Body-mind problem - Health Essay Example

Body-mind problem

The mind- body problem has its origination from Descartes argument that there is a difference between matter and the mind - Body-mind problem introduction. Consequently, the mind body problem gives rise to two basic fundamental questions. Firstly, it seeks to find the exact status of what comprises matter. Secondly, if there is a distinct difference between matter and mind, then what status of influence can be ascribed to each other. According to Descartes, substances are broadly divided into two. These are either matter or the mind. The mind has the impulse of thought as its defining attribute. Elsewhere, the defining attribute for the matter is usually spatial extension. According to Descartes, substances usually possess no specific commonality. Otherwise there would be no difference in their fundamentality.

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According to the identity theory, the processes and the states of the mind function are ideally identical to those of the brain. Consequently, they presuppose about the identical nature of both the brain and the mind. According to these philosophers, brain experience are basically non-physical properties called ‘qualia’.

The functionalism theory is developed primarily as an opposite of identity theory. It argues that the states of the mind are made of different functional roles related to other states of both behavioral and sensory output. Because the status of the brain functions and is identified by specific roles, their manifestations could be in different logical forms

Broadly, the rising portfolio allied to the mind-body problem is a response towards what is viewed in substances. This is lieu of driving to the question of what makes the body and the mind to interact is they have basically nothing in common.

Consequently, this brings out the intervention problem. However, according to the views of many modern philosophies, matter and the mind are not that different substances. However, the two are realistic tools relating to the mind. This has however brought out outstanding difficulties in drawing a reducible and strict identity between specific states of the mind and the brain in lieu of maintaining Descartes theory of dualism. Many philosophers have thus come up with various theories for explaining the fundamental comception allied to the mind which includes functionalism, property dualism and emergentism above others. (Tim, Sarah, 2000, 89

According to Descartes, the mind is taken as a tool for thinking while human body only imply an extension to the mind and only occupying space. Accordingly, the body and mind interacts in two   basic forms which is however different from what other substance interaction could be depicted. The body is important in effecting the mind towards perception. Elsewhere, the action of the body is also effected by the mind. However, the basic argument of the body as been extension of the mind seeks to disregard Descartes argument of the contemporary effect between the two.

Perhaps however, the development of dualism brought a solution to this problem. Accordingly, the two are importantly crucial to one another and that non can function without the other. The argument presupposed by Descartes is worth questionable about its authenticity. Otherwise, if the body is only an extension of the mind and living in the external space, then its influence cannot lead to a change perception of the mind. The ideology of the body and the mind to been separate identities should be classical in providing specific grounds for their respective revocation towards perception. Consequently, the body and the mind cannot substantially live without one another. (Joseph, 2002, 76)

However, dualism argument perhaps would provide a solution to this problem. According to this view, it challenges on the non-physical nature of mental phenomena. The intelligence context occupied within man’s mind cannot have physical body explanation. Accordingly, the mind is non-physical and non-extended form of the body. Quite challenging solutions can be developed on the mind-body problem. However, the most potential one is the theory of emergentism. This is the basic belief towards emergence whose involvement rests on the relationship in the status quo between the mind and consciousness. Allied to this view and in respect to the mind-body problem, the mind and the body can be argued to been one complex facet of nature occupied in one context. However, their arrangements can be said to occur in two layers where mind is on the top while the body is on the bottom. (Michael, 1996, 43)

The basic presupposition held here is that the two are contained in one complex and compact material. Elsewhere, each of the two posseses and corresponds to specific special science. The body and the mind are in a consequent interaction with one another in their emergent properties at different levels of concern. Also, the theory argues that there is a supervene activity of properties of higher-order (mind) to those at the lower levels but which is in a monitored cause interaction. The theory of dualism would perhaps therefore provide a more contingent support towards the mind-body problem by it argument that both the mind and the body are two separate identities with only their functionality relating to one another the mind emerges from the body which is lower in the physical characteristic of human make up. (Michael, 1996, 57)

Work cited

Joseph, A. (2002) What Am I? Descartes and the Mind-Body Problem. Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp.76

Michael, D. 91996) Representation and the Mind-Body Problem in Spinoza. Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp.43, 57

Tim, C. & Sarah, P. (2000) History of the Mind-Body Problem. London, Routeldge, pp.89

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