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Broader debates around consciousness

The problem of consciousness is one that has perplexed scientists and philosophers alike. Oliver Burkeman’s article published in The Guardian, Why can’t the world’s greatest minds solve the mystery of …

What are you if not your mind?

By asking the question, ‘What are you – if not your mind?’, some fundamental questions are being raised. The mind is studied implicitly and explicitly by a range of different …

Introduction to What is a Mind?

Mark Solms – Professor of Psychology, University of Cape Town When I was six years old, I was faced with questioning my religious beliefs and I started wondering about life …

Ask Mark – Week 2 responses

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 …

What do addicts really want?

This article, written with Jaak Panksepp and Eleni Pantelis seeks to understand what addicts really want. Substance abuse Generally speaking consciousness – especially feelings of pleasure and unpleasure – guide …

Why does depression feel bad?

What is depression? Depression is characterised by a complex of feelings: low mood, low self-esteem, loss of motivation and energy, loss of pleasure in the world, etc. If my analysis …

Last words

We hope you have enjoyed the exposure to the different perspectives around the topic of the mind. We want to thank you for your interaction and participation. We would also …

Mark answers – Week 6

Ask Mark responses I have recorded responses to some of the many interesting questions arising from this course. I want to leave you with my answers to three questions that …

What’s next?

As we come to the end of this course, I hope that you have a better sense of what a mind is, how it works and what it is for. …

Disorders of the mind

We now know that the mind is for meeting our needs in the outside world. We become aware of these needs through feelings, so disorders of the mind are either …

What the mind is for

In responding to the question “What is a Mind?”, we’ve examined defining properties of a mind in some detail from different disciplinary perspectives. I have argued that these defining properties …

Mark answers – Week 5

Ask Mark responses I have recorded responses to some of the many interesting questions arising from this course. Agency is an important concept for understanding the mind; indeed I’ve argued …

What’s next

We have now covered the fourth and final defining feature of a mind. Next we consider how such understandings of the mind are used by psychologists and psychiatrists in their …

The development of the human mind

Not all beings have the same amount of agency. Our prefrontal lobes differentiate us from our closest relatives, the other primates, and this part of the brain enables us to …

Agency, thinking and reflexivity

While instincts don’t require decision-making, everything else we have to learn for survival is based on making choices – and these choices require thinking. This is where agency kicks in. …