What proposed solution to the mind-body problem do you find to be the most logical/agree with most?

Posted by: PetersSmith

The mind–body problem concerns the explanation of the relationship that exists between minds, or mental processes, and bodily states or processes. The main aim of philosophers working in this area is to determine the nature of the mind and mental states/processes, and how—or even if—minds are affected by and can affect the body. I organized the answers between "dualism" and "monism". Dualism is a set of views about the relationship between mind and matter (or body). Monism does not accept any fundamental di

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Property dualist solution (dualism)

Property dualism is the view that the world is constituted of just one kind of substance – the physical kind – and there exist two distinct kinds of properties: physical properties and mental properties. In other words, it is the view that non-physi... cal, mental properties (such as beliefs, desires and emotions) inhere in some physical bodies (at least, brains). How mental and physical properties relate causally depends on the variety of property dualism in question, and is not always a clear issue   more
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Eliminative materialist solution (monism)

If one is a materialist and believes that all aspects of our common-sense psychology will find reduction to a mature cognitive neuroscience, and that non-reductive materialism is mistaken, then one can adopt a final, more radical position: eliminati... ve materialism. There are several varieties of eliminative materialism, but all maintain that our common-sense "folk psychology" badly misrepresents the nature of some aspect of cognition. Eliminativists such as Patricia and Paul Churchland argue that while folk psychology treats cognition as fundamentally sentence-like, the non-linguistic vector/matrix model of neural network theory or connectionism will prove to be a much more accurate account of how the brain works. The Churchlands often invoke the fate of other, erroneous popular theories and ontologies that have arisen in the course of history. For example, Ptolemaic astronomy served to explain and roughly predict the motions of the planets for centuries, but eventually this model of the solar system was eliminated in favor of the Copernican model. The Churchlands believe the same eliminative fate awaits the "sentence-cruncher" model of the mind in which thought and behavior are the result of manipulating sentence-like states called "propositional attitudes"   more
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Idealist solution (monism)

Idealism is the form of monism that sees the world as consisting of minds, mental contents and or consciousness. Idealists are not faced with explaining how minds arise from bodies: rather, the world, bodies and objects are regarded as mere appearan... ces held by minds. However, accounting for the mind–body problem is not usually the main motivation for idealism; rather, idealists tend to be motivated by skepticism, intentionality, and the unique nature of ideas. Idealism is prominent in Eastern religious and philosophical thought. It has gone through several cycles of popularity and neglect in the history of Western philosophy   more
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Neutral monist solution (monism)

Neutral monism, in philosophy, is the metaphysical view that the mental and the physical are two ways of organizing or describing the same elements, which are themselves "neutral," that is, neither physical nor mental. This view denies that the ment... al and the physical are two fundamentally different things. Rather, neutral monism claims the universe consists of only one kind of stuff, in the form of neutral elements that are in themselves neither mental nor physical. These neutral elements might have the properties of color and shape, just as we experience those properties. But these shaped and colored elements do not exist in a mind (considered as a substantial entity, whether dualistically or physicalistically); they exist on their own   more
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Mysterianist solution (Mysterianism)

Some philosophers take an epistemic approach and argue that the mind–body problem is currently unsolvable, and perhaps will always remain unsolvable to human beings. This is usually termed New mysterianism. Colin McGinn holds that human beings are c... ognitively closed in regards to their own minds. According to McGinn human minds lack the concept-forming procedures to fully grasp how mental properties such as consciousness arise from their causal basis. An example would be how an elephant is cognitively closed in regards to particle physics. A more moderate conception has been expounded by Thomas Nagel, which holds that the mind body problem is currently unsolvable at the present stage of scientific development and that it might take a future scientific paradigm shift or revolution to bridge the explanatory gap. Nagel posits that in the future a sort of "objective phenomenology" might be able to bridge the gap between subjective conscious experience and its physical basis   more
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Double-aspect theory solution (dualism)

In the philosophy of mind, double-aspect theory is the view that the mental and the physical are two aspects of, or perspectives on, the same substance. The theory's relationship to neutral monism is ill-defined, but one proffered distinction says t... hat whereas neutral monism allows the context of a given group of neutral elements to determine whether the group is mental, physical, both, or neither, double-aspect theory requires the mental and the physical to be inseparable and mutually irreducible.Double-aspect theorists include:-Baruch Spinoza, who believed that the Existence had two aspects, Extension and Mind, which together were to be taken as two of an infinite set of attributes comprising God.There is a dual-aspect interpretation of Immanuel Kant's noumenon.Arthur Schopenhauer, who considered the fundamental aspects of reality to be Will and Representation.David Bohm, who used Implicit and Explicit orders as a means of displaying dual-aspectsGustav FechnerGeorge Henry LewesCarl Gustav JungWolfgang PauliJohn PolkinghorneThomas Nagel   more
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Behaviorist solution (monism)

Behaviorism dominated philosophy of mind for much of the 20th century, especially the first half. In psychology, behaviorism developed as a reaction to the inadequacies of introspectionism. Introspective reports on one's own interior mental life are...  not subject to careful examination for accuracy and cannot be used to form predictive generalizations. Without generalizability and the possibility of third-person examination, the behaviorists argued, psychology cannot be scientific. The way out, therefore, was to eliminate the idea of an interior mental life (and hence an ontologically independent mind) altogether and focus instead on the description of observable behavior. Parallel to these developments in psychology, a philosophical behaviorism (sometimes called logical behaviorism) was developed. This is characterized by a strong verificationism, which generally considers unverifiable statements about interior mental life senseless. For the behaviorist, mental states are not interior states on which one can make introspective reports. They are just descriptions of behavior or dispositions to behave in certain ways, made by third parties to explain and predict another's behavior. Philosophical behaviorism has fallen out of favor since the latter half of the 20th century, coinciding with the rise of cognitivism. Cognitivists reject behaviorism due to several perceived problems. For example, behaviorism could be said to be counter-intuitive when it maintains that someone is talking about behavior in the event that a person is experiencing a painful headache   more
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Identity theory solution (monism)

Type physicalism (or type-identity theory) was developed by John Smart and Ullin Place as a direct reaction to the failure of behaviorism. These philosophers reasoned that, if mental states are something material, but not behavioral, then mental sta... tes are probably identical to internal states of the brain. In very simplified terms: a mental state M is nothing other than brain state B. The mental state "desire for a cup of coffee" would thus be nothing more than the "firing of certain neurons in certain brain regions". Despite its initial plausibility, the identity theory faces a strong challenge in the form of the thesis of multiple realizability, first formulated by Hilary Putnam. It is obvious that not only humans, but many different species of animals can, for example, experience pain. However, it seems highly unlikely that all of these diverse organisms with the same pain experience are in the identical brain state. And if this is the case, then pain cannot be identical to a specific brain state. The identity theory is thus empirically unfounded   more
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Functionalist solution (monism)

Functionalism was formulated by Hilary Putnam and Jerry Fodor as a reaction to the inadequacies of the identity theory. Putnam and Fodor saw mental states in terms of an empirical computational theory of the mind. At about the same time or slightly ... after, D.M. Armstrong and David Kellogg Lewis formulated a version of functionalism that analyzed the mental concepts of folk psychology in terms of functional roles. Finally, Wittgenstein's idea of meaning as use led to a version of functionalism as a theory of meaning, further developed by Wilfrid Sellars and Gilbert Harman. Another one, psychofunctionalism, is an approach adopted by the naturalistic philosophy of mind associated with Jerry Fodor and Zenon Pylyshyn. What all these different varieties of functionalism share in common is the thesis that mental states are characterized by their causal relations with other mental states and with sensory inputs and behavioral outputs. That is, functionalism abstracts away from the details of the physical implementation of a mental state by characterizing it in terms of non-mental functional properties. For example, a kidney is characterized scientifically by its functional role in filtering blood and maintaining certain chemical balances. From this point of view, it does not really matter whether the kidney be made up of organic tissue, plastic nanotubes or silicon chips: it is the role that it plays and its relations to other organs that define it as a kidney   more
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Non-reductionist solution (monism)

Non-reductionist philosophers hold firmly to two essential convictions with regard to mind–body relations: 1) Physicalism is true and mental states must be physical states, but 2) All reductionist proposals are unsatisfactory: mental states cannot b... e reduced to behavior, brain states or functional states. Hence, the question arises whether there can still be a non-reductive physicalism. Donald Davidson's anomalous monism is an attempt to formulate such a physicalism. Davidson uses the thesis of supervenience: mental states supervene on physical states, but are not reducible to them. "Supervenience" therefore describes a functional dependence: there can be no change in the mental without some change in the physical–causal reducibility between the mental and physical without ontological reducibility. Because non-reductive physicalist theories attempt to both retain the ontological distinction between mind and body and to try to solve the "surfeit of explanations puzzle" in some way; critics often see this as a paradox and point out the similarities to epiphenomenalism, in that it is the brain that is seen as the root "cause" not the mind, and the mind seems to be rendered inert. Epiphenomenalism regards one or more mental states as the byproduct of physical brain states, having no influence on physical states. The interaction is one-way (solving the "surfeit of explanations puzzle") but leaving us with non-reducible mental states (as a byproduct of brain states) – causally reducible, but ontologically irreducible to physical states. Pain would be seen by epiphenomenaliasts as being caused by the brain state but as not having effects on other brain states, though it might have effects on other mental states (i.E. Cause distress)   more
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Weak emergentist solution (monism)

Weak emergentism is a form of "non-reductive physicalism" that involves a layered view of nature, with the layers arranged in terms of increasing complexity and each corresponding to its own special science. Some philosophers hold that emergent prop... erties causally interact with more fundamental levels, while others maintain that higher-order properties simply supervene over lower levels without direct causal interaction. The latter group therefore holds a less strict, or "weaker", definition of emergentism, which can be rigorously stated as follows: a property P of composite object O is emergent if it is metaphysically impossible for another object to lack property P if that object is composed of parts with intrinsic properties identical to those in O and has those parts in an identical configuration. Sometimes emergentists use the example of water having a new property when Hydrogen H and Oxygen O combine to form H2O (water). In this example there "emerges" a new property of a transparent liquid that would not have been predicted by understanding hydrogen and oxygen as gases. This is analogous to physical properties of the brain giving rise to a mental state. Emergentists try to solve the notorious mind–body gap this way. One problem for emergentism is the idea of "causal closure" in the world that does not allow for a mind-to-body causation   more
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Dualist solution (dualism)

The most frequently used argument in favour of dualism is that it appeals to the common-sense intuition that conscious experience is distinct from inanimate matter. If asked what the mind is, the average person would usually respond by identifying i... t with their self, their personality, their soul, or some other such entity. They would almost certainly deny that the mind simply is the brain, or vice versa, finding the idea that there is just one ontological entity at play to be too mechanistic, or simply unintelligible. Many modern philosophers of mind think that these intuitions are misleading and that we should use our critical faculties, along with empirical evidence from the sciences, to examine these assumptions to determine whether there is any real basis to them. Another important argument in favor of dualism is that the mental and the physical seem to have quite different, and perhaps irreconcilable, properties. Mental events have a subjective quality, whereas physical events do not. So, for example, one can reasonably ask what a burnt finger feels like, or what a blue sky looks like, or what nice music sounds like to a person. But it is meaningless, or at least odd, to ask what a surge in the uptake of glutamate in the dorsolateral portion of the hippocampus feels like. Philosophers of mind call the subjective aspects of mental events "qualia" or "raw feels". There is something that it is like to feel pain, to see a familiar shade of blue, and so on. There are qualia involved in these mental events that seem particularly difficult to reduce to anything physical. David Chalmers explains this argument by stating that we could conceivably know all the objective information about something, such as the brain states and wavelengths of light involved with seeing the color red, but still not know something fundamental about the situation – what it is like to see the color red. If consciousness (the mind) can exist independently of physical reality (the brain), one must explain how physical memories are created concerning consciousness. Dualism must therefore explain how consciousness affects physical reality. One possible explanation is that of a miracle, proposed by Arnold Geulincx and Nicolas Malebranche, where all mind–body interactions require the direct intervention of God   more
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Interactionist solution (dualism)

Interactionist dualism, or simply interactionism, is the particular form of dualism first espoused by Descartes in the Meditations. In the 20th century, its major defenders have been Karl Popper and John Carew Eccles. It is the view that mental stat... es, such as beliefs and desires, causally interact with physical states. Descartes' famous argument for this position can be summarized as follows: Seth has a clear and distinct idea of his mind as a thinking thing that has no spatial extension (i.E., it cannot be measured in terms of length, weight, height, and so on). He also has a clear and distinct idea of his body as something that is spatially extended, subject to quantification and not able to think. It follows that mind and body are not identical because they have radically different properties. At the same time, however, it is clear that Seth's mental states (desires, beliefs, etc.) have causal effects on his body and vice versa: A child touches a hot stove (physical event) which causes pain (mental event) and makes her yell (physical event), this in turn provokes a sense of fear and protectiveness in the caregiver (mental event), and so on   more
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Psychophysical parallelist solution (dualism)

Psychophysical parallelism, or simply parallelism, is the view that mind and body, while having distinct ontological statuses, do not causally influence one another. Instead, they run along parallel paths (mind events causally interact with mind eve... nts and brain events causally interact with brain events) and only seem to influence each other. This view was most prominently defended by Gottfried Leibniz. Although Leibniz was an ontological monist who believed that only one type of substance, the monad, exists in the universe, and that everything is reducible to it, he nonetheless maintained that there was an important distinction between "the mental" and "the physical" in terms of causation. He held that God had arranged things in advance so that minds and bodies would be in harmony with each other. This is known as the doctrine of pre-established harmony   more
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Occasionalist solution (dualism)

Occasionalism is the view espoused by Nicholas Malebranche that asserts that all supposedly causal relations between physical events, or between physical and mental events, are not really causal at all. While body and mind are different substances, ... causes (whether mental or physical) are related to their effects by an act of God's intervention on each specific occasion   more
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PetersSmith says2015-06-22T16:52:24.4123495-05:00
Description got cut off, it's somewhat important: The mind–body problem concerns the explanation of the relationship that exists between minds, or mental processes, and bodily states or processes. The main aim of philosophers working in this area is to determine the nature of the mind and mental states/processes, and how—or even if—minds are affected by and can affect the body. I organized the answers between "dualism" and "monism". Dualism is a set of views about the relationship between mind and matter (or body). Monism does not accept any fundamental divisions.

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