The mind-body problem

This philosophical inquiry tries to explain the relationships that exist between the human body and the human mind; specifically, whether the human body domain and the human mind domain are connected. Materialists believe that the human body and mind are comparable; dualists believe that they are distinct and distinct.

The mind and body are contrasted as separate and distinct entities in dualism. Descartes advocated for substance dualism. This means that the body and mind are two distinct entities. In fact, he suggests that the mind is an essence of thought whereas the body is an essence of extension (Rozemond and Marleen). Whereas the body as a substance is concerned with thinking et al., the body is involved with predefined physical activities. In this regard, Descartes posed the Mechanism theory. Mechanism assumes that living things are like machines composed of parts which do not have any inherent relationship between them. Through this, Descartes suggests that a body part may continue doing some physical activity until when it may send some signals to the mind for the activity to come to a halt. This is called interactionism in Descartes substance dualism theory. In fact, this is one of the problems faced by Descartes in his theory since he could not define the source of a causal relationship between the two.

He left it to God. Due to this, Descartes in some sections is usually viewed as a quasi-occasionalist.Locke just like Descartes was of the view that the mind and the body are different entities. In fact, in his essays, he supports Descartes view of dualism (Tomaselli, 190). However, the only different thing is that Locke does not explain the causal relationship that exists between the body and mind. He leaves it to that the mind can act upon the body and the body can act upon the mind. Locke distinguishes between the properties physical object have and those we merely experience them as having by proposing the concept of idea and quality. Idea and qualities are different. Ideas exist in our mind whereas qualities stimulate the formation of ideas in our mind. Primary qualities of the object produce ideas in our minds, which are similar to the object, however secondary qualities produce ideas in our minds, which are different to the object.

3. Explain some reasons in favor of Cartesian/Lockean dualism.

First one reason in favor of the Cartesian dualism is that the mind and body are entirely different. This can be expounded by the fact that conscious experience is different from inanimate matter. Many people from common sense intuition will treat the mind and brain as two different entities. Again, the two are different in that whereas the mental state is subjective the physical state is not. We may know the light wavelengths, the velocity of bullet et al. From reading, however, unless we experience being shot by bullet we, cannot explain the pain associated with bullets. The Second argument is that what is conceivable is possible. This can be justified by the Zombie argument one of the thought experiments formulated by Todd Moody. If one conceives, he as a zombie without any conscious state, involve involved.

The act of conceiving will be right if at all, the zombie conceived meets the physical qualities that are described as zombies. This is mainly because all sciences do not have room for mental states and thus the transition between the two is easy. Finally, we need not appeal to the mental to explain physical events. This can be explained by the Lockeans distinction of primary and secondary quality, whereas the primary quality reflects the actual ideas formed in our mind, whereas that is not the case for the secondary qualities.

4. Explain the reasons for rejecting Cartesian/Lockean dualism.

Dualism leaves it entirely mysterious to show the mind, and the body can interact. Although both the mind and the body exhibit causal relationship, the mind has some mystery in the concept of intentionality. This cannot be explained. In fact, Descartes explained the interaction between the body and mind as being directed by God, which was one of the shortcomings of his substance dualism theory (Christensen and Dale). This is vital since other philosophers, for instance, Ryle coined the phrase "ghost in a machine" to describe the dualists view of the mind.

Secondly, dualists in their arguments tend to violate the law of conservation of energy, which states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed but it can be transformed. For instance, let us assume an immaterial soul spurs some change in the physical world; this can be the immaterial soul-causing neutron to fire in the brain. There is a change in energy between the brains before the neutron was fired and after neutron was fired assuming all the other physical systems are constant. In this case, then it appears as if the immaterial soul has created some form of energy, which is a violation of the laws of conservation of energy principles.

5. Describe what it means for a theory of the mind to be "physicalist."

The Physicalism theory is also at times referred to as the indent theory of the mind or reductive materialism. The theory asserts that the event in one's mind can be grouped into types that can be correlated with some physical activities on the brain. A good example is when one talks about mental pains. This same pain can be described using some physical event such as C-fiber firings (Crane). The idea behind this theory is to provide some biological correlation to ideas of aspect in one's body that would instead seem abstract. The primary purpose is to make it easy for people to understand some of the activities that take place in the brain.

6. Describe the mind-brain identity Theory.

The mind identity theory proposes that the mind is a part of the physical body. According to the theory states and processes of the mind are identical to the states and processes of the brain. Thus, the two are interchangeable (Allan). When argued from the point of reductionism mind identity can be explained by the fact that since molecules are reducible to the atoms, then the brain is similarly reduced to the mind. Consequently, since the mind and brain are seen to share the same states and properties, then mental properties like being sad or wanting a donut are brain properties like a particular collection of neurons firing in a pattern.

7. Explain the reasons in favor of the Identity Theory.

The reasons that favor identity theory include the idea that it avoids the confusion and the problems that come with dualism. One of these issues is the challenge of interaction. That is to say, the interaction between the mental and the physical substance would bring about a causal impossibility. The second reason is that two different conceptions do not have any correlation (Kim, 645). These designs are the mental and the physical terms. Lastly, the thesis is much simpler than the dualism theory. Studying this theory thus makes it easy to understand and even explain the process that takes place in the mind.

8. Explain a reason for rejecting the Identity Theory.

One of the objections that were seemingly weaker was epistemological. The epistemological views state that since people had more knowledge about the mental state and no information of the physical states, then it is not possible for the two to be identical (Hogg, 17). There is also another objection that has not been resolved until today. The perspectives tent to raise the concern of the various non-intentional properties of the mental state in one hand and the physical state on the other. A good example is when looking at images that could be green or purple. No one can be able to categorically show that the mind is either blue or purple.

9. Describe functionalism.

Functionalism looks at the brain as a computer where the mind is the software that runs on the computer. Ideally, several functions would be determined by the response they give the input. Preferably, the brain receives data then processes them and provides an output with (Azizi and Firooz). The mind is the one that helps to analyze feedback and instruct the brain to provide the output with a response. This theory also argues that what make something a mental state of a particular type does not depend on the internal constitution but the way it functions or the role that it plays with the system that it is part of.

10. Explain the reasons in favor of functionalism.

The reasons that favor the success of functionalism is that it has formed the foundation of the cognitive sciences. From the use of this theory, one can also get evidence that brings about the credibility of functionalism. The other argument to be that functionalism is more superior to the different approaches (Johnson, 380). Ideally, it solves problems of multiple replicabilities that often challenges the type identity theory? A good example was presented to a situation where Martian exhibits pain behavior when he is pricked by a pin. In this case, there is no firing of the c-fiber instead it's a gland inflammation. Using the type identity theory, it would be hard to explain this pain. However, functionalism would help in getting around this problem by explicitly saying that the Martian is experiencing pain. This is possible because functionalism that not seek to make a relationship between the physical state and pain but rather the functional state.

11. Explain a reason for rejecting functionalism.

One of the arguments against functionalism is that it has some fundamental incoherence. The theory tends to argue that what makes a state mental are nothing intrinsic to the state but just relational; it is merely an issue of cause and effects. What he tends to argue is that what happens is neutral? He also contends that every mental state is neural but not every neural state is a psychological state. It is then essential to distinguish between non-mental neural states and neural mental states (Johnson, 385). The problem, however, arises in trying to make the distinction between these two mental states and what would constitute non-mental neural event events and neural mental events. At this point, it becomes impossible to get a clear distinction, and it is at this point that one would find it so hard to make the difference. Functionalism also fails in trying to explain the case of qualia. These include a tinge of nostalgia, felt pain, the smell of burnt garlic the taste of avocado.

Some people have also argued that functional tent to succumb to some hypocrisy where the consequences are seen to be both unnecessary and inevitable. This tends to be a contradiction and a problem at the same time since the theory is not based on any hypothesis.

Works Cited

Allan, Leslie. "The Mind/Brain Identity Theory: A Critical Appraisal." (2016).

Azizi, Esmail, and Firooz Sadighi. "Functionalism and Innatism: A Matter of Choice or a Matter of Coordination in SLA?." (2014).

Christensen, Scott M., and Dale R. Turner, eds. Folk psychology and the philosophy of mind. Psychology Press, 2013.

Crane, Tim. The mechanical mind: A philosophical introduction to minds, machines and mental representation. Routledge, 2015.

Hogg, Michael A. "Social identity theory." Understanding Peace and Conflict Through Social Identity Theory. Springer International Publishing, 2016. 3-17.

Johnson, Gregory. "Methodological functionalism and the description of natural systems." Philosophical Psychology 29.3 (2016): 374-389.

Kim, Jaegwon. "The myth of nonreductive materialism." The American Philosophical Association Centennial Series (2013): 641-658.

Rozemond, Marleen, and Marleen Rozemond. Descartes's dualism. Harvard University Press, 2009.

Tomaselli, Sylvana. "The first person: Descartes, Locke and mind-body dualism." History of Science 22.2 (1984): 185-205.

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