Published on 28 October 2021

What is The Mind-Body Debate?

General Psychology what-is-the-mind-body-debate
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The mind-body debate is really considered to be two problems that even scientists can't find the solution to it. It's the debate of whether the mind control body or the body influences the mind. 

The main problem concerns the nature of the defining spirit of mental phenomena consciousness and deliberately: can they or can they not be explained in physical terms? 

The mind-body debate is to find the answer to the question: are mind and body separate, or both the same? Let's look deeper into it. 

Frequently asked questions

A well-known french philosopher “Rene Descartes” started the mind-body debate by saying the mind and body are separate. Now, this philosophy is called “mind-body dualism’.
The brain is the most important part of the human body. It controls the entire body and coordinates actions and reactions. It is used as a memory storage and allows us to feel and think.
Your body responds to the way your mind thinks or feels. This is the type of mind-body connection “ when you are upset; your body reacts physically. For example, your blood pressure may increase after a stressful event.

Discovery Of The Mind-body Problem

The primary concern extended to another level is whether the mind or body is separate or the same thing.

It is a universal fact that the mind is all about mental processes, consciousness, and also thought process, what we think, we do, and that is the main concern regarding the mind. On the other side, the body is all about the physical aspects of the brain neurons. After all, the brain is one that gives commands to every motion, maybe voluntary or involuntary movements.

This is how our brain is structured, the body does not control the mind, but our brain controls the body. Is the body part of our mind? Or is the mind part of our body? How do they both interact? Are they distinct from each other? Out of both, who is the charge?

A lot of questions came up and were raised, but does it end in a proper conclusion? Let’s see what we could understand by the term mind-body debate further.

At times, many theories have been put forward that explains the relationship between (what we call your brain) which is part of your body, and (what we call your mind) which is defined as the conscious thinking which experiences your thoughts. 

The debate will be interesting, but before that, let’s understand the term dualism.

What Is Dualism?

Humans are considered to be material objects because they have properties like solidity and weight and consist of liquids, gases, and solids. Although unlike other objects, which are materialistic, like pebbles, humans can form judgments and reasons for their existence. If we have to make everyone understand, in short, we can say we have a “mind.”.

The term dualism means that humans are characterized by, in a section, having both minds, which is non-physical, and brain/body physical. Mind and body are separate entities; this is the main view of Dualism.

There was an argument by Descartes / Cartesian on dualism that there is a two-way interaction between physical and mental substances.

The argument was clear; Descartes stated that the mind interacts with the body at the pineal gland. This form of duality, or, say, dualism, proposes that the mind controls the body but that body can also impact the rational mind, like when any individual acts out of passion.

Before, it is seen that the relationship between the body and mind had been one-directional for most previous accounts. 

What Is Monism?

Materialism is the belief that the material world is the only one that exists. Apart from that, nothing exists. For example, (physical matter like the brain); psychologists related to materialists usually agree that consciousness is the function of the brain i.e. (the mind).

Mental processes could be identified with physical processes in the central nervous system. Human beings are so complex i.e. complicated physiological organisms, not more than that. 

Why Is This Debate Important?

You may wonder why philosophers still think about mind-body debates. Why do we care whether the mind and body are separate or the same? There is some reason for the curiosity behind the research on the mind-body connection. They realize that they can treat mental and physical health in different ways.

Psychology And Mind-Body Debate

The different addresses have been made to psychology; they take contrasting views to whether the mind and body are related to each other or actually separated.

Thinking (having freedom of choice about anything) is an obvious mental event, yet it can cause behavior to occur (involuntary or voluntary movements in response to a thought). Thinking more could therefore be said to make things happen, "mind moves matter." 

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

The primary concern of this debate is to find out whether the mind and body are separate or the same. Mind-body debate, the problem still has no solution. It is possible and accepting that modern brain science may find some progress in describing how consciousness arose in the brain and consequently will lead to further comprehension.