John Heil 's Philosophy Of Mind : A Guide And Anthology
1123 WordsSep 9, 20155 Pages
Précis for chapter 1 of John Heil’s (2004) “Philosophy of Mind: A Guide and Anthology”
In Chapter 1 of Philosophy of Mind (2004), John Heil offers the following conclusion as one that is “inescapable: the mind could not itself be a material object.” John Heil claims that, because the qualities of experience are not within the brain, minds are non-material entities. Non-material entities in the sense that the mind, the non-material entity, possesses “properties not possessed by any material object” and, as such, uses the brain as its intermediary in regards to action and experience. I claim that, the concept central to this conclusion, is precisely utopian.
The reasoning being the following: John Heil begins by making a distinction between physical or ‘primary qualities’ (i.e. mass and spatial characteristics) and experienced or ‘secondary qualities’ (i.e. a multiplicity of arrangements of these ‘primary qualities’) regarding the brain. The ‘primary qualities’ of the brain being its physical characteristics and the ‘secondary qualities’ articulated as a retroactive self-reflection. In other words, it is only by way of an observer who, from a ‘private’ position, articulates an arrangement(s) of those ‘primary qualities’ which, in being expressed, “appear to reach you ‘through’ your brain qua the effect of conscious deliberation, i.e. when “you decide to turn a page and subsequently turn the page.” As such, “experience reliably mirrors the primary qualities of