• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Philosophy of mind

Extracts from this document...


Philosophy of mind What is it? The problem of how the existence of minds fits into our understanding of the word. One key question is still unresolved: the mind/brain identity theory. Dualism Substance dualism is the view that mind and matter are two different kinds of 'stuff'. Matter is what the physical sciences deal with and is the stuff out of which the universe is made. Mind, however, is a different kind of substance which is not the subject of physical science, but exists within conscious beings, like ourselves. Classical principles of identity: 1. Leibniz's law- if A is identical to B, then any property is A is a property of B or whatever is true of A is true of B. 2. The principle of the identity of indiscernibles- If A and B are identical in all respects, then they are identical objects. I.e. one and the same object. If identity is understood in this ways, then if one thing is identical with another, both must occupy the same time and space and have identical properties. ...read more.


When considering the properties of matter, we can count the fact that matter exists in definite moments of time and space. So, you can always say where and when a bit of matter is. Another feature of matter is that it is observable by all; PUBLIC (you can even see the smallest particles under a microscope). And FINALLY, matter is always DIVISIBLE. When considering the properties of mind, we find it doesn't fit the same description. If I think 'where is Kate?' that thought cannot be located in time and space in the same way an object/particle can (matter). It doesn't make any sense to say my thought occurred three inches behind my nose. ALSO, minds are not observable by any one (PRIVATE)...feelings, thoughts and sensations cannot be seen by 'looking into my mind'. And our mind seems to be INDIVISIBLE; my consciousness cannot be split up into infinitely small parts. Minds seem to have a feature which matter doesn't. ...read more.


Therefore, mind is not identical to matter. WHAT THEN IS THE MIND!!?!???!?!?! Given that matter is a kind of substance, it seems natural to think that mind must be some other kind of substance. THIS IS DUALISM. There are two types of substance in the world: mind and matter. Good things about Dualism: 1. It fits in with our intuitive views about the mind. 2. The argument for it is straightforward. ARGUMENTS AGAINST DUALISM (OBJECTIONS) One major problem is interaction-how does the mind affect/interact with matter? We have an idea how matter affects matter they are the same substance. But how can the mind interact with matter if they are fundamentally different types of thing? If the mind is not in space, how can it be affected by something that is in space? WE KNOW THAT MIND AND MATTER DO INTERACT (MIND AND BODY). My arm moves when I when I want it too etc. Reply: if the argument for dualism is good and interaction is a fact, it must be true that mind and matter can interact. Just because we don't understand how they interact, doesn't mean dualism is wrong. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Philosophy essays

  1. Arguments For Property Dualism

    First, she is the world's most distinguished colour scientist. She knows everything about the physics of colour, about the ways in which light of different wave lengths is reflected from objects, about the ways in which the different wavelengths correspond to the different colours, and so on. She also knows everything about the neurophysiology of colour perception - about

  2. A Critical Analysis of Lao Tzu's Tao Teh Ching - Chineses philosophy.

    relate to the various aspects of human experience: to the origins of the world, the existence of God, the nature of the good society, the basis of political authority, and so on."6 Although the nature of philosophy is a matter of great dispute, it is necessary to define philosophy in

  1. Introduction to Philosophy.

    The divine in the world is all eye , thought & ear. He was also an anthropologist. History Civilization Social Thought Sociobiology culture Natural history Mental history * DEITY is the divine & Gods. The contrast or relation of humans to the divine & Gods.

  2. Why does the mind and body problem still exist?

    For the epiphenomenalists the brain was a machine like everything in nature and the mind no more than a passive reflection of its activity. During the present century various attempts have been made to refine the epiphenomenalists formulation. Thus the so called 'mind-brain identity' theory associated with herbert Feigl in

  1. What is the Mind?

    This obviously means that the pain cannot be in the foot; it must be in the brain. And this must be so for everyone. Even if we accept that pain is simply a brain state, we cannot yet prove which brain state it is.

  2. To what extent are minds private?

    would also have to manage things so that it appears that that physical events cause mental events. Take the example of drinking some beers, if one were to have too much alcohol it would cause one to become drunk. But as we know there is no interaction between the brain

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work