|Mind, philosophy: the mind is understood to be the activity of thought in the philosophical tradition, or that which enables the human to think. In the tradition the mind is opposed to the body. This traditional concept of mind is often translated as spirit in English. Today the mind is equated with the set of cognitive abilities. See also consciousness, body-soul problem, mind/brain, cognition, computation, spirit._____________Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments. |
Mind/Chalmers: conscious experience is not all there is to the mind. Cognitive sciences has had almost nothing to say about consciousness, but about mind in general as the internal basis of behaviour.
Mind/Chalmers: a) phenomenal concept of mind: the conscious experience of mental states. That is what I will concentrate on.
b) The psychological concept as a causal or explanatory basis of behaviour.
ChalmersVsDescartes: Descartes may have been partly responsible for a conflation of the two concepts.
Mind/Psychology/Ryle/Chalmers: in philosophy, the shift in emphasis form the phenomenal to the psychological was codified by Gilbert Ryle (1949) (1) who argued that all our mental concepts can be analysed in terms of certain kinds of associated behaviour, or in terms of dispositions to behave in certain ways (E. g. Lycan 1987 (2)).
ChalmersVsRyle: Ryle intended all mental concepts to fall within the grasp of his analysis. It seems to me that this view is a nonstarter as an analysis of our phenomenal concepts such as sensation and consciousness itself.
But Ryle’s analysis provided a suggestive approach to many other mental notions, such as believing, enjoying, wanting, pretending and remembering.
ChalmersVsRyle: technical problems: 1. It is natural to suppose that mental states cause behaviour, but if mental states are themselves behavioural then it is hard to see how they could do the job.
2. it was argued (Chisholm, 1957 (3), Geach, 1957 (4)) that no mental state could be defined by a single range of behavioural dispositions, independent of any other mental states. E.g. if one believes that it is raining, one’s behavioural dispositions will vary depending on whether one has the desire to get wet. It is therefore necessary to invoke other mental states in characterizing the behavioural dispositions. (GeachVsRyle, ChisholmVsRyle).
1. G. Ryle, The Concept of Mind, Oondon 1949
2. W. G. Lycan, Consciousness, Cambridge 1987
3. R. Chisholm, Perceiving Ithaca, NY, 1957
4. P. Geach, Mental Acts, London 1957_____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
The Conscious Mind Oxford New York 1996
Constructing the World Oxford 2014