Drawing the boundary between subject and object: Comments on the mind-brain problem

Theoretical Medicine 14 (2):89-100 (1993)
Physics says that it cannot deal with the mind-brain problem, because it does not deal in subjectivities, and mind is subjective. However, biologists still claim to seek a material basis for subjective mental processes, which would thereby render them objective. Something is clearly wrong here. I claim that what is wrong is the adoption of too narrow a view of what constitutes objectivity, especially in identifying it with what a machine can do. I approach the problem in the light of two cognate circumstances: the measurement problem in quantum physics, and the objectivity of standard mathematics, even though most of it is beyond the reach of machines. I argue that the only resolution to such problems is in the recognition that closed loops of causation are objective; i.e. legitimate objects of scientific scrutiny. These are explicitly forbidden in any machine or mechanism. A material system which contains such loops is called complex. Such complex systems thus must possess nonsimulable models; i.e. models which contain impredicativities or self-references which cannot be removed, or faithfully mapped into a single coherent syntactic time-frame. I consider a few of the consequences of the above, in the context of thus redrawing the boundary between subject and object
Keywords Brain  Causality  Mind  Objectivity  Physicalism  Science
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,316
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
David Papineau (1998). Mind the Gap. Philosophical Perspectives 12 (S12):373-89.
Benny Shanon (2008). Mind-Body, Body-Mind: Two Distinct Problems. Philosophical Psychology 21 (5):697 – 701.
Thomas Fuchs (2011). The Brain--A Mediating Organ. Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (7-8):7-8.
J. J. C. Smart (2007). The Mind/Brain Identity Theory. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

72 ( #66,428 of 1,926,208 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #453,420 of 1,926,208 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.