Graduate studies at Western
Philosophical Psychology 19 (6):729-742 (2006)
|Abstract||Philosophers have been talking about brain states for almost 50 years and as of yet no one has articulated a theoretical account of what one is. In fact this issue has received almost no attention and cognitive scientists still use meaningless phrases like 'C-fiber firing' and 'neuronal activity' when theorizing about the relation of the mind to the brain. To date when theorists do discuss brain states they usually do so in the context of making some other argument with the result being that any discussion of what brain states are has a distinct en passant flavor. In light of this it is a goal of mine to make brain states the center of attention by providing some general discussion of them. I briefly look at the argument of Bechtel and Mundale, as I think that they expose a common misconception philosophers had about brain states early on. I then turn to briefly examining Polger's argument, as I think he offers an intuitive account of what we expect brain states to be as well as a convincing argument against a common candidate for knowledge about brain states that is currently "on the scene." I then introduce a distinction between brain states and states of the brain: Particular brain states occur against background states of the brain. I argue that brain states are patterns of synchronous neural firing, which reflects the electrical face of the brain; states of the brain are the gating and modulating of neural activity and reflect the chemical face of the brain|
|Keywords||neural synchrony identity theory|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Thomas W. Polger (2009). Evaluating the Evidence for Multiple Realization. Synthese 167 (3):457 - 472.
Don Merrell (2011). Polger on the Illusion of Contingent Identity. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19 (4):593 - 602.
Natika Newton (1986). Churchland on Direct Introspection of Brain States. Analysis 46 (March):97-102.
Lynne Rudder Baker (1994). Attitudes as Nonentities. Philosophical Studies 76 (2-3):175-203.
E. V. Sharova (2005). Electrographic Correlates of Brain Reactions to Afferent Stimuli in Postcomatose Unconscious States After Severe Brain Injury. Human Physiology 31 (3):245-254.
J. J. C. Smart, The Identity Theory of Mind. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Jirí Wackerman, Peter Pütz, Simone Büchi, Inge Strauch & Dietrich Lehmann (2002). Brain Electrical Activity and Subjective Experience During Altered States of Consciousness: Ganzfeld and Hypnagogic States. International Journal of Psychophysiology 46 (2):123-146.
Jerome A. Shaffer (1961). Could Mental States Be Brain Processes? Journal of Philosophy 58 (December):813-22.
Richard Brown (2012). The Brain and its States. In Shimon Edelman, Tomer Fekete & Neta Zach (eds.), Being in Time: Dynamical Models of Phenomenal Experience. John Benjamins.
Francis V. Raab (1965). Of Minds and Molecules. Philosophy of Science 32 (January):57-72.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads155 ( #3,157 of 738,458 )
Recent downloads (6 months)24 ( #5,263 of 738,458 )
How can I increase my downloads?