Most of us believe that we are an independent, coherent self–an individual inside our head who thinks, watches, wonders, dreams, and makes plans for the future. This sense of our self may seem incredibly real but a wealth of recent scientific evidence reveals that it is not what it seems – it is all an illusion. In The Self Illusion, Professor Bruce M Hood reveals how the self emerges during childhood and how the architecture of the developing brain enables us to become social animals dependent on each other.
Amazing Meeting presentation by Professor Bruce M. Hood:
From the Cambridge Centre for Behavioural Studies, What Muler’s Law of Specific Nerve Energies Says About The Mind by Howard Rachlin (pdf link) - it points out problems with “mind” being equated with particular brain states (to wit—there are no reliable brain states that correlate with claimed mental states; Rachlin finds the commonality with of mental state not with neural state, but with behavioral state):
How do the nerves impose anything but their own characteristics on the mind? That is, how do the nerves tell us anything about the world?
The Skeptic “Mind, Brain, and Consciousness” talks - Susan Blackmore:
Here’s some useful reading to help with Mind Body Dualism:
From Philosophy Now - Consciousness Resurrected - Güven Güzeldere asks where we are now with the mind-body problem.
While the mind-body problem has been around for a long time, it is no less compelling for philosophers today. This is not to say that we are in the same place with regard to understanding it as the philosophers of bygone ages. On the contrary, there has been impressive progress. This progress has been due to great advances in the scientific understanding of the workings of the brain, and to the continual refinement of our philosophical concepts and of the questions we ask about the mind. For these reasons, can we now say that the mind-body problem is nearing a (re)solution, and probably won’t be among the open-ended puzzles of 21st century philosophy?
Psychology Today - Is Your Mind Separate From Your Body?
David John Chalmers is an Australian philosopher specializing in the area of philosophy of mind.
In “The Conscious Mind” (1996), “Chalmers argues that all forms of physicalism (whether reductive or non-reductive) that have dominated modern philosophy and science fail to account for the existence (that is, presence in reality) of consciousness itself. He proposes an alternative dualistic view he calls naturalistic dualism (but which might also be characterized by more traditional formulations such as property dualism, neutral monism, or double-aspect theory).”
Some useful links to investigate further:
The Mind-Body problem has been in existence for several thousand years – going back to Plato, Aristotle, The Buddha and many other ancient Greek and Eastern thinkers. The problem is simple to state, even if the ideas of physics and physiology were not as well developed several thousand years ago as they are today: the mind and the body seem to be entities of very different kinds, so how do they interact so as to produce in a person a mind able to have effects on their body (as when the person wills the body to perform some act), whilst also their body can affect their mind (as in the experience of pain)?
The philosophy of mind has been a hot topic for several thousand years and over that time almost every philosopher has had something to say about it, for better or worse. The central issues it is concerned with are ones that most of us think about from time to time, even if we don’t always use the same terminology. In this article we’ll try to see why the subject has had held such a fascination for thinkers over the years and what we can learn from their efforts.
It’s a Saturday – so here’s a documentary on the artist Henry Darger. What if your imagination was far better than reality – would you live your whole life there instead?
Henry Joseph Darger, Jr. was a reclusive American writer and artist who worked as a custodian in Chicago, Illinois He has become famous for his posthumously-discovered 15,145-page, single-spaced fantasy manuscript called The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, along with several hundred drawings and watercolor paintings illustrating the story. Darger’s work has become one of the most celebrated examples of outsider art.