The Multiple Realization Book: Précis

First, we’d like to thank John Schwenkler for giving us the opportunity to talk about The Multiple Realization Book (OUP 2016) on Brains. For about twenty years we’ve each been trying to understand the phenomenon of multiple realization and its importance in philosophy of mind and philosophy of science. In …

Is the mind just an accident of the universe?

[This post by Godehard Brüntrup and Ludwig Jaskolla, co-editors of Panpsychism: Contemporary Perspectives (Oxford University Press, 2016), originally appeared at the OUPblog, and is reposted here with their generous permission.] The traditional view puts forward the idea that the vast majority of what there is in the universe is mindless. Panpsychism however claims that …

Understanding Compositional Explanations in the Sciences

Understanding the nature of “vertical” relations whether in science, nature, mathematics, logic, or anywhere else, is a hot topic in philosophy. What is unfortunate is that, as yet, too little attention is paid to focused issues about what frameworks work best for the “vertical” relations in particular areas. However, it …

The Unexplained Intellect: The Mind’s Dynamic Foundations

One theme of this week’s posts has been the claim that dynamic entities are among the most metaphysically basic of the things in the mental domain.  I’ve made only the vaguest gestures towards saying what I mean by this (in response to Gualtiero’s earlier comment). By dynamic entities, I mean …

The Unexplained Intellect: Consequences of Imperfection

The previous post argued that Theoretical Computer Science can show things to be naturalistically inexplicable—(where this is much stronger than showing them to be inexplicable with a Classically Computational Theory)—by showing those things to require more time than the universe allows.  I’ve not yet said anything about which things might …

The Unexplained Intellect: The Importance of Computability

Theoretical Computer Science has a broader import than its name suggests.  To appreciate it, remember what Turing proved: that a certain hypothetical machine would be able to compute every recursively definable function in a finite amount of time.  If we supplement that theorem with a plausible assumption about physics then …

The Hylomorphic Mind (Part 1)

Structure and the Metaphysics of Mind: How Hylomorphism Solves the Mind-Body Problem (Oxford University Press 2016) is about hylomorphism and its implications for the philosophy of mind. I argue that hylomorphism implies elegant solutions to mind-body problems. Hylomorphism’s basic idea is that some individuals, paradigmatically living things, consist of materials …

The Natural Self

Many thanks to John Schwenkler for inviting me to outline here at The Brains Blog the main ideas in my book The Self: Naturalism, Consciousness, and the First-Person Stance (Oxford University Press, new in paperback 2015). I’ll sketch the overall picture in this blog and follow up with two more in which I’ll draw …