Brain Imaging and the Human Mind

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Brain-imaging technologies have posed the problem of breaching our brain privacy. Until the invention of those technologies, many of us entertained the idea that nothing can threaten our mental privacy, as long as we kept it, for each of us has private access to his or her own mind but no access to any other. Yet, philosophically, the issue of private, mental accessibility appears to be quite unsettled, as there are still many philosophers who reject the idea of private, mental accessibility. On panenmentalist grounds, I have attempted to refute such rejections and to establish this idea on firmer grounds. My arguments in this Chapter show that brain imaging allows no access to our mind and that psychical privacy is quite different from brain privacy, as the latter can be breached by brain imaging, whereas the former cannot. From a panenmentalist psychophysical view, a reduction of the mind to the body will inevitably fail, as there is a categorical difference between mind and body or brain, which is compatible with their inseparability. Brain imaging cannot enable one to “read” the mind or to breach our mental privacy, based upon the panenmentalist principle that a person’s mind is a singular individual pure possibility, which is wholly different from any other individual possibility, pure or actual. Hence, there is no external access to one’s mind. Each of us has exclusive access to his or her own mind, which is a singular individual pure possibility.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSynthese Library
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages22
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameSynthese Library
ISSN (Print)0166-6991
ISSN (Electronic)2542-8292

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • History
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Logic


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