The human brain is the most perfect and most mysterious mechanism. It controls everything that happens in the body, and therefore life. Mind is a set of cognitive and analytical abilities of man, due to which the intellect of the individual is formed. There is no standard interpretation of the state of certain abilities in people because the concept of reason is perceived differently in religious, philosophical, and scientific texts. There is a deep tradition of practice in each of these areas.
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Therefore, the lack of understanding of what form the mind has and what it is in size gives rise to the hypothesis that the mind is equal to the brain. Thus, people try to explain the nature of the mind in their own way, making it a physical part of the human body. Accordingly, scientists have been trying to find the truth in whether the mind is the same as the brain for a long time. Explaining the system of connections between the mind and the brain is a challenging task that many scientists and philosophers are trying to solve. It is essential to understand whether human consciousness is the result of brain activity since it is consciousness that controls the mind. Two flows of scientists are engaged in the decision of a long-term issue. Dualists and monists argue for and against the connection of the mind with the brain and try to find a consensus.
Arguments that the Mind is Identical to the Brain
Proponents of the theory that the mind and the brain are identical concepts say that there is no non-physical mind. That is, all human actions and feelings are expressed through the brain. Defenders of the approach also compare people to robots. Maintaining that humans live on carbon, an android can become a silicon-based life form (Oakley 134). In this case, if humans and robots learn to perform similar functions and communicate about emotions and beliefs, the community recognizes that the mind is another definition of the brain.
In order to substantiate the theory with arguments, there have been many thoughts in favor of the fact that the mind is corporeal matter. Some psychologists believe that it is possible to explain the behavior of a living creature according to essential physical factors, such as genetic heredity and individual perception of interactions. Thus, there is no meaningful contrast between the operation of the human brain and other mammals. For example, people speak specific sentences in order to express a physical desire (Heil 65). Therefore, it confirms that there is only the brain, as in any other mammal. Human thought is simply a consequence of brain activity; it relates to the surrounding events and their response.
The approach of typical physicalism is a reaction to the failure of behaviorism to present reasonable arguments. These philosophers argued that if mental states are something material, then accordingly, mental states reflect the inner side of the brain (Heil 51). Scientists use the example to explain the psychic nature by physical factors, such as the desire to drink a glass of water by igniting certain neurons in some brain regions. On the other hand, according to symbolic theories of identity, the fact that a certain state of the brain is associated only with the mental state does not mean that there are no other connections between other processes in the human body.
The next trend in the evolution of ideas was functionalism. According to the explanations of the theory, mental manifestations are characterized by their causal links with the general psychological state and factors that affect each person’s perception. Functionalism does not explore the physical realization of the psychic state, characterizing it not in terms of mental functional properties but demands. The example of another part of the human body can explain the need for the body to perform specific functions. Thus, the kidney is scientifically necessary to filter the blood and maintain a certain chemical balance. Accordingly, mental characteristics are required for a person to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills. (Heil 65). Thus, the protectors of the theory firmly adhere to two essential beliefs about the relationship between mind and body. The first is that physicalism is accurate, and therefore the mental state is the result of physical factors. Secondly, the mind cannot be reduced only to physical indicators. Thus, intellect and human behavior are also inspired by the environment and ancestral data.
Opinions of Opponents
Opponents that the mind is identical to the brain emphasize the radical difference between spirit and body. Dualists deny that the mind is equal to the brain, and some examples reject that the thought is entirely a product of the brain. The basic principle guides substance dualists according to which the mind and body are made of various substances. They also argue that the mind has only an intellectual function that cannot be measured (Robinson 4). Nor can it be classified as a physical object due to its lack of size, shape, location, hardness, motion, and adherence to the laws of physics.
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Although proponents of the separation of the mind from the body unanimously argue that mental abilities do not depend on the extent of the brain, there are differences in theories. One flow of philosophers believes that the mind and body affect each other in the process of functioning of the human. That is, these are two separate substances that help maintain human viability (Robinson 7). The following thesis does not support physical science and rejects the connection between the mind and the brain, so they associate the ability to think with God. Finally, the third flow offers a compromise approach, arguing that the influence of the body can have consequences that affect the mind (Robinson 8). This method confirms that thought and intellect are not equal to the brain, but they are interconnected if they coexist in one person.
In general, three theories advise that the mental state has not yet been completely studied by science. Therefore, dualists believe that psychic manifestations are specific properties of the physical body. For an accurate understanding of the concept, it is worth providing an example. Consciousness can most accurately demonstrate that the human body, which consists of organs, including the brain, has an autonomous element. It is this part that allows each person to acquire certain character features and be individual. Moreover, dualists use Leibniz’s Law of Identity to prove their position. According to the explanations of the law, things are completely identical only when in the same period of time they have exactly the equivalent qualities. Also, philosophers try to classify the properties of the mind, which lacks matter (Robinson 11). Thus, the absence of exact shape and location shows that intelligence and emotions are not identical to the brain.
Despite impressive arguments, opponents argue that dualism is irreconcilable with obvious laws or facts of science. For example, the law of thermodynamics cannot confirm the nonexistence of a correlation between the mind and the brain. Competitors also see a lack of logic in the concept. As evidence, they cite the fact that it is impossible to determine the individuality of the mind, just as a person cannot independently understand the relationship between mind and body (Robinson 13). Also, they evaluate the dualists’ confidence in their arguments as overestimated because everything in the world is relative.
Evaluation of Evidence
Indeed, in the scientific world, there are philosophers who objectively assess the situation and explain that now there are not enough arguments to accurately solve the problem of the connection of mind and brain. It is logical to assume that the human mind and development do not have sufficient data and research to understand how concepts such as mind, intellect, and body correlate. Therefore, they believe that more middling concepts should be followed. According to which the problem of the mind-body cannot be explained on the foundation of modern scientific progress (Oakley 134). In order to find the exact patterns, people need to generate new charts in the future. Although based on the above material, certain conclusions can be drawn. Theories of monism and dualism have many approaches, which are divided into radical and ordinary. Thus, given the lack of evidence, it is impossible to support philosophers’ radical opinions of both theories. Therefore, it is necessary to stop attention to the flows that are as close as possible to the perception of humans.
Considering the philosophy of monism, it is worth supporting the evidence that the brain is associated with the mind and emotions. Still, at the same time, human perception is affected by many factors. Thus, each person’s intelligence is influenced by the environment, time allocated for training, and genetic data (Heil 51). It is these factors that provide the absorption of information and shape the mental state of people. The brain is just a mechanism for generating all components and variables. In some ways, this view is confirmed by non-radical sophists of dualism. (Robinson 4). Philosophers argue that it is not reasonable to describe the mind and brain as one phenomenon. Although, they recognize that the mind and body causally affect each other.
Therefore, it is crucial to follow the symbiosis of the two approaches. According to which the mind, feelings, emotions launch the mechanism of the brain. Thus, the brain affects the speed and perception of certain events, although consciousness and intelligence depend on other factors. A person’s effort to acquire knowledge, environment, and previous experience empowers people to form a unique point of view on any situation. That is, people’s capacity to think based on individual experience confirms this theory.
Humans are living individuals, so the natural sciences try to investigate the origin and connection of body and mind. Since the modern level of development of technology and methods is insufficient to provide comprehensive evidence to confirm any of the theories, scientists need to find the middle. There are two approaches that try to explain the philosophy of reason. Monism and dualism provide many arguments that are created through imagination rather than authentic facts. Thus, the truth is at the intersection of ideas. Emotions and consciousness should not be seen as a physical state identical to the brain. The brain needs to be considered a mechanism for launch consciousness because the brain combines all the factors and creates the reaction.
Heil, John. Philosophy of Mind. Routledge, 2019.
Oakley, David. Brain and Mind. Routledge, 2020.
Robinson, William. ‘Dualism’. The Routledge Handbook of Consciousness, edited by Rocco Gennaro, Routledge, 2018, pp. 1-13.