The Mind / Brain Identity Theory

1718 Words Nov 21st, 2015 7 Pages
A person relates to the world through different mental and corporeal experiences. The former is associated with one having a (non-physical) mind, which contains beliefs, desires, feelings and so on, while the latter involves having a (physical) brain. The Mind/Body problem questions whether the mind and brain are the same or different objects. For a long time, the interpretation of these experiences has been much debated by philosophers and scientists. One influential interpretation is Descartes’s Dualism of substances, which became one of the most lasting legacies in his philosophy. However, a scientifically stronger interpretation was advanced through the Mind/Brain Identity theory. Prior to discussing how Elliott Sober’s presentation of the Identity Theory is philosophically stronger than Dualism, I will begin by evaluating the philosophical perspective of Dualism; I will examine the distinction between mental and physical substance and assess the strengths of dualism. I will also attempt to show the subsequent problems that rise from such distinction and some of the prominent reasons for why Dualism do not hold weight against the Identity Theory.

Dualism being the brainchild of Réne Descartes was subsequently labeled as Cartesian Dualism. This theory holds that one possesses an entity called the soul, which can exist independently of the body (the soul can be translated to the mind). Descartes argues that there are two fundamentally different kinds of substances, one…
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