We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I would like to make the case for giving due deference to ordinary human experience as the proper guide for understanding human beings. Such deference may be contrasted with the field of “neurophilosophy” (most famously, the work of Paul and Patricia Churchland), which is intent on replacing “folk terms” — such as “reflection” and “deliberation” — with terms that describe brain states. Needless to say, brain states are objective facts, whereas our introspective experience of our own mental life is inherently subjective. But this divide between the objective and subjective, between the brain and the mind, does not map neatly onto cause and effect, nor onto any clear distinction between a layer of reality that is somehow more fundamental and one that is merely epiphenomenal. For example, if you are told your mother has died, your dismayed comprehension of the fact, which is a subjective mental event, will cause an objective physiological change in your brain.
In light of this causal power of the mental over the physical, we begin to wonder if it is right to think of these two types of reality as layered, in the sense that one is more causally effective than the other. It would follow from this doubt that re-describing our introspective experience of our own mental life in terms of brain states is optional, in this sense: the choice of description ought to depend on what you’re trying to explain. Each description answers to a different sort of “explanatory request,” issuing from different realms of practice. The “folk” description answers to the realm of everyday human experience, and the brain description answers to the realm of physiological investigation.