The Mind Body Problem Of Monism

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Imagine you’re writing a final exam. You’re feeling anxious because you didn’t study. Now you’re franticly trying to recall any piece of information. While experiencing these different mental states one might think it’s just the physical brain processing that feeling of nervousness and brings information to our consciousness. But is there something other than the brain controlling our mental states? Most people would call this the mind. Some philosophies describe the mind as “simply a physical thing” while others believe the mind “is a non-physical entity … sometimes called ‘the ghost in the machine.’” (Friedenber & Silverman, 2006. p.30) This essay will briefly describe three major philosophies that try to explain the mind body problem.
One philosophy that explains the mind-body problem is monism. Monism states that all our thoughts can be reduced down to a single substance. (Friedenber & Silverman, 2006. p.31) In other words, the mental and physical realities no different. Two main ideas arise from monism; either all our physical experiences are mental projections or our mental experiences result from physical substances. If you think atoms make up everything, you believe in physical monism. Physical monism states that “nothing exists apart from physical world” (McLeod, 2007). Instead of a physical only reality, one might believe that what we perceive to be physical is just a creation of our mind. Two varieties of monism, Idealism and Solipsism, believe in a mental
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