Soul, Mind and Body

Jodi Rose
Mind Map by Jodi Rose, updated more than 1 year ago
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Soul, Mind and Body
1 Dualism:Dualism is the concept that our mind is more than just our brain. This concept entails that our mind has a non-material, spiritual dimension that includes consciousness and possibly an eternal attribute. One way to understand this concept is to consider our self as a container including our physical body and physical brain along with a separate non-physical mind, spirit, or soul.
1.1 Descartes argument for dualismI can clearly and distinctly conceive of the mind without the body and the body without the mind If I can clearly and distinctly understand two things as distinct they really are distinct. Therefore the mind and body are two distinct things.
1.1.1 The introspective argument for dualism Descartes held that because thinking, reasoning, mental processes seem to be distinct from physical states, they really are. Churchland argues that this may not be so. colours don’t seem to be a matrix of molecules reflecting light, warmth does not feel like molecules vibrating.
2 Monism/ Materilism:Materialism can refer either to the simple preoccupation with the material world, as opposed to intellectual or spiritual concepts, or to the theory that physical matter is all there is. This theory is far more than a simple focus on material possessions. It states that everything in the universe is matter, without any true spiritual or intellectual existence.
2.1 I can't imagine the variety and the purposeful organization of the world as well as its seemingly lawful development from simple to more complex structures as a product of mere evolutionary pressure. I can't imagine consciousness as a product of dead, unconscious matter which simply arranged itself into a system capable of saving and processing informations. This is said without even considering the problematic nature of the concept of matter in the light of the theory of relativity. I can't imagine my own existence, i. e. my conscious rather than my physical being, as a product of some cosmic coincidence. In direct experience, my knowledge of the existence of certain things is not in my mind, it is in these things themselves. I get the impression that the things themselves are consciousness. (This does not entail that they are self-consciousness.)
3 Soul:in religion and philosophy, the immaterial aspect or essence of a human being, that which confers individuality and humanity, often considered to be synonymous with the mind or the self. In theology, the soul is further defined as that part of the individual which partakes of divinity and often is considered to survive the death of the body.
3.1 PlatoThe appetites, which includes all our myriad desires for various pleasures, comforts, physical satisfactions, and bodily ease. There are so many of these appetites that Plato does not bother to enumerate them, but he does note that they can often be in conflict even with each other. This element of the soul is represented by the ugly black horse on the left. The spirited, or hot-blooded, part, i.e., the part that gets angry when it perceives (for example) an injustice being done. This is the part of us that loves to face and overcome great challenges, the part that can steel itself to adversity, and that loves victory, winning, challenge, and honor. (Note that Plato's use of the term "spirited" here is not the same as "spiritual." He means "spirited" in the same sense that we speak of a high-spirited horse, for example, one with lots of energy and power.) This element of the soul is represented by the noble white horse on the right. The mind (nous), our conscious awareness, is
3.1.1 The soul pre existes our body.we come back in the next life better depending on our previous life
3.2 Aristotle:WE are made up of matter and soul/ psyche. The soul animates the body by organising a potential living body into an actual living body
3.2.1 Aristotle uses his familiar matter/form distinction to answer the question “What is soul?” At the beginning of De Anima II.1, he says that there are three sorts of substance: Matter (potentiality) Form (actuality) The compound of matter and form Aristotle is interested in compounds that are alive. These— plants and animals—are the things that have souls. Their souls are what make them living things. Since form is what makes matter a “this,” the soul is the form of a living thing. (Not its shape, but its actuality, that in virtue of which it is the kind of living thing that it is.)
3.2.1.1 Growth, nutrition, (reproduction) Locomotion, perception Intellect (= thought) This gives us three corresponding degrees of soul: Nutritive soul (plants) Sensitive soul (all animals) Rational soul (human beings) These are nested in the sense that anything that has a higher degree of soul also has all of the lower degrees. All living things grow, nourish themselves, and reproduce. Animals not only do that, but move and perceive. Humans do all of the above and reason, as well. (There are further subdivisions within the various levels, which we will ignore.)
3.2.1.1.1 So on Aristotle’s account, although the soul is not a material object, it is not separable from the body
4 Our 'minds', 'souls', 'spirit' and consciousness are all physical in nature1. Thousands of years of investigation has shown us that our brains comprise and produce our true selves, although because that for most of human history we have had no understanding of how our brains work most Humans have falsely believed inferred that we have souls2 and this idea has infused our folklore, cultures, myths, religions and has instructed our interpretation of dreams3. Souls and spirits do not exist. Our bodies run themselves. We know from cases of brain damage and the effects of psychoactive drugs, that our experiences are caused by physical chemistry acting on our physical neurones in our brains. Our innermost self is our biochemical self
5 Philosophers who accept the idea that all laws of nature are deterministic and that the world is causally closed still cannot understand how an immaterial mind can be the cause of an action. On this view, every physical event is reducible to the microscopic motions of physical particles. The laws of biology are reducible to those of physics and chemistry. The mind is reducible to the brain, with no remainder.
5.1 At the end of Book VI of the Republic (509D-513E), Plato describes the visible world of perceived physical objects and the images we make of them (in our minds and in our drawings, for example). The sun, he said, not only provides the visibility of the objects, but also generates them and is the source of their growth and nurture. Many primitive religions identify the sun with God, for good reason. Beyond this visible world, which later philosophers (esp. Immanuel Kant) would call the phenomenal world, lies an intelligible world (that Kant will call noumenal. The intelligible world is (metaphorically) illuminated by "the Good" (τον ἀγαθὸν), just as the visible world is illuminated by the sun. The division of Plato's Line between Visible and Intelligible is then a divide between the Material and the Ideal, the foundation of most Dualisms. Plato may have coined the word "idea" (ἰδέα), using it somewhat interchangeably with the Greek word for shape or form (εἶδος ). The word idea derives
6 Information Philosophy identifies the (immaterial) mind with the incredible biological information processing going on in the brain. This processing operates on two levels. At the Macro level, the mind/brain is adequately determined to make its decisions and resulting actions in ways that are causally connected with the agent's character and values. It is everything that determinist and compatibilist philosophers expect it to be. At the Micro level, the mind/brain leaves itself open to significant thermal and quantal noise in its retrieval of past experiences. This generates creative and unpredictable alternative possibilities for thought and action. This is our best hope for a measure of libertarianism. Our mind/brain model emphasizes the abstract information content of the mind. Information is neither matter nor energy, yet it needs matter for its concrete embodiment and energy for its communication. Information is the modern spirit, the ghost in the machine. Because it is embodi
7 Gilbert Ryle formulates a materialist, psychological challenge to dualism, but to Cartesian dualism in particular. In "The Concept of Mind" (1949), he argued that the idea of the soul, which he described as "The ghost in the machine" was “A category mistake". He argued that it was a mistake in incorrect use of language. It resulted to people speaking of the mind and body as different phenomena as if the soul was something identifiably extra within a person. He used the example of someone watching a cricket game and asking where the team spirit was. In this way, Ryle argued that talk of the soul was talk about the way a person acted and integrated with others in the world. It was not separate and distinct. To describe someone as clever or happy did not require the existence of a separate thing called mind or soul. The mind or spirit does not exist hence the phrase there is no ghost in the machine
8 The modern problem of the relationship of mind to body stems from the thought of René Descartes, a 17th-century French philosopher and mathematician, who gave dualism its classical formulation. Beginning from his famous Cogito, ergo sum (Latin: “I think, therefore I am”), Descartes developed a theory of mind as an immaterial, nonextended substance that engages in various activities such as rational thought, imagining, feeling, and willing. Matter, or extended substance, conforms to the laws of physics in mechanistic fashion, with the important exception of the human body, which Descartes believed is causally affected by the human mind and which causally produces certain mental events. For example, willing the arm to be raised causes it to be raised, whereas being hit by a hammer on the finger causes the mind to feel pain. This part of Descartes’s dualistic theory, known as interactionism, raises one of the chief problems faced by Descartes: the question how this causal interaction is p
8.1 The pineal gland is a tiny organ in the center of the brain that played an important role in Descartes' philosophy. He regarded it as the principal seat of the soul and the place in which all our thoughts are formed. In this entry, we discuss Descartes' views concerning the pineal gland. We also put them into a historical context by describing the main theories about the functions of the pineal gland that were proposed before and after his time.
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