The Mind-Body Problem


Body is composed of the physical structures that allow human being to manage all operations that are needed for survival. What can be physically seen is the composition of the body. For instance, the brain is a physical part of the body. On the other hand, however, the mind consists of the abstract structure that facilitates the synthesis of all things in which human beings want to be engaged (McLeod 27). It is a composition involving consciousness, thought, and mental processes. The mind cannot be seen. The brain, which forms part of the body, can be seen. The mind-body debate involves a deeply rooted contest on whether the two interact with each other. This paper will argue that both the mind and the body are interrelated regardless of their diverse capacities in human beings. However, it will not argue that the two are similar. The paper will take the direction that there is interdependence between them though they are different.

Mind Body Problem Essay Example

The greatest challenge that tends to arouse the curiosity of many philosophers and psychologists in the body/mind debate is which one has an upper hand. The questions remain whether the body is part of the mind or whether the mind is part of the body and whether the two are distinct or work in relation to one another, and if they do, how it is facilitated These are some of the major questions that make humans venture into the world of infinite possibilities to look for the underlying principles and the nature of the two concepts. Many theories have been suggested as the ones to explain the relationship between the two concepts, the mind, which is the consciousness of a person, and the brain, the physical structure that forms part of the body (Feigl, Scriven, and Grover 380). The two extreme sides that disagree with each other in the perception of the body-mind idea are those of the dualists and the monists. The dualists argue that the two concepts are different from each other. On the other side, the monists argue that the two are one and the same thing.

Thinking is one of the methods that people are able to use to express their naturally endowed freedom of choice. This is done by the mind. The mind, in turn, informs the actions that one takes. This means that what the mind thinks informs the physical structure, which then forms the basis for the reactions that the physical structure takes. Human’s physical organs move in response to the thoughts from the mind. The “mind moves matter” concept is involved then.

Under different circumstances, an individual can be able to look at the brain of the human beings and try to see what is happening there. The only thing that can be found is the nerves (Young 710). The experiences that a person is undergoing or thinking about are hard to be seen. First, if it were to be assumed that the brain and the mind are the same thing, then there would be sufficient substance to explain this. However, since it does not exist, it means that the mind exists to explain these experiences. Secondly, concerning those who assume that the mind and the brain do not interrelate, it would be impossible for the impulses from the brain to be transmitted to other organs of the body to make it change with the expectations (Young 706). For example, when a person sees danger, i.e. with the physical eyes, the optic nerve sends impulses to the brain. The brain is only composed of the physical wiring. The mind is the one that does the work of translating the impulses to proceed and inform the person what step to take after full information is synthesized.

It is true that the mind is a non-physical entity, while the brain is a physical one. In addition, it would not make sense for Rene Descartes to proclaim that the two do not interrelate (Descartes 15). What is physical relates with what is non-physical. For instance, the physical informs the non-physical and vice-versa. For example, when one feels pain, the ailing physical part through the nerves sends impulses to the brain, which allows the mind to translate the impulses. If the mind was not directly relating with the physical body, it would be impossible for a person to understand happenings in his/her environment.

From another insightful perspective, there are enough grounds to believe that the mind and the body, though different entities in their capacity of handling issues, can be taken to be dependent on each other (Searle 64). When one sleeps, the physical body rests completely. It is expected that even the brain, which is a physical part of the body, is expected to rest as well. However, an individual is able to dream. This partly shows that the individual has the two concepts as separate, but from a deeper perspective, interrelating. It means that when one is awake, the physical bodies as well as the mind are completely active. When one sleeps, the mind completely is completely in charge of the person. Since the mind has an innate capacity of thinking beyond what the physical body considers as impossible, the person is able to dream and think issues which he/she could not imagine when awake or under the normal circumstances.

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Another informed relationship is when one is able to unconsciously feel danger though they cannot see it. The mind through the impulses feels that and informs the body about the surrounding. Afterwards, the person starts to shiver or sweat profusely even when they have not seen the source of danger or threat.

Conclusion of the Concept of Mind and Brain

If one is to argue the concept of mind and brain using the materialism point of view, one will be reducing consciousness to matter, which will be a great mistake. Consciousness is an abstract property of the physical brain. The case that is presented by the dualists that the two entities are different can be refuted on the grounds that the connection between the causal brain and the consciousness cannot be established by an event or material basis (Searle 45). The manifestations of the relationship are visible when someone thinks about something. The actions of a person manifest that relationship. In a nutshell, for instance, an individual sees a very smart vehicle being driven by another. They admire the vehicle. In this case, what is happening is that the admiration is taken from the eye, seeing, to the brain through the nerves and then the mind, which is non-visible and synthesizes what the person sees to bring the reality to the person. The mind can either challenge the person that he/she may not be able to buy or he/she can buy it.

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