Mind-Body Distinction Essay, Research Paper
We usually view the mind as the brain and body as something physical. The mind may be better known and understood when one is thinking. When thinking, the mind is made up purely of thoughts and the body is an extension. The mind is telling the body what to do. The mind is a mental entity and the brain itself is the physical body. Although one can not have a mind with out a brain, the mind and brain differ in which one is mental and the other physical. Together the mind and body are like a foundation. Empirically we know that the mind needs a brain to exist, but the mind is not a physical substance. Moreover, a brain sits useless unless it has a mind. Substances with shape, mass, and other physical properties characterize the physical. In contrast, substances without any size, shape, mass often characterize the mental.
One of the first things about our bodies is that they have limitations that we may think are not there. Our bodies seem to be what they are no matter what we think about them. Although you can change your body by changing your body image, you can never become the ideal person you think you can be. Thus, our bodies seem to exist and be what they are independently from what any mind thinks they are. Are bodies are physical and can not be changed because we can see them change in our mind. The body can be controlled by the mind to do certain things but the mind can not change our physical appearance.
The main characteristic of the mind is the ability to think. A mind does more than take in information from the world and react to it. The mind has hopes, feelings, and beliefs. It is aware of the world and has feelings and thoughts about the information that it takes in from the world. Minds are non-physical and the thoughts it produces do not have anything in common with the physical. We can see, touch, or hear our thoughts. An idea can exist, but only in the mind. An idea has no physical properties to it. Physical objects can be perceived in the mind but objects in the mind are immaterial. With our minds we are able to remove or alter mental pictures we may have.
Finally, it would seem that the physical and non-physical could interact with each other. The physical and non- physical have many things in common with each other, making them be able to
interact with each other. Dualism explains that the mind is one thing and the body another. I believe this is true. However, I also understand that you cannot have one with out the other.