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Ask Mark – Week 2 responses

Professor Mark Solms answers your questions that you posted in Week 2
© University of Cape Town CC-BY-NC

Thank you to everyone who posted questions last week! I have recorded responses to four of the many interesting questions you had posed in Step 2.12 of Week 2.

Question 1: I, like several others, am totally confused about what you mean by ‘subjectivity’. The description you gave did not help me much. I would like to pose the question about subjectivity in a different way, in the hope of getting an answer that reduces my confusion a bit more. It is stated that EVERYTHING has the property of subjectivity (including carpets!). If that is true, how can subjectivity be a defining property of the Mind? Isn’t it a pretty useless ‘defining property’ that fails to distinguish Mind from anything else in the universe?

Question 2: I kept thinking during the ‘Testing for Subjectivity’ video “well, how do we tell if animals have minds, or anything else in nature?” I am fascinated at the idea that every living thing has its own mind. A recent study published concluded that trees actually speak to one another. Does this mean that they themselves think?
Question 3: Do you agree that damage to the limbic system can make a person incapable of making decisions – thus showing the key role of feelings in decision making?
Question 4: You state that the subconscious is derived through the conscious. But does that mean that the unconscious cannot receive inputs from perception on its “own”? I would say that a lot of perception, for example seeing, is processed unconsciously, such as in blindsight. And these unconsciously received inputs can affect feeling and behaviour. Can you perhaps explain these two seemingly different standpoints?

I look forward to your questions for this week – you can post them in Step 3.10 of Week 3

© University of Cape Town CC-BY-NC
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