Share
Explore BrainMass

Mind/Body Problem in Philosophy

Discuss the "Mind/Body" problem in philosophy including:

1. What is the realm of mind and consciousness?
2. How does the realm of mind and consciousness relate to the physical body?
3. Is there such a thing as an independent mind that transcends physical functions of the body through the central nervous system? Why or why not?

I need further understanding on this topic I would like you to explain it to me in lay-mens terms please.

Solution Preview

Hi,

Interesting topic! Let's take a closer look at the three areas. I also attached two supporting articles and extra links, which expand on the ideas in the response below.

RESPONSE:

I need further understanding on this topic I would like you to explain it to me in lay-mens terms please. Discuss the "Mind/Body" problem in philosophy including:

1. What is the realm of mind and consciousness?

This is a great philosophical debate still ongoing.

There seems to be a general consensus on what we mean by the realm of mind. In other words, the realm of mind is the thinking part of the human psyche, which functions as the center of thought, emotion, and behavior. However, there is no consensus on the definition of consciousness.

One way to define the realm of consciousness is in terms of the quality of the mind generally regarded to comprise qualities such as subjectivity, self-awareness and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and one's environment - workings or functions of the realm of mind. Specifically, the discussion on the realm of consciousness has been hugely influenced by René Descartes, the French philosopher who in the mid-17th century. He declared that body and mind are made of different stuff entirely (dualism). This is true, Descartes concluded, because the body exists in both time and space, whereas the mind has no spatial dimension. On the other hand, consciousness is a quality of the mind, which is subjective and private. However, recent scientific accounts of consciousness generally reject Descartes's solution; most prefer to treat body and mind as different aspects of the same thing. This is referred to as monism (p. 3 of attached file: Body Mind Problem.doc) or those who deny that mind and body are two different and distinct realities, are called monists. Monism holds that there is only one ultimate reality, and that mind and body are essentially reducible to it (see attached article Body Mind Problem.doc)

Somewhat different, the philosopher Ned Block distinguishes, on conceptual grounds, access ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the "Mind/Body" problem in philosophy in terms of the realm of mind and consciousness and how it relates to the physical body. The notion of an independent mind that transcends physical functions of the body through the central nervous system is also discussed. Supplemented with two related articles.

$2.19