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The Mind -Body Problem Essay

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The mind-body problem is one of the problems in philosophy and it concerns the question whether a valid distinction can be made between the mind and the body. If such distinction can be made, then we can ask whether in fact any things exist to which we can apply either term, or both terms. Also if there are things to which both terms can be applied, we can, for those cases, ask what the relationship is between the mind and the body. In this paper, I shall present the Cartesian dualism in contrast to monism vis-à-vis the mind-body problem.
The mind is the aspect of intellect and consciousness experienced as combinations of thought, perception, memory, emotion, will, and imagination, including all unconscious cognitive process. Plato was the first to make a sharp distinction between the mind and the body, holding that the mind could exist both before and after its residence in the body and could rule the body during that residence. Following the platonic distinction, Augustine developed and theorized in more detail about this distinction. But it was Descartes who first developed a systematic theory of the natures and interrelationship of the mind and body.
For Descartes body and mind were substances, but with utterly different basic natures. According to him, body is extended and unthinking while the mind is thinking and un-extended. He rejected the Aristotelian concept of the body, which is, with its form-matter and actuality-potentiality dimensions, an essentially biological concept of matter.
Problem of conceptualizing the mind
The mind can be conceptualized from two broad perspectives, viz:
a. With reference to internal connections between mental events, and
b. With reference to something else; for example the body or brain.
(a) There are three views or theories on the concept of the mind with reference to internal connections between mental events:
1. Mental-substance theory
2. Bundle theory

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