Philosophy of mind AQA Unit 2






  • Sensations e.g pain, itch, warm

  • Cognitions e.g beliefs, memories, reasoning

  • Emotions e.g happy, sad, angry

  • Perceptions e.g seeing colour, eating an apple, smelling pizza

  • Quasi Perceptual states e.g dreams, imagining, hallucinating

  • Connotative states e.g wishing, wanting, desiring


  • Phenomenal location

  • No location

  • Awareness

  • Qualia

  • Intentionality

  • Privacy

  • Translucency (clear to us)

  • Incorrigible (can’t be wrong about them)

  • Final authority (know better than others)

  • Causative (cause behaviour)


  • Humans are composed of two types of substances, mind and matter


  • The mind seems to have different properties to the body

  • How does this relate to the body?

  • What’s the relationship between the physical and mental?


  • Cartesian Dualism is Descartes version of substance dualism that the mind and body are separate substances that interact

  • Qualities of the mind: immortal, indivisible, not extended, conscious, private

  • Qualities of the body: Extended, non-conscious, divisible

  • Leibniz law: for any X and Y, if X is identical to Y then X and Y share the same properties (for things to be identical they have to have the same properties)


  1. The mind is indivisible

  2. The body is divisible

  3. Therefore the mind and body are separate substances


  • The mental is divisible in some sense

    • Cases of severe epilepsy patients, who had the connection between the two hemispheres of their brain split. This resulted in the two hemispheres seeming to act independently, patients would make decisions before immediately reversing them. In this case, the physical divide caused a mental divide, making it seem like the mental might be divisible in some sense. Criticises premise one, argument = unsound

    • Just because Descartes can conceive of the mind as being a unified entity, it does not prove its ontological makeup, logically possible concepts are not necessarily metaphysically possible realities.

  • Not everything physical is divisible

    • It is not certain beyond doubt that everything physical is necessarily divisible. For example, the physical sensation of being too hot is not divisible. This makes premise two false, unsound.


  1. If I can clearly and distinctly conceive of the essential nature of two things separately, it must be possible to separate them

  2. I can clearly and distinctly perceive my mind to be thinking and unextended

  3. I can clearly and distinctly perceive my body to be unthinking and extended

  4. It must be possible for my mind and body to be separate in reality, meaning that they are separate substances


  • Mind without the body is not conceivable

    • Descartes proposes that the mind could exist without the body (if god willed) but that it just so happens that they are never separate in reality. In attempting to imagine the mind existing without the body, you may think of an out-of-body experience, in which you can look down on your body as you float away from it. However, in order to imagine this you must still be able to see, which of course requires eyes. In fact, without




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