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How To Make Mind-Brain Relations Clear

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Abstract:

A clear, simple mind-body solution is suggested here. Neuroscience is finding growing evidence of neurochemical correlates to memory, perception and emotion. This supports mind-as-brain views over mind-as-computer views. Admittedly, the former can't intelligibly reduce privately experienced pain, fear, etc. to publicly observed neurochemistry. Yet ideas in Strawson, Stoljar, etc. can be reworked to treat pain as what certain neurochemical activity is like beyond observed appearances. This bridges the gulf between pains and brains, for (unlike reductions) it intelligibly explains why hidden, private pains accompany pain-detector activity (instead of this activity being nonconscious). By contrast, mind-as-computer views are obscure. They connect radically disparate entities -- private pains, abstract computations and neural hardwares -- through puzzling reductions and multiple realizations. The mind-as-brain view may thus offer a clear, simple solution to the mind-body problem that explains current experimental evidence without perennial metaphysical obscurities (reductionism, multiple realization, dualism, etc.). It may make mind-body relations clear.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: mwj@comcast.net

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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