Explaining Behaviour: Philosophy of Mind

About a year ago, I wrote an article about differentiating between explaining behaviour and describing it. Today, I add another layer to this reflection. What do we want to know when we ask for an explanation of a certain behaviour? For instance, if I wanted to know why John went to the kitchen, would I be satisfied …

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Spreading the Word: ‘No-mind’ Idea

In one week I will resume my studies and one of the courses I am very much looking forward to is philosophy of mind. In this light, it was a timely and pleasant surprise when I came across the following article recently published on Aeon: "The mind does not exist". A controversial and provocative title, …

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Spreading the Word: Free Will Anyone?

This Friday I share with you a short video on free will. In it, this complex topic is explored from a scientific and, ultimately, philosophical perspective. I wonder, do we all even mean the same thing when referring to free will? Could free will be a concept we use to describe an evolutionary adaptation that …

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Common Sense and Truth – Reflections

"How prone to doubt, how cautious are the wise!"  Homer, some 3.000 years ago "The Thinker" by Auguste Rodin, in the Legion's courtyard, San Francisco* How reliable is our common sense? It gets us by on a day-to-day basis mostly without big blunders. So we can agree that common sense is reliable as an adaptability …

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Book Review: “Mind and Cosmos” by Thomas Nagel

Thomas Nagel is a renowned contemporary American philosopher, born in Belgrade (modern-day Serbia) on July 4, 1937. Outside philosophical circles he is perhaps best known for his 1974 essay "What Is It Like to Be a Bat?" where he argues against the material/physical reductionist account of the mind and especially - of consciousness. This remains Nagel's central …

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The Meaning of Objectivity, Reality, Truth – Part II (Final)

In the first part of this article (published last week), I stopped at the appearance on the stage of Plato and his ideas of what is real, as expressed in his famous cave allegory. Now, I jump right in and pick up from exploring Plato`s thoughts on the topic of reality. Afterwards, I offer some …

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The Meaning of Objectivity, Reality, Truth – Part I

Real life. Objective reality. True fact. We all confront these and similar short phrases in our daily lives. They are powerful because they are meaningful to us. Yet, do we really, objectively, truly know the meaning of these words? Do we understand that it is us who endow them with meaning? If we are ready to contemplate …

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