Mind-body parallelism is the view that mind and body stand in the same “order and connection,” as Spinoza put it, or that corresponding mental and physical states have corresponding causal explanations in terms of other mental and physical states. This dissertation investigates the nature and role of mind-body parallelism, as well as other forms of parallelism, in Spinoza’s philosophy of mind. In doing so, it also considers how Spinoza’s views relate to current discussions. In present-day philosophy of mind, mind-body parallelism (...) is almost never defended. It is seen as a historical dead-end with insurmountable problems. By contrast, I argue that parallelism powerfully responds to the post-Cartesian mind-body problem (which remains with us today) and that it points a way forward in current debates. The dissertation contains five independent chapters. After an introduction that situates parallelism in relation to both Spinoza’s time and to present discussions, Chapter 1 presents an argument for parallelism aimed at a present-day audience. Chapter 2 discusses Spinoza’s own arguments for parallelism. Both chapters help to clarify what parallelism is, in part by distinguishing between several versions of the view. Chapter 3 discusses what is often considered parallelism’s most problematic feature, its rejection of mind-body interaction. I argue that by distinguishing between the post-Cartesian context in which Spinoza wrote and present-day discussions, we can see that parallelism is compatible with mental causation. Chapters 4 and 5, finally, discuss specific ways in which parallelism is at work in Spinoza’s view of the mind. In Chapter 4, I argue that parallelism is at work in Spinoza’s interesting and distinctive positions on the nature of agency and motivation. In Chapter 5, I show the role of parallelism in his representationalist theory of consciousness. A guiding thread throughout the dissertation is that parallelism presents a distinctive and interesting way to combine realism, non-reductionism and naturalism in relation to those features of human self-understanding that seem difficult to fit into a naturalistic worldview. (shrink)
Descartes makes a double commitment about selves. While he argues that the ‘I’ is nothing but a thinking thing he also identifies it with the union of the mind and body. This chapter explores this tension by analyzing Descartes’ account of our experience of ourselves and argues that in the background of Descartes’ usage of ‘I’ in reference to both the mind and the union is an idea of a subject of experience taking herself in one or the other way. (...) When a subject refers to herself with ‘I’, the ‘I’ always picks out a subject of experience regardless of whether the subject understands what it, metaphysically, picks out. Body-dependent features partaking in what one takes oneself to be are a matter of representation. However, embodied self-presence is on a par with purely intellectual self-presence, because the latter is likewise a matter of representation. This means that thoughts are constitutive of selfhood not because they ontologically belong to the thinking substance as its modifications, but rather in virtue of conveying content that affects what we take ourselves to be. (shrink)
The purpose of this essay is exegesis. I explicate Nicolas Malebranche's (1674, 1678, 1688, 1714) concept of intelligible extension. I begin by detailing how the concept matured throughout Malebranche's work, and the new functions it took on within his metaphysical system. I then examine Gustav Bergmann's “axiomatic” interpretation, as well as the criticism of it offered by Daise Radner. I argue that Radner's criticism of the interpretation is only partly successful; some of her objections can be met; others cannot. I (...) then develop a novel interpretation of the concept, given insights from this dispute. I call it the “programmatic interpretation.” I argue that this interpretation coheres well with Malebranche's famous Vision in God thesis, as well as many of his other commitments. I conclude by considering a certain pertinent objection to my proposal, summarizing the dialectic, and forcefully restating my case. (shrink)
This study aims to show a similarity of Kant’s and Jung’s approaches to an issue of the possibility of scientific psychology, hence to explicate what they thought about the future of psychology. Therefore, the article contains heuristic material, which can contribute in a resolving of such methodological task as searching of promising directions to improve philosophical and scientific psychology. To achieve the aim the author attempts to clarify an entity of Kant’s and Jung’s objections against even the possibility of scientific (...) psychology and to find out ways to overcome those objections in Kant’s and Jung’s works. The main methods were explication, reconstruction and comparative analysis of Kant’s and Jung’s views. As a result it was found, that Kant and Jung allocated one and the same obstacles, which, on their opinion, prevent psychology to become a science in the strict sense. They are: 1) coincidence of subject and object in psychology; 2) impossibility to apply quantitative mathematic methods in psychology; 3) pendency of the issue of psychophysical parallelism. However, Kant and Jung indicated ways to resolve formulated by them fundamental difficulties. All those ways lay through the searching a principle of interaction and connection between the psychic and the physical. (shrink)
Semantic normativism, which is the view that semantic properties/concepts are some kind of normative properties/concepts, has become increasingly influential in contemporary meta-semantics. In this paper, I aim to argue that semantic normativism has difficulty accommodating the causal efficacy of semantic properties. In specific, I raise an exclusion problem for semantic normativism, inspired by the exclusion problem in the philosophy of mind. Moreover, I attempt to show that the exclusion problem for semantic normativism is peculiarly troublesome: while we can solve mental-physical (...) exclusion by adopting the so-called ‘autonomy approach’, a similar autonomy solution to semantic exclusion is implausible if semantic properties are understood as normative properties. (shrink)
In this article is discussed an issue, how Nicolas von Grot’s theory of psychic energy had an influence upon theoretical basis of the analytical psychology, firstly, upon the concept of ‘libido’, which denotes a universal psychic energy. Also the author analyzes C.G. Jung’s objections against some moments of Grot’s argumentation and shows, how these objections can be eliminated through the Jung’s concept of psychoid factor’ (‘psychoid’) -/- В данной статье рассматривается влияние энергетизма Н.Я. Грота на формирование теоретического базиса аналитической психологии (...) К.Г. Юнга в части разработки последним учения об универсальной психической энергии либидо. Также анализируются возражения К.Г. Юнга против некоторых мест гротовской аргументации, и демонстрируется, каким образом эти возражения могут быть сняты посредством обращения к разработанному в поздних юнговских трудах понятию «психойдный фактор» («психойдное»). (shrink)
Researchers often talk about a powerful heuristic potential of the Kantian heritage, but sometimes they do not show concrete examples in defense of this opinion outside Kantianism and Neo- Kantianism. This article contains an attempt to demonstrate that on the example of how efficiently C.G. Jung used Kant’s ideas to construct the theoretical basis of analytical psychology in general and his conception of archetypes in particular, we can see the urgency of Kant’s heritage not only for his direct spiritual successors. (...) In addition the question is discussed: why did Jung claim that epistemologically he took his stand on Kant? (shrink)
Friedrich Nietzsche’s criticism towards the substance-concept „I“ plays an important role in his late thought, and can be properly understood by making reference to the 19th century debate on the scientific psychology. Friedrich Lange and Ernst Mach gave an important contribution to that debate. Both of them developed the ideas of Gustav Fechner, and thought about a „psychology without soul“, i.e. an investigation that gives up with the old metaphysics of substance in dealing with the mind-body problem. In this paper (...) I shall deal with both Lange and Mach (whose writings has been read by Nietzsche), in order to shed some light on Nietzsche’s rejection of the „I“ in philosophy. (shrink)
Norman Sieroka’s book is about “the systematic, structural relations between phenomenological and (neuro)physiological aspects of perception, consciousness, and time, with a specific focus on hearing” (p. 4), based on Leibniz’s and Husserl’s views. While Sieroka displays a great depth of knowledge in his discussions of these two philosophers, his main aims are not exegetic, but consist, rather, in casting new light on the said philosophical and interdisciplinary issues. However, the scope of his interpretative project is ambitious. There is, on the (...) one hand, Husserl, the founder of phenomenology, for whom perception is, first and foremost, conscious. On the other hand, there is Leibniz, the great rationalist metaphysician, who stands out in his era for bringing center-stage various kinds of unconscious perception. Sieroka effectively reconciles these seemingly very different perspectives, as he argues for numerous points of similarity between them and synthesizes them for mutual enrichment. (shrink)
The Exclusion Argument, which aims to deny the causal efficacy of irreducible mental properties, is probably the most serious challenge to non-reductive physicalism. Many proposed solutions to the exclusion problem can only reject simplified exclusion arguments, but fail to block a sophisticated version I introduce. In this paper, I attempt to show that we can refute the sophisticated exclusion argument by appeal to a sophisticated understanding of causation, what I call the 'Dual-condition Conception of Causation'. Specifically, I argue that the (...) dual-condition account of causation gives strong support to the so-called 'Autonomy Solution', which contends that even if mental properties are unable to cause (fundamental) physical properties, they can still cause higher-level properties (such as mental, behavioral, and social properties)—if so, human agency would be preserved in the physical world. (shrink)
In this paper, I suggest an outline of a new interpretation of core issues in Spinoza’s metaphysics and philosophy of mind. I argue for three major theses. (1) In the first part of the paper I show that the celebrated Spinozistic doctrine commonly termed “the doctrine of parallelism” is in fact a confusion of two separate and independent doctrines of parallelism. Hence, I argue that our current understanding of Spinoza’s metaphysics and philosophy of mind is fundamentally flawed. (2) The clarification (...) and setting apart of the two doctrines will also put us in a position to present my second major thesis and address one of the more interesting and enduring problems in Spinoza’s metaphysics: how can the attribute of thought be, on the one hand, isomorphic with any other attribute, and yet, on the other hand, be isomorphic with God himself, who has infinitely many attributes? In the second part of the paper, I present Spinoza’s solution to this problem. I argue that the number and order of modes is the same in all attributes. Yet, modes of Thought, unlike modes of any other attribute, have an infinitely-faceted internal structure so that one and the same idea represents infinitely many modes by having infinitely many facets (or aspects). (3) This new understanding of the inner structure of ideas in Spinoza will lead us to my third thesis in which I explain and solve another old riddle in Spinoza’s metaphysics: his insistence on the impossibility of the human mind knowing any of God’s infinite attributes other than Thought and Extension. In the third part, I show some of the major ramifications of my new interpretation and respond to some important objections. In my conclusion I discuss the philosophical importance of my interpretation. I explain why Spinoza could not embrace reductive idealism in spite of the preeminence he grants to the attribute of Thought. I argue that Spinoza is a dualist -- not a mind-body dualist, as he is commonly conceived to be, but rather a dualist of Thought and Being. Finally, I suggest that Spinoza’s position on the mind-body issue breaks with the traditional categories and ways of addressing the subject by suggesting a view which grants clear primacy to Thought without accepting any idealist reduction of bodies to thought. (shrink)
A quite popular approach to solving the Causal Exclusion Problem is to adopt a counterfactual theory of causation. In this paper, I distinguish three versions of the Causal Exclusion Argument. I argue that the counterfactualist approach can block the first two exclusion arguments, because the Causal Inheritance Principle and the Upward Causation Principle upon which the two arguments are based respectively are problematic from the perspective of the counterfactual account of causation. However, I attempt to show that the counterfactualist approach (...) is unable to refute a sophisticated version (i.e. the third version) of the exclusion argument in that the Downward Causation Principle, a premise of the third exclusion argument, is actually implied by the counterfactual theory of causation. Therefore, even if other theories of causation might help the non-reductive physicalist to solve the exclusion problem, the counterfactual theory of causation cannot. (shrink)
In the 19th century, "Psychophysical Parallelism" was the most popular solution of the mind-body problem among physiologists, psychologists and philosophers. (This is not to be mixed up with Leibnizian and other cases of "Cartesian" parallelism.) The fate of this non-Cartesian view, as founded by Gustav Theodor Fechner, is reviewed. It is shown that Feigl's "identity theory" eventually goes back to Alois Riehl who promoted a hybrid version of psychophysical parallelism and Kantian mind-body theory which was taken up by Feigl's teacher (...) Moritz Schlick. (shrink)
An impressive review of brain neurophysiology provides the basis for modelling the dynamics of transmission in neural circuits, using appropriate nonlinear mathematics. The coverage is unbalanced, however: the parallel dynamics at the level of behaviour and sensory-cognitive processes are sparsely addressed, so the final chapter fails to indicate the complexity and subtlety of relevant modern work.
Connectionism—also known as parallel distributed processing, or neural network modeling—offers promise as a framework to unite clinical and cognitive psychology, and as a tool for studying conscious and unconscious mental activity. This paper describes a neural network model of the case study of Lucy R., from Freud and Breuer's Studies on Hysteria. Though very simple in architecture, the network spontaneously displays analogues of repression and hallucination, corresponding to Lucy R.'s symptoms. Salient elements of Lucy's conscious experience are represented in the (...) model by the activations of neuronlike processors in a fully interconnected network, without hidden units. The model learns to associate elements of experience that were associated in Lucy's case history. Some of these configurations of elements were traumatic for Lucy; trauma is modeled in the network by "emphatic learning," learning accomplished at an abnormally high learning rate. The model suggests that changing associations among conscious elements are sufficient to generate the symptoms Freud observed: apparent repression, hallucination, and recovery through therapy. In the case of Lucy R., Freud's theoretical inference regarding active but unconscious thought is not required by his data. Instead, the unconscious can be understood as a set of complex dispositions embodied in connections between elements of conscious experience. (shrink)
The chapters of the book do not situate Spinoza among the natural philosophical giants who opened the way to modern science. Rather they explore Spinoza's relation to the sciences in a variety of ways. Contributors: Joseph Agassi, Thomas Cook, Marjorie Grene, Hans Jonas, André Lecrivain, Genevieve Lloyd, Alexandre Matheron, Nancy Maull, Debra Nails, Michel Paty, Richard H. Popkin, David Savan, Heine Siebrand, and Joe D. Van Zandt.
One may gather from the arguments of two of the last papers published before his death that J. L. Mackie held the following three theses concerning the mind/body problem : (1) There is a distinct realm of mental properties, so a dualism of properties at least is true and materialism false.