Philosophers have been debating for centuries the relationship between the mind and the body and whether they are separate entities, or if they are one. This is known as the mind/body problem. If the mind being our consciousness and the body being our brain is separate parts, do they relate to each other or work together? If they are one, do they depend on each other? The idea that the mind and body are one is called monism. The idea that the mind and body are separate is called dualism (Newall, 2005).
Monism is a scientific approach. In this theory the mind and soul are separate from the physical body. Everything is physical so the mind only influences the body.
Plato invented dualism, which is the “two-realms view” physical and mental which is sometimes called spiritual (Bruden, 20??, p. 104). After Plato there have been other popular dualist; Descartes, Locke, and James which all shared the interactionism theory. There are several other dualistic theories; parallelism, epiphenomenalism, and occasionalism. Parallelism is the idea that the mind and body are separate but work parallel or are perfectly synced. Epiphenomenalism is the theory that the mind is a byproduct of the physical brain. Occasionalism is the theory that when the mind tells the brain to do something, God makes it happen. Synopsis
In Chapter 7, Personal Identity, Eric Olson approaches identity of a person by asking many questions to find out what makes a person who they are. He takes a different approach from other philosophers but his main point is that a person’s identity is biological not psychological. He asks many questions, one of which is, what makes us human? He states by being a biological organism we escape the psychological approach which makes us human and not animal. Olson argues no psychological relation is sufficient for a person to persist. He discusses personhood and persistence and disagrees with several well known thought experiments dealing...
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