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Mind Body Debate

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Mind-Body Debate


Psychiatry and Philosophy, out of all human professions main concern is the relationship between the mind, body, and brain. During this debate, Descartes, and Searle will consider both subjective and objective mental experiences in reference to the mind and body. In the below dialogue, I will describe how their conversations would sound and some of the questions that may be discussed. The conversation would develop from the argument that the mind and body are distinct in nature. The positions below include the following: substance, explanatory dualism, and functionalism. The dialogue will provide a brief introduction of the mind-body problem.


Me: Descartes and Searle that was a nice presentation. Descartes and Searle can you summarize why you believe the mind and body can function separately?

Descartes: The mind and body are distinct because the way the nature of the mind is, it is different from that of one's body. The mind and body could exist without the other. The mind and body are independent of each other.

Searle: I believe the mind works with the brain, and the mind is a feature of the brain. Mental phenomena are caused by neurons process, which are features of the brain.

Me: Descartes and Searle, I am glad you raised that point, let us pursue this discussion further. Descartes could both your and Searle's view of the mind and body both be correct? Could this unresolved dilemma of the mind and body be expressed through A an B processes?

Descartes: I believe the mind could function without the body. I also believe the body could function and exist without the mind. The soul and body are not complete substances because they are incomplete in nature. The union of the body and soul are a results of one complete substance.

Searle: The mind cannot be divided from the body. Searle defends that the mind must work with the body in unison that is his version of dualism that he defends. The brain causes the mind to function but the mind and body work together although they are two separate entities.

Me: Descartes! are you claiming that there are aspects of mental and bodily functioning that cannot be because of brain processes? How would our body function without the mind? The body functions are a result of different parts of our brains.

Descartes: A substance may be complete inasmuch yet it can be incomplete when it is referred to some other substance because it can be formed from a third substance. When applied to the mind and body debate; the mind is a thinking thing, which works as a complete substance.

Searle: The mind can cause the body to do things, and the body can cause the mind to do things as in dualism. A causes B to do something and the two levels are not independent of each other as in cause and affect. Intention-in-action causes bodily movement. If the mind tells the body to move the body will move.

Me: Is the mind more than the electrical impulses generated by the brain?

Descartes: The body works an extension to the brain, which works as a complete substance. When the two are viewed individually, the two are not complete. One without the other is an incomplete human.

Searle: The mental is quite capable of causing physical movement. The mind is dependent on the brain, and body is dependent on the mind and brain. Neither can function without the other.

Descartes: As humans we can doubt the existence of physical matter, including our bodies, but we cannot deny our conscious minds. A dualism



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