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Freud

  • 1. Freud started out as a neurologist seeking to understand mental life in terms of brain biology. Why did he abandon this research? Do you think he would have continued if he had had access to modern technology (such as brain scanners)?
  • 2. Freud failed, as the early psychosurgeons did, to localize mental pathology in the brain. Suppose he had succeeded; how could he have proven this? Under what circumstances (if any) would it then be acceptable to perform psychosurgery to cure mental illness?
  • 3. How would Freud argue that humans lack free will? Is such reasoning convincing?
  • 4. Freud gives a complex, agent-based explanatory model of the mind. Could this model be disproven? Why, or why not?

Wittgenstein

  • 1. What does Wittgenstein illustrate with his beetle box thought experiment? What view of the mind is he criticizing?
  • 2. What is the use-theory of meaning? Is it a good theory? Why, or why not? Would Wittgenstein himself have agreed with subscribing to a theory of meaning?

3. How might Wittgenstein have responded if told he was a behaviorist, as evidenced by his beetle box example? Is he a behaviorist? Why, or why not?

 
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