Are Mental States To Neurobiological States?

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Are Mental States Irreducible To Neurobiological States? Today I’ll be discussing Patricia Smith Churchland’s Are Mental States Irreducible to Neurobiological States. According to The Norton Introduction to Philosophy, “[Churchland] is known for her work connecting neuroscience and traditional philosophical topics such as consciousness, the self, free will and ethics” (T.N.I.P, 424). Terms needed to understand the material: 1. Qualia- also known as “qualitative character of experiences, sensations, [and] feelings…” (Churchland, 1). 2. Introspective- “observation or examination of ones own mental and emotional state”(Dictionary.com) Churchland begins her article by explaining Thomas Nagel belief of having a point of view.…show more content…
Although she has trouble believing in the second premise that brain states are not knowable by introspection. This brings the main argument “are mental states identical to brain states”. Churchland breaks it down to this: if mental states are identical all to brain states then when you observe you mental states you are also observing the brain state which is identical. Churchland states, “ I may not describe my mental state as a brain state but whether I do depends on what information I have about the brain, not upon whether the mental state really is identical to some brain state . The identity can be a fact about the world independently of my knowledge that is a fact about the world” (Churchland, 2).She gives the following example “ Jones swallows an aspirin, he thereby swallows acetylsalicylic acid, whether or not he thought” in other words “identities may obtain even when we have not discovered that they do”(Churchland, 2). Lastly, I’lol be discussing Churchland 's interpretation of Frank Jackson’s Argument: Knowing our sensations. Churchland explains Jacksons argument as “showing the differences between knowing our states via introspection and knowing via non-introspective means are of such nature as to constitute grounds for denying the reducibility of psychology to neuroscience” (Churchland, 4). I 'll be summarizing Churchland 's summary of Jacksons constructed argument. A neuroscientist (Mary) who lives her entire life seeing no colors but
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