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 Mind-Body Relationship

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Draco18s
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PostSubject: Mind-Body Relationship   Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:49 pm

Here's the issue presented by the class reading:

What exactly is a person? If people are thinking, feeling, ambitious, then are their bodies also thinking and feeling and expressive of desires?

One of the issues in metaphysics is that it doesn't make sense that a body, an object, has feelings and desires. It'd be like saying "My foot wants to go to the beach."

So if there is some non-physical aspect that makes the difference between a body and a person, then, what is it? We can't define it with physical qualities, because then we have to assert that physical bodies have desires. But we also can't use psychological properties--by saying for example that this difference between a person and a body thinks, desires, deliberates, believes, and so on we have to assert that it is already a person in its own right and there's no argument of adding it to something in order to get a person. We might as well have given those properties to the body (the animal organism) in the first place.

So how, then do the mind and body interact? Are there two entities (and how does a non-physical entity act upon a physical one, or if it can't then how does one explain choices), or is there just one entity?
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jkarrah
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PostSubject: Re: Mind-Body Relationship   Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:25 pm

The body might not have "desires" but it does have feelings. After all emotions are little more than biochemical reactions produced in the brain. But the body's feelings are very basic in nature: cold, hot, hungry, thirsty, tired, frightened, excited, horny, happy, sad, bored. If these were not biological in nature then they would not be able to be monitored via brain activity.

Also, if this were not the case then sever brain trauma or chemical imbalances in the brain would not affect the emotional state... the feelings... of the person to whom the body belongs.

The difference between the feelings and desires of the body vs. the feelings and desires of the mind could be what differentiates the spirit from the soul: two parts of a greater whole. The spirit represents the finite and physical realm of the body, while the soul represents the infinite (and immortal?) realm of the mind.

But over all, I would have to say that it is the mind/soul that makes a person a person not their body. Body parts can be replaced. And who knows maybe one day the entire body can be replaced. But without the mind the body just lies there with no purpose.

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Draco18s
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PostSubject: Re: Mind-Body Relationship   Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:31 pm

Then how does the mind effect the body, and what IS the soul?
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jkarrah
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PostSubject: Re: Mind-Body Relationship   Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:20 pm

Who says the mind does control the body? Maybe the mind just makes suggestions or has the ability to fool the body. Maybe it's the body that actually controls the mind. (Definately seems to be the latter with some people.)

If I could answer any of that in any sort of definitive way I'd be a god sunny

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Draco18s
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PostSubject: Re: Mind-Body Relationship   Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:40 am

*Chuckles* Well, this would be the question we're working over at the moment, there are 8 theories, you just suggested Epiphenomonalism. Smile

The problem with epiphenomonalism is that the mind can control the body. After all, when you think "I want some cake" and you go get it, that was your (i.e. mental) choice, was it not?

Also a hint of dual aspect theory in your post (i.e. the mind and body are the same, and it only appears that there are two entities).
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solarion
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PostSubject: Re: Mind-Body Relationship   Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:00 am

The thing with that is that the mind may only have the illusion of controlling the body. When the mind thinks "Hey, I want some cake," then that may just be the culmination of smells and feelings complied over the last few minutes.

Possibly a person is just the composite of all these desires and subconcious thoughts which together make up the illusion of conciousness. When it is simply an illusion it can be more than it seems without being more than the sum of its parts.
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ShimdraShaul
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PostSubject: Re: Mind-Body Relationship   Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:04 pm

Well if you want a biological explanation of mind-body interface it goes: body sends input to the mind, mind processes data, mind gives instructions to the body, body carries out orders and sends feedback. (The orders given depend on the data stored in the memory banks and statistical ratios to favorable outcomes.) The soul thing is entirely up in the air. Frankly, I don't think "soul" is a quantifiable entity which we can attribute to our biological function or reasoning. It's just something that is there.

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