The Mind-Body Problem Essay
957 Words4 Pages
The Mind-Body Problem
The mind-body problem, which is still debated even today, raises the question about the relationship between the mind and the body. Theorists, such as René Descartes and Thomas Nagel, have written extensively on the problem but they have many dissenting beliefs. Descartes, a dualist, contends that the mind and body are two different substances that can exist separately. Conversely, Nagel, a dual aspect theorist, contends that the mind and body are not substances but different properties. However, although Nagel illustrates the problems with Descartes= theory, Nagel=s theory runs into the problem of panpsychism. In this paper, both arguments will be discussed to determine which, if either, side is stronger.…show more content…
exist without it@(Descartes 74). Descartes argument for this statement is seen in the following premises:
1) If I can clearly and distinctly distinguish a from b, than I can be certain that a is distinct from b.
2) I can clearly and distinctly distinguish my body from my mind.
3) My mind must be distinct from my body.
Descartes believes that since the mind and the body are two different things, then they can exist separately. This is the theory of dualism. In the Sixth Meditation, Descartes continues with his discussion about the mind-body problem by addressing the relationship between the mind and body. Descartes states that Anature ...teaches me by these feelings of pain, hunger, thirst, and so on that I am not only residing in my body, as a pilot in his ship, but furthermore, that I am intimately connected with it...@(Descartes 76). This relationship is the connection between the physical needs of the body and the mental acknowledgment of those needs. Although the mind and body are blended, the mind is the most essential.
Thomas Nagel approaches the mind body problem in a different manner. Nagel acknowledges that there is a close connection between mental life and the body, but he further questions the origin of our
Essay about Mind/Body Problem in Philosophy
767 WordsNov 11th, 20094 Pages
Running head: MIND/BODY PROBLEM IN PHILOSOPHY
Mind/Body Problem in Philosophy
University of Phoenix
Mind/Body Problem in Philosophy The History of Psychology plays a big role in the interest of Psychology and Philosophy today. Several theories have been developed and refined over the hundreds of years of history in Philosophy and Psychology. Included in this report will be the discussion of the realm of the mind and consciousness, the mind and consciousness in relation to the physical body, and the independence of physical functions of the body through the central nervous system.
The Realm of Mind and Consciousness It was believed at one time that the mind was a product of the brain. The mind is a…show more content…
Descartes believed that nerves were hollow tubes in animal spirits and were the driving forces that resulted in the movement of muscles in the human body. If one were to stick their hand on a sharp object, the mind would trigger the animal spirits to perform. The muscles and nerves in the body were triggered by stimulation that caused the brain to open up and allow the spirits to move through the nerves involuntarily. Thus the mind is what triggered the animal spirits to perform. Of course, after Descartes, the microscope was discovered and used to determine that indeed the “tubes” were not hollow and were indeed controlled by the brain. Our mind receives information and processes same. There is only one area of our brain that when the body dies, the brain dies with it. Where there is no thought there is no mind. It is proven that the mind controls by the body. The mind is dependant on the Nervous system. An example would be the eye. In looking an object, the eye itself, the nerves and the light are all physical parts of seeing the object. However, seeing the actual object is subject to consciousness. Our mind must be conscious of the object in our view. If the eye is closed, the object is no longer visible. Therefore, the mind is dependent of the Central Nervous System. The Independent Mind Calmness, peace of mind, freedom from anxiety and worry, inner strength and happiness are