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Dualism Mind-Brain

In: Science

Submitted By acalex2000
Words 5362
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Social Sciences and Humanities prof. Coleridge Chris

Final essay

“Brain vs Mind”


Alessandro Acquaviva


The Mind-Brain Problem 3

Background of the problem 4

Evaluating the three proposed solutions 6

Weak Dualism 7

Strong Dualism 9

The relevance of Parapsychology 11

Conclusions 12

The Mind-Brain Problem

The mind-brain problem raises the question as to whether the mind is no more than the idle side-effect of our brain processes or whether the mind can, in some degree, influence behaviour.
Here we rehearse the arguments on both sides plus some recent attempts to eliminate mind altogether.

However contentious, the philosophical problem, as distinct from the physiological problem, can be stated quite simply as follows: What, essentially, is the relationship between events in the brain and those private, subjective experiences that together constitute our inner mental life? We need not assume here that consciousness is synonymous with mind - consciousness may well be no more than just one aspect of mind - but, with respect to the problem at issue, it is the existence of consciousness that is critical.
Stated thus, the problem admits of only three basic answers:

1) Events in the brain, operating in accordance with the laws of physics, determine completely both our behaviour and our subjective experiences.
2) Mental events may be elicited by events in the brain or they may, in turn, elicit brain events and so influence the course of our behaviour (I use here the word 'elicit' rather than 'cause' advisedly since the kind of causation here envisaged is so unlike familiar causation of the physical kind).
3) There are no such things as private, subjective, introspectible, sense-data. Hence there just is no problem. All that exists, in the last resort, are the physical events underlying the…...

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