1. As I learn more about the mind/brain connection, I find myself willing to give up the notion of "mind" as a separate idea. Is this just me, or does someone else feel that way? Why or why not do you? How do you think Rene Descartes view this mind/brain research? How would feminist Eve Cole?
You are certainly not alone! What you believe is something called "phyiscalism," and it is described in detail (historically, logically, etc.) right here: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/physicalism/
I'm unsure of Eva Cole's work, but I can tell you that physicalists, like one of my old philosophy and theology professors, believe without question that the mind is the brain, and there is no way around such. It is not a union of two distinct things—it is not a dependent relationship. Both of our concepts for those things exist as the same exact physical thing in space and time. You seem to be leaning towards that camp, and I encourage you to explore it and bolster yourself if in fact you hold such a position.
I've not really been able to come down on one side or the other, myself. The philosophy of the mind is a long, debated, obviously problematic arena, but if I may apply the debate and explain the distinctions by way of the scientific method as an example, I think you'll ...
Questions involving the mind, including physicalism vs. immaterialism, are discussed by way of example, and the question of universalism's possibility given the notion of human freedom is also discussed in some concise detail. 683 words.