Nature of the Mind-Body relationship

All I can say about this folks, is that I’m again mixing study and pleasure. However, be careful how you view these ideas – you may realize too late that your previous ideals are contradictory. I can’t offer a full range of the alternatives here right now – but I’ll be writting an essay on this on Friday, and hope to have most of teh alternatives covered by then!

Ok – you got Two major theories to choose from in teh begining – then you can notpick over finer details. Choice is; Dualism or Monism.

  • The nature of conscious intelligence is non-physical. The mental and pysical are two distinct things/spheres of events. (Brain and Mind)
  • Mental illness may not be just a physical problem and Psychology may be useful in treating preventing these types of problems.
  • Two broad categories (Containing sub categories) Property Dualism and Substance Dualism.


  • Mental and physical things are not two things to be related or explained – there is only one thing,/sphere of events (Brain)
  • If you think that the mind is purely physical, mental illness must be a physical problem with the brain and Psychology can be considered useless, as messing with the mind cannot have any effect on the body(brain).
  • Two Broad Categories (Including sub categories) Idealism and Materialism.

An argument for Dualism (Which is kinda controversial to how I like to think of thigns, because I’m not convinced these things exist, but if they did – it would be the ebst way to explain them.)

Argument from Parapsychological Phenomena

  1. Telepathy, precognition, telekinesis, clairvoyance are facts which cannot be explained by normal scientific theories
  2. All of these theories are easily explained by dualism.
  3. Therefore, dualism is true

For those advocates of Ockhams Razor – is this simple enough for you? However – I don’t like it because it is of a similar structure to the; we can’t explain it, therefore God created it type of arguments.

Today, we are going to have a lesson on Property Dualism!

  1. Mind and body are NOT 2 different things
  2. The brain is a thing of substance.
  3. The brain has non-physical properties. (represent Mind)

Property Dualism Argument (Searle Minds, Brains, Ch 1.)

  1. Mental phenomena are caused by brain processes.
  2. Mental phenomena are just features of the brain.
  3. Just as the solidity of a table is caused by an arrangement of atomic particles, and is a feature of the table (not of the particles), so too is the mind both caused by, and a feature of, the brain.
  4. Hence mental states have two levels of description: a higher level in mental terms, and a lower level in physiological terms.

Why do I like Property Dualism? because I don’t like substance Dualism (Mind and Brain are 2 seperate things). Why don’t I like Substance Dualism? Because of two reasons:

  1. The Problem of Interaction; the Mind and Body clearly interact. If mind and body are radically distinct things, how do they interact? Obvious solution: Mind and body interact like a pilot and a ship – this is the Property Dualism view.
  2. It lends itself too much towards religion. Due to this one of the major arguments for substane Dualism and the problem of interaction is that God is the connection between mind and body and he controls our bodies via our minds in a type of parrallel universe. If this was the case God is responsible for all our physical actions, and we have no free will etc. I just don’t like that idea, besides, its foundation is that God exists and that has hardly been established without controversy.

However, Property Dualism is far from being my ideal idea of my mind. It still raises issues of freewill, and does not as easily explain teh quirks of the mind and consciousness. It addresses the issues materialism (Only the brain exists) and neuroscience raise better then Substance dualism, but still not satisfactorily.

More on this later. I’m going to bed. Goodnight. When you dream tonight, wonder where your dreams are coming from. Wonder where they’ll take you. Wonder if you’ve been there before. Wonder if your wondering is just in your dreams, orif your dreams are actually you wondering inyour sleep? Do you wonder if I’mjust saying this tomake this blog seem mysticaly and intelligent?

10 thoughts on “Nature of the Mind-Body relationship

  1. I tend tio agree – Grammar nazi is avoiding the issue here.Could it be that to delve into the deep dark realms of the mind may cause us all to take a very quick backward step?to many the ‘guiding hand ‘ of religion is the simplest form of answer – you are not responsible for your own actions – you cannot be blamed, all is readily forgiven – there is a higher, loftier plan for the world that you are not privy tothe power of the mind is something that scientist have yet to even scratch the surface of. amazing that we can put a man on the moon but not yet be able to work out what really makes us tick?if mental phenonema are the result of brain process – what set those processes in motion?the power of the mind and of others mind power over you- hypnotism , bone pointing, willing oneself to death, out of body experiences, telepathy – these are all unsolved mysteries, perhaps deliberatly contrived so by our own brain/minds – surely if we knew how this last bastion of “humanity” worked it would sound our own death knell?

  2. No Beth, the person who taught me English taught me respect for women. Because the person who taught me English was my Mother.Contention still exists in regards to the Grammar Nazi’s suggestion that point 2 is a statement and not a question. When a person is wondering, they wonder about something and are posing a question in an abstract way. If you wonder alloud you almost always are seeking some kind of confirmation. By seeking confirmation you are in essence asking a question. If the Grammar Nazi had of kept her wondering to herself it could be considered a statement. Issued alloud, it cannot, because a statement does not include any element of doubt, and wondering obviously contains an element of doubt, letting us conclude that it is a question.As for the abbreviation of supposed. A true Grammar nazi who is unbiased would never utter such a pathetic, lame, and definetly not ‘proper’ abreviation for a word. Whislt the rules of the apostrophe may have been maintained, it is not a recognised abreviation and should be struck from a true Grammar Nazi’s vocabulary.Now, I suggest the Grammar Nazi use her time more effetively to answer the real question, as all this contestation is merely a sidetrack, and let the Grammar Nazi tells us what she believes of the Mind-Body relationship in the interest of all parties… In answer to your question, I do not have a spell checker on this program.

  3. 1.This program changes the capitals in the username section into lower case, which is why none of the usernames have capital letters, including yours, fuller.2.The ‘question’ you are referring to was in fact a statement, not a question. I said ‘I’m wondering who… and whether you have…’ not ‘who taught you English and do you have a spell checker.’3.’S’posed’ is a legitimate abbreviation of the word ‘supposed’. I even put the apostrophe in the correct place!4. Yes, you can contest anything if <> <> you’re <> <> a Fuller. But you can’t contest anything if <> <> your <> <> a Fuller.In conclusion, it seems I am a Fuller (possibly one who has studied grammar for three years), because I’m getting nit-picky and contesting your contest.Furthermore, my apologies to the person who taught you (some) English… at least you taught him respect for women. *cough* *cough*

  4. Thanks Nick, for the drink and awaiting my ‘imminent return’.Just a tip to those trying to decypher the arguments – they are in point form for a reason – they should flow – but anything you don’t udnerstand, just ask and I will try to fill in the implicit premises as best I can. Searles Argument is not exatcly clear – but it will become so in the next few posts (hopefully).

  5. In response to the Grammar Nazi.1. Nouns, which are naming words, like Grammar Nazi, require a capital letter at the beginning of the word.2. When you ask a question, you need to use a question mark, not an exclamation mark. 3. s’posed is not a word or an abbreviation of a word.4. You can contest anything (especially if your a Fuller). In conclusion, it would seem the Grammar Nazi may be a Fuller?

  6. Goodluck in your exams, Nick and goodluck with the essay, Damo. I cant even comprehend it properly and I’ve finished exams! Waaay too much concentration involved!

  7. too much for me to comprehend right now. i’ll check back later and attempt to decypher it. drinks tomorrow night, exams will do done by 430 and then it is party time. i will make sure i have a beer for you damo. samir suggested we watch the newcastle video but i demanded we await your imminent return.all the best mate.

  8. I’m wondering who taught you english (you know who you are…) and whether you have a spell checker on that computer!How’s anyone s’posed to understand your ideas and comment on them? You purposefully make your arguments incomprehensible, don’t you? It’s a trick to confuse us so we can’t contest what you’re saying.Sounds like something you would do.

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