Mind-body dichotomy

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File:Descartes mind and body.gif
René Descartes' illustration of mind/body dualism. Inputs are passed on by the sensory organs to the epiphysis in the brain and from there to the immaterial spirit.

The mind-body dichotomy is the view that "mental" phenomena are, in some respects, "non-physical" (distinct from the body). The mind-body dichotomy is the starting point of Dualism, and became conceptualized in the form is currently known in the Western world in René Descartes's philosophy, but also appeared in pre-Aristotelian concepts.[1]

This view of reality leads to consider the corporeal as little valued[1] and trivial. The rejection of the mind-body dichotomy is found in French Structuralism, and is a position that generally characterized post-war French philosophy.[2] The absence of an empirically identifiable meeting point between the non-physical mind and its physical extension has proven problematic to dualism and many modern philosophers of mind maintain that the mind is not something separate from the body.[3] These approaches have been particularly influential in the sciences, particularly in the fields of sociobiology, computer science, evolutionary psychology and the various neurosciences.[4][5][6][7]

Plato's Idea

Plato argued that, as the body is from the material world, the soul is from the world of ideas and thus immortal. He believed the soul was temporarily united with the body and would only be separated at death where it would then go back to the world of forms. As the soul does not exist in time and space as the body does, it can therefore access universal truths from the world of ideas.

  • Dualism - the mind is distinct from the body.
  • Materialism - the mind is an extension of the body (eg. chemical reactions).
  • Idealism - reality is in the mind.

The aim of the soul is to out survive the body where it will return to the world of ideas, along with the identity of the individual.[citation needed]

Notes and citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 The mind-body problem by Robert M. Young
  2. Turner 96, p.76
  3. Kim, J. (1995). in Honderich, Ted: Problems in the Philosophy of Mind. Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  4. Pinel, J. Psychobiology, (1990) Prentice Hall, Inc. ISBN 8815071741
  5. LeDoux, J. (2002) The Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are, New York:Viking Penguin. ISBN 8870787958
  6. Russell, S. and Norvig, P. Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, New Jersey:Prentice Hall. ISBN 0131038052
  7. Dawkins, R. The Selfish Gene (1976) Oxford:Oxford University Press. ISBN

Bibliography

See also

External links

nl:Lichaam-geest probleemfi:Mieli–ruumis-ongelma


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