There IS no mind/body dichotomy!

In this board filled with supposedly intellegent people, there are way to many references to the defunct, moronic, and just plain incorrect idea that the “mind” is somehow independent the body. Our “real selves” are our minds and our bodies are just irrelevant “vessels”. Look, the mind is just an abstract metaphor for the physical activity of the mass of synapses that make up our brains. Would our “minds” work without our bodies? NO! Our brains are a part of our bodies, and even if the rest of the body were removed leaving the brain, it wouldn’t be able to function.

Wouldn’t this be much better suited to GD? In that case, it is a good kick-off for a debate. Maybe we could exchange it for one of the GD-threads that seems better suited for the Pit. :stuck_out_tongue:

Either way, I agree basically. Still, I wouldn’t want to completely rule out the hypothetical possibility that in the future the mind could be (gradually) transfered to a ‘mechanical’, artificial brain.

Okay, if you say so. :rolleyes:

I agree, it’s been over 150 years since Phineas Gage’s accident, which should have been the nail in coffin for mind/body dichotomy.

there is no hardware/software dichotomy in computers either. any software is really a physical manifistation on a hard disk or CD.

however it is silly to attempt to talk that way, its a truely useful metaphor and allows discussion on the topic even if it is not true in the most literal sense.

its like complaining about how educated people still talk about sunrise and sunset, although anyone educated in the last 500 years or so knows perfectly well the sun isn’t doing any riseing or setting.

A) This belongs in Great Debates.

B) You are wrong.

C) Cite? :smiley:

Good imagery. :smiley:

Thanks for the info. I have an essay for my philosophy course due on Tuesday. I’m sure to get an A now that I can inform my prof that this issue has been settled. May I use you as a reference?

Besides hard disks, people don’t really call software media like CD’s or floppy disks “hardware”. Also, some software, like live television broadcasts, exists in no physical form at all.

And can anyone explain why it’s approrpriate to seperate the mind and the body when talking about the sum of a person? The physical presence of the body, including the brain, is obvious, but the mind has never been proven to be nothing more than an idea.

*Luminous *beings are we–not this crude matter.

When you jump is the jump part of your body?
Mind is what the neurons in your brain do. the brain is part of your body, but the mind is a function of your body not a part of it. There is also plenty of belief that the mind is a function of things other than the brain, such as a soul, though little evidence for such a view.

Still makes a nice surreal/absurdist thematic element.

Well, not necessarily…

It seems that there are few (or no) really reliable records of the ways and the amounts that Mr. Gage’s personality changed (or did not change, as the case may be) after his accident. Many of the stories regarding his crudeness, etc. are apocryphal at best and outright lies at worst.

A quick googling for cites reveals this: Mr. Gage’s story… or one version, anyways.

Perhaps not quite the nail in the coffin (nicely phrased, by the way!).

That is correct. A ROM chip has software permanently, physically encoded in its circuits, while emulator software uses the capabilities of one set of hardware to recreate those of a different set of hardware. Ultimately, it’s all a bunch of photons and electrons moving around in complex patterns.

I didn’t know that.

But certainly we don’t need Gage to dismiss the brain/body dichotomy; the 150 years since of better documented brain injury and psychosurgery facts seems sufficient to me.

True 'nuff! :wink:

Why stop at the body? Let us end this wilful adherence to the plainly outmoded body/quark dichotomy. Since we are plainly the sum of some quantumly determined interaction between dumb matter, we should end these absurdist references to bodies and suchlike.

“Why, Bernard, your upper mass of oscillating quarks is looking marvellous today.”

“Thank you, I just had it cut.”

The mind is but a mere bundle of thoughts. Don’t believe me? Stop thinking and then try to find the mind. :smiley:


Umm, so, you’re saying mind and body is one and that one is the body?

::considers doing the grinning running and ducking routine, decides to defend his ground::

Seriously, while I agree with you about the indefensibility of the split – and would say similar things about the emotional / rational split, btw – I would rephrase your proposition thusly:

Look, the body is just a token representation of what our minds have categorized as the environment in which they travel, the local environmental constant if you will. Would our mind work without our bodies? NO! Our bodies are a part of our mind, and even if the rest of the mind were preserved, if we left it no body or brain, it wouldn’t be able to function.

Be as wary of reductionism as you are of specious holism.