Philosophy of mind body and soul

mind body and soul essay

It has been claimed, however, that it faces serious problems some of which were anticipated in section 1. However, it is more accurate to consider these formulations as different versions of one and the same argument.

Philosophy of mind body and soul

Descartes, then, clearly and distinctly perceives the mind as possibly existing all by itself, and the body as possibly existing all by itself. Indeed, this traditional, mechanistic interpretation of Descartes is so deeply ingrained in the minds of philosophers today, that most do not even bother to argue for it. These nuclei therefore belong to the enabling factors for consciousness. The bundle consists of the objects of awareness and the co-consciousness relation or relations that hold between them, and I think that the modern bundle theorist would want to say that it is the nexus of co-consciousness relations that constitutes our sense of the subject and of the act of awareness of the object. As a theory about this unity, it is not necessarily dualist. According to this theory, mental events are caused by physical events, but have no causal influence on the physical. When Harpo has his new form of experience, he does not simply exercise a new concept; he also grasps something new—the phenomenal quality—with that concept. For example, if causal power was flowing in and out of the physical system, energy would not be conserved, and the conservation of energy is a fundamental scientific law. Hume rejected such claims, and proclaimed the self to be nothing more than a concatenation of its ephemeral contents. However, it is more accurate to consider these formulations as different versions of one and the same argument. They run in harmony with each other, but not because their mutual influence keeps each other in line. Hence, a human being is not the result of two substances causally interacting by means of contact and motion, as Gassendi and Elizabeth supposed, but rather they bear a relation of act and potency that results in one, whole and complete substantial human being. Hume's original position seems to make him deny that we have any 'sense of self' at all, whilst the version that allows for our awareness of the relatedness accommodates it, but explains how it can be an illusion. What is wrong with the [bundle] theory is that

Then one will be a dualist about that to which mental states and properties belong as well about the properties themselves. Therefore, the completely different natures of mind and body seem to render their causal interaction impossible.

Mind body dualism

These allegedly irreducible subjects, which contain irreducible predicates, differ from hard sciences in that they are interest-relative. This means that the ideas of mind and body represent two natures that have absolutely nothing in common. Properties are the properties of objects. Hume is generally credited with devising what is known as the 'bundle' theory of the self Treatise Book I, Part IV, section VI , according to which there are mental states, but no further subject or substance which possesses them. Whether this really makes sense in the end is another matter. For two things could have the same nature, for example, extension, but have other, changeable properties or modes distinguishing them. Because Forms are the grounds of intelligibility, they are what the intellect must grasp in the process of understanding. This gave Descartes his first inkling that the mind and body were different things. Ayer, A. Chalmers, D. Outside such a theistic framework, the theory is incredible. The consciousness account does not.

Except where there are minds interfering with it, matter proceeds deterministically, in its own right. In particular, if some external source of energy is responsible for the interactions, then this would violate the law of the conservation of energy.

Because of this, unlike in the case of water and H2O, one could not replace these terms by some more basic physical description and still convey the same information.

Mind body relationship philosophy

Hence, it is a sub-branch of emergent materialism. There could then be a complete physical cause of behaviour, and a mental one. Descartes' conception of the relation between mind and body was quite different from that held in the Aristotelian tradition. The crux of their concern was that in order for one thing to cause motion in another, they must come into contact with one another as, for example, in the game of pool the cue ball must be in motion and come into contact with the eight-ball in order for the latter to be set in motion. The irreducibility of the special sciences creates no problem for the dualist, who sees the explanatory endeavor of the physical sciences as something carried on from a perspective conceptually outside of the physical world. Armstrong, D. Physical properties are public, in the sense that they are, in principle, equally observable by anyone. Elizabeth is expressing the prevailing mechanistic view as to how causation of bodies works. The point is that having a perspective on the world is a psychological state. Malebranche decided that such a material basis of interaction between material and immaterial was impossible and therefore formulated his doctrine of occasionalism , stating that the interactions were really caused by the intervention of God on each individual occasion. Although Aristotle strongly rejected the independent existence Plato attributed to forms, his metaphysics do agree with Plato's a priori considerations quite often. You cannot combine just any matter with any form—you cannot make a knife out of butter, nor a human being out of paper—so the nature of the matter is a necessary condition for the nature of the substance. There is nothing non-material or mentalistic involved in conception, the formation of the blastula , the gastrula , and so on. This was a point of some controversy amongst the scholastics themselves.

Hume certainly thought something like this, for he thought that an impression might 'float free' from the mind to which it belonged, but it is not obvious that a bundle theorist is forced to adopt this position.

This means that they, and the predicates special to them, depend on the existence of minds and mental states, for only minds have interest-relative perspectives. The second possibility is to deny that the human body is causally closed, as the conservation of energy applies only to closed systems.

If physical laws are deterministic, then any interference from outside would lead to a breach of those laws.

arguments against dualism
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