Essay Example on The mind and body problem consists of many contrasting Views

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The mind and body problem consists of many contrasting views with representations of the mind and body being distinct entities Mental events are said to cause behaviour to occur so in other words thinking allows physical events to happen mind moves matter The mind body problem can be seen via two approaches Religion and Science both of which have opposing views However the nub of the mind body problem is that people's experience of consciousness separate from the physical world remains subjective As mentioned in Descartes publishing of Meditations he developed a theory where the mind and body interact with each other and that the body is responsible for many life functions Mind and body interaction has always been a subject of controversy This paper should provide enough evidence for the differences of the mind and the body by relating to the Dualist Monist Materialist and Functionalist concepts as well as research influential to our understanding of human behaviour Two enthralling intuitions arise from the mind body problem The first is that the mind and body are two completely different entities 



The body is an extended substance in the physical world acquiring a spatio temporal location therefore allowing it to causally interact with the things surrounding it In contrast however the mind is different we cannot locate our mental beings in the physical world or encounter through senses One of the main responses to the mind body problem is Substance Dualism According to Dualism the mind and the body are two distinct things in which the body consists of physical matter and the mind is an ethereal soul Also referred to as Cartesian Dualism it allows us to contrast the two known entities based on their properties Main features of a physical substance consist of a spatio temporal extension and divisibility which the mind does not acquire The properties of the mind are being the centre of consciousness and thought allowing it to be private indivisible not using up any spatial extension and indestructible The way in which the mind and the body interact has always been a subject of controversy as they are two completely different entities Descartes devised a solution to the mind body interaction problem by describing the pineal gland above the cerebellum in the brain being a lever on a machine which is pulled in order to set it in motion This allows the two entities to causally interact and fuse together giving rise to certain properties that can t be acquired by the mind nor the body alone One of the main principles against dualism is the Leibniz's Law Leibniz's Law claims in order for two things to be identical they must acquire all of the same properties being one and the same thing Leibniz's law can be adopted into the indivisibility argument by using the following argument with x being the property of divisibility 1 The body has property x 2 The mind does not have property x 3 



Therefore the mind and body are not identical In favour of dualism the conceivability argument employs the principle that the conceivability of a given state of affairs entails its metaphysical properties where metaphysical possibility is the way in which the world might have been if the natural laws of the world had turned out differently The argument claims that a bodiless mind is conceivable meaning that it is metaphysically possible Based on this in terms of dualism if two things are one and the same then it must be the case in all metaphysical scenarios An example of this is the conceivability of zombies a mindless body The zombie would be an exact replica of a human with a brain but lacking the mind The conceivability of the identity to come apart indicates that it can t be a true identity The interaction problem is an issue against dualism with the idea of the mental and physical realm being causally interactive The problem challenges the dualist to explain how the intermingling of two distinct substances are able to take place How is a non spatially extended substance able to causally interact with a spatially located substance Occasionalism and Parallelism are two approaches that attempt to solve the interaction problem by denying the intuition of mind body interaction Occasionalism accounts for God being the solitary causal power for everything Occasionalism claims that the mind and body actually do not interact not have any influence on each other and that God causes a mental experience appropriate to a physical event or vice versa giving the impression that the two entities do interact Parallelism holds the idea that mental and physical events go down their own course isolated from each other but compliment each other in a way giving the impression that they interact Leibniz s pre established version of parallelism claims that God has arranged the mental and physical realms to follow up in coordination seeming to be causally interactive


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