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Hi all, I hope everyone is keeping well. I thought I would revisit an old topic, a topic I have talked about in the past when I was running Facebook groups and pages. Since then, iv gone through some things. Things that make question my old beliefs and assumption, so I thought (at least for myself) that it would be interesting to see where I stand of the topic of the mind body problem now. I used to hold that the mind or mental properties was a product of the physical body, the artifact of chemical process and sense apparatus. Namely a reductionist point of view.

Let’s start by exploring what the problem is exactly. What is the relationship between mind and body? Alternatively: what the relationship between mental properties and physical properties? Physical properties include size, weight, shape, colour and motion through space and time. Mental properties include consciousness– such things as perceptual experience and emotional experience. As well as intentionality— such things as belief and desires. These things are in domain of mental properties and are possessed by a subject of a self. Physical properties are observable by everyone, this is the body.  The same is not true of mental properties. Mental properties are only accessible by the self, I may be able to tell by your behaviour that you are sad, but only you can feel it directly.

A good question to get one thinking is that of causality, do physical states influence metal states? Do mental states influence physical states? If so, how? Three questions that have to be addressed or three things that have to be defined; what is consciousness? What is intentionality? What is the self? How do these three things relate to the brain and body? I fiend theses very difficult questions to ask as too have many grate philosophers, there appears to be no clear answer. Hence these are thought of as problems in philosophy, the problem of consciousness, the problem of intentionality and the problem of the self. The last problem is of that of embodiment what is it for the mind to be housed in a body? What is for a body to belong to a particular subject? Namely why? Remember these are my thoughts on the topic.

Materialist view posits that function of the mind is to directly or indirectly modify behaviour, namely it is the nature of consciousness and mind to modify behaviour. This is best described as a version of reductionist view of the problems. Simply its function or role in modifying behaviour. The idealist view is that physical states are really just mental states that the physical world is influenced by our thoughts or mental process—thus is an intersubjective product of the collective experience. That as according to the idealist there is only the mental. The dualist view is that both the mental and physical are real, that nether can be incorporated into the other thus exist in duality.

The reductionists I think come closet to a unified theory, allowing consciousness to be described in terms of chemical reactions in the body specifically the brain. Though many people are unhappy with this, it is taking away some sense of the mystical. In light of my new thinking, I agree in a sense with the reductionist view. Though I don’t think it’s the whole story, though It doesn’t describe internality this idea of will, the idea of the self and agency. It doesn’t describe the why? It does describe the how mental processes that influence the body and how the physical influences the mental. Yet it leave the bigger questions unanswered. Perhaps why is too big a question for now, but we can ask about the self and intentionality.

Lets talk about internality, I used think reductionism could describe this. Yet I’m not so sure anymore. Internality describes the power of the mind to represent or to stand for things. It is to say that of an individual’s mental sates have contents, to say that the words a person uses to convey the contents of there mental sates have internality. It used to describe the puzzle of representation, in this case what represents will. I think this can be describe as Superego. This to me describes something more that just chemical process, there is a will in people that can’t be reduced to chemical process. One formally supposed that will was just the overriding impulse to behave in certain way in response to a stimulus. That the concurrent behaviour represents a state of affairs of the mind, while this is true, I feel now it is something more. At least I wont it to be, otherwise this sense of self– this sense of agency is just an illusion. So it is that this power of the mind is something that if reduced to the physical phenomena alone, we lose something. We enter a world of determinism where our choices are illusions. Thus would be the wills of overriding stimuli in the states of the mind. So while reductionism can describe the mechanism of that allows the mind to influence the body and vice versa, I don’t feel that it can describe intentionality, the self or consciousness.

What is the self? The self I think must be the artefact of the convergent parts of all aspects of the mind. It is the I.D, Ego and Superego. Yet I have no mechanism to describe the Ego and Superego, under a reductionist view. To quickly describe that, the I.D is the primitive dives and instincts as well as hidden memories, the Super ego acts as the moral conscience while the ego is the realistic mediator between the I.D and Superego. All these things I think make up the self, the reflective you, the subject in view of itself. The chemical process– the physical I think can describe as the I.D yet nothing more.

That leave then, what is consciousness? The fact that we are aware of ourselves, our thoughts and will. The immaterial component or the soul for lack of a better word. I have to admit I don’t know. I will be thinking about it a lot more I can say that’s for sure, I keep you all posted.

Anyway thanks for reading my ramblings, stay well all.

Published by Engine Mortale

Engine Mortale is my chosen pseudonym, I’ve chosen a pseudonym because I think it most appropriate as some of work will be rather personal. I figured this was the best way. I’m an autodidact, my to prominent fields of study’s are behaviour and philosophy, most recently art and poetry have been of keen interest. I hope genuinely that some good comes out of my out of this thing i call a life, if nothing else just that.

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