Professional philosophy news

A neurosurgeon, a philosopher, and a psychologist debate the human mind

In Haaretz. The philosopher is Yaron Senderowicz (Tel Aviv University), the neurosurgeon is Itzhak Fried (UCLA/Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv), and the psychologist is Ilan Kutz, who runs his own clinic in Tel Aviv. The philosopher says (in part – the exchange is lengthy):

I will never say about a particular question: science will never solve that. Immanuel Kant thought that it would never be possible to solve the question of the beginning of the universe in time using scientific tools. Yet, 250 years later, scientists formulated the Big Bang theory. In short, we can never know for certain whether a particular question science cannot solve today will remain in that state forever. In any event, philosophy raises for discussion issues that, even if they cannot be proved empirically, are sufficiently important and interesting to induce us to make progress toward understanding them. A case in point is discussion of the ‘problem of personal identity.’ Are we persons who are identical to our bodies? Or are we a psychological entity that is influenced by the body but is not identical to it and is characterized by our memories, inclinations and preferences? In principle, that entity can even possess traits that conflict with our biology, such as a man who feels he is a woman.

Thanks to an anonymous reader for the link.



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