Category Archives: Phil 132: Mind

The Background of “The Background”

In Intentionality, John Searle describes what he calls “The Background.” The Background is the set of non-representational pre-intentional beliefs or understanding which underlies and makes representational intentionality possible. The Background can also be described as the know-how that enables us … Continue reading

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Searle’s Pyrrhic Victory For Biological Naturalism

Jaegwon Kim claims that Biological Naturalism is a causally overdetermined description of the mind. Basically, he notes that BN holds that all mental states are caused by neuronal processes while some of them are also caused by previous mental states. … Continue reading

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Kripke’s Refutation of Identity Theory

Identity theorists claim that mental states are identical with brain states. Identity theorists usually espouse one of two versions of this claim. Either 1) tokens of types of mental states are identical with tokens of types of brain states, or … Continue reading

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When Kripke first used a rigid designator

Edit: This post has been turned into a paper discussing Kripke’s argument against identity theory. So the story goes, identity theorists claim that mental states are identical with brain states. Identity theorists usually espouse one of two versions of this … Continue reading

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Identity theorists must be epiphenomenalists

Epiphenomenalism is the belief that mental states cannot cause any physical events. It is necessarily a determinist view. The identity theory is the theory that mental states are identical with brain states. An identity theorist believes that all brain states … Continue reading

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Functionalism falls short

In Mind: A Brief Introduction, Searle describes functionalism as an attempt to capture definitions of beliefs, desires, and perceptions by their causal relations. For example, we have a sentence: Jones’s belief that it is raining was caused by the perception … Continue reading

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On Dogmatics in Philosophy

In chapter 2 of Mind: A Brief Introduction Searle dismisses the views of modern dualists because they seem to be ad hoc maneuvers. “The authors are convinced in advance of the truth of dualism and are trying to find some … Continue reading

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