Researching "The Mind"

William Lyons


Abstract: The first section of this paper outlines the major theme, that “mind” is not the label of something unitary but of a collection of things that can only be revealed by research at three different levels. The first level of enquiry is the account of mind that can be gleaned from what is often referred to as our folk psychology. Even with its limitations, it is an indispensable part of our social interactions. The second section outlines how, with the rise of experimental psychology, our account of human minds has been extended because experimental psychology often reveals a level of factors in our mental life which is not open to ordinary observation. The third section explores how our account of human minds is extended even further by the modern instrument-aided researches at the level of neuropsychology. The fourth section argues that no one level of enquiry should be described as ultimate or dominant but that each level reveals different facts about our mental life. The fifth section sums up and argues that a common narrow version of  “naturalizing the mind” is a mistaken enterprise.

Keywords: Mind; Mind/Body Problem; Naturalism and Naturalization; Psychology; Neuropsychology


Alla ricerca della "mente"

Riassunto: La prima parte di questo articolo illustra il tema principale del lavoro, ossia che “mente” non è l’etichetta linguistica per qualcosa di unitario, ma sta a indicare un insieme di cose che può solo essere svelato da una ricerca da condurre su tre differenti livelli. Il primo livello d’indagine è la descrizione della mente che può essere desunta da ciò cui solitamente ci si riferisce come la nostra psicologia ingenua. Nonostante i suoi limiti questa è una parte imprescindibile delle nostre interazioni sociali. La seconda parte illustra come, con il sorgere della psicologia sperimentale, la nostra descrizione delle menti umane si è estesa, poiché la psicologia sperimentale spesso rivela un livello di fattori nella nostra vita mentale che non sono accessibili con l’osservazione ordinaria. La terza parte esplora come la nostra descrizione delle menti umane è andata anche oltre grazie all’apparato strumentale di cui i ricercatori hanno potuto fruire sul piano della neuropsicologia. Nella quarta parte si sostiene che nessuno dei livelli d’indagine può essere descritto come ultimo o dominante, ma ogni livello rivela fatti diversi sulla vita della mente. Nella quinta parte si tirano le fila del discorso, sostenendo come una visione ristretta di senso comune della “naturalizzazione della mente” sia un’impresa fuorviante.

Parole chiave: Mente; Problema mente/corpo; Naturalismo e naturalizzazione; Psicologia; Neuropsicologia

Parole chiave

Mind; Mind/Body Problem; Naturalism and Naturalization; Psychology; Neuropsychology

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