PSY290 Mind Body Paper

Submitted By lgama
Words: 1918
Pages: 8

The Mind-Body Problem Lindsey Gama
Westminster College

The Mind-Body Problem In a universe composed of matter and energy, why is there such aWhat is consciousness? There seems to be no single answer that explains the phenomenon of mind.
The mind-body problem does not have one set solution; in fact there are many possible solutions that could potentially be correct. Two of the most well known theories are dualism and monism, both of which have many sub theories. People have many different beliefs for various reasons, whether it is religion or personal values/beliefs all ideas about the mind/brain problem are supported by empirical studies. The mind/brain problem is most commonly known because of its philosophical implications about whether the mind and brain are different or if there is a relationship between the two. Dualism is the belief that mind and brain are different kind of substances that exist completely independently from one another. While monism is the belief that the universe only has one kind of substance, meaning that the two, mind and body, are the same, each of these beliefs have different categories. Dualism is the most commonly viewed belief by nonscientists. Descartes was the main person who defended this view although; he did not necessarily originate these ideas. He believed that the mind and brain interacted at a single point in space, the pineal gland. One of the main reasons that many philosophers and neuroscientists reject the idea of dualism is because of the law of conservation of matter and energy which states: that the mass of a closed state will remain constant over time, which in psychological terms it means that a mind that is not energy or matter would be remain the same and could not physically make anything happen. There are various forms of dualism the two big ideas are interactionism and parallelism. Interactionism is also an idea by Descartes, which basically states that mind and brain casually influence one another. An example of interactionism is thoughts influence speech, and mental and physical experiences influence senses. There are a couple objectives to this theory one of which is: if all causation is caused by impact how can the matter and the non-matter have impact on each other? But there is evidence to refute this objective and that is if causation is formed by a delicate matter or only a matter of constant union, then there should not be a problem in the principle idea of interaction of mind and brain. The other category of dualism is parallelism, which is the perspective that both mind and brain are whole and complete within each other, but denies all and any interaction between the two. That they run parallel to one another and do not interfere with one another but not due to any mutual interaction or influence from one another. Leibniz was the main adoptee of this idea because he believed in pre-established harmony that was set in place by God. This theory was different from Descartes belief in a more natural form of interaction between a non-matter substance, the mind and a matter substance, the brain because Leibniz believed that God set up the world where things, both matter and non matter substances, behaved as if they were interacting when in reality they were not. There was no interaction required for the substances to interact, in return acting as parallels. The opposite of dualism is monism which, as previously stated, is the belief that the universe only has one kind of substance, meaning that the two, mind and body, are the same. There are three different categories underneath this idea, materialism, mentalism, identity position. All three of these ideas are similar and different in their own way, but they all relate back to the idea that there is only one kind of substance whether it be mental or material. All of these forms of monism are possible and are heavily supported by monistic…