Mind body essays

The Mind-Body Problem


The mind-body problem, which is still debated even today, raises the question about the relationship between the mind and the body. Theorists, such as René Descartes and Thomas Nagel, have written extensively on the problem but they have many dissenting beliefs. Descartes, a dualist, contends that the mind and body are two different substances that can exist separately. Conversely, Nagel, a dual aspect theorist, contends that the mind and body are not substances but different properties. However, although Nagel illustrates the problems with Descartes= theory, Nagel=s theory runs into the problem of panpsychism. In this paper, both arguments will be discussed to determine which, if either, side is stronger.




The Mind-Body Problem: Dualism Versus Dual Aspect Theory



Perhaps the oldest problem in the philosophy of the mind is the mind body problem. The mind body problem arises from two basic observations: we have minds and we have physical bodies. Descartes and Nagel are philosophers who examined this problem with the intent to learn the true relationship between the mind and body. Although they share this in common, their philosophies differ greatly. Through the examination of each philosopher=s position, this paper will attempt to show how Descartes and Nagel used two different theories, dualism and the dual aspect theory, to satisfy the mind-body problem and which argument is the stronger of the two.
Descartes argued in his AMeditations on First Philosophy@ that the mind is a thinking, non-divisible, non-extended thing and that the body is a non-thinking, divisible, extended thing. In his sixth Meditation, Descartes states A...I have a body with which I am very closely united, nevert...


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...ing the relationship between the mind and the mental states than Descartes. However, neither theory should be fully accepted and the search for an answer to the problem should continue.
According to Nagel, the integrated theory of reality needed in order to solve the mind-body problem probably will not arrive for centuries, but when it does, Ait will alter our conception of the universe as radically as anything has to date@ (Nagel 51). I believe Nagel is right with this statement because not only do we need new Aintellectual tools,@ we also need to avoid limiting ourselves in our search for the true relationship between the mind and the body.








Bibliography:

Works Cited

Descartes, René. Meditations on First Philosophy. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1951.


Nagel, Thomas. The View From Nowhere. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.
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The term essay hooks is the introductory part of the essay that grabs the reader’s attention. It gives him a chance to decide and make up his mind whether to continue reading your work or not. The hooks for essays are actually the baits for readers. While writing any essay, one has to make sure that the topic you choose and the overall article must be appealing to the audience. This way one will be able to grab the attention of readers. It is an interesting sentence or phrase that captures the attention and glues the reader to your piece of writing.

Mind and Body

Much of the intellectual history of psychology has involved the attempt to come to grips with the problem of mind and body and how they interact.

While the philosophical distinction between mind and body can be traced back to the Greeks, it is due to the influential work of René Descartes, (written around the 1630’s) that we owe the first systematic account of the mind/body relationship. When Descartes'
friend and frequent correspondent, Marin Mersenne, wrote to him of Galileo's fate at the hands of the Inquisition, Descartes immediately suppressed his own treatise. As a result, the world's first extended essay on physiological psychology was published only
well after its author's death. In this essay, he proposed a mechanism for automatic reaction in response to external events. According to his proposal, external motions affect the peripheral ends of the nerve fibrils, which in turn displace the central ends. As the central ends are displaced, the pattern of interfibrillar space is rearranged and the flow of animal spirits is thereby directed into the appropriate nerves. This is the reason he has been credited with the founding of the reflex theory.

Descarte was the first to talk about mind/body interactions, and thus had a great influence in later psychologists and thinkers. He proposed that not only body can influence mind, but that mind could also affect body.

Years later, the work of Nicolas Malebranche was probably the most influential provider of occasionalism. Occasionalism deals with the contradiction that if the nature of causality is such that causes and effects must have a necessary connection and be of a similar type, then mind/body interactionism is unsound. He argued that both of
Descartes' substances, mind and body, are causally ineffective. His belief was that G’d is the one and only true cause. There is no influence of mind on body or of body on mind.

“In order to retain the notion of God as the one true cause without sacrificing the idea of causality as operative in both the mental and the physical spheres, Benedictus de Spinoza abandoned Descartes' two-substance view in favor of what has come to be
called double-aspect theory.” Double-aspect theories are based on the notion that the mental and the physical are simply different aspects of one and the same substance.
Nonetheless, he agreed with De...


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...ssembled a theory of moral development. The theory is based on standards of moral judgement. According to Piaget these cognitive abilities develop only as the child progresses through developmental stages. Kohlberg’s theory is too divided into stages. He proposed three major levels of moral reasoning, or development. According to Kohlberg, his three stages occur in that same order in all cultures.

Development is closely related to socialization, because as we have discussed earlier, nurture, or the environment plays a major role in the development of an individual.
Socialization the perceptual “process of shaping an individual’s behavior patterns, values, standards, skills, attitudes, and motives to conform to those regardless as desirable in a particular society.” Sexuality is closely related to socialization.

Psychologists differ in their approaches towards development because the view it from distinct points of view. Piaget, for example, proposed a theory of the cognitive development of children, while Erikson proposed a theory based on the psychosocial
development of individuals. Although Kohlberg based his theory on Piaget’s, his theory focused on moral reasoning. Read Full Essay Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Now, there is a “ higher-mind ” or what might be called the psychic “soul” aspect to our personality or consciousness which deserves to be distinguished out from the “normal” or “lower” mind. Some of this entails simply going more deeply into aforementioned aspects of certain normal mind functions, such as delving so deeply into memories that, with or without the aid of hypnosis, one taps into full-blown past-life memories. Or else going so deeply with certain kind of creative visualization and/or creative channeling that one begins to access information from paranormal psi sources in what has been termed ESP or extra-sensory perception. This can take the form of remote viewing (“seeing” distant places, without the use of eyeballs and normal light-refraction off visible objects), telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition (“knowing aspects of the future”), retrocognition (“knowing aspects of the past”), discernment of discarnate “subtle-plane” personalities (ancestors, ghosts, devas, spirit guides), etc.

Mind body essays

mind body essays

Now, there is a “ higher-mind ” or what might be called the psychic “soul” aspect to our personality or consciousness which deserves to be distinguished out from the “normal” or “lower” mind. Some of this entails simply going more deeply into aforementioned aspects of certain normal mind functions, such as delving so deeply into memories that, with or without the aid of hypnosis, one taps into full-blown past-life memories. Or else going so deeply with certain kind of creative visualization and/or creative channeling that one begins to access information from paranormal psi sources in what has been termed ESP or extra-sensory perception. This can take the form of remote viewing (“seeing” distant places, without the use of eyeballs and normal light-refraction off visible objects), telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition (“knowing aspects of the future”), retrocognition (“knowing aspects of the past”), discernment of discarnate “subtle-plane” personalities (ancestors, ghosts, devas, spirit guides), etc.

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