Philosophy Part 2: How should we think about mental states? The contribution of Ludwig Wittgenstein.

There are two broad approaches to the ‘mental’ that Wittgenstein’s ideas challenge. One is that all our feelings, thoughts and behaviours are caused by, or ‘epiphenomena’ of, a specific brain state or process. This is sometimes referred to as ‘physicalism’ (‘epiphenomenalism’ being one variant of physicalism). On this view- the one that much neuroscience is…