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What is the mind/body problem?

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What is the mind/body problem? Philosophers have long been perplexed over the problem of how our body and mind interact in our lives. The mind is the mental states or processes, not the brain and controls our sensations and emotions. The mind and the body are made up of different substances. The mind is purely conscious and is non-spatial, that is it takes up no room in space. The body takes up room in space, but is not consciousness. The problem is if the mind and body are made up of different substances how do they interact? It seems strange to try and explain how something does not exist in space could effect something spatial. How can the mind and the body interact when the mind is a non-physical? The mind is non-spatial, how could it then makes the body the move through space? This perplexity has lead to many different views on how the mind and body interact. What reasons does the dualist provide for the view that the mind is not the body? Dualism is the view that mind and matter are profoundly different- so different that understanding one of them leaves basic facts about the other unexplained, (Morton, PAGE NO_____1996). ...read more.


Problems with Dualism!! Dualism does not address the mind/body problem, it does not explain whether the mental states interact with physical. It simply explains that mental states are different to physical states, such as the body, but nothing about how the two interact. Dualists believe that mental events can affect the physical, Mental events, how can they influence physical Dualisyts argue that just because mental events can not be shown in space in does not disprove that mental events cause physical events. Mental events are private, but if mental states are also brain states then even though mental states are private, it might well be possible to observe brain states if science could invent the right kind of technology. Therefore it would be correct that mental event are private, as they could be viewed by others. What is the interactionist view? Interactionist is the common sense view that what happens in one's mind can affect one's body and vice versa, (dict :279). Mental events can effect what the body does, for example the emotion of fear can produce an individual to run and cutting ones finger can produce the mental state of pain. Interactionst believe that mind and the body do interact with each other, despite being made up of different substances. ...read more.


Behaviourism can not account for the feel of hugging someone, it can only explain the physical the act of putting your arms around somebody. To a degree we can understand what is going on in another persons mind by their behaviour, but not all-mental states have behaviour and the most important aspect emotions can not be observed. One of the things that sets human beings apart are our emotions, how can these just be behaviours or dispositions to behave. It does not seem creditable. There is another theory of on the mind/body problem the Identity theory. Identity theory is another way of addressing the mind/body problem. The identity theory explains that brain states and mental states are identical. The identity theory describes the way in which mental states cause behaviour. The Identity theory also emphasis mental sates as a cause of behaviour. "An inner state which causes outer behaviour." Mental states and events, such as dreaming are identical with certain states or processes in the central nervous system, dictionary 265. According to this theory, mental states are identical with certain physical states of the brain, (Hospers, 1982). MORE Identity theory mental states are defined by reference to the behaviour it causes, (change wording). The are the mind and body separate Although from behaviour we can sometimes know another persons emotions, it is always true. The most creditable account to .................... is dualism. ...read more.

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