Emotions and the self
In K. Irani & Gerald E. Myers (eds.), Emotion: Philosophical Studies. Haven (1983)
Much of the perplexity that motivates modern discussion of the nature of mind derives indirectly from the striking success of physical explanation. Not only has physics itself advanced at a remarkable pace in the last four centuries; every hope has been held out that, in principle, all science can be understood and ultimately studied in terms of mechanisms proper to physics. Seeing all natural phenomena as explicable in terms appropriate to physics, however, makes the mental seem to be a singularity in nature. Chemistry and biology may well be reducible to physics, but the same seems hardly possible for the mental. The gulf between mind and physics seems too great to bridge, and the success of physics guarantees its standing. The place of mind in nature is thereby rendered problematic. This line of reasoning has tempted thinkers since Descartes to see the mind as not only independent of other natural phenomena, but as even somehow lying outside the natural order itself
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