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The Incipient Mind Argument: The Persistence of Absolutist Thinking in Biological Philosophy of Mind

Álvarez-Vázquez, Javier Y.

In: GSTF Journal of General Philosophy (JPhilo), 1 (March 2015), Nr. 2. pp. 7-16. ISSN Print: 2345-7856; E-Periodical: 2345-7937

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The incipient mind argument is the central argument of Evan Thompson’s solution to the so-called mind-body problem. This paper challenges Evan Thompson’s (and Francisco Varela’s) assumption of a pristine form of subjectivity, as well as of interiority in unicellular life forms. I claim that this assumption makes sense only as a useful strategy for an absolutist account of mind. In this paper, I argue that Thompson’s thesis is erroneous at the object-level, as well as at the meta-level of his argumentation. By paying greater attention to the meta-level of his exposition, I show that Thompson’s assumption of an “incipient mind” obeys an absolutist, two-sided pattern of thinking and, therefore, that his argumentation fails to give an accurate account of the systemic generation and development of mind. After demonstrating this, I suggest an innovative action-based approach to mind in order to accurately give an account of its real-constructive development.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: GSTF Journal of General Philosophy (JPhilo)
Volume: 1
Number: 2
Publisher: Global Science and Technology Forum (GSTF)
Place of Publication: Singapore
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2015 09:46
Date: March 2015
ISSN: Print: 2345-7856; E-Periodical: 2345-7937
Page Range: pp. 7-16
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies > Institute of Psychology
The Faculty of Bio Sciences > Dean's Office of the Faculty of Bio Sciences
Philosophische Fakultät > Philosophisches Seminar
Subjects: 100 Philosophy
570 Life sciences
Controlled Keywords: mind, historisch-genetische Erklärung, process philosophy, enarratio, Geist
Uncontrolled Keywords: enarrativity, historico-genetic theory, emergence of mind, process philosophy, processual form of thinking, evolution of thought
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