Thomas Nagel: The Mind-Body Problem

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This essay looks at Thomas Nagel’s account of the problem of consciousness i.e., the mind-body problem. I compare both Nagel’s and Colin McGinn's arguments regarding consciousness. Nagel’s argument introduces us to the intractability of the mind-body problem. The focus for Nagel is not to highlight the distinction between mind and body. Nagel employs one to not be so focused on the problem, rather embrace the possibilities regarding the phenomenology of consciousness. However, this should not deter one from their external investigation, thus giving rise to objective phenomenology. Nagel’s optimism is rooted in the possibility of a different reality that is unavailable to humans given their perception and structure. In this regard, Nagel’s optimism…show more content…
This has seen some materialist thinkers disregard the problem. Materialist has utilised mental reductionism to physical concepts, for example: temperature or molecules movement (motion) (Nagel, 1974: 435). Nagel (1974: 436) believes that conscious experiences exist in a variety of forms. The are two types of properties, that are mental and physical.These are features belonging to organisms predominantly…show more content…
It is evident that McGinn’s pessimism outweighs his rather unsatisfactory optimism. Nagel position on the inclusion of subjectivity has made his argument stronger, given that he acknowledges that one could never completely detach.Thus one could never be curly objective. However, there is a greater role that one’s subjective experience plays in one's brain. This is more relatable, given the environment that one is in. It is through my subjective experience that I am able to formulate concepts. However, McGinn is also correct in pointing out that there are limitations to one’s cognitive processes. I admit that my cognitive closure towards McGinn argument. I still find that Nagel more plausible, as there is room for discovery and investigation. While McGinn has rejected the problem

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