matters is the organization of these processes. This philosophy replaces the concept of the immortal soul with an alternative form of immortality.
There is a remote possibility that the computations of a human mind might be captured within a medium other than a brain. A facsimile of a human personality could be preserved within a computer program. All living things pass on to their offspring a self-reproducing program in their genes. Human beings, in addition, can leave behind them some traces of their personalities in books, in pictures, in theories, and in other cultural artefacts. We are familiar with the idea of interacting with such artefacts in order to glean some understanding of a long-dead person.
The concept of interacting with a dynamic representation of an individual's intellect and personality is sufficiently novel to be disturbing. It raises moral, metaphysical and scientific issues of its own" Johnson-Laird,pp. Perspectives to understand the Mind-Body Relationship As we have seen, the debate on the so called "Mind-Body Problem" is very present and open, especially in the field of the so-called "cognitive sciences," the last to be born inside the encyclopedia of the modern sciences cf.
Gardner, ; Thagard, In practical terms, the states and the conscious operations, which have always been inviolable properties of the individual subjectivity, have a double objective correlate, accessible to the observation by other human subjects, and thus also accessible to a scientific type of theorization: So we observe in the field of cognitive sciences a transition from a functionalist paradigm, that has the character of a monist-type metaphysics, to a much more well-organized paradigm that is based upon the distinguishing features of the dual theories of mind.
To summarize, these features are: This last point, on which the former two depend, emphasizes the difference between dual and functionalist paradigms. How it was stated earlier, the software-hardware distinction made by the functionalist paradigm has little to do with the distinction "informational flux"-"energetic flux" made by the dual paradigm.
Mind-Body Relationship | ogloszenia-praca.info
Unlike the second distinction, which is based on an intrinsic characteristic of the complex dynamical systems, the first one is substantially a distinction of the heuristic type. We can count from one to ten either by going through the fingers of two hands, in touching the beads of a rosary, by listening to the water drops from a tap, by moving the balls of an abacus, etc.: Within the functionalist paradigm this equivalence is shattered only when facing the highly problematic construction of the "oracle" and of its interpretation in terms of a non-computable determinism of the hardware.
From here follows contemporary interest for the cognitive sciences, which advance along a post-functionalist paradigm according to three fundamental directions of research development in the present and in the immediate future, to which we devote the last three sub-sections of this essay.
In order to explain the evolution in the biological systems, the laws of unpredictability that are manifest within the complex dynamical systems and which are the basis of the energetic flux -informational flux distinction, can provide a different, and perhaps more efficient principle, than the simple selection by a random mutation DARWIN, IV. Unlike the introduction of a simple aleatory variable implied by the Darwinian principle of random mutation, the deterministic character of this unpredictability can avoid the system spanning the whole phase space of possible mutations, but rather should allow it to consider only significant sub-domains of it, and with a memory mechanism that should stop it from passing over where it has already been.
The transition to chaos and the choice of islands of structural stability through the control and hopefully the self-control on such transitions, should render these systems much more promising candidates than the stochastic systems for the study of the physical basis of biological evolution.
And this, although an exceptional physical and mathematical work in order to characterize them in an acceptable manner would be necessary. We have only begun climbing a mountain, the top of which we do not even see! Much more than the "blind watchmaker" of Darwinian memory is here available: Therefore, the selection for random mutation would be left aside only to modulate little modifications and adaptations within the species for an introduction, cf. Kauffman, At home in the universe, Oxford: Sermonti, Dimenticare Darwin, Milano As in the biological systems the complexity of such systems rules out the possibility that a single model can account for the whole path of evolution, this must also be true in cognitive systems, that occupy the peak of complexity in the biological scale.
The epistemological limit of the functionalist approach is its "representationism". This aspect depends upon the identification of the "mental" with the formal calculations of a TM software. This leaves out the possibility that this approach can account for the fundamental capacity of the intentional human intelligence, the capacity of "symbolization", in other words to be able to constitute those logical symbols the abstractive-constitutive act belonging to the judgement of the intellectus in the Thomasian Scholastic teaching that should serve in a second moment to execute the typical operations of the representational thought, the inferential reasoning the ratio of the Thomasian Scholastic.
This is one of the fundamental theoretical reasons why H. Putnam repudiated that same functionalist approach which he somehow initiated cf. Putnam, and Moreover, and for the same reason, the functionalism places the mind within that "methodological solipsism," that shows an incapacity to face what is real and to learn from it, a quality that Carnap had already highlighted as being the fate of all formalist approaches to the semantic problem cf.
We understand, then, why the major impulses to exceed the functionalist representationism in the cognitive sciences derive from the field of robotics: It does need, however, to produce adequate actions in a constant interaction with the changing environment.
Before teaching machines to simulate intelligent human beings, we should teach them at least to be animals. The development of an informational approach that is able to manipulate the semantic and not only the syntactic information as in the TM, encourages a close look at the complex dynamical systems which are of course generators of information and not simple manipulators of bits already constituted, as in the perfectly predictable determinism of the TM. Mathematically speaking, a bit is a typical function that defines whether or not a certain element belongs to a set which is already constituted two-value logic: A shy attempt along these lines is that of the fuzzy logic many-value logic that allow a limited "elasticity" of the dividing line between the different sets.
We are, however, quite far from what we are asking today of the logic and mathematics of the near future. A neurological exemplification of what we are talking about here is given by the network of neurons in our brains that constantly redefine the topology of connections - and not only the statistical weights of their connections, as in the connectionist models —in order to maximize their capacity of parallel processing cf.
Perrone, Verso una teoria dinamica della computazione, in G. All of this makes the complex systems the most natural candidates for the study of the physical basis of the cognitive operations, and for all of those pre-symbolic and pre-representational operations characteristic of a bottom-up knowledge. Such a path would have its neurologic correlate in the redefinition of the topology of connections in the network of neurons, activated in a reciprocal manner, within the globality of the cerebral dynamics.
According to this scheme, the symbolic aspect of the representational thought, with all of its logical-deductive operations and associated formal calculations, would constitute the top-down path.
This would have its neurologic correlate in the operations performed by the network of fixed connections, where the calculations are known to be equivalent to those of a TM. The representational-symbolic moment would thus constitute a moment that is posterior to the constitution of the logical symbol, in the same way that the intentional, pre-symbolic moment is anterior to it. The constitution of the symbol, in fact, needs a sort of "exit from the system", which is linked to the characteristic intellectual function of the mind.
In this way, the pre-symbolic moment and then the moment of the constitution of the symbol would be in a more consequential relationship with the representational functions of the symbolic thought. A relationship where the Scholastic scheme intellectus-ratio could once again provide the working paradigm.
Logic of Discovery vs Logic of Proof. What has been said up to now points towards that same direction of discovery and development, in a contemporary language, of the ancient analytical method in the study of logic. The extraordinary development of the axiomatic method in mathematics and modern logic has obscured the problem of the logical study of the discovery procedures, known as the "analytical method" in the logical pre-Cartesian tradition, with a meaning different from that used in the modern era, which descends from a stoic and manualistic tradition of Pappus 4th century B.
Much of this oversight was based on the myth of the absolute demonstrative certainty that the deductive procedures supposedly had. In our present times, this vision has probably reached its summit with the Popperian statement about the absolutely irrational character of the formulation of new hypotheses, and hence of the constitution of new axioms, that he thought as independent of any logical procedures of investigation cf. Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovering, The logic of discovery is based upon procedures such as induction, abstraction, analogy that certainly cannot aspire to the absolute certainty -as it has been known since the times of Plato and Aristotle.
We are thus facing the so-called "inference paradox". That is to say of the inversely proportional relationship that exists between the level of certainty and the quantity of information produced by an inference. In a deductive speech, all of the truth is implicit in the premises: Then, why persist in the statement of the superiority of the axiomatic method compared to other discovery methods?
If it is true that neither one or the other produce absolute certainties, at least the second one produces useful inferences that increase the knowledge. This is the conclusion reached by Cellucci at the end of his essay, which attempts to take into account the various phases of development of the logical sciences of the past millennium. If we aim not to assign the logic and its rigorous formalism to the absolute uselessness it does not increase knowledge nor does it give absolute certaintiesleaving the scientific practice to the irrationalism of ad hoc models of more and more heuristic type, then we must rescue the role of a logical methodology in the definition of the rules of discovery.
And this, even if the wide application of ad hoc models is a practice that today prevails in the field of research, since it allows a free exploitation of science.
All of this means renunciation of the identification of logic with the axiomatic method alone and renunciation of confining the research of rules to simply the rules of the proof.
Therefore the effort of synthesis between "thought which is thinking" and "thought which is thought," between "pre-symbolic intentional thought", constitutive of logical symbols, and "symbolic representational thought", manipulator of already constituted symbols, that is characteristic of the research on intelligence in the cognitive sciences, is part of a more general research of a dynamical synthesis and of a "stability out of equilibrium.
As in the cognitive sciences the Scholastic theories of complementarity between intellectus and ratio can constitute a model for the research of this synthesis, in a similar way in the logical sciences this model can be constituted by the Scholastic theories of complementarity between logica maior and logica minor.
Perhaps today more than ever "the past is in front of us" and not just behind our back. Heidegger defined the Modern Age as the "age of the visions of the world," visions set against each other in a sterile way.