"At some time in the history of the universe, there were no human minds, and at some time later, there were. Within the blink of a cosmic eye, a universe in which all was chaos and void came to include hunches, beliefs, sentiments, raw sensations, pains, emotions, wishes, ideas, images, inferences, the feel of rubber, Schadenfreude, and the taste of banana ice cream.
A sense of surprise is surely in order. How did that get here?
If the origin of the human mind is mysterious, so too is its nature. There are, Descartes argued, two substances in the universe, one physical and the other mental.
To many contemporary philosophers, this has seemed rather an embarrassment of riches. But no sooner have they ejected mental substances from their analyses than mental properties pop up to take their place, and if not mental properties then mental functions. As a conceptual category, the mental is apparently unwilling to remain expunged."
Berlinski, David (2004)
"On the Origins of the Mind"
Commentary, November 2004, pg 26
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