What I am and what I am not: Destruktion of the mind-body problem

Philosophies 8 (6):110 (2023)
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The German word Destruktion was used by Heidegger in the sense that philosophy should destroy some ontological concepts and the everyday meanings of certain words. Tradition allows the transmission of knowledge and sensations of continuity and connection with the past, but it must be critically evaluated so that it does not perpetuate certain prejudices. According to Heidegger, tradition transmits, but it also conceals. Tradition induces self-evidence and prevents us from accessing the origin of concepts. It makes us believe that we do not need to return to that origin. Making tradition transparent dissolves the concealments it has provoked. Here I will apply this idea to the mental and the physical by suggesting that the mind-body problem has inherited occultations that are born in Descartes himself. As a result, what could be a new philosophical framework for the research in consciousness emerges: That as an individual cognitive being I cannot avoid splitting reality into what I am and what I am not, extending then the individual duality to a collective error transmitted culturally.

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Javier A. Galadí
Universitat Pompeu Fabra


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