Philosophy of the Mind
Everyone has a mind, but it is not understandable exactly what a mind is or what mental states are. These mental states that we experience are private and subjective, therefore it is hard to explain the problem of the the mind being a physical part of the body and the mind having a meaning greater than the physical body. The mind/body problem is the problem of explaining consciousness because it seems to involve more than just the physical parts of our brain but there is hardly any evidence to help prove that there actually anything over and above our brains that exists to account for consciousness. When philosophers talk about consciousness, they are referring to the exceptional human capability to reflect on their own thoughts which means it’s being “self-aware”. We use our ability of self-awareness to talk about our own personal perceptions. The central question of the philosophy of the mind asks what is required for a being to be conscious, more specifically, what conditions are sufficient for saying that something is conscious?
There are two major views within the study of the mind called Dualism and Materialism. Dualism is the belief that reality consists of two basic types of substance as mind and matter or mental and physical. Dualists believe that “whatever ‘I’ am, it is significantly different from physical things (my body, brain, etc.) (Class Notes).” Materialism is quite the opposite in that it is the belief that physical matter is the only reality and that everything, including thought, feeling, mind, and will, can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena. Materialists believe that “whatever ‘I’ am, it is ultimately physical in nature and at least a function of my neural components (Class Notes).”
One important argument for Dualism would be Plato’s argument from “Alcibiades I”. This is an argument for dualism between Alcibiades and Socrates. Socrates is trying to figure out if...