At Department of Philosophy, University of Bucharest, Tuesday 17th June 2014, 12.00-13.30, within CEEPUS project CIII-AT-0103-08-1314 – “Cognitive Science, Knowledge Studies, and Knowledge Technologies”, Igor Farkas (Informatics, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia) will present “Mental causation in a physical brain?”. Igor Farkas is Professor of Informatics, Centre for Cognitive Sci. / Dept. of Applied Informatics, Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics, Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia).
Mental causation is a philosophical concept attempting to describe the causal effect of the immaterial mind on subject ́s behavior.
Various types of causality have different interpretations in the literature. I propose and explain this concept within the framework of the reciprocal causality operating in the brain bidirectionally between local and global brain levels. While committing myself to the
physical closure assumption, I leave room for the suggested role of mental properties. Mental level is viewed as an irreducible perspective of description supervening on the global brain level. Hence, mental causation is argued to be interpreted as a convenient metaphor because mental properties are asserted to be causally redundant. Nevertheless, they will eventually help us identify and understand the neural and computational correlates of consciousness. Within cognitive science, the proposed view is consistent with the connectionist and dynamic systems paradigms, and within the philosophy of mind, I see it as a form of non-reductive physicalism.