Mind Body Relationship

December 18, 2016 Philosophy

The relationship between the mind and the body is one of the philosophical problems that has never been adequately answered. The functioning of the mind remains, for the most part, a mystery, and its nature and origins are still matters of controversy. When attempting to come a fair conclusion of how the mind and body relate, there are several important factors to investigate, such as: The problem with the mind and body, philosophical views of the mind and body, as well as psychological views.

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When contemplating if the mind body question is a philosophical question, or a psychological one, the first point to look at is the mind body problem. Since humans first began to wonder about the nature of the mind and its relation to the body, people noticed that the mind sometimes seemed independent of the body. When philosophy emerged tens of thousands of years later, it reinforced the belief that the mind and spirit were non-physical. When we look inside the body of human, we see nothing that suggests a mind or spirit. We see organs, muscles, and bones, but no life force, no thoughts, no memories, even our brain looks like nothing more than dull gray matter (Lemonick 2003: 62). With the rise of Christianity, the belief in the non-physical nature of the mind becomes religious dogma. With the rise of industry and science, philosophers began separating the mind-body issue from its religious texts. From this comes the many views both philosophically, and psychologically.

The great seventeenth century philosopher, Rene Descartes, developed the first systematic analysis of the mind-body issue (Wilson 1978: 12). Descartes first believed that the mental and the physical were two different substances; then, later, he explains how interaction between them is possible. In the beginning, Descartes reasoned that the mind could not be physical because all physical things are characterized by measurable spatial extent and mechanistic causality, while the mind could not be measured and it possessed free will, he termed this, mind-body dualism (Cottingham and Stoothoff 1985: 20).


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