Free «Substance Dualism» Essay Sample
  1. Substance dualism is the belief that the universe comprises two important types of entity physical and mental. Those people who consider them to be immaterial minds living in physical bodies are called substance dualists. Descartes advocated this view that is why it is often called “Cartesian dualism”. I support the idea of the dualism that each human holds a soul, and that each thought that ever crosses our mind will always be correct as we have the premium access to our minds. What I do not agree completely with, is the idea of non-explainability of our brains and, therefore, our behavior. With the progress of our scientific invention little is impossible.
  2. The identity theory asserts that some mental states are actually identical with some kinds of brain states. Place described this theory as a relation of composition. He thinks that higher-level (mental) deeds consist of lower-level (physical) deeds. “Sensations” are different from “mental processes”. Eventually the former turns into the latter. Smart, on the other hand, interpreted the theory as the identity between two referents of two senses. He wanted to show that “sensations” and “brain” do differ but they still refer to the same physical process. In my opinion, identity theory is quite a waste of time. Each person is an individual and in each of us prevails either our emotional thinking (sensations) or logical thinking (brains or mental processes). Some people can combine both of them, others are not very good at it. I do not agree that sensations always turn into just mental processes as there are such feelings which last the whole lifetime. I find it a bit unreasonable to say that sensations are just a physical process as they are too far from being only a physical process at all.
  3. Functionalism is the theory which was created to identify behaviorism and the identity theory. The idea of the theory is to prove that mental states are causal relations to the other mental states. In Fodor’s understanding mental representation is the solution to the problem of comprehension. According to Turing’s machine, the nature of mental state is pretty the same with the automaton: “You are in one state, then you get some new input/information and you go to the other phase which makes you do something else” .And so without ending. Flanagan talks about mental states being brain states and that there at least some non-physical mental processes with which I would like to agree especially if we are talking about sensations. Imagine the mother’s attachment to the child and vise versa – this process is far from being purely physical. I partially support Turing’s idea of the cause and effect relationship but we always can predict what next step we will make.
  4. Eliminative materialism is a claim that our common sense and ordinary understanding of the mind is totally wrong and many of the mental states created by our common sense do not even exist. Husband and wife, Paul and Patricia Churchland, presented several arguments to support the psychology of dropping commonsense, arising many debates around even such notions as “beliefs”.
  5. Turing test is a test to define whether the machine is able to show intelligent behavior and how to determine intelligence from different human characteristics. In Turing’s opinion imitation can be as good as the real thing that is why he makes man to play the role of the woman and vise versa. Unfortunately, his irrelevant gender games do not allow us to understand the point clearly. Machines can only pass those tests they are programmed for. If they will have the answers to all the questions in their chips, any test will be easy to pass but it depends on humans information they put into the machines’ chips and tests they make for them.
  6. Searle’s Chinese speaking room presupposes that there is a program which enables computers to lead an intelligent communication in written Chinese. Searle tries to show that the computer cannot be given “mind”, “consciousness” or “understanding” despite how smartly it may seem to behave. Robots will always remain robots and will never be able to reach that level of intelligence that humans possess.
  7. Searle defines the “strong Al” as properly programmed PC with right outputs and inputs and defines it as one that can have a mind which will be near as good as humans’ minds. The correct simulation can be called the mind model. Simulation is far from duplication. Model is not a real thing. For robot-human friendship, sensations would be required. But for robots real feelings are not possible. And how can a human feel real friendship towards a machine? How can a machine be compared to the friendship with parents, children or schoolmates? That is truly immoral.
  8. Epiphenomenalism is the theory of the philosophy of mind saying that all mental activities are caused by physical processes in the brain or that both of them are the effects of one common cause opposing to the mental activities which drive physical mechanics of the brain. The idea is that the feelings and thoughts cause physical effects, but we must understand that they are illusory to certain extent. I totally disapprove this theory as I consider the origination place of all our emotions and feelings to be the brains (for example, when you hurt your hand, you do not feel the pain at once but you already realize that it will come in a second – just waiting until the brain gets the signal).
  9. With that phrase Jackson means that despite the fact that Mary sees only black and white world around her, she can learn to experience color as such experience is contained in our brain. When one change started, the chain of changes will follow. Mary cannot experience the world as other people do that is why she works out some other ways for it. Jackson tries to prove that you learn a lot of new when you experience color. The main point is that if someone never experienced something, even with the full knowledge about it, the interlocutor will not be able to “see” the knowledge of that someone.
  10. In his philosophic paper Nagel argues that materialist theories about mind miss out all the essential parts of consciousness, especially that there exists something which makes you feel to be a very conscious thing. Each organism has conscious mental states. Each person can be only that very person and no one else. All other roles are already taken. Even if we turn into a bat, we will not be able to be it as we do not feel how it is to be a bat.
  11. Quale is the subjective and internal component of sense perception, arising from stimulation of the senses by some phenomena. The main problem Chalmers defines the following way: “If one day someone programs computer chips to reproduce the functions of the brains, it would also reproduce qualia. I would not call it the problem of materialism as qualia presumes active senses while in materialism it is believed that there is no spiritual world and for me senses belong to the spiritual world, so it is the problem of only naturalism”.
  12. Galen Strawson debates that there exists a fundamental sense where free will is not possible. She states that no one can entirely morally carry the responsibility for their actions; therefore, no one has that free will which usually bothers us. You do the things the way you do as this is the only way you can be. To be responsible for your actions, you need to be responsible for yourself, but you cannot be totally responsible for who you are. Therefore, you cannot carry responsibility for what you do.
  13. Harris states that all of us are the victims of unpredictable desires due to unconscious tricks of our brains. He says that we cannot see any traces of free will in our lives because it simply does not exist, we are controlled by our brains and we do not cause the causes for us.
  14. Without free will our self-efficacy suffers greatly which makes person helpless and aggressive. If there were no free will, we would never reach anything in life and no progress in any sphere can be made as we would simply have no motivation for that.
  15. Flanagan considers free will to be the falsehood. He thinks that we do not possess any free will at all. Flanagan tells us that free will has deeply religious roots and personifies a god-like power which allows avoiding natural laws. Men cannot possess any free will at least for the fact that we are just human animals.

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