Consciousness Thought

Introducing Persons: Theories and Arguments in the by Peter Carruthers

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By Peter Carruthers

Stimulating advent to the main crucial and engaging concerns within the philosophy of brain. themes lined comprise dualism as opposed to many of the sorts of materialism, own id and survival, and the matter of alternative minds.

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Additional resources for Introducing Persons: Theories and Arguments in the Philosophy of the Mind

Sample text

Conscious states, on the other hand, do not possess electrical or chemical properties. It seems straightforwardly nonsensical to say of your sensation of red that it has such-and-such an electrical potential. (As if someone had said ‘Your green ideas sleep furiously’. ) What they do have are characteristic qualitative ‘feels’. If physical states and conscious states possess quite different kinds of properties, then they must themselves be different kinds of states. For if they did belong to the same kind—if, in particular, each conscious state were a physical state of the brain—then they would have to have the same attributes.

Now such a claim can be made to seem extremely plausible. For it would seem that the physicality of any physical thing must always form an essential part of our conception of that thing. g. ) The argument for thinking that all physical things are essentially physical is as follows. Firstly, we can make no sense of the idea that any particular physical object might not have been physical. We cannot conceive of any possible circumstances in which that object might have existed, only without being physical.

There is certainly no way of ruling out such a possibility merely by reflecting on the concepts of ‘soul’ and of ‘composite object’. Secondly, even if souls were simple, why should it be supposed to follow from this that they must be immortal? For why should it be thought that the only possible way for an object to cease to exist is for it to be broken up into parts? The ideas of ‘creation out of nothing’ and ‘destruction into nothing’ are perfectly intelligible (not self-contradictory), even if a trifle mysterious.

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