Relationship Between The Mind And The Brain

1934 Words8 Pages
When philosophically analyzing the relationship between the mind and the brain, one must take into consideration all sides of the argument. The mind-body problem exemplifies how mental states are related to physical states assuming that the mind is a non-physical entity while the human body is strictly physical. What is the relationship between the mind and the brain and how is this used to explain all human thoughts, behaviors, and actions? A physicalist, such as David Armstrong, would claim that the consciousness is the same as physical brain; they both experience the same events. In response a dualist, such as Thomas Nagel, could argue that the mental and the physical, the mind and the body, are two completely separate things. In this…show more content…
Nagel asserts that an organism has particular conscious mental states that are only associated with characteristics of said organism. Nagel claims that consciousness cannot be explained without experience, and experience cannot be explained by a reductionist being. Along with the reductionist view, the physicalist view cannot explain consciousness. Physicalism is the belief that everything is physical, suggesting each mental state or conscious experience has a physical property associated with it. Nagel contradicts this theory with his idea that every subjective experience is connected with a single point of view and that having any objective experience is impossible. What is it Like to Be a Bat? includes the example of bats to show the distinction between subjective and objective experiences. Bats are mammals and are therefore special and have subjective conscious experiences. Nagel further illustrates this theory by discussing echolocation, a biological sonar that bats use to guide them. Humans do not have the ability to subjectively imagine the perspective of a bat; they can only do so objectively. Even if an individual were to transform into a bat during their lifetime, said individual would never be able to experience the same consciousness as a bat because of the inherent way human brains are wired since birth. Nagel states that his “point is rather that even to form a conception of what it is like to be a
Open Document