Nebraska Academy of Sciences


Date of this Version



1980. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences, VIII:217-224. Copyright © 1980 Schank


The problem of causality, determinism, and mind and brain are discussed, and new solutions are offered. To begin, a pragmatic structuralism is assumed, asserting the functional equivalence of mind and brain activity. A problem-solving model of mind-brain activity is defined, employing the mathematical theory of probablistic automata. With this model it can be determined whether mind-brain activity is deterministic. This is accomplished if an adequate definition of strict causality is developed. Logical models of strict causality which define the causal relation in terms of "material implication" or "strict implication" are rejected. Causal relativity is assumed, and certain systemtheoretical assumptions are made with respect to the problem-solving model of mind-brain activity. Thus, strict causal structures are deterministic if the etiologic relation "↔" is representable by a function which is (1) irreflexive, (2) transitive, (3) asymmetric, and (4) temporally ordered. The representing function must be one-one or many-one, and "↔" must be relativated to a model, L, and a domain, D. The results are, the representing functions of the models are not one-one or many-one, and thus mind-brain activity is indeterministic. But to avoid the result that mind-brain systems are chaotic in their behavior, the problem-solving model of mind-brain activity is given a gametheoretical interpretation.

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