Note on Mind

William Hasker makes a good case for emergent dualism, against Cartesian and Thomistic dualism (hylomorphic dualism). The very basic idea is that the mind and consciousness are generated by the activity of the brain. Such a theory avoids dualisms, which I like (though Thomism isn’t as crude of a dualism as a lot of other kinds) and it seems to make sense of the biological/physiological data. It’s a theory I’m so far sympathetic with, but not entirely convinced by.

5 thoughts on “Note on Mind

  1. Michelle Joelle April 29, 2014 / 3:47 pm

    The Thomistic view is interesting in its attempt to reconcile an Augustinian superstructure (neo-platonic models of participation and the image of God as a model of recollective wisdom) with Aristotelian mechanisms (abstraction from materiality by the agent intellect, knowing generalities through particulars, etc).

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    • whitefrozen April 29, 2014 / 3:52 pm

      I’m fairly partial Thomistic epitemology, myself. I wanted to expound a bit more, but I just got 3 wisdom teeth removed, and don’t trust myself to be very coherent. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Gilson, but I think he expounds Thomistic thought quite well RE epistemology.

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  2. guymax May 1, 2014 / 7:18 am

    I would say that the idea that mind and consciousness are created by brain is dualism. So I do not see a solution for dualism here.

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    • whitefrozen May 1, 2014 / 11:38 am

      Okay, my first two comments were products of poor sleep and painkillers. Here’s a bit more coherent of a reply.

      Emergent dualism, as the name indicates, isn’t so much a solution to dualism. What it is, as far as I can tell, is accepting that mind/brain are distinct things, but not two different substances. The mind is a product of brain activity – but the activity isn’t one way only, the mind affects the brain as much as the brain the mind.

      So, in a nutshell, ED recognizes the intimate correlation between mind/brain while at the same time recognizing their distinctive-ness.

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  3. guymax May 2, 2014 / 6:33 am

    Yep. Fair enough. Excuse my terminal pedantry.

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