Mind–body problem - philosophy of mind. The mind-body problem is the debate over the relationship between thought and consciousness in the human consciousnes ..

Mind–body problem

Mind–body problem

The mind-body problem is the debate over the relationship between thought and consciousness in the human consciousness, and the brain as a body part. This differs from the question of how the mind and body functions chemically and physiologically, as this question involves consideration of interactionist mind-body relationship. This question arises when mind and body are treated as separate, based on the premise that body and mind are fundamentally different in nature.

The problem was made by Rene Descartes in the 17th century, the result of Cartesian dualism, and by pre-Aristotelian philosophers, in Avicennian philosophy, and in earlier Asian traditions. Different approaches have been proposed. Most of them are either dualistic or monistic. Dualism maintains a rigid distinction between the spheres of mind and matter. Monism claims that there is only one unifying reality, substance or essence, from the point of view of which everything can be explained.

Each of these categories contains numerous variants. The main forms of dualism are substance dualism, which believes that the mind formed some type of creature not subject to the laws of physics and the properties of dualism, which holds that mental properties are a part of conscious experience are fundamental properties, in addition to the core properties defined completed physics. The three main forms of monism are physicalism, which believes that the mind consists of matter organized in a certain way, the idealism that considers only thought truly exists and matter is merely an illusion, and neutral monism, which believes that mind and matter are aspects of a single entity, which is itself identical to neither of them. Psychophysical parallelism is a third possible alternatives concerning the relationship between mind and body, between the duality of interaction and one-sided monism of action.

Several philosophical perspectives have been developed which reject the psycho-physical dichotomy. The historical materialism of Karl Marx and subsequent writers, itself a form of physicalism, believed that consciousness is generated by the material conditional environment of them. The explicit rejection of the dichotomy is found in French structuralism, and the situation, generally characterized post-war continental philosophy.

The absence of an empirically identifiable meeting point between the non-physical mind, if there is such a thing and its physical expansion, if there is such a thing proved to be problematic dualism and many modern philosophers of mind, that mind is not something separate from the body. These approaches have been particularly influential in the Sciences, particularly in the fields of sociobiology, computer science, evolutionary psychology and neuroscience.

The ancient model of the Mind, known as the five-aggregate model described in the Buddhist teachings, he explains the consciousness as a constantly changing sensory impressions and mental phenomena. Considering this model, we can understand that this is a constantly changing sensory impressions and mental phenomena, i.e., mind, experience / analyzes all external phenomena and all internal phenomena, including the body, Anatomy, the nervous system and on the brain. This conceptualization leads to two levels of analysis: I analysis conducted from the perspective of a third party about how the brain works, and the second analysis-the-moment manifestation of individuals stream of consciousness analysis conducted in the first person. With that in mind, a manifestation of the stream of consciousness is described as happening in every person all the time, even in the scientist that analyzes the various phenomena in the world, including analyses and to hypothesize about the brain body.


1. The mind–body interaction and mental causation. (Ума–тела взаимодействия и психической причинности)

Philosophers David L. Robb and John F. Heil to introduce mental causation in terms of a mind-body problem of interaction:

The mind–body interaction has a Central place in our pretheoretic conception of Agency. Indeed, mental causation often appears explicitly in the formulation of the psychophysical problem. Some philosophers insist that the very notion of psychological explanation turns on the intelligibility of mental causation. If your mind and its States, such as your beliefs and desires, were causally isolated from your bodily behavior, then what happens in your mind could not explain what you are doing. If psychological explanation goes, so do the closely related notions of free will and moral responsibility. OK, rides on a satisfactory solution of the problem of mental causation to set the agenda for subsequent discussions of the mind-body connection. According to Descartes, mind and body is a certain types of "substances". Body, he held, are spatially extended substances, incapable of feeling or thought, the mind, on the contrary, increasing, thinking, feeling substances. If the mind and body are radically different substances, however, it is not easy to see how they "could" causally interact. Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia puts it forcefully to him in a 1643 letter:

how the human soul can determine the movement of animal spirits in the body to perform voluntary acts - as it is simply a conscious being. To determine the movement always seems to come from a moving body in motion is to depend on some kind of impulse it gets from what to put it in motion, or again, on the nature and form of this latest design. Now the first two conditions are related, and the third involves that the impelling thing has extension, but you absolutely need to exclude extension from the notion of soul, and contact seems inconsistent with intangible things.

Elizabeth expresses the prevailing mechanistic views of how causation of bodies works. Causation, according to contemporary physics can take several forms, not all of which have two-stroke variety.

Contemporary neurophilosopher, Georg Northoff suggests that mental causation is compatible with classical formal and final causality.

Biologist, theoretical neuroscientist and philosopher, Walter J. Freeman, suggests that explaining mind–body interaction in terms of "circular causation" is more relevant than linear causation.

In neuroscience, weve learned a lot about the relationship between brain activity and subjective, conscious experiences. Many suggest that neuroscience will ultimately explain consciousness: ".consciousness is a biological process that will eventually be explained in terms of molecular signaling pathways used by interacting populations of nerve cells". However, this view has been criticized because consciousness has not yet demonstrated the process, and "hard" problems of relating consciousness directly to brain activity remains elusive.

Cognitive science today gets increasingly interested in the embodiment of human perception, thinking and actions. Abstract models of information processing are no longer accepted as satisfactory accounts of the human mind. Interest has shifted to the interaction between the human organism and its environment and how these interactions shape the mind. Proponents of this approach hoped that eventually dissolve in the Cartesian divide between the immaterial mind and the material existence of human beings. The theme that seems particularly promising for providing a bridge across the mind–body splitting is the study of bodily action which is neither reflex reactions to external stimuli nor indications of mental States that have only a random relationship to engine action features, for example, pressing the button to select the answer. The form, terms and the consequences of such actions are inseparable from their values. We can say that they are loaded with mental content, which cannot be estimated differently than by studying their material characteristics. Imitation, communicative gestures, and use the tool examples of this kind of action.


2. Neuronal correlates. (Нейрональные корреляты)

The neural correlates of consciousness is a minimal set of brain mechanisms and events sufficient for some specific conscious feeling, as elemental as the color red or as complex as the sensual, mysterious, and primeval sensation evoked when looking at a scene in the jungle." Neuroscientists use empirical approaches to discover neural correlates of subjective phenomena.


2.1. Neuronal correlates. Neurobiology and neurophilosophy. (Нейробиология и нейрофилософии)

Science of consciousness must explain the exact relationship between subjective conscious mental States and brain States formed by electrochemical interactions in the body, the so-called hard problem of consciousness.Neuroscience studies the relationship Scientifically, as do neuropsychology and neuropsychiatry. Neurophilosophy interdisciplinary study of neuroscience and philosophy of mind. In this pursuit, neurophilosophers, such as Patricia Churchland,Paul Churchland and Dennett Daniel, first look at the body, not the mind. In this context, neuronal correlates may be viewed as causing consciousness, where consciousness can be considered as an undefined property that depends upon this complex, adaptive and closely related biological systems. However, it is unknown if open and characterizing neural correlates may eventually provide a theory of consciousness that can explain first-person experience of these "systems", and determine whether other systems of equal complexity lack such features.

The massive parallelism of neural networks allows redundant populations of neurons to mediate the same or similar perception. However, it is assumed that every subjective state will have associated neural correlates that can be manipulated to artificially suppress or invoke the experience of the subjects that conscious state. The growing ability of neuroscientists to manipulate neurons using methods of molecular biology in combination with optical tools was achieved through the development of behavioral and organic models that are amenable to large-scale genomic analysis and manipulation. The non-human analysis, such as this, in combination with imaging of the brain, contributes to sustainable and more predictive theoretical framework.


2.2. Neuronal correlates. Arousal and content. (Возбуждение и содержание)

There are two common but distinct dimensions of the term consciousness, one of which is associated with arousal and States of consciousness, the other with the content of consciousness and conscious States. To realize something, the brain has to be in a relatively high degree of excitation is sometimes called vigilance, whether awake or in REM sleep. The level of excitation of the brain fluctuates in a circadian rhythm but these natural cycles may influence of lack of sleep, alcohol and other drugs, physical activity, etc. Arousal can be measured behaviorally the amplitude of the signal required to start the reaction, for example, the sound level which causes the subject to turn and look toward the source. High state of excitation of the road States that feature specific perceptual content, planning and recollection or even fantasy. Doctors use scoring systems such as Glasgow coma scale to assess level of arousal in patients with impaired States of consciousness such as coma, vegetative state, and minimally conscious state. Here "state" refers to the different quantities of a certain physical consciousness from complete absence in coma, vegetative state and General anesthesia, to fluctuations, minimally conscious state such as sleep walking and epileptic seizure.

Many nuclei of different chemical signatures in the thalamus, midbrain, and varolii bridge should work for the theme to be in a sufficient state of brain arousal any experience at all. Therefore, these nuclei belong to the enabling factors for consciousness. Conversely, it is likely that the specific content of any particular conscious sensation is mediated by particular neurons in the cortex and their associated satellite structures, including the amygdala, thalamus, claustrum and the basal ganglia.


3.1. Historical note. Buddha. (Будда)

Buddha 480-400 BC, founder of Buddhism, described the mind and body as we depend on each other so that the two sheaves of reeds stood leaning against one each other, and taught that the world consists of mind and matter which work together, are interdependent. Buddhist teachings describe the mind as manifested from moment to moment, thinking about these moments, like a fast stream. The components included in consciousness known as the five aggregates that arise and pass continuously from. The origin and passage of these units are currently described as being under the influence of the five causal laws: biological laws, psychological laws, physical laws, strong laws and universal laws. The Buddhist practice of mindfulness suggests to visit this ever-changing stream of consciousness.

Ultimately, the Buddha philosophy is that the mind and forms somewhat arbitrarily, emerging qualities of a constantly changing Universe in which, upon reaching nirvāna, all phenomenal experience ceases to exist. According to the anattā doctrine of the Buddha, the concept of identity is only a mental construct of the individual entities and is essentially an impermanent illusion, incurred by form, feeling, perception, thought and consciousness. The Buddha argued that mentally clinging to any views will result in confusion and stress, because, according to Buddha, the true "I," conceptual identity, as the basis for points of view and opinions cannot be found, when the mind is clear.


3.2. Historical note. Plato. (Платон)

Plato 429-347 BC believed that the material world is only a shadow of the ultimate reality, which consists of concepts that he calls forms. According to Plato, the objects in our daily lives to "participate in" these forms, which give identity and meaning of material objects. For example, a circle drawn in the sand would be a circle only because he is involved in the concept of the perfect circle that exists somewhere in the world of forms. He argued that as the body is from the material world, the soul from the world of forms and thus immortal. He believed that the soul was temporarily United with the body, and will only be separated at death, when he returns to the world of forms. Since the soul does not exist in time and space as the body, it can access universal truths. For Plato, ideas or forms are the true reality, and have a soul. The body is for Plato empty in that it cannot access the abstract reality of the world, it can only experience the shadows. This is determined by Platos rationalist epistemology.


3.3. Historical note. Aristotle. (Аристотель)

For Aristotle 384-322 BC the mind is a faculty of the soul. As for soul, he said

It is not necessary to ask whether soul and body are one, just as it is not necessary to ask whether the wax and its shape, and in General whether the matter of each thing and what happened one. Because even if they say different, what is right to say that is relevant.

In the end, Aristotle saw the relation between soul and body as uncomplicated, in the same way as it is plain that the cubic form is a property of a toy building block. The soul is a property exhibited by the body, one of many. Moreover, Aristotle suggested that, when the body dies, and the soul, just as the appearance of the building block disappears with the destruction of the unit.


3.4. Historical note. The influence of Eastern monotheistic religions. (Влияние Восточной монотеистических религий)

The religious philosophy of the Eastern monotheism, dualism means the binary opposition of the idea, which has two main parts. The first official notion of "mind-body" split can be found in the "deity of secularism" dualism of the ancient Persian religion of Zoroastrianism around the mid-fifth century BC. Gnosticism is the modern name for many ancient dualistic ideas, inspired by the popular Judaism in the first and second century ad. Later, these ideas seem to have been included in Galens "three souls", which led to both the Christian sentiments expressed in the later Augustinian theodicy and the Platonism of Avicenna in Islamic philosophy.


3.5. Historical note. Thomas Aquinas. (Фома Аквинский)

Like Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas 1225-1274 believed that mind and body are one, as a seal and wax, and therefore meaningless to ask whether they are single. However, referring to the "mind" as "soul", he argued that the soul persists after the death of the body, despite their unity, calling the soul "this particular thing". From his point of view was primarily theological, not philosophical, its impossible to fit neatly into the category of physicalist or dualist.


3.6. Historical note. Descartes. (Декарт)

Rene Descartes 1596-1650 believed that mind exerted control over the brain via the pineal gland:

I believe that this gland is the principal seat of the soul and the place in which formed our thoughts.

But Searle is careful to assert that the mental – the domain of qualitative experience and understanding – is Autonomous and has no counterpart on the micro level, nor inhabited by these macroscopic features amounts to a kind of evisceration.


4. Bibliography. (Библиография)

  • Turner, Bryan S. 1996. The body and society: studies in social theory.
  • Hicks, D. R. 1907. Aristotle, De Anima. Cambridge University Press.
  • Gendlin, E. T. 2012a. "Line-by-line translation of Aristotle de Anima, books I and II" in PDF.
  • Kim, Y. 1995. The problem of "mind–body", the Oxford companion to philosophy. Ted Honderich Ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Jaegwon Kim 2010. Essays in the Metaphysics of mind. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-162506-0.
  • Gendlin, E. T. 2012b. "Line-by-line translation of Aristotle de Anima, book III" in PDF format.
  • Feigl, H. 1958. "Mental and physical ". In Feigl, Herbert, scriven, Michael Maxwell, Grover, EDS. Concepts theories and the mind-body problem. Minnesota studies in the philosophy of science. 2. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota press. S. 370-457.

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