Many arguments in the philosophy of the mind have been made for and against, whether or not the mind and the brain are the same entity. The mind-brain identity theory is the view that the mind is the brain and that mental states are brain states (Mandik 77). Therefore, we can identify sensations and other mental processes with physical brain processes (Blutner 4). I argue, that the mind is not identical to the brain, and the conceivable idea of zombies, as well as the multiple realizability argument, can disprove this theory.
The mind is a complex myriad of thoughts and psychological systems that even philosophers today cannot entirely grapple. It is composed of the senses, feelings, perceptions, and a whole series of other components. However, the mind is often believed to be similar or even the same as the brain. This gives rise to the mind-brain identity theory, and whether there exists a clear distinction between the physical world and the non-material mind. In this paper, I will delineate the similarities and differences between mind and brain, describe the relevant ideas such as functionalism and materialism, and provide explanations on how these theories crystallized. Further, I will discuss the differing views of this concept from multiple philosophers’ perspectives and highlight the significance of each. Ultimately, I will defend the view that the mind-brain identity theory is false by analyzing its errors and examining the invalid assumptions it makes about consciousness.
This essay assesses property dualism, a theory of mind. It proclaims the existence of a single, physical substance (unlike Cartesian dualism), but argues that this single substance has two potential properties: physical and mental states that are not reducible.
The mind-body problem is an age-old topic in philosophy that questions the relationship between the mental aspect of life, such as the field of beliefs, pains, and emotions, and the physical side of life which deals with matter, atoms, and neurons. There are four concepts that each argue their respective sides. For example, Physicalism is the belief that humans only have a physical brain along with other physical structures, whereas Idealism argues that everything is mind-based. Furthermore, Materialism argues that the whole universe is purely physical. However, the strongest case that answers the commonly asked questions such as “Does the mind exist?” and “Is the mind your brain?” is Dualism.
I would like to begin this paper by addressing what question I hope to answer through the entirety of this paper: is the mind physical? As simple as this question may seem to be, there still, to this day, is not a definite answer. There are, mostly, two approaches to answering this problem, through dualism or physicalism. The dualist, for the purposes of this paper, simply believes that the mind and the body are not equal and therefore, they are not one in the same. The physicalist, however, would come back to say that there are no such things as non-physical objects and therefore, they would conclude that the body and the mind are both physical. After weighing on both sides of this argument, I am going to defend the physicalist ideas and
“The mind-body dualism, in philosophy, is the fact that any theory that the mind and body are distinct kinds of substances or natures. This position implies that mind and body not only differ in meaning, but refer to different kinds of entities (Britannica).” The most basic form of dualism is substance dualism. Substance dualism is the idea that he mind and body are composed of two ontologically distinct substances. According to one who believes and studies dualism, the mind is comprised of a non-physical substance, while the body is constituted of the physical substance, also known as matter. Dualism is closely related to the philosophy of Rene Descartes. Descartes identified the mind with consciousness and self-awareness and distinguished this from the brain. He believed that the brain was the seat of all intelligence. This lead to a great debate over the mind and body. So, ultimately, what is the nature of the mind and consciousness and its relationship to the body?
The mind is perhaps the most fascinating part of the human body due to its complexity and ability to rationalize. In essence, the mind-body problem studies the relation of the mind to the body, and states that each human being seems to embody two unique and somewhat contradictory natures. Each human contains both a nature of matter and physicality, just like any other object that contains atoms in the universe. However, mankind also is constituted of something beyond materialism, which includes its ability to rationalize and be self-aware. This would imply that mankind is not simply another member of the world of matter because some of its most distinctive features cannot be accounted for in this manner. There are obvious differences between physical and mental properties. Physical properties are publically accessible, and have weight, texture, and are made of matter. Mental properties are not publically accessible, and have phenomenological texture and intentionality (Stewart, Blocker, Petrik, 2013). This is challenging to philosophers, because man cannot be categorized as a material or immaterial object, but rather a combination of both mind and body (Stewart, Blocker, Petrik, 2013). Man embodies mind-body dualism, meaning he is a blend of both mind and matter (Stewart, Blocker, Petrick, 2013). The mind-body problem creates conflict among philosophers, especially when analyzing physicalism in its defense. This paper outlines sound
It can be very difficult to find a universal proposal that offers a solution to the mind body problem. While solutions to this problem differ greatly, all attempt to answer questions such as: What makes a mental state mental? What is the fundamental nature of the mental? Or more specifically speaking, what makes a thought a thought? Or what makes a pain a pain? In an attempt to answer these questions, many philosophers over the centuries have rejected, proposed, or altered preexisting theories in order to keep up with the thinking and science of their times. Entering the 21st century their still exit a plethora of theories, some stronger than others, which include Cartesian dualism, physicalism,
In David Armstrong’s thought-provoking work titled, The Nature of Mind, he explains that the most convincing way to make sense of the mind-body problem is to approach it in a materialistic way. Specifically, Armstrong shows that the science of physico-chemical processes of the brain is the best way to explain the nature of our mind. He goes on to explain traditional and dispositional behaviorism, and states his own materialistic take on behaviorism. His arguments throughout his paper are very logical, and though there have been arguments against his explanations, he effectively justifies the materialistic view of the mind.
The Mind-Body problem arises to Philosophy when we wonder what is the relationship between the mental states, like beliefs and thoughts, and the physical states, like water, human bodies and tables. For the purpose of this paper I will consider physical states as human bodies because we are thinking beings, while the other material things have no mental processes. The question whether mind and body are the same thing, somehow related, or two distinct things not related, has been asked throughout the history of Philosophy, so some philosophers tried to elaborate arrangements and arguments about it, in order to solve the problem and give a satisfactory answer to the question. This paper will argue that the Mind-Body Dualism, a view in
In this essay, I am going to write a response to the objection raised by the functionalists towards identity theory. Identity theory is a form of physicalism; it states that a particular mental state is identical to a particular physical state of body and brain, for instance mental sensation such as pain is simply just the firing of C-fibres (Smart, 1959). This is a reductionist view as it reduces our psychological state to a materialistic and physical form. A prominent objection against identity theory is Functionalism, in which the main advocate Hilary Putnam stated that identity theory is too narrow as it ignores multiple realisability. In the next paragraph, I will write a little more about functionalism, and in the end, I will ultimately conclude that functionalism is a better theory than identity theory.
For centuries philosophers have engaged themselves into conversations and arguments trying to figure out the nature of a human person; this has lead to various theories and speculation about the nature of the human mind and body. The question they are tying to answer is whether a human being is made of only the physical, body and brain, or both the physical or the mental, mind. In this paper I will focus on the mind-body Identity Theory to illustrate that it provides a suitable explanation for the mind and body interaction.
The theory or doctrine of mind-brain identity, as its name implies, denies the claim of dualists that mind and brain (or consciousness and matter) are distinct substances. The tradition of dualism, whose clear-cut foundations laid by Rene Descartes (1596-1650) were built upon during succeeding centuries, sharply distinguishes between the stuff of consciousness and the stuff of matter.
The mind–body connection examines the relationship between mind and matter, and in particular the relationship between consciousness and the brain. Many throughout history have often wondered what causes the connection between the mental portion of the mind and the physical state of the body. A variety of different topics have been proposed. Most fall under either the dualist or monist theories. Many philosophers have debated their theories on the mind-body connection to include such philosophers as Descartes and Plato. More recent researchers have moved beyond the dualist
Thesis: The mind-body problem arises because of the lack of evidence when looking for a specific explanation of the interaction of mental and physical states, and the origin and even existence of them.