philosophy of mind and education

Philosophy of Mind and Features

What is Philosophy? Philosophy is a discipline that formulates the study of a particular topic. There are other areas in philosophy, such as political philosophy, philosophy of law, religious philosophy, etc., but philosophy of mind is one of them. Greeks mentioned the word soul for it. The basic idea behind this was that the soul is a distinct substance and has no match with the body.

Later in the Arab world from the 9th to 14th century, philosophers like Avecena, Alfarabi, and Averroes, developed it and called the soul “intellect”. It flourished in the 17th century, when René Descartes published his work, “Meditations”. He is the creator of the philosophical well-known problem – the problem of mind-body or dualism in short form.

By the behaviorists, this dualist approach was challenged in the twentieth century. There are many but Gilbert Ryle’s publication, The Concept of Mind (1949) changed the concept of mind. In the late 1950s and early 1960s with the fall of behaviorism and the rise of neuroscience, the research took a new turn from the mind toward the brain.

There are different kinds of debates about the place of the mind in nature: Causal closure, dualism, epiphenomenalism, panpsychism, idealism, and functionalism. The debates about Intentionality and Theories of Mental Content are;

  1. Daniel Dennett’s ‘Intentional Systems Theory’,
  2. Wide Content,
  3. Narrow Content
  4. Fred Dretske’s ‘Information‐theoretic Semantics’,
  5. Biosemantics,
  6. Measurement‐theoretic Account,
  7. Normativity,
  8. Christopher Peacocke’s ‘Concepts and Possession Conditions’,
  9. Bermúdez’s Distinction,
  10. Intentionalism,
  11. Unity and Separatism,
  12. The Self and the Identity.

Mental abilities are Imagination, thinking, language, memory, feelings, and emotions. Epistemic issues regarding the mind are folk psychology, others’ minds, Introspection, Self-deception, Semantic Externalism, and Self‐Knowledge.

philosophy of mind functionalism

Philosophy of Mind Features

Some key features of the philosophy of mind are mentioned here.


The word consciousness is used differently, sometimes it means the alertness of humans to some activity. A person is conscious means, that a person is aware of his/her surroundings and can participate as a subject. The debates about the nature of consciousness are subjectivity, sensational theories, representationalism, etc.


The simple form of it is that mind and body are two different substances and couldn’t be reduced to physicalism. Historically, man first time realized that they are thinking beings. And it became possible because of Renè Descartes, a seventeenth-century philosopher. Before that only royal and religious bodies had the right to think or make decisions and common people only obeyed them.


An experience of a human to see or analyze the inner world. And they think about themselves in images, feelings, or actions. They perceive themselves subjectively and observe the outer world through their perspectives. 


Mental states are key ingredients to argue in the philosophy of mind. Many philosophers try to explain those mental states in terms of functions. As physicists do, beliefs, desires, or intentions could be defined as mass, force, and energy.


Eliminativists believe that common-sense psychology is faulty and that neurons are best used to explain the actions of humans. That’s Paul Churchland is the proponent of the neurophilosophy. For him, there are not any mental states, only brain states.


The identity of a person or simply call it selfhood, is a debate that is hard to explain. A person is known by his habits, language, or culture. If this is true that a man has no self-identity and he is the advertiser of his surroundings, then there is no self. Another view is that the self is the representative of its surroundings. This debate has no ending. Because there is a problem in distinguishing the experience of the self subjectively and objectively. Here objectively means to experience the self of others.

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