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Mind Body Problem

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  • 1. The Mind Body ProblemThe Mind Body Problem Introduction to PhilosophyIntroduction to Philosophy
  • 2. Mind Body ProblemMind Body Problem • We have a conception of at least two different kinds ofWe have a conception of at least two different kinds of things that exist in the world, mental and physical.things that exist in the world, mental and physical. • examples:examples: • Intuitively, there seem to be two different types of reality:Intuitively, there seem to be two different types of reality: Mid and BodyMid and Body • Bodies are solid, material entities, extended in threeBodies are solid, material entities, extended in three dimensional space, observable, capable of causingdimensional space, observable, capable of causing things to happen in accordance with invariant laws.things to happen in accordance with invariant laws. • A Mind on the other hand has non of these properties, itA Mind on the other hand has non of these properties, it is not extended in three dimensional space, does notis not extended in three dimensional space, does not occupy space at all, is unobservable.occupy space at all, is unobservable.
  • 3. Mind and Body ProblemMind and Body Problem • Philosophers tried to answer the question of thePhilosophers tried to answer the question of the relationship between mind and body.relationship between mind and body. • One answer says that there is basically no connectionOne answer says that there is basically no connection whatever between any mental phenomena and anywhatever between any mental phenomena and any physical phenomena.physical phenomena. • This view is called parallelism. It says that mentalThis view is called parallelism. It says that mental phenomena and physical phenomena exist, as it were, inphenomena and physical phenomena exist, as it were, in two utterly separate realms, going on independently oftwo utterly separate realms, going on independently of each other.each other. • Mental events have no effect on any physical events, andMental events have no effect on any physical events, and physical events have no effect on any mental events.physical events have no effect on any mental events.
  • 4. Mind and Body ProblemMind and Body Problem • Another view says that there simply are noAnother view says that there simply are no mental phenomena. There is only the physicalmental phenomena. There is only the physical world.world. • The existence of consciousness, therefore, mustThe existence of consciousness, therefore, must be some kind of massive delusion: contrary tobe some kind of massive delusion: contrary to popular opinion, nobody has any opinions,popular opinion, nobody has any opinions, desires, or feelings. We are all just mindlessdesires, or feelings. We are all just mindless automata. This view may be called radicalautomata. This view may be called radical materialism or eliminative materialism.materialism or eliminative materialism.
  • 5. Mind and Body ProblemMind and Body Problem • A third view is that there are no physicalA third view is that there are no physical phenomena, there are only ideas in our minds.phenomena, there are only ideas in our minds. Contrary to popular opinion, therefore, thereContrary to popular opinion, therefore, there really aren't any pencils, mountains, or matter.really aren't any pencils, mountains, or matter. The whole physical world is all in our minds. ThisThe whole physical world is all in our minds. This view is called idealism, and it was held byview is called idealism, and it was held by Bishop Berkeley, who preferred, however, to sayBishop Berkeley, who preferred, however, to say that pencils were ideas rather than that pencilsthat pencils were ideas rather than that pencils don't exist.don't exist.
  • 6. Mind Body ProblemMind Body Problem • A fourth view is that mental phenomena are, surprisingly,A fourth view is that mental phenomena are, surprisingly, a subset of physical phenomena.a subset of physical phenomena. • All mental states, it turns out, are really states of theAll mental states, it turns out, are really states of the central nervous systems of animals.central nervous systems of animals. • "Pain" just happens to be another word for a certain kind"Pain" just happens to be another word for a certain kind of brain state, just as "light" happens to be another wordof brain state, just as "light" happens to be another word for electromagnetic radiation within a certain range offor electromagnetic radiation within a certain range of wavelengths. This view is called the mind/brain identitywavelengths. This view is called the mind/brain identity theory.theory.
  • 7. Mind Body ProblemMind Body Problem • Another answer to the problem says thatAnother answer to the problem says that there exist two distinct entities, body andthere exist two distinct entities, body and soul, that interact with each other causally,soul, that interact with each other causally, though it is not known how. This is calledthough it is not known how. This is called Cartesian dualism, after Descartes.Cartesian dualism, after Descartes.
  • 8. Cartesian DualismCartesian Dualism • Dualism is an ancient concept rooted in Greek thoughtDualism is an ancient concept rooted in Greek thought as we have studied in Plato ( Allegory of the Cave).as we have studied in Plato ( Allegory of the Cave). • The Greeks held that a man's soul was of an entirelyThe Greeks held that a man's soul was of an entirely different essence than his body. These dual entities haddifferent essence than his body. These dual entities had no interaction with one another.no interaction with one another. • Dualism implies the dichotomy of soul and body, anDualism implies the dichotomy of soul and body, an absolute split.absolute split.
  • 9. Cartesian DualismCartesian Dualism • Rene Descartes (1596-1650 believed in an independentRene Descartes (1596-1650 believed in an independent nonmaterial soul inhabiting and finding expression in a mechanicallynonmaterial soul inhabiting and finding expression in a mechanically operated body.operated body. • The reality of the body needed no proof, the reality of the soul did.The reality of the body needed no proof, the reality of the soul did. • Descartes used his aphorism as proof:Descartes used his aphorism as proof: cogito ergo sumcogito ergo sum, "I Think,, "I Think, therefore I am."therefore I am." • We cannot doubt the existence of our own self, because we cannotWe cannot doubt the existence of our own self, because we cannot doubt it unless there is a self to do the doubting.doubt it unless there is a self to do the doubting.
  • 10. Cartesian DualismCartesian Dualism • There are two components constituting human beings. These componentsThere are two components constituting human beings. These components are of independent origin and are of a fundamentally different nature.are of independent origin and are of a fundamentally different nature. • The body could be divided by the removal of a leg or an arm, but the soulThe body could be divided by the removal of a leg or an arm, but the soul was indivisible.was indivisible. • The soul occupied the whole body in all its parts, but the reduction of theThe soul occupied the whole body in all its parts, but the reduction of the body in any way did not reduce the soul.body in any way did not reduce the soul. • The body was procreated, the soul was created. Though the two realitiesThe body was procreated, the soul was created. Though the two realities were of an entirely different nature, they could react upon each other, thewere of an entirely different nature, they could react upon each other, the soul on the body and the body on the soul.soul on the body and the body on the soul. • How this reaction takes place is a mystery nevertheless; only DescartesHow this reaction takes place is a mystery nevertheless; only Descartes spelled it differently--dualism.spelled it differently--dualism.
  • 11. Cartesian DualismCartesian Dualism • Descartes held that the brain (along with the rest of the body) was purelyDescartes held that the brain (along with the rest of the body) was purely mechanistic in its principle of operation.mechanistic in its principle of operation. • According to Descartes animals did not possess a soul and thus theirAccording to Descartes animals did not possess a soul and thus their actions were mechanical.actions were mechanical. • The sense perceptions and physical passions of men are mechanical andThe sense perceptions and physical passions of men are mechanical and dependent upon the body, but awareness consciousness of the body lies independent upon the body, but awareness consciousness of the body lies in the soul.the soul. • The important thing then is to inquire how the soul becomes aware (i.e.,The important thing then is to inquire how the soul becomes aware (i.e., conscious and self-conscious) and how it succeeds in acting upon the body.conscious and self-conscious) and how it succeeds in acting upon the body. • Its awareness is due to the action of the body upon it, but how does it in turnIts awareness is due to the action of the body upon it, but how does it in turn act upon the body when it exercises will?act upon the body when it exercises will?
  • 12. Cartesian DualismCartesian Dualism • The body is extended matter: the soul is unextended spirit.The body is extended matter: the soul is unextended spirit. • When, however, the extended is acted upon by the unextended,When, however, the extended is acted upon by the unextended, some definite point of interaction is required and it is to be found insome definite point of interaction is required and it is to be found in the pineal gland.the pineal gland. • Yet the "soul is united to all parts of the body conjointly." The wholeYet the "soul is united to all parts of the body conjointly." The whole body is the soul's proper housing so long as the body remainsbody is the soul's proper housing so long as the body remains intact.intact. • When a member of the body--an arm or a leg, for example--is cutWhen a member of the body--an arm or a leg, for example--is cut off, there is no loss of part of the soul as a consequence becauseoff, there is no loss of part of the soul as a consequence because the soul is unitary and indivisible. It then occupies what is left of thethe soul is unitary and indivisible. It then occupies what is left of the body.body.
  • 13. • The point of interaction, according to Descartes, was at the site of the pineal gland, theThe point of interaction, according to Descartes, was at the site of the pineal gland, the only place he thought that is not duplicate as all other brain structures were thought toonly place he thought that is not duplicate as all other brain structures were thought to be.be. • The soul was not, however, to be viewed as somehow shut up in the pineal gland. TheThe soul was not, however, to be viewed as somehow shut up in the pineal gland. The gland is merely the point of interaction, not the seat of the soul in any fuller sense.gland is merely the point of interaction, not the seat of the soul in any fuller sense.
  • 14. Cartesian DualismCartesian Dualism • According to Descartes there is a dualism of mind andAccording to Descartes there is a dualism of mind and body, and their interaction is clearly real.body, and their interaction is clearly real. • The brain is the major locus for the mind orThe brain is the major locus for the mind or consciousness of the soul, yet mind or consciousness isconsciousness of the soul, yet mind or consciousness is distributed throughout the whole body. The point ofdistributed throughout the whole body. The point of interaction between the two is the pineal gland.interaction between the two is the pineal gland. • Descartes lent his authority to the long-held view that theDescartes lent his authority to the long-held view that the mind is associated in a particular way with the brain, butmind is associated in a particular way with the brain, but he made mind and brain separate entities.he made mind and brain separate entities.
  • 15. MaterialismMaterialism • Materialism is a general view about what actually exists.Materialism is a general view about what actually exists. Everything that exists is material, or physical.Everything that exists is material, or physical. • Many philosophers and scientists now use the termsMany philosophers and scientists now use the terms `material' and `physical' interchangeably (for a version of`material' and `physical' interchangeably (for a version of physicalism distinct from materialism, see physicalism).physicalism distinct from materialism, see physicalism). • Materialism is anMaterialism is an ontologicalontological, or a, or a metaphysicalmetaphysical, view; it, view; it is not just an epistemological view about how we know oris not just an epistemological view about how we know or just a semantic view about the meaning of terms.just a semantic view about the meaning of terms.
  • 16. Materialism/PhysicalismMaterialism/Physicalism • Physicalism is a world view that everythingPhysicalism is a world view that everything that exists is nothing but a singlethat exists is nothing but a single spatiotemporal system whih can bespatiotemporal system whih can be completely described in terms o somecompletely described in terms o some idea of physics.idea of physics. • Matter/energy is all that exists. God, souls,Matter/energy is all that exists. God, souls, and nonphysical abstract entities do notand nonphysical abstract entities do not exist.exist.