Existence Of Consciousness – academic acers

Existence Of Consciousness – academic acers


For Part A below, consider René Descartes’ Meditations, restricting your focus to parts of the First and Second Meditations (on conscious mental activities) and parts of the Sixth Meditation (on distinguishing mind and body).

For Part B below, consider John Perry’s Dialogue on Consciousness, restricting your focus to the third (“Friday”) dialogue.

(Do not draw on the tons of material on the web; we have our own unique approach here to
Descartes’ epochal text in the context of Phil 2 W2021.)

Part A.Descartes and the mind-body problem. About 4 pages (1000 words).
Explain, briefly and succinctly, how Descartes uses the thought experiment of “the malicious demon” to demonstrate that “whenever I am thinking that I am, it is necessarily true that I am”. How does Descartes’ use of “the cogito” demonstrate the existence of consciousness? How does Descartes then distinguish “my mind” from “my body”?



Part B. Retrospective given our studies of paradoxes. About 2 pages (500 words).
Consider John Perry’s Dialogue on Consciousness, addressing the third (“Friday”) dialogue. Briefly explain the theory of property dualism, assuming non-eliminative physicalism. Today’s physical and biological science studies how the brain works (in neural activities), and we take it the brain gives rise to our conscious experience (as lived, as observed in Descartes’ “cogito”).

The contemporary philosopher David Chalmers has famously called consciousness the “hard problem” for science. Briefly, how do you think we should view the mind-body problem today, in light of our course? Does this problem seem to be a “puzzle”, a sort of “paradox”, or a topic for further scientific investigation?

(Your task is not to “solve” the problem in two pages, but simply to reflect on how
“paradoxes” work in moving our knowledge of ourselves and our world.)

For more information on Existence Of Consciousness read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consciousness#

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