The Never-ending Question:
Are We a Mind, a Body or Both?
Of all the topics that are currently occupying the attention of philosophers, the Mind-Body problem is at center stage. It is one of the classical metaphysical issues concerning the relationship between that which is mental and that which is physical. The simple question asked is: what are we? Are we a mind, a body or both? The issue has its origins in the ancient dualism of Plato and since then many ‘solutions’ to the problem have been offered. D.M. Armstrong’s The Mind-Body Problem gives rise to all the possible ‘solutions’ to the problem. In his writings, he accurately depicts the views of others, as well as his own. Armstrong wants it to be clear that “all theories of the mind-body relation get involved in a certain amount of difficulty. The thing that we have to try and judge is what sort of theory seems to come off best [with] all things concerned. It is not and easy task”(20). Out of the many possible theories, the Dualistic approach seems to be the weakest in trying to pose a solution, while the Eliminative Materialistic approach appears to have the strongest hold on answering the never-ending question.
According to Dualism, the human p
Perhaps the most famous advocate of substance dualism was Rene Descartes, a 17th century philosopher who put forth a tremendous influence on the religious and scientific community of his time. But this too only pushed the problem back. At the very beginning, like the time of Rorty, Eliminativists merely stated that we as human entities are only bodies. This form of Dualism, which seems to be the least plausible in offering a sufficient answer to the mind-body problem, is more commonly referred to as substance dualism. A desire to drink is the cause of various bodily acts ending with drinking"(18). They would say that my happiness is due to the excess amount of seratonin my brain produced through the night. Simply, instead of saying "I feel sad, depressed, overweight, and in pain"tm, I could more specifically say "I have a low seratonin count today"tm or "the endorphins in my brain are not in abundance"tm. Now for the big question: why Why is it that I feel the Dualists pose a weak approach to the mind-body problem Why is it that I feel the Eliminativists pose a strong approach to the problem I would like to say "I don"tmt know"tm, but I do. In essence, Dualism is unable to explain mind-body interaction; and even when Descartes tried to, it seems to fail. To me, this makes for a more plausible case. "Folk Psychology"tm is a blanket term referring to any psychological theory that makes reference to intentional states, such as beliefs, desires, attitudes, etc. Descartes has simply pushed the problem back a few steps. This is more than simply changing the kinds of explanations that are offered in a new theory.