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Principle of the Brain and Awareness: Opinion of Philosophers

Rene Descartes considered the mind as a nonmaterial element. The brain that has physical representation but still holds the abstract concept of intelligence is separated from the mind, an entity which includes self-awareness and consciousness. John Searle questions the classical concept of dualism. The consciousness is real and non-reducible because it is the result of neuronal processes in the brain according to Searle. In contrast to Descartes’ notion of separation of consciousness, Searle considers it as the natural and spacious state of mind; moreover, the casual and irreducible character of the consciousness leads the philosopher to the idea that the awareness is a biological phenomenon. Hence, two thinkers have different views on dualism: Descartes saw the disparity between the physical brain and the non-substantial mind, Searle, on the other hand, percepts the consciousness as a material entity.

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The absence of immediate awareness of the material objects independent from mind was the leading idea in George Berkley’s work on the mind. Pleasure and pain, the primary feelings that we experience, cannot occur outside of the mind. If external entities are perceived with feelings of pain or satisfaction, it means, they are dependent on the mind. Thomas Hobbes was concentrated on the mind with the link to the language processes, imagination, and feelings which are constitute consciousness. The work of the mind is a bidirectional mechanism based on cooperation among senses, vision, and language. The mind percepts the material objects or prescribes the meanings and names to physical and non-substantial entities. Although Hobbes did not directly emphasize dependence between the mind and the external objects, following his ideas guide to the conclusion that extrinsic bodies are connected to the mind.

The materialist position on free will focuses on the external causes that guide an individual to a particular choice and, thus, determine the person’s decision. If the resolutions depend only on extrinsic motives, then free will counts on the agents which can only be modified to the particular extension.

Hume’s theory of the self implies our limits in the direct perception of ourselves. Instead, the human beings are capable of the profound experience of the present moment. According to Milarepa, all entities, and human beings as well, do not have self nature; moreover, the necessity to understand the self is excessive. Consequently, the views of both thinkers are in consent.

The difference between the human mind and the computer is in capacity to react on demands. The brain is a complex mechanism which records information by the various ways sometimes creating circuitous paths to the particular data. Computer’s algorithms are planned for the fastest access to the data. Thus, the computer does not think, it provides the required information according to the demand; the person, on the other hand, can be distracted by thoughts or memories associated with the task.

God’s plan does not restrict an individual from actions based on her decision. People who believe in God, probably, accept the existence of God’s plan but do not stop doing things that are motivated by their desires and intentions. They live according to what they think the plan is and keep making decisions which are representation of free will.

The paradox of Buridan’s donkey implies an inability to take a decision if two options are equal. Spinoza questions the intellectual ability of individual to choose if he has two similar options.

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The Brothers Karamazov’s characters experience free will as a burden which requires taking the decision between comfort and faithful lives. Dostoyevsky emphasizes the necessity of free will through Alyosha Karamazov’s personality. He understands that religious life of loving and serving to good do not demand the denial of free will.

Dostoyevsky’s position indicates free will as an essential element in human life. People are always free to choose. However, the right implies the responsibility for the decision. For Sartre, determinism is self-deception which rejects the human nature of a free being.

Anselm’s ontological argument is based on the following notion: if something exists in mind, so it is present in reality. His opponent Gaunilo argued that the validity of Anselm’s claim should demonstrate the existence of anything.

God as a notion and belief in it do not have logic basis according to Freud. Nietzsche’s critical approach differs from the Freud’s. Nietzsche compared religious belief with protection from fears. For both thinkers, belief was the irrational process, but Nietzsche was less rigid in his opinion.

According to Tolstoy, the rationality of religious belief is justified because faith relates an individual with the universe. The objectivity of rationality and subjectivity of belief indicate the Kierkegaard’s position in the absence of the connection between belief and rationality.

Since there is no evidence of God’s existence or vacancy, the presence of heaven is also questionable. Happiness and reason which we have according to Pascal are the good foundations for decent life.

Paly’s argument implies the existence of the creating force that initiates processes and entities. The fact that some actions or beings are results or causes of combination or interaction of different forces challenges the Paly’s notion.

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If evil is considered as a violation of integrity, its problematics lay in the field of responsibility. The human beings understand the difference between good and evil and, thus, the cohesion of phenomena. The rejection of accountability of actions leads to negligence which creates the space where everything is possible including violation of integrity.


Barner, C. (2012). Social media and communication. Journal of Communications, 45(8), 99-110.

Cummings, J. N., Butler, B., & Kraut, R. (2014). The quality of online social relationships. Communications of the ACM, 45(7), 103-108.

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