Myself, yourself, herself and himself are words we, as humans, often use to refer to our ‘selves’. It is extremely important to understand what constitutes the self because it gives us our personal identity. But what is the self? Jerry Fodor argues that the self is the brain and there is no immaterial self. John Locke claims that the self is our consciousness. Sigmund Freud says that a transcendental unifying principle of consciousness. For me, I come to believe that the self is immaterial and multi-layered.
Firstly, I will address my view of the self being immaterial.
Fodor, a functionalist, argues that “there is no immaterial self that exists independently from the brain or the body ”. To him, “mental states are explainable in terms of …show more content…
This lead me to think that there is an immaterial self governing the human body to explain why humans can come up with different solutions to give the same answer to the same mathematical problem. The cause affects the immaterial self. The immaterial self governs the brain by shaping its mental state with immaterial thoughts and makes the decision to adopt a certain behavioural method. Various behavioural methods can arise from the same mental state and lead to the same effect to the cause.
Thus, I believe in the presence of an immaterial self that governs the brain and the body. I disagree that “mental states are explainable in terms of physical brain states”. This is because mental states cannot be reduced to physical brain states. Physical brain states can only give rise to a definitive method to an outcome while immaterial thoughts of a mental state can give rise to various methods to an outcome. These immaterial thoughts of a mental state are made possible by the immaterial self.
Secondly, I address my view of the self being …show more content…
I disagree with Locke as there are instances when we are able to do things without being conscious of our self. Suppose that I am thirsty and I pick up a cup. My ‘self’ is focused on drinking to quench my thirst. In the midst of willing my ‘self’ to drink, I not consciously pick up information of the cup – the colour of the cup with my sense of sight, the shape of my cup and the material of the cup with my sense of touch, and more. I was not aware that I had picked up all these information about the cup at the moment when I was drinking. It is our five senses of sight, taste, touch, hearing and feeling that actively perceives but the self may not be aware. This shows that while the self has consciousness, it also has the potential to be conscious as it can at times be not conscious of itself. Thus, I disagree with Locke that the self is merely
Barbara Montero is an associate professor of philosophy at the City University of New York. In her article “Post-Physicalism” she aims to convince people, mainly physicalists, to begin thinking of the mind/body problem from a new perspective. Montero reasons that the term “physical” is too difficult a term to define, which leads to a serious flaw of the direction of physicalist arguments. Her main idea is that the mind/body problem is really the problem of finding a place for mentality in a fundamentally nonmental world, not a fundamentally physical world. Directing the question towards “Is mentality a fundamental feature of the world?”, in her opinion, relieves the conflict between naturalism and ontological significance, and paves the way
The self represents the coherent whole resulting from the union of an individual's consciousness and unconsciousness. It is formed through a process referred to as 'individuation', within which the diverse aspects of personality are merged. Jung often depicted the self as a square, mandala, or circle.
Taylor, Richard. "The Mind as a Function of the Body." Exploring Philosophy. 4th ed. New York: Oxford UP, 2012. 131-138. Print.
In this paper, I will explain and argue for two-way interactive substance dualism. Dualism is a term referred to the idea that there are only two basic kinds of things and everything real is categorized under those two things. Dualism is split into two types, substance dualism, and property dualism. Substance dualism is the idea that the mind and body are two different sorts of basic substance, whereas property dualism is our mental and physical properties are two separate types of basic properties even though they may be properties of the same thing (lecture). Branching from dualism, mind-body dualism argues that the mind and body are two separate entities. Although they are two different substances, i.e. brain/body being material and
I will commence by defining what makes a mental state conscious. This will be done aiming to distinguish what type of state we are addressing when we speak of a mental phenomenon and how is it, that can have a plausible explanation. By taking this first approach, we are able to build a base for our main argument to be clear enough and so that we can remain committed to.
Fodor begins his article on the mind-body problem with a review of the current theories of dualism and materialism. According to dualism, the mind and body are two separate entities with the body being physical and the mind being nonphysical. If this is the case, though, then there can be no interaction between the two. The mind could not influence anything physical without violating the laws of physics. The materialist theory, on the other hand, states that the mind is not distinct from the physical. In fact, supporters of the materialist theory believe that behavior does not have mental causes. When the materialist theory is split into logical behaviorism and the central-state identity theory, the foundation of functionalism begins to form. Logical behaviorism states that every mental feeling has the same meaning as an if-then statement. For example, instead of saying "Dr. Lux is hungry," one would say "If there was a quart of macadamia brittle nut in the freezer, Dr. Lux would eat it." The central-state identity theory states that a certain mental state equals a certain neurophysiological state. The theory works in a way similar to Berkeley’s representation of objects. Both mental states and objects are a certain collection of perceptions that together identify the particular state or object.
The mind-body problem has kept philosophers busy ever since Descartes proposed it in the sixteenth century. The central question posed by the mind-body problem is the relationship between what we call the body and what we call the mind—one private, abstract, and the origin of all thoughts; the other public, concrete, and the executor of the mind’s commands. Paul Churchland, a proponent of the eliminative materialist view, believes that the solution to the mind-body problem lies in eliminating the single concept that allows this problem to perpetuate—the folk psychological concept of mental states. Churchland argues that the best theory of mind is a materialistic one, not a folk psychological one. Unlike other materialist views such as identity theory, Churchland wants to remove the idea of mental states from our ontology because mental states cannot be matched 1:1 with corresponding physical states. This is why Churchland’s view is called eliminative materialism—it is a materialistic account of the mind that eliminates the necessity for us to concern ourselves with mental events. At first this eliminative materialism appears to be a good solution to the mind-body problem because we need not concern ourselves with that problem if we adopt Churchland’s view. However, there is a basic flaw in his argument that raises the question of whether we should actually give up folk psychology. In this paper, we will first walk through the premises of Churchland’s argument, and then we will explore whether Churchland does a suitable job of justifying our adoption of eliminative materialism.
The desire to avoid dualism has been the driving motive behind much contemporary work on the mind-body problem. Gilbert Ryle made fun of it as the theory of 'the ghost in the machine', and various forms of behaviorism and materialism are designed to show that a place can be found for thoughts, sensations, feelings, and other mental phenomena in a purely physical world. But these theories have trouble accounting for consciousness and its subjective qualia. As the science develops and we discover facts, dualism does not seems likely to be true.
“a person does not ‘inhabit’ a static object body but is subjectively embodied in a fluid, emergent, and negotiated process of being. In this process, body, self, and social interaction are interrelated to such an extent that distinctions between them are not only permeable and shifting but also actively manipulated and configured”
Dualism is the two worlds of our bodies and minds, or how the Stanford Encyclopedia defines it as “Humans have both physical and mental properties… physical properties include size, weight, shape, color, motion through space and time, etc. But they also have (or seem to have) mental properties, which we do not attribute to typical physical objects”. Dualism is how the mind and body are two separate items that seem to contradict one another yet, one proposes that the mind and body have so much correlation and that they do indeed are like one entity rather than just two. The self, on the other hand, is what is separate from mind and body but it too is interconnect with the mind and body and is too vital to understand what us who we are, the people we see and the person we see ourselves as.
Functionalism is a materialist stance in the philosophy of mind that argues that mental states are purely functional, and thus categorized by their input and output associations and causes, rather than by the physical makeup that constitutes its parts. In this manner, functionalism argues that as long as something operates as a conscious entity, then it is conscious. Block describes functionalism, discusses its inherent dilemmas, and then discusses a more scientifically-driven counter solution called psychofunctionalism and its failings as well. Although Block’s assertions are cogent and well-presented, the psychofunctionalist is able to provide counterarguments to support his viewpoint against Block’s criticisms. I shall argue that though both concepts are not without issue, functionalism appears to satisfy a more acceptable description that philosophers can admit over psychofunctionalism’s chauvinistic disposition that attempts to limit consciousness only to the human race.
This does raise the question of what exactly makes a consciousness the same from moment to moment. What is guaranteeing that the consciousness I am experiencing right now is the same one, and I am therefore the same person, as the consciousness at any other moment? When someone goes to sleep and wakes again in the morning, isn’t it possible that the consciousness could have been swapped out with one from a completely different person during the night? Each person shares in being able to perceive that they are thinking or perceiving, but what distinguishes one person’s perception of perceiving from any other? Locke, I think, gives the answer of a consciousness being defined by the finite body or mind it is connected to.
British physician and philosopher John Locke disagreed with Descartes view on the sould and innate ideas. As the founder of empiricism he believed that we are born a “tabula rosa”, a blank state, and the only source of real knowledge and experience was gained from the senses.
...have struggled with the nature of human beings, especially with the concept of “self”. What Plato called “soul, Descartes named the “mind”, while Hume used the term “self”. This self, often visible during hardships, is what one can be certain of, whose existence is undoubtable. Descartes’s “I think, therefore I am” concept of transcendental self with just the conscious mind is too simplistic to capture the whole of one’s self. Similarly, the empirical self’s idea of brain in charge of one’s self also shows a narrow perspective. Hume’s bundle theory seeks to provide the distinction by claiming that a self is merely a habitual way of discussing certain perceptions. Although the idea of self is well established, philosophical insight still sees that there is no clear presentation of essential self and thus fails to prove that the true, essential self really exists.