Essay Mind and Body

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Mind and Body

Much of the intellectual history of psychology has involved the attempt to come to grips with the problem of mind and body and how they interact.

While the philosophical distinction between mind and body can be traced back to the Greeks, it is due to the influential work of René Descartes, (written around the 1630’s) that we owe the first systematic account of the mind/body relationship. When Descartes' friend and frequent correspondent, Marin Mersenne, wrote to him of Galileo's fate at the hands of the Inquisition, Descartes immediately suppressed his own treatise. As a result, the world's first extended essay on physiological psychology was published only well after its author's death. In this essay, he proposed
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In other words he believed that mental incidents can determine only other mental incidents, and physical motions can determine only other physical motions, “mind and body nonetheless exist in pre-established coordination, since the same divine essence forms the connections within both classes and cannot be self-contradictory.” These dual-aspect theories go went through a resurgence during the 19th century.

Another view introduced by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was that of psychophysical parallelism, which holds on to both the dualism of mind and body and the notion of a regular correlation between mental and physical events. This view, however, avoids any assumption of an underlying mind/body connection. It believes that mind and body are so different, that they cannot affect one another. They do, however, recognize the fact that every mental event is correlated with a physical event.

During the 18th century, the problem of re-relating mind and body arose. George Berkely talked about the view of immaterialism in which “he denies even the possibility of mindless material substance. For something to exist for Berkeley it must either be perceived or is the active mind doing the perceiving.

>From this perspective, there is no mind/body distinction because what we think of as body is merely the perception of mind. While Berkeley had few contemporary adherents, immaterialism was to

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