18 votes

Can the mind affect the physical brain? - a simple thought experiment

The short answer is no, this doesn't violate the law of cause and effect because the mind itself is a physical entity. Your thought experiment hinges on the debate of materialism (the mind is a ...
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13 votes
Accepted

What is the most comprehensive system of describing human emotions or states of mind?

There a are globally two perspectives the discrete perspective uses a categorization system. There are many different systems, with more or less core emotions and sub-emotions. As the one shown in ...
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  • 451
10 votes

Why do humans need emotions?

This question becomes more complicated if we think in terms of "emotions" (e.g., angry, happy, sad, afraid, etc.) than in terms of "affect" (positive and negative feelings, high and low arousal). I'...
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  • 4,256
10 votes
Accepted

Why aren't Connectionism and Dynamicism considered part of the Computational Theory of the Mind?

The Computational Theory of Mind is not that the mind does some form of computation in the wide sense of computation. Rather, look at the examples for the CToM given in the Wikipedia article; people ...
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  • 2,414
10 votes
Accepted

Why do humans need emotions?

It appears that there's been a lot of research done by USC professor Antonio Damasio on the importance of emotions. There's some fascinating case studies and interviews that are worth reading and ...
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  • 246
8 votes

Is there a term to describe an inability to express emotion or feelings?

Perhaps you are looking for blunted affect? Wikipedia's definition goes like this (article has been updated since): Blunted affect is a clinical term to define a lack of emotional reactivity (...
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  • 181
8 votes

Is a network of neurons the only factor in memory?

Answer Yes, theoretically. Now According to my ongoing informal research, there are two sides of brain preservation innovation: 1) the preservation and mapping (building) the connectome; and 2) the ...
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7 votes

How does subjective experience arise from matter?

This is partially an aspect of the binding problem. Sensory information arrives in parallel as a variety of heterogeneous hints, (shapes, colors, motions, smells and sounds) encoded in partly ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Are all psychological problems only biochemical in nature?

At some level, it's true that psychology reduces to biology and chemistry. If it didn't, then the widely-accepted view of physicialism/materialism would be wrong. But just because psychology can (in ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Is volition a reality or an illusion?

This question is very similar to others on this forum, and I think almost everything in the question is answered there. Does something exist separate from the physical body? I don't think you will ...
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6 votes

Are there any studies (fMRI scans, etc) showing why some people (supposedly) are more open to hypnotism?

Overall, while there are developing cognitive neuroscience theories of how hypnotic states are produced, there does not appear to be any known cognitive neuroscience basis for individual differences ...
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6 votes

How does subjective experience arise from matter?

what has always puzzled me is the neurobiological basis that gives rise to the phenomenon that we associate our bodies with ourselves – i.e., why does my brain think of my physical body as "me" ...
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  • 512
6 votes

Can the mind affect the physical brain? - a simple thought experiment

I disagree with @Josh (and all the other answers) that a materialist viewpoint is required to resolve this apparent contradiction. Firstly, we should not infer that the thought caused the tear. As an ...
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6 votes

The mind as a state of matter or physical system?

Note: This is not intended to set a verbosity standard for answers, but to give a comprehensive example of what kind of information I am looking in order to further clarify the question. An answer ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Can the Philosophy thought game "The experience machine" be answered by Positive Psychology?

The experience machine is meant to be an argument against hedonism in that it's supposed to show that humans value other things than happiness and therefore wouldn't/shouldn't hook themselves up to ...
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  • 1,414
5 votes

is the mind independent of the brain?

Of course the mind is not independent of the brain. Otherwise, nobody would do recreational drugs, psychiatric drugs would be useless, and our whole theory of light and color perception, sound ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Regarding the mind and what it can affect

The question that you are referring to is worded in a way that I think is leading to the confusion. The question in the title is "Can the mind affect the brain?" but in the question body the final ...
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5 votes

Why do humans need emotions?

Are emotions really necessary for survival? No, not for survival; lots of living things around us without even a brain. Did emotions provide an evolutionary advantage in the past? The areas of the ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Is consciousness a sub product of the brain or is there a duality?

Your question is about the hard problem of consciousness, which is basically the question of how qualia can be explained in a mechanistic way. As alluded to by the name of the problem, it's hard to ...
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5 votes

Are action potentials necessary for experience?

It is generally accepted that all activity having to do with conscious experience is mediated by spiking in the cortex. Sub-threshold activity, such as excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) are ...
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  • 19.6k
4 votes

Can the mind affect the physical brain? - a simple thought experiment

This would be analogous to a factory robot mounting a door on a car that is being built. There is no "physical" reason that the untrained eye can see, which compels the robot to do what it does. There ...
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  • 149
4 votes

What, if anything, sets humans apart from other species?

Actually, animals are able to imagine the future, at least to the extent that they use prospective control of their movements. And there are fantastic arguments for animals being self-aware, ...
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  • 41
4 votes

Is meaning-seeking behavior a biological optimization problem?

it seems to me that a meaningful existence requires the absence of cognitive dissonances, but I wonder what science would have to say about this, and if there is any empirical basis for claiming ...
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4 votes

Disprove that Humans are selfish

Giving a dollar to homeless people on the street serves no aid to the donor, since the only difference is who has that dollar, and clearly to have the dollar is better than not. This action is ...
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  • 141
4 votes

Can curiosity be described as an emotion?

The currently accepted model of curiosity is that of Litman. It describes curiosity as a sort of motivating factor: Curiosity as a feeling of deprivation (CFD) reflects feelings of uncertainty and ...
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  • 404
4 votes

Is prior experience necessary to perceive the Kanizsa triangle illusion?

It's a difficult question to answer. My educated guess is that the appearance of the triangle, and illusionary contours in general, would persist, even in individuals who have never seen a triangle ...
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  • 19.6k
4 votes

Is there any evidence that language is the limit of the world?

This is not quite your question, but it's the closest thing I know of. There's a significant amount of work suggesting that purely morphological attributes can shape conceptualization: looking at the ...
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  • 2,903
4 votes

Is there any evidence that language is the limit of the world?

First some linguistic theory background. Noam Chomsky has hypothesized that language developed internally to facilitate certain aspects of human cognition. According to Chomsky's hypothesis, human ...
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4 votes
Accepted

Does monism imply that computers can have consciousness?

Note: While "The Basic Theory of the Mind" may potentially be well researched and possibly accurate, it is (as far as I know) a self-published discourse by a non-researcher, that is not peer-reviewed. ...
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4 votes

Why do people believe what they believe?

This is a good question, but keep in mind that when you ask a broad question, you typically get a broad answer - ie, I won't go into much detail. First Impressions In general, belief and attitude ...
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