Theseus’ Journey of the Mind


  • Olena Komar Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University


The best metaphor of the mind is Theseus’s ship, because the main question about it is whatever thing that is entirely replaced, piece by piece, still remains the same. This paradox describes a difficult problem of the levels of identification of the mind with consciousness and also with its “building blocks” — mental and/or brain states. Some of these states can be studied using introspective philosophical methods like conceptual analysis but some appear only in the empirical scientific research. So the Philosophy of Mind has various branches including those inspired by science. The main opposition in the Philosophy of Mind lies between naturalistic and non-naturalistic theories of Mind. Contemporary naturalism does not necessarily regard physicalist reduction or causality thesis. It rather insists on inaccessibility of part of conscious experience for the first-person perspective. Narrowing Mind only to human states of aware consciousness can be the wrong way to understand its place in the universe. Due to neuroscience nonhuman animals can also possess conscious states, representations and qualia very similar to human ones. The author of the paper considers that Mind is not the last bastion of philosophy because conclusions regarding Mind have ethical implications.

Author Biography

Olena Komar, Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University

PhD in philosophical sciences, associate professor at the department of philosophy and methodology of science, philosophical faculty


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How to Cite

Komar, O. (2017). Theseus’ Journey of the Mind. Filosofska Dumka, (2), 57–70. Retrieved from



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