Mind Body Problem Analysis

1379 Words6 Pages
When thinking about the mind and the body, how do we know if there is a mental realm, or a physical realm, and if it is true that our mind and our body are actually connected? The mind-body problem has been a key lesson in philosophy, with many points of view to look at. From the book, Philosophical Problems and Arguments, the authors James Cornman and Keith Lehrer go into great detail discussing the mind-body problem. Along with additional support with the book, Readings on the Ultimate Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy. Although there is strong evidence supporting functionalism and the identity theory. I believe that dualism, the belief that there is two separate realms with the mind and body, is the best answer to the mind-body problem…show more content…
While the other theories are focused one of identity or the other, but never both together. In support of dualism, Cornman and Searle state, “Whatever is mental depends essentially on consciousness or awareness, but what is material does not. Furthermore it certainly seems that nothing mental has size, shape, mass, or spatial location; such qualities seem only to characterize the material” (Cornman and Searle 240). The authors, aware of the two identities, are using these examples to establish a precedent as well as to help the two identities stand out. Furthermore, the authors begin to speak about how the identities have been connected since the beginning when God created the world. Originally supported by Descartes, he believed that three identities were apparent in the world when it was created. These identities can be seen as the mind and the body, while the other is the existence of God. Descartes defines the mind as “one which thinks but is not extended” while the body is defined as “one which is extended and does not think” (Cornman and Searle 241). An example showing dualism in everyday life could be with how a person goes about stress or anxiety. If a person is worried about a job, test, or money, that mental state can lead to headaches, nausea, or worse injuries. Dualism makes a lot of sense, as well as the connection can be…show more content…
Nonetheless, dualism has its own objections as well. A well thought objection created by materialists, belief that the world is only made of physical things, is that dualism does not fit the rule of Ockham’s Razor. The definition of Ockham’s Razor is when debating between two theories, the theory that is the most simplistic is what should be chosen. In support of Ockham’s Razor, the book Matter and Consciousness written by Paul Churchland, states, “... there is no doubt at all that physical matter exists (and plays a substantial role in our internal cognitive activities), while spiritual matter remains a primitive, tenuous, and explanatorily feeble hypothesis” (Churchland 29). In defense to dualism, the theory itself is straightforward, as stated earlier there are properties that can help decide if it is a mental state (consciousness) or a physical state
Open Document