Can We Solve The Mind-Body Problem

Can We Solve The Mind-Body Problem-90
[Commentaries and my reply appear in the same issue of the Journal].HOW TO SOLVE THE MIND-BODY PROBLEM Two hundred and fifty years ago Denis Diderot, commenting on what makes a great natural philosopher, wrote: They have watched the operations of nature so o ften and so closely that they are able to guess what course she is likely to take, and that with a fair degree of accuracy, even when they take it into their heads to provoke her with the most o utlandish experiments.They — we — all assume that the human mind and brain are, as Diderot anticipated, aspects of a single state — a single state, in fact, of the mat erial world, which could in principle be fully described in terms of its microphysical components.

[Commentaries and my reply appear in the same issue of the Journal].HOW TO SOLVE THE MIND-BODY PROBLEM Two hundred and fifty years ago Denis Diderot, commenting on what makes a great natural philosopher, wrote: They have watched the operations of nature so o ften and so closely that they are able to guess what course she is likely to take, and that with a fair degree of accuracy, even when they take it into their heads to provoke her with the most o utlandish experiments.They — we — all assume that the human mind and brain are, as Diderot anticipated, aspects of a single state — a single state, in fact, of the mat erial world, which could in principle be fully described in terms of its microphysical components.

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So that the most important service they can render to [others] . is to pass on to them that spirit of divination by means of which it is possible to smell out, so to speak, methods that are still to be discovered, new experiments, unknown results.

1 Whether Diderot would have claimed such a faculty in his own case is not made clear.

Not least, this: Just as in mathemat ics, all the propert ies of a curve turn out upon examination to be all the same property, but seen from different aspects, so in nature, when experimental science is more advanced, we shall come to see that all phenomena, whether of weight, elasticity, attraction, magnetism or electricity, are all merely aspects of a single state.

2 Admittedly the grand unifying theory that Diderot looked forward to has not yet been constructed.

By artistic materials I mean the stuff from which the work of art emerges.

Stuff such as limestone, marble, water or oil based pigments, words, tones or bodily movements.

This book is an excellent short introduction to the on-going debate about the nature of consciousness.

Your complimentary articles You’ve read one of your four complimentary articles for this month. To have complete access to the thousands of philosophy articles on this site, please Many books about art and the philosophy of art include discussions of artistic materials.

Discussing artistic materials for the sake of understanding and appreciating works of art has a long history. In by Welleck and Warren, there is a section entitled ‘The Intrinsic Study of Literature.’ There the authors write: “...

it is necessary to distinguish between words in themselves, aesthetically indifferent, and the manner in which individual words make up units of sound and meaning, aesthetically effective.

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