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1. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 42
Francesco Belfiore Mind as an Evolving Triadic Entity
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In this paper, through external and internal observation (introspection), it is shown that the human mind (or spirit) can be defined as an evolving, conscious, triadic entity consisting of unitary-multiple components - intellect, sensitiveness, and power - which in turn are made of multiple ideas, sentiments, and actions, respectively. The three mind components are interdependent, each needing the support of the other two for its activity. This interdependence, which is linked to the problem of mind-body relationship, is explained by the observational fact that no physical object can exist if not under particular patterns of forms/structures and associated movements/functions, patterns which are non-physical and represent the “activities” of that object. Conversely, no activity can exist if not associated to a structured and functioning physical object. “Intellect” and “sensitiveness” are regarded as the activities that necessarily arise from the extremely complex structure and physical functions of the brain and other body apparatuses (“power”). Mind can exert outwardly oriented activities, directed to external objects, or inwardly oriented activities, directed to mind itself. The latter activities give the awareness that mind is capable of undergoing evolution, i.e.,development of intellect, sensitiveness and actions. Evolution enables the mind to continuously transcend itself, and could be regarded as the source of “moral values”. Inward mind activity gives rise to moral thoughts, moral feelings and moral acts (counterpart of ideas, sentiments, and actions, produced by the outward mind activity). This conception of mind opens new perspectives in such diverse fields as ontology (the triadic nature might be extensible to all existing objects), ethics (identification of the “good” with the mind-evolution itself), and still others.
2. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 42
Gang Chen Perception Dualism and Free Will
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This paper is to spell out a version of perception dualism, whose ontological description of the mind-body relation is stronger than property dualism but weaker than substance dualism, that is, to define mental events as perceptions from an internal point of view and physical events as perceptions from an external point of view, then, the author set out to tackle some long-persisting ontological issues in philosophy of mind, such as the psycho-physical interaction, the criterion of mind, the clash between free will and natural necessity, Benjamin Libet’s Experiment. It also recovers some of the observations and conclusions achieved byCartesian internalism and Leibniz’s parallelism. Since perception is the most essential feature of mind, while defining mental and physical events in terms of perception, the author also develops a philosophical theory of perception.
3. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 42
Richard H. Corrigan Would I Endorse my Determined Endorsement? Moral Responsibility and Reflective Endorsement
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In her recent article ‘Moral Responsibility Without Libertarianism’, Lynne Rudder Baker contends that libertarian intuitions can be accommodated by compatibilist conditions for moral responsibility. She proposes a principle called the ‘Reflective Endorsement View’ which she believes is capable of achieving this end. The Reflective Endorsement View holds that once an agent reflectively identifies with his actions in a particular way, he is morally responsible for those actions, irrespective of whether he has the power to do otherwise or the cause of the action ultimately originates in him. I contend that Baker’s compatibilist Reflective Endorsement View is too stringent and exclusive for moral responsibility. I argue this on the basis that the very intuitions that led Baker to formulatethe various conditions that must be satisfied for moral responsibility can be used to show the inadequacy of her position.
4. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 42
Mircea Dumitru Conceivability and Possibility: Remarks on the Mind-Body Dualism in Contemporary Philosophy of Mind
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Explaining phenomenal consciousness may be the scientific and philosophical problem of our time, the last frontier of knowledge. This is not at all an easy task. For any serious attempt at finding a place for consciousness within the natural world was not successful so far. There is a conceptual tension here which makes this business of coming up with a unified (monist) explanation of mind and physical world one of the most intriguing mystery. The most predominant image of the natural world is one of a physicalist type, whereas the mind, and especially the conscious subjective experience seem not to fit well within that physicalistexplanation. That explanatory failure may require a dualist metaphysical scheme (probably of a neo-Cartesian type). It may seem very well that we are caught in a dilemma, for we either embrace a physicalist explanation, but then it seems that we leave out consciousness from the big picture we are looking for, or else we face the huge task of conceiving a dramatic change of our scientific outlook about the natural world, and we don’t quite see how that would be possible or desirable. But then, should any attempt at understanding consciusness be a dead-end, something doomed to fail from a theoretical and explanatory point of view? In my paper I explore some philosophical underpinnings of contemporary dualism, focussing on the modal facets of the conceivability (neo-Cartesian) arguments. I will asses both the prospects and the moot points of this type of arguments. Of particular interest is the role that two-dimensional semantics plays in nowadays discussions of this topic.
5. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 42
Gerard Elfstrom Scientists and Free Will
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Many scientists believe that the universe, including the human brain, is governed by natural laws and that all can be explained by natural processes. In consequence, they believe that all events, including brain events, are determined. From this, they often conclude that free will cannot exist. I believe these views are mistaken and will present several lines of argument to support this position. I conclude that the operation of free will is compatible with determinism, can be explained by natural processes and does not entail immaterial substance.
6. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 42
Serguei Fokine The Singing Consciousness: The Mind with Sound
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Consciousness has been and will continue to be one of the central problems of philosophy. In written works the fact that the consciousness can sing is presented as one of the most interesting and enigmatic properties of consciousness. That consciousness can sing, and in fact does so, and to prove that this is the case is relatively easy. It is enough to say that “one is singing within oneself”, not loudly and only one or various simple sounds in a way so that the Phonologic system does not take part at all. The arguments over whether or not the consciousness can sing are based on comparisons of paragraphs 15 to 27 from the first and second editions of Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason” which were modified in the second edition, where no categorical statement about the similaritybetween reproduced representations and phenomenon is found. The problem between the similarity between the reproduced representations in the consciousness/brain and the consciousness/brain phenomenon were investigated by Kant in his first and second edition, where Kant reached his conclusion about the reproduced representations in the phenomenon. We are in agreement with Kant that there can exist in “the interior” of consciousness/brains of all human beings the state of similarity or difference between the represented and the perceived, but the unity of the consciousness can be found in only one state: the similarity between the represented and the perceived in the “interior”, of the consciousness/brain. In view of the similarity of the reproduced representations and the phenomenon of the consciousness/brain, the consciousness can sing and be united, or, if not, referring to the dissimilarity, the consciousness cannot sing and can be divided.
7. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 42
Woojin Han The Conditional Analysis of Phenomenal Concepts: Too Good to be True
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John Hawthorne (2002), David Braddon-Mitchell (2003), and Robert Stalnaker (2002), almost simultaneously but independently, developed a physicalistic argument which depends on such two conditional analyses: (1) If we experience dualistic pain, zombies are possible; (2) If our world is physicalistic, zombies are impossible. Hawthorne assumes that only an oracle will tell us which conditional is the case. From this setting, he concludes that zombies are conceivable butimpossible. I first show that Hawthorne actually fails in deriving neither the conceivability of zombies nor their impossibility. Next, I argue that Hawthorne’s reasoning entails an absurdity that any entity like God, whose existence is controversial, will be conceivable but impossible.
8. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 42
Andrés L. Jaume Teleosemantics and Useless Content: A Critical Remark on Millikan’s Account
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Teleosemantic theories of content constitute a mixed family of different proposals and accounts about what consists mental content. In the present paper, I would like examine the scope and limits of a particular and well defined teleosemantic theory such as Millikan’s account. My aim entails presenting arguments in order to show how her theory of mental content is unnable of giving a complete account of the whole mental life almost for adult human agents without commiting certain adaptationist assumptions. I am going to present my arguments in the following order. In section 1 I present an outline of the Millikan’s theory of mental content. In section 2, after defining useless content I pay attention to her treatment of it. In section 3 I set out my queries concerning to the fixation of useless content defended by Millikan. Finally, I conclude that the theory about useless content doesn’t identify content in terms of sufficient and necessary conditions.
9. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 42
Salahaddin Khalilov The Specificity of Human Body: Two Ideas in One Thing
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A human being is the carrier of two different ideas, and there is no direct relation between them. One of these ideas refers to the body. The body itself is a system genetically coded and programmed in advance. On the other hand, one part of the body – the brain – appears to be the carrier of another idea that reflects the whole Universe – the Cosmos. Due to the function human (concretely, brain) is Microcosm, regarded as epitomizing the universe. So human brain or widely to say, human itself is the carrier of the ideas of body parts, and essence-idea of whole body, as well as passive idea of whole cosmos. In a practical life of the human being only very little part of this cosmic idea is actualized and used. Untraditional reflections of this great potential as a result of unusual events beyond ofstandards are also possible. Then knowledge, information-ideas that a human being was ignorant and that were not acquired as a result of his sensual practice throughout his real life, may be activated and these cases are regarded as mystery and sensation. While all human beings possess this potential, capacity, we have not yet acquired well the mechanisms of activation of these passive ideas. Studying the ways of the activation of the passive ideas of our brain is one of the main tasks nowadays.
10. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 42
Markus Kneer Imagining Being Napoleon
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If I want to imagine myself to be someone else, say, Napoleon, a problem arises concerning the protagonist of the imagined scenario: One has to attribute two conflicting personal identities to this protagonist, my own (the imaginer’s) and Napoleon’s (the target subject) – hence, a metaphysical impossibility arises. The metaphysically impossible is generally deemed inconceivable and hence unimaginable – however, we generally take ourselves capable of imagining being someone else. Williams (1966), who first raised the issue, proposes a way to overcome the philosophical obstacle posed by such so‐called transferenceimagination, namely one in which only Napoleon (the target subject) figures in the content of the imaginer. Over the years, a number of arguments have been proposed in support of this approach. My contribution disputes Williams’ approach by (1) refuting the arguments in its favour, (2) advancing some independent considerations against its plausibility, and (3) proposing a new and more intuitively appealing way of thinking about transference imagination.
11. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 42
Caleb Liang Perceptual Phenomenology and Direct Realism
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I discuss the so-called “problem of perception” in relation to the Argument from Illusion: Can we directly perceive the external world? According to Direct Realism, at least sometimes perception provides direct and immediate awareness of reality. But the Argument from Illusion threatens to undermine the possibility of genuine perception. In The Problem of Perception (2002), A. D. Smith proposes a novel defense of Direct Realism based on a careful study of perceptual phenomenology. According to his theory, the intentionality of perception is explained in terms of three phenomenological features of perception: phenomenalthree-dimensional spatiality, movement, and the Anstoss. He argues that this account of perceptual intentionality can resist a central premise of the Argument from Illusion, i.e. the “sense-datum inference.” After presenting Smith’s theory, I argue that he fails to distinguish two independent tasks for the direct realist, and that he underestimates the threat of the so-called “sense-datum infection.” My contention is that even if Smith’s theory of perceptual intentionality is correct, Direct Realism has not been saved from the Argument from Illusion. To resist the Argument from Illusion, it is not enough to merely consider how to block the sense-datum inference. The direct realist must also find a way to undermine the sense-datum infection. If so, I suggest, Direct Realism cannot be defended by perceptual phenomenology alone.
12. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 42
JeeLoo Liu From Realizer Functionalism to Nonreductive Physicalism
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It has been noted in recent literature (e.g., Ross & Spurrett 2004, Kim 2006, McLaughlin 2006 and Cohen 2005) that functionalism can be separated into two varieties: one that emphasizes the role state, the other that emphasizes the realizer state. The former is called “role functionalism” while the latter has been called “realizer functionalism” (Ross & Spurrett 2004, Kim 2006, Cohen 2005) or “filler functionalism” (McLaughlin 2006). The separation between role functionalism and realizer functionalism mars the distinction traditionally made between functionalism and the identity theory, because realizer functionalism can be seen as the synthesis of functionalism and the identity theory. In this paper, I begin with an analysis of the distinction between role and realizer functionalism. I shall further develop realizer functionalism as a viable, or arguably the best, explanatory model for the mind-brain relation. Finally, I will argue that under realizer functionalism, we can give an account of how mind is placed in the material world without at the same time giving up on the autonomy of psychology. The autonomy of psychology is tantamount to the thesis that mental properties are not type-identical with, nor type-reducible to, physical properties of the brain. In the philosophical debate on reductive and nonreductive physicalism, reductivism seems to be gaining the upper hand these days. In the final section of this paper, Ishall sketch my defense of nonreductive physicalism. I believe that the current enthusiasm for reductionism is misguided, and I shall show that under realizer functionalism, reductionism in the sense of reductive explanation, i.e., providing explanation of the psychological in terms of the underlying physical properties, is not a feasible project.
13. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 42
Zihu Liu The Structure System of Human Spirit, Together with Stratification Analysis
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In this paper, the spirit of human was discovered to be a kind of system to process information which is obedient to the life’s oriented. It emanates from body but surpasses body, they can work together harmoniously, and grow up jointly. Just like the hardware and the software of the computer, our physical body corresponds to the hardware, our spirit corresponds to the software. This software system is far from nothing, it has specific structure system and runningmechanism, it exists in the form of information, and its function is obvious.
14. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 42
Manuel Liz Substantive, a Posteriori, Type Disjunctivism
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Disjunctivism in philosophy of perception maintains that whereas veridical perceptions are relational states involving objects of the external world, illusions and hallucinations are non-relational states of the subjects. Veridical and non veridical perceptions could be subjectively indistinguishable, but this fact would not be able to support fundamental psychological explanations. Disjunctivism has to face some important problems. The aim of this paper is to explore a peculiar elaboration of disjunctivism able to face them. Our proposal intends to be substantive, offering a counterfactual explanation of the differences between veridicaland non veridical perceptions. We will arrive to an a posteriori disjunctivism for some relevant types of perceptual experiences. The a posteriori character of our position will be consequent with the external nature of the intentional objects of veridical perceptions. But our disjunctivism will be concerned only with types of perceptual experiences. That way, it could make room for many sorts of internalist psychological explanations in the context of a general disjunctivist approach.
15. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 42
Laureen Park Freud’s “Epistemology”: The Break of Dawn in the Unconscious
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For Freud, what appears to reason is already predetermined by an unconscious that distorts and censors the “true” meaning behind the explicit one that is allowed to appear to us. The evidences of dreams make this clear. Explicit thoughts or symbols that ultimately connect to our waking life and reality are mere vehicles for the expression of unconscious “thoughts”. Furthermore, dreams evidence a censoring mechanism (that is relaxed in the state of sleep) that keeps these unconscious “thoughts” from rising to the surface in our waking state. So how does Freud have an “epistemology”? Dreams also exhibit rational and cultural mediation. Censorship involves “knowledge” of what to prohibit and what to allow according to normative dictates. Ego-consciousness (or reason) is theultimate arbiter between unconscious and rational demands. Unconscious thoughts are, therefore, ultimately subject to rational deliberation.
16. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 42
Athanasios Raftopoulos Ambiguous Figures and Nonconceptual Content
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Macpherson (2006) argues that the square/regular diamond figure threatens representationalism, which holds that the phenomenal character of experience is either identical, or supervenes on, the nonconceptual content of experience (NCC). Her argument is that representationalism is committed to the thesis that differences in the phenomenal experience of ambiguous figures, the gestalt switch, should be explained by differences in the NCC of perception of these figures. However, with respect to the square/regular diamond figure such differences in NCC do not explain the gestalt switch. I examine Macpherson’s claims and argue that representationalism can account for the experience of ambiguous figures by explaining differences in the phenomenal content of experience by means of differences in the NCC of that same experience. The thrust of my argument is that Macpherson’s account of what happens when subjects, upon viewing a tilted A and an A, report their experience by using the concept-term “A”, mistakes seeph with seedox. If this confusion is cleared, then representationalism can offer a coherent account of the gestalt switch in the diamond/square figure on the basis of the NCC of that experience.
17. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 42
Shaffarullah Abdul Rahman Rethinking Nagel: Three Challenges to Physicalism (Rethinking Nagel’s “What is it Like to be a Bat?”: Nagel’s Three Challenges to Physicalism)
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It may be tempting to think that given Nagel’s much-discussed bat argument in “What Is It Like to be a Bat?” (henceforth the Bat article), Nagel qua Nagel has conceived an argument against the very idea of physicalism. For example, Tye (1986 p. 7) argues that Nagel’s argument from the Bat-Phenomenology Analogy shows that the physicalist account of the mental phenomenon is incomplete. Churchland (1995 p. 196) conceives Nagel in a similar manner: “[from the Bat Argument] Nagel concludes that conscious phenomena cannot be given a purely physical explanation”. McCullough (1988 pp. 2-3), without regret, is more direct on the issue: Nagel is against physicalism because the state of what-it-is-likeness “escapes the scientific net”. The same goes with Pereboom who argues that Thomas Nagel advances an argument that shows physicalist account of the phenomenal states are “inadequate” (1994 p. 314). The most recent article dealing with the Bat argument also makes it clear that physicalism does not feature in friendly terms in Nagel’s thinking (Nagasawa 2004). While Nagasawa claims to offer a new approach to Nagel’s Bat argument in that Aquinas’ seemingly disconnected argument about the divine omnipotence can answer Nagel’s resistance to physicalism, it is quite clear that Nagel is still being treated as an anti-physicalist. Now, of course, it’s fallacious to say that all these philosophers are alike in their takes on Nagel’s alleged anti-physicalist outlook but I hope it is uncontroversial to say here that they seem to share a common view of Nagel: On Nagel’s account of conscious mental states, physicalism is false because it fails to explain exactly what it is like to be in those states. In this essay, I wish to argue that Nagel’s treatment of physicalism as demonstrated in the Bat article is much more philosophically subtle than his detractors thought him to be. From the outset, let me begin by stating that Nagel is not characteristically a foe of physicalism as most of philosophers make him to be but Nagel in the Bat article could seem beproposing three challenges to physicalism as follows: (P1) physicalism is false, (P2) physicalism is unintelligible and (P3) physicalism remains to be made intelligible.
18. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 42
Stephen Voss Agent’s Knowledge and First-person Authority
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I propose the hypothesis that our knowledge of our own mental states derives from our knowledge of our intentions, and that our knowledge of our intentions is part of having those intentions. I enumerate various aspects of the question to be answered and various aspects of my answer. The hypothesis begins to explain various aspects of self-knowledge, such as its fallibility and its variability from one kind of mental state to another. Self-knowledge is also grounded in our common antecedent knowledge of the functionalist nature of mental states and the integrity of our mental life and above all mind’s link with action in the world. The hypothesis helps pluck philosophy from the fairy-land of Lockean and Kantian inner sense.
19. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 42
Jeffrey Benjamin White Conscience, Consciousness, Sciousness and Science: A Glimpse at Neuroethics and the Future of Moral Philosophy
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No question has demanded so much attention from the philosopher of mind as has this one: What is consciousness? One promising answer begins by noting that consciousness is, itself, a conjugate of more basic stuff. For the ethicist, there is a question that seems at least formally related to the question of consciousness: What is conscience? Could it be that a similar approach carries similar promise? The following short paper first examines consciousness as a conjugate, and then pursues the implications of this analysis for a novel understanding of conscience as the grounds for a science of ethics.
20. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 42
Bosuk Yoon What is the Subjectivity of Perceptual Experience?
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For the purpose of this paper, I take it for granted that subjectivity is an essential character of perceptual experience. What I take issue with is the further claim that subjectivity of experience tends to support the view that phenomenal characters are intrinsic properties of experience. A criticism of the claim can be presented from the perspective of representationalism according to which phenomenal character is a kind of representational character. But representationalism fails to do justice to the fact that from the subjective point of view, we seem to be directly aware of mind-independent objects in the world. A stronger criticism canbe based on the disjunctivist’s view of experience that best accommodates direct awareness of the external world. But disjunctivism rejects the common kind that also seems from the subject’s point of view to be shared by veridical perception and hallucination. The crucial problem is whether disjunctivists can make sense of the phenomenology of hallucination. Focusing the discussion on Martin’s epistemic version of disjunctivism, I hope to show the relevance of solving this problem for a better understanding of the subjectivity of experience.