Doctoral Dissertation: A Philosophical Study of the Concept of Mind (with special reference to Rene Descartes, David Hume and Gilbert Ryle)
My research work title is “A Philosophical Study of the Concept of Mind (with special reference to Rene Descartes, David Hume and Gilbert Ryle).” In this study we have discussed three conceptions of mind presented by Rene Descartes, David Hume and Gilbert Ryle. All the three thinkers are related to different philosophical traditions known as Rationalism, Empiricism and Analytical Philosophy respectively. Each of these various approaches can be seen as at least partly successful, each provides answers to questions regarded as especially pressing, each apparently solved certain problems. Notoriously, however, each leaves unanswered and unsolved a host of distinct problems as well. Descartes’ and Hume’s theories of mind although now seems as vain discussion but they have left an immense influence on their generations. But Ryle has a big capacity to deal and argue with the present scientific era of thought especially in the linguistics and cognitive science. And we will find that he has a good capacity to deal with the philosophical problem in an honest manner. It is the necessity of the present time that all philosophical discussion should have empirical sciences components and they should go side by side with cognitive science theories of mind. Metaphysical conclusions about the nature of mind are to be reached, not by a priori speculation, but by informed reflection on scientific developments in fields such as computer science and neuroscience. We found that there are common characteristics between philosophy of mind and cognitive science, although philosophy of mind does not have a distinct method, but should share with the best theoretical work in other fields a concern with empirical results. Cognitive Science could help us look at way of the age old philosophic problems in a new scientific light. Mind needs to be looked at from several dimensions physical, symbolic, computational, psychological and even spiritual. In a word, we should adopt a Gestalt attitude viz. that the mind as a ‘whole is more that the sum of its part’; much more than the mere brain. Perhaps, a better and more comprehensive understanding could surely emerge.
Title of the Research: A Philosophical Study of the Concept of Mind (with special reference to Rene Descartes, David Hume and Gilbert Ryle)
Researcher: Desh Raj Sirswal
Guide: Dr Anamika Girdhar, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Kurukshetra University,Kurukshetra
Year of Award : August 2010.