Mind Body Question Paper

1804 words - 8 pages

This essay discusses the mind-body question and the difficulty to explain how these two entities relate to philosophical and scientific inquiry. This discussion includes the difficulty scientists find with dealing with the mind-body question when discussing the conception of reality. The discussion will include Searle’s perception of the mind-body question and conclude with a personal perspective of the mind-body question and what it means to her. The conclusion of the essay after research is that this question is difficult to answer because of different views and perspectives.

Mind-Body Questions Paper
The mind-body question has been a source of examination for many years. ...view middle of the document...

Some want to see the mind and body existing as one entity; while others feel the body and the mind are separate. Another reason is the body can be easily described. Everyone knows what it means when referring to the body. The body can be seen and understood. Although, each individual may refer to the body differently; a general conception exists of what is being talked about. A third reason the issue exist is the “mind” and how to classify exactly what is meant by the mind.
What is the “mind”? Everyday humans use examples like “I have a mind to”, “it has been on my mind” and others to describe thinking, making decisions, meditation, and other thought processes. The mind is where consciousness, intellect, emotions, and other characteristics reside. The mind-body problem essentially concerns itself with how the two relate with another (Newall, 2005). Two schools of thought exist when describing the mind. Monists consider that the mind and body as the same entity with the mind being part of the body located in and identical to the brain. The other view held is that the mind and body is separate, with the mind and brain not equivalent. This viewpoint is held by scientists known as dualists (Newall, 2005). The mind and body have different characteristics; each with its own set of properties and can exist without one another. The French philosopher Descartes is credited with this view. Descartes considered the mind which he also called the soul and body to be distinct, two things of different essential natures; although his observations seem to reveal that they may exert effects upon one another. Some further credit Descartes with the creation of the mind-body problem (Schimmel, 2001). The mind is sometimes considered the brain with the body viewed only as something physical. The mind, when in the process of thinking, is made up of pure thought with the body as a mere extension. The mind tells the body what to do and how to act. The mind is mental while the body is physical. The body and mind form the foundation for which a human exists. In the relation to science, the mind needs a brain to exist but the mind is not physical but made up of mental processes like conscious and feelings. The mind and brain coexist together; there cannot be one without the other.
Searle’s Perspective on the Mind-Body Question and the Conception of Reality
Searle felt that the mind-body problem was consistent with what is known of neurophysiology and other conceptions known of mental states like beliefs, emotions, and pain. He also feels that a problem exists when discussing the mind-body question because outdated information is being used to examine the question in contemporary times. He feels a twentieth-century problem is still being discussed in terms of seventeenth-century thinking (Searle, 1984). Searle feels a problem also exists because of trying to equate and reconcile the relationship between two apparently different entities, one being the mind which is...

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