Download An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind: Souls, Science by D. Cockburn PDF

By D. Cockburn

This publication differs from others by means of rejecting the dualist process linked specifically with Descartes. It additionally casts critical doubt at the types of materialism that now dominate English language philosophy. Drawing particularly at the paintings of Wittgenstein, a critical position is given to the significance of the proposal of a man or woman in our thought of ourselves and others.

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That thought might spring from a sense that it is important that we should be able to offer an argument to those whose views about which beings have a mental life are significantly different from our own. For example, there are those who question whether non-human animals, or at least certain species of them, have emotions and sensations. Now we might feel that it is important that we should be able to offer such people a reason for believing that they do: a reason for believing, for example, that the fish on the hook really does feel pain.

3 Other Minds 1. The need for justification John Stuart Mill writes: I conclude that other human beings have feelings like me, because, first, they have bodies like me, which I know, in my own case, to be the antecedent condition of feelings; and because, secondly, they exhibit the acts, and other outward signs, which in my own case I know by experience to be caused by feelings. I am conscious in myself of a series of facts connected by an uniform sequence, of which the beginning is modifications of my body, the middle is feelings, the end is outward demeanour.

There is obviously a close relationship between the geometrical arrangement of facial flesh and the expression on the face. But the relationship is not of the following simple kind: if, and only if, the arrangement of flesh on two faces is very similar the expression on the faces is very similar. For, as the above cartoon faces bring out, a very small change in the arrangement of flesh can transform the expression on a face; and I take it that faces with large differences at the level of arrangements of flesh can be very similar in terms of the expression on them.

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