This work speaks about very special solution of the mind–body problem. This solution based on the so-called Principle of Co-existence stands out as one of the most interesting attempts at solving the mind–body problem. It states that substances can only exert a mutual influence on one another if they have something in common. This does not have to be a common property but rather, a binding relationship. Thus, substances co-exist when they remain bound by a common (...) relationship, for instance, to an external subject. The Principle of Co-existence played an extremely important role in Kant’s philosophy, not only since it provided a framework for solving the mind–body problem, but since it captured the very basis of its existence. The Principle found also reflection in the works of Kant’s successors, such as Fichte, Schelling, Hegel or Feuerbach. It had significant—though often hidden—repercussions on later philosophy of mind. The notion of force and the principle of its operation became key concepts in resolving the mind–body problem. As a result, philosophy of mind concentrated on the search for a principle explaining the occurrence of two complementary types of phenomena. This established a tradition which, to a greater or lesser extent, has survived to our day. (shrink)
This paper contrasts two approaches to the mind-body problem and the possibility of mental causation: the conceptual approach advocated by Collingwood/Dray and the metaphysical approach advocated by Davidson. On the conceptual approach to show that mental causation is possible is equivalent to demonstrating that mentalistic explanations possess a different logical structure from naturalistic explanations. On the metaphysical approach to show that mental causation is possible entails explaining how the mind can intelligibly be accommodated within a physicalist universe. (...) I argue that the conceptual approach offers a much more powerful defence of the autonomy of the mental. (shrink)
We present the first large-scale, quantitative examination of mind and body concepts in a set of historical sources by measuring the predictions of folk mind–body dualism against the surviving textual corpus of pre-Qin (pre-221 BCE) China. Our textual analysis found clear patterns in the historically evolving reference of the word xin (heart/heart–mind): It alone of the organs was regularly contrasted with the physical body, and during the Warring States period it became less associated with (...) emotions and increasingly portrayed as the unique locus of “higher” cognitive abilities. We interpret this as a semantic shift toward a shared cognitive bias in response to a vast and rapid expansion of literacy. Our study helps test the proposed universality of folk dualism, adds a new quantitative approach to the methods used in the humanities, and opens up a new and valuable data source for cognitive scientists: the record of dead minds. (shrink)
This is a multi-disciplinary exploration of the history of understanding of the human mind or soul and its relationship to the body, through the course of more than two thousand years. Thirteen specially commissioned chapters, each written by a recognized expert, discuss such figures as the doctors Hippocrates and Galen, the theologians St Paul, Augustine, and Aquinas, and philosophers from Plato to Leibniz.
Simmias' famous epiphenomenalist analogy of the soul-body relation to the harmony and strings of a lyre (together with Cebes' subsequent objection) leads to Socrates' initial refutation and subsequent prolonged defense of soul's immortality in the Phaedo . It also yields in late antiquity significant treatments of the harmony relation by Plotinus ( Ennead III 6  4, 30-52) and Porphyry ( Sentences 18, 8-18) that present a larger context for viewing the nature of harmony in the soul and the (...) psycho-somatic compound. But perhaps the most detailed treatment of the musical analogy, and certainly the most radical, is to be found in Gregory of Nyssa's De Hominis Opificio . Gregory's remarkable development of the musical instrument analogy provides a multi-layered analysis of interrelated causality on the mechanistic, physiological, psycho-somatic and intellectual/spiritual planes. Gregory not only sees mind/soul and body as radically equal and yet multilayered in their mutual development; he also refuses to restrict mind to the brain alone, for all physiological systems, in his view, are holistically and individually expressive of mind's activity. Gregory's theory is more innovative than Augustine's view of the mind/soul-body relation and, in my view, the most important account between Plotinus and Aquinas. (shrink)
How the MindWorks is a synthesis of cognitive science and evolutionary biology that aims to explain the human mind with three ideas: (1) Computation: thinking and feeling consist of information-processing in the brain; (2) Specialization: the mind is not a single entity, but a complex system of parts designed to solve different problems; (3) Evolution: as with the organs of the body, our complex mental faculties have biological functions ultimately related to survival and reproduction. (...) The book lays out criteria for attributing an evolutionary function to a trait, and applies them to many hypotheses using data from cognitive science, psychology, anthropology, and biology. (shrink)
Systemic Constellation Work is a rapidly growing experiential healing process that is being embraced by a variety of helping professionals, both traditional and alternative, worldwide. This book explores the history, principles and methodology of this approach, and offers a detailed comparison with psychodrama - the original mind-body therapy - explaining how each method can enhance the other. Constellation work is based on the notion that people are connected by unseen energetic forces and suggests that the psychological, traumatic and (...) survival experiences of our ancestors are genetically passed forward to the next generation and may live within us. Using insightful case studies from a variety of client groups, this book shows how Systemic Constellation Work can expand the possibilities of psychodrama techniques, and can be successfully integrated with psychodramatic enactment, guided imagery, ritual, concretization and other methods of healing and personal growth. This book will be essential reading for students and practitioners of psychodrama and Constellation work, as well as counselors, mental health professionals, experiential therapists, creative and expressive arts therapists and alternative practitioners looking to widen their knowledge of mind-body therapies. (shrink)
In 1747, Kant believed that the mind/body problem presupposed several false and interrelated assumptions that fell under the general view that the essential force of body is vis motrix , namely that bodies act only by causing changes of motion, that bodies can be acted upon only by being moved, and that souls and bodies do not share a common force. He argued in Thoughts on the True Estimation of Living Forces that the traditional vis motrix view, (...) which was defended by Wolff, appealed to an unexplanatory and metaphysically incoherent conception of force. (shrink)
Book Information Psyche And Soma: Physicians and Metaphysicians on the Mind-Body Problem from Antiquity to Enlightenment. Psyche And Soma: Physicians and Metaphysicians on the Mind-Body Problem from Antiquity to Enlightenment John P. Wright Paul Potter Oxford Clarendon Press 2000 xii + 298, Hardback £45.00 Edited by John P. Wright; Paul Potter . Clarendon Press. Oxford. Pp. xii + 298,. Hardback:£45.00.
In 1746 the French philosophe Condillac published his Essay on the Origin of Human Knowledge , one of many attempts during the century to determine how we organize and validate ideas as knowledge. In investigating language, especially written language, he found not only the seriousness he sought but also a great deal of frivolity whose relation to the sober business of philosophy had to be addressed somehow. If the mind truly reflects the world, and language reflects the mind, (...) why is there so much error and nonsense? Whence the distortions? How can they be remedied? In The Archeology of the Frivolous , Jacques Derrida recoups Condillac's enterprise, showing how it anticipated--consciously or not--many of the issues that have since stymied epistemology and linguistic philosophy. If anyone doubts that deconstruction can be a powerful analytic method, try this. (shrink)
This paper is divided into two main sections. The first articulates what I believe Strawson's position to be. I contrast Strawson's usage of 'physicalism' with the mainstream use. I then explain why I think that Strawson's position is one of property dualism and substance monism. In doing this, I outline his view and Locke's view on the nature of substance. I argue that they are similar in many respects and thus it is no surprise that Strawson actually holds a view (...) on the mind much like one plausible interpretation of Locke's position. Strawson's use of terminology cloaks this fact and he does not himself explicitly recognize it in his paper. In the second section, I outline some of Strawson's assumptions that he uses in arguing for his position. I comment on the plausibility of his position concerning the relation of the mind to the body compared with mainstream physicalism and various forms of dualism. Before embarking on the two main sections, in the remainder of this introduction, I very briefly sketch Strawson's view. (shrink)
A remarkable hypothesis has recently been advanced by Libet and promoted by Eccles which claims that there is standardly a backwards referral of conscious experiences in time, and that this constitutes empirical evidence for the failure of identity of brain states and mental states. Libet's neurophysiological data are critically examined and are found insufficient to support the hypothesis. Additionally, it is argued that even if there is a temporal displacement phenomenon to be explained, a neurophysiological explanation is most likely.
This paper sets out to show how Eddington's early twenties case for variational derivatives significantly bears witness to a steady and consistent shift in focus from a resolute striving for objectivity towards “selective subjectivism” and structuralism. While framing his so-called “Hamiltonian derivatives” along the lines of previously available variational methods allowing to derive gravitational field equations from an action principle, Eddington assigned them a theoretical function of his own devising in The Mathematical Theory of Relativity (1923). I make clear (...) that two stages should be marked out in Eddington's train of thought if the meaning of such variational derivatives is to be adequately assessed. As far as they were originally intended to embody the mind's collusion with nature by linking atomicity of matter with atomicity of action, variational derivatives were at first assigned a dual role requiring of them not only to express mind's craving for permanence but also to tune up mind's privileged pattern to “Nature's own idea”. Whereas at a later stage, as affine field theory would provide a framework for world-building, such “Hamiltonian differentiation” would grow out of tune through gauge-invariance and, by disregarding how mathematical theory might precisely come into contact with actual world, would be turned into a mere heuristic device for structural knowledge. (shrink)
In his Meditations, Rene Descartes asks, "what am I?" His initial answer is "a man." But he soon discards it: "But what is a man? Shall I say 'a rational animal'? No: for then I should inquire what an animal is, what rationality is, and in this way one question would lead down the slope to harder ones." Instead of understanding what a man is, Descartes shifts to two new questions: "What is Mind?" and "What is Body?" These (...) questions develop into Descartes's main philosophical preoccupation: the Mind-Body distinction. How can Mind and Body be independent entities, yet joined--essentially so--within a single human being? If Mind and Body are really distinct, are human beings merely a "construction"? On the other hand, if we respect the integrity of humans, are Mind and Body merely aspects of a human being and not subjects in and of themselves? For centuries, philosophers have considered this classic philosophical puzzle. Now, in this compact, engaging, and long-awaited work UCLA philosopher Joseph Almog closely decodes the French philosopher's argument for distinguishing between the human mind and body while maintaining simultaneously their essential integration in a human being. He argues that Descartes constructed a solution whereby the trio of Human Mind, Body, and Being are essentially interdependent yet remain each a genuine individual subject. Almog's reading not only steers away from the most popular interpretations of Descartes, but also represents a scholar coming to grips directly with Descartes himself. In doing so, Almog creates a work that Cartesian scholars will value, and that will also prove indispensable to philosophers of language, ontology, and the metaphysics of mind. (shrink)
It is widely held that the current debate on the mind-body problem in analytic philosophy began during the 1950s at two distinct sources: one in America, de- riving from Herbert Feigl's writings, and the other in Australia, related to writings by U. T. Place and J. J. C. Smart (Feigl  1967). Jaegwon Kim recently wrote that "it was the papers by Smart and Feigl that introduced the mind-body problem as a mainstream metaphysical Problematik of analytical (...) philosophy, and launched the debate that has continued to this day" (Kim 1998, 1). Nonetheless, it is not at all obvious why these particular articles sparked a debate, nor why Feigl's work in particular came to play such a prominent part in it, nor how and to what extent Feigl's approach rests on the logical empiricism he endorsed. (shrink)