The Mind‐Body Problem

Jonardon Ganeri

in The Self

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199652365
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191740718 | DOI:
The Mind‐Body Problem

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This chapter analyses the philosophy of mind in Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika thinkers. The lead idea in their work is that occupying a first‐person stance has centrally to do with the bearing of reason of the whole of one's mental life. The chapter outlines Praśastapāda's five arguments against the thesis that mental states are properties of the body (and so, indirectly, against materialism). The arguments are all attempts to give voice to a single thought: that the relationships of inhabitation and endorsement that are implied by the idea of owning a mental state, and so of occupying a first‐person stance, are fundamentally different in kind from any relation of physical exemplification. This phase in the argument is one of negative dialectic, its function to show that the apparent simplicity of the Cārvāka view that mental properties are just properties of the physical body comes at a high price when the debts of explanation it incurs are appreciated..

Keywords: Nyāya; Vaiśeṣika; Praśastapāda; Unity; Self-Reference; Self-Knowledge; Spatial Parts; Persistence

Chapter.  10427 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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