What is philosophy of mind

Philosophy of mind

Philosophy of mind,E. philosophy of mind, philosophical discipline that deals with problems of consciousness and cognition. The central questions are already discussed in antiquity; in modern times they employ practically all authoritative schools and authors since Descartes. As an independent discipline, however, the philosophy of mind did not establish itself until the second half of the 20th century, especially in analytical philosophy. The most important topics concern 1) the definition of concepts such as consciousness, subjectivity or free will; 2) Basic questions, particularly with regard to the relationship between spiritual and physical processes (body-soul problem); 3) epistemological problems as they arise from the interaction of different sciences in the study of the brain and consciousness; 4) the practical and theoretical consequences of this research. While empirical findings in the philosophy of mind were initially only marginally noted, in recent years the insight has gained acceptance that close cooperation with the neurosciences and cognitive sciences is essential, without the need for theoretical considerations and conceptual clarifications would. After the body-soul dualism lost just as much in importance as the behaviorism that dominated around the middle of the 20th century, most of the currently relevant theories assume that mental processes can be identified with physical processes, but at the same time try to achieve a special character to do justice to mental phenomena. During the Types Identity Theory according to each a Type of mental processes (e.g. pain) with one Type of neural states can be identified, which postulates Token identity theory, that the individual copies (tokens) of a type of mental event occur through physical processes several Types are "realized". In this context, it is usually assumed that mental processes are about their functional role can be determined in relation to stimuli and reactions of an organism. All physical processes that occupy the corresponding functional role are then considered to be realizations of such a state. Other focal points of the more recent discussion concern the scientific explainability of specific qualities of experience such as pain, the question of whether the relationship, for example, of thoughts and beliefs to external circumstances (intentionality) can and must be explained scientifically, the problem of free will and finally the cognitive and neural ones Mechanisms underlying the creation of subjectivity. The aim of philosophical considerations is not a conclusive answer, but rather the specification of problem and solution options, which must then be worked on in the empirical sciences. Mind and brain.