Mind body exists separately. (Friedenberg & Silverman, 2012). Unlike

      Mind and body problem has remained for centuries. Philosophers
have argued on monism, dualism and functionalism,
three different philosophical perspectives of the human person. Philosophers
have been trying to figure out whether the person is made up of the mind, the
body, or both. Monism is the theory that ultimately the mind and the body exists
as one same substance in the universe, whereas dualists holds the beliefs that
the mind and the body exists separately. (Friedenberg & Silverman, 2012).  Unlike dualism, functionalism
indicates that mental states ought to be defined in terms of their functional
roles but not being identified with physical brain states. Functionalism
“implies that mental states might not be reduced to any particular physical
state.” (Friedenberg & Silverman, 2012, p.34). In this essay,
I will discuss dualism deeply and prove evidence that supports the idea of substance
dualism theory, which is also my perspective.

      There most
common type of dualism is substance dualism. Substance dualism started with
Rene Descartes. In his belief, “mind and body are composed of completely
different substances” that the mind controls the body through the pineal gland, but not the vice versa (Friedenberg &
Silverman, 2012, p.29). To better understand his idea, we can make a
comparison of the human person body to a puppet, the mind is the puppet master,
and the puppet master controls the puppet through a puppet string which is the
pineal gland (Friedenberg & Silverman, 2012). Another form of dualism is
property dualism. Property
dualist believes that mental states are nonphysical properties of brain
phenomena. The concept of epiphenomenalism
is related to this form of dualism. Epiphenomenalism
indicates that physical events in the brain can cause mental
events, while mental events does not affect any physical events. (McLaughlin,
p. 277).

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      My perspective of the mind body problem and
substance dualism theory coincide. I believe that mind and body are distinct.  In the following
of this essay, I will be
discussing my viewpoint using my own example. While Descartes was
confused with a question “What am I?” Descartes gave a great answer,
“I am a thinking thing” (Kim, 1996 p.33). He answered this question firstly by asking himself
whether he has a body; so, he
is a material thing and he could not doubt of being a thinking being.
When the mind and body are separate; the mind can exist without the body because the
body is not essential for what we are (Kim, 1996). Moreover, the mind is unexpended and inseparable while the body is extended and separable; therefore, they are distinct in
nature. I enjoy watching the waves alone. When I look at the ocean, my body is
not able to make that event as an experience or memory without the help of my
brain. That is saying mind and body are distinct in nature because they do not
share all the attributes they have. From my viewpoint, they
are related to each other in mental events but still they are distinct
physically. They both send information to each other yet we cannot experience
the mind as we do brain. As we see the ocean, we have a visual perception of
ocean and from our knowledge we can say that brain saw it and replied it is
ocean.

      In
the conclusion, throughout the essay I have explained what monism, dualism and functionalism
are and the difference between them, as well as Descartes’ dualism thesis, which
helps one to understand why mind and the brain are distinct and I believe this
theory.

 

Reference

Friedenberg, J., & Silverman, G. (2016). Cognitive
science: an introduction to the study of mind. Thousand Oaks: SAGE
Publications, Inc.

Kim, J. (2011). Philosophy of mind. Boulder, CO:
Westview Press.

McLaughlin, Brian P. (1994) Epiphenomenalism: in A
Companion to the Philosophy of Mind, Samuel Guttenplan, ?Eds?, Blackwell, Oxford.