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Exploring The Different Theories Involved In The Mind And Body Problem

2580 words - 10 pages

Exploring the Different Theories Involved in the Mind and Body Problem

I will attempt to do this by firstly defining what the mind and body
is secondly discussing what the mind and body problem is. Thirdly
discussing the existing approaches to the problem and finally
discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches.

The body is that which we perceive ourselves to be with our senses.
It usually includes arms, legs a head and so on.

The mind is that which is responsible for one’s thoughts and feelings,
the seat of the faculty of reason.

What is the mind and body problem? We have a conception of at least 2
different kinds of things that exist in the world mental and physical
here are a few examples:

Mental Physical

Pain Mount Everest

Euphoria Hydrogen

Desire Mass

Purpose Size

Belief Location

Any of us could generate a long list of things and we know that both
these types of things are mental phenomena or physical phenomena and
are part of our world. So how are the mental and physical related if
at all.

The mind and body problem dates back at least to Plato (b427bce). By
some accounts Plato was the first dualist with the first materialist
Aristotle(b384bce) close at hand. Descartes (1596-1650) is perhaps
the philosopher that most people reference when discussing the
mind-body problem, for Descartes there are the two substances
mind-matter each substance has a defining attribute in the case of
mind it is thought in the case of matter it is spatial extension. It
is important to note that for Descartes, substances can have nothing
in common, otherwise they would not be fundamentally different
things. The mind-body problem arises out of this view, because if
mind-body have nothing in common, then in what way can they be said to

One way is Dualism In philosophy of mind, dualism is a set of beliefs
which begins with the claim that the mental and the physical have a
fundamentally different nature. Dualism has been the driving force
behind the mind-body problem and has been by far the majority view
until recently partially due to the influence of Descartes he claimed
that the pineal gland was the interface between the mind and the rest
of the brain. Whether Dualism is correct one way to explain how the
mental interacts with the material is dualistic interactionism which
is also Cartesian dualism, arguably the most popular and widespread
version, mind events can cause physical events and vice versa. This
leads to the most substantial claim against Cartesian dualism- the
Cartesian gap. How can an immaterial mind cause anything in a

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