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Mental state

A mental state, or a mental property, is a state of mind that an agent is in. Most simplistically, a mental state is a mental condition. Many mental states represent what the world is like through a relation that connects the agent with a proposition. They are termed "propositional attitudes". There are several paradigmatic states of mind that an agent has: love, hate, pleasure and pain, and attitudes toward propositions such as: believing that, conceiving that, hoping and fearing that, etc. For (non eliminative) physicalists, mental properties are a kind of high level property which can be understood in terms of fine-grained neural activity. Property dualists, on the other hand, claim that no such reductive explanation is possible. Eliminativists may reject the existence of mental properties, or at least of those corresponding to folk psychological categories such as thought and memory. Some philosophers seek to find a unifying characteristic for the generally accepted mental properties: a famous example is Franz Brentano's claim that all mental properties are characterised by intentionality or "aboutness".

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4,126
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161,623
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