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Q. What is your preferred stance on the philosophy of the mind? And what do you think justifies your position as stronger than other incompatible stances that remain popular?
A. Us humans do indeed have minds, and they are the result of what our little meat computers do day to day. The current neurobiological and behavioral evidence establishes that much of what we do in our mindful activity involves natural processes that are shared deeply in our non-human evolutionary cousins, most especially among the higher primates (where social communities generate perceptions of others’ intentions as a matter of course). As it happens, a recent Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences series was devoted to this very subject (June 18, Supplement 2, “In the Light of Evolution VII: The human mental machinery”) and that can be accessed at pnas.org (the full free text will be available online after a year) as a way of catching up on the current technical work here.
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