Monday, January 23, 2006

Does Neuroscience solve all the problems in the philosophy of mind?

Apparently not, according to Jaegwon Kim, in an interview for ephilosopher. Hat tip: Joe Markus.

  "Jaegwon Kim: Some philosophers come to philosophy of mind from the psychology side, from an initial interest in cognitive science, computer science, neurobiology, and the like. And some come from the metaphysics side, and I am of course one of the latter. At first, the mind-body problem, to me, was nothing more than just another metaphysical problem. When I began working on the problem of mental causation in the early 1980's, though, things began to change. I thought I was involved in a problem that meant something to me personally. I felt the problem concerned an aspect of myself as a person, as a human being, that I thought I needed to understand.
Ephilosopher: How would you describe the burden sharing between philosophy of mind, as you pursue it, and more empirical approaches to the topic (such as cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, etc.)?
Jaegwon Kim: Not much. At the level of abstraction at which I usually work, empirical results are not really relevant. Certain theoretical and empirical findings that I sometimes read or hear about are interesting and may prompt philosophical thoughts, but I don't think there is a real connection between the kind of work I do in philosophy of mind and the results of the systematic sciences of cognition and consciousness. "

1 comment:

Owen said...

I'd just like to announce to Dr. Kim, and my fellow philosophs that over here in my quaint flat on north Damen avenue, I have finally, definitively and completely solved the mind/body problem (ring the bells!) , and moved on to the much, much more advanced question of the mind/pineal-gland problem, which is just a whole 'nother level entirely.