By D. Cockburn
This ebook differs from others by means of rejecting the dualist method linked specifically with Descartes. It additionally casts critical doubt at the kinds of materialism that now dominate English language philosophy. Drawing particularly at the paintings of Wittgenstein, a imperative position is given to the significance of the thought of a person in our thought of ourselves and others.
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Additional info for An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind: Souls, Science and Human Beings
Perhaps what is crucial is the combination of that neurophysiology with a certain precise balance of chemicals in his stomach. 3. Facial expression and movements of facial flesh We have been speaking of the crazy and corrupt. It might be objected that the fact that the argument from analogy will cut no ice with them Other Minds 33 does not show that it is not a perfectly valid argument: one that will, quite rightly, convince any sane and open-minded person that the human beings that he sees around him have a mental life like his own.
Central to much of what I say will be the idea The Cartesian Soul and the Paranormal 25 that a person is a human being: a being of flesh and blood, with a face and arms and legs. Now it might be thought that my use of the term ‘human being’ here is just a fudge. Have I not got to admit that the view that I am opposing to Descartes’ is that people are simply their bodies: complex lumps of matter? The term ‘human being’, it might be said, disguises the unpalatable side of this in so far as in certain contexts it carries connotations of a more elevated kind: as when we say ‘He is a real human being’.
That thought might spring from a sense that it is important that we should be able to offer an argument to those whose views about which beings have a mental life are significantly different from our own. For example, there are those who question whether non-human animals, or at least certain species of them, have emotions and sensations. Now we might feel that it is important that we should be able to offer such people a reason for believing that they do: a reason for believing, for example, that the fish on the hook really does feel pain.
An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind: Souls, Science and Human Beings by D. Cockburn