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A Critique of “Mind”

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posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 01:42 PM
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A Critique of “Mind”



The mind has troubled philosophers for millennia. But at some point the philosopher must wonder what it is he is actually talking about in regards to mind.


mind |mīnd|
noun
1 the element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought: as the thoughts ran through his mind, he came to a conclusion | people have the price they are prepared to pay settled in their minds.
• a person's mental processes contrasted with physical action: I wrote a letter in my mind.
2 a person's intellect: his keen mind.
• a person's memory: the company's name slips my mind.
• a person identified with their intellectual faculties: he was one of the greatest minds of his time.
3 a person's attention: I expect my employees to keep their minds on the job.
• the will or determination to achieve something: anyone can lose weight if they set their mind to it.


According to the definition above—although it fails to define anything—“mind” is the element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel. But what is this element?

To the dualist, this element is an immaterial substance that is separate from the physical nature of the body. To the physicalists, this element can be reduced to neurological processes, and may even be identical to what they call the brain or “brain states”. And our good friends the idealists, against all common sense, assert that the mind is all there is, and talking about mind is talking about reality.

In order to discover the element we call mind, we can at best deduce what it is, as we can not rely on the senses for confirmation. From what we know, “mind” does not have any demonstrative qualities. It is unobservable and immaterial, meaning we cannot see, hear or feel it, or discover it in a human body. For our examination, the mind is empirically out of reach. At this interval in our search, we are forced to employ deductive reasoning in order to clear this hurdle; that is we must deduce from a true premise if we are to reach a probable conclusion of what “mind” is. What true premises do we have to deduce from?

So far, the only premise we have available is the human being, where most of our studies of mind are focused upon. The human being is demonstrative and observable and a verifiiable fact. Once again, no mind is physically observable in him, yet the human being can think and be aware. Where do we go from here?

We know that damage to the brain can hinder the mind. Cognition, reflexes, motor abilities, speech, memory and the like are affected when the brain is manipulated, and we can deduce from clear evidence that the brain and the mind are connected in some way. Physiologically, the brain is a likely candidate for mind. But is the brain the element that allows us to think and be aware? Is the brain the “mind”?

We cannot say that it is brains that think, as a brain apart from the body will not think. If there is a brain in a jar, it would be strange to infer that it is still an element that allows one to think. To disconnect the body and the brain is to end thinking and awareness; and thinking and awareness (mind) does not persist in either of the two elements when torn apart. Only when infused together into a functioning whole can thinking occur.

As an example: it would be strange to say that an eye is the element that allows us to see, as an eye apart from the body cannot see. But also, it would be strange to imagine that a man without eyes can see, directly showing that eyes are connected to seeing. But only when the two working parts come together are we allowed to see. Therefore, the whole is the element that allows us see.

It could be said that humans could not think without a brain, and therefor the element of mind is removed with the brain. This is a logical conclusion, but from a false premise, that bodies without brains are humans. We don’t know of any humans without brains and therefore we have no such premise to deduce from.

If we accept this deduction, we must say that the brain is not the mind, as the brain by itself does not allow us to think.

We have not been able to deduce further for our premise (the human being), in terms of physiology, that an element inside the human allows the human to think. We also cannot observe and confirm the existence of any “mind-stuff”, or an immaterial and non-physical entity that we can label “mind”, save for the conceptions of it in our imagination. Have we reached any conclusion of what it is we are talking about when we speak of “minds”?

Since we cannot deduce to any mind from our premise, it seems fit to conclude that the premise itself, the human being, is what we call “mind”. On nothing and nowhere else can we place that label.




posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 02:26 PM
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NiNjABackflip
Since we cannot deduce to any mind from our premise, it seems fit to conclude that the premise itself, the human being, is what we call “mind”. On nothing and nowhere else can we place that label.

So does this mean that the mind is the body?



posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 02:50 PM
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reply to post by NiNjABackflip
 


















edit on 1-12-2013 by midicon because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 03:48 PM
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reply to post by 1Learner
 




So does this mean that the mind is the body?


That would depend on what you mean by the word "body".

A body that doesn't function, is dead, and quickly decaying, cannot think despite having many of the necessary parts. In order to think, the body must be functioning in a manner where thinking can occur, and all necessary parts are operating harmoniously. The "mind" then is the functioning human body, or put more simply, a human being.



posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 04:07 PM
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NiNjABackflip


In order to discover the element we call mind, we can at best deduce what it is, as we can not rely on the senses for confirmation. From what we know, “mind” does not have any demonstrative qualities. It is unobservable and immaterial, meaning we cannot see, hear or feel it, or discover it in a human body. For our examination, the mind is empirically out of reach. At this interval in our search, we are forced to employ deductive reasoning in order to clear this hurdle; that is we must deduce from a true premise if we are to reach a probable conclusion of what “mind” is. What true premises do we have to deduce from?

Have we reached any conclusion of what it is we are talking about when we speak of “minds”?

Since we cannot deduce to any mind from our premise, it seems fit to conclude that the premise itself, the human being, is what we call “mind”. On nothing and nowhere else can we place that label.


I cannot agree with this unfortunately, as you rightly say the 'mind' does not have any demonstrative qualities or put another way the 'mind' is immaterial.

But then you say that the 'mind' is the whole human being itself, which I would plainly argue has loads of demonstrative qualities, and is most definitively material.

I would just say that the 'mind' is like the 'running' of software, to clarify the mind is not software but is like the running of software ie an non-physical event, the brain is the machinery on which the mind runs but it is not the mind but if damaged thus the machinery impedes the mind from 'running properly'.

Thank You.



posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 05:39 PM
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The mind is the result of the body and Spirit being "married" to one another. No body but a Spirit? No mind. No Spirit but a body? No mind as well. You cannot be conscious (mindful) if you do not have both a body and Spirit working in unison with one another.

The mind is all that truly exists because all of reality is created through it and for it. We live in an illusion but this illusion is reality.



posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 06:18 PM
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I believe the brain can think separate from the body for a short time until the blood drains out.

I lean more towards the idealist. Everything is one life. One body, many parts. Like individual cells make up a human body, individual humans and other animals make up a larger body.



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 08:11 AM
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Screams in the silence. Voices fill your brain. Tremble in the process. Whispers feed the pain.We are just fragments and pieces, We are controlling the game. Don't even know our own secrets, When it's all over we all will pay! Cover up your eyes now and wait for the darkness.
Try to fall asleep fast and pay for the blindness.
You don't want to see what's growing deep now inside us.
What we've all become is just lies and disguises.



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 09:06 AM
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reply to post by NiNjABackflip
 



The "mind" then is the functioning human body, or put more simply, a human being.

But this gets us nowhere.

If a 'mind' is a functioning human body, where does the mind go when the body has been knocked unconscious?

So is 'mind' a conscious functioning human body?

And if so, what element of function is essential? Is it consciousness?

And why do you assume, apparently without examining the question, that a 'human being' is equivalent to 'a functioning human body'?

Perhaps a little more work is needed on this thesis.



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 09:44 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 





But this gets us nowhere.

If a 'mind' is a functioning human body, where does the mind go when the body has been knocked unconscious?


Nothing goes anywhere. The body ceases to function properly.



And if so, what element of function is essential? Is it consciousness?


Working parts.


And why do you assume, apparently without examining the question, that a 'human being' is equivalent to 'a functioning human body'?


Human beings function.



Perhaps a little more work is needed on this thesis.


Perhaps better questions need to be posed.



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 09:45 AM
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reply to post by 3NL1GHT3N3D1
 





The mind is the result of the body and Spirit being "married" to one another. No body but a Spirit? No mind. No Spirit but a body? No mind as well. You cannot be conscious (mindful) if you do not have both a body and Spirit working in unison with one another.

The mind is all that truly exists because all of reality is created through it and for it. We live in an illusion but this illusion is reality.


This is a nice fabrication that might suit the tastes of religiously minded individuals.

But no mind or spirit has ever been found, only imagined about.



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 09:49 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 






If a 'mind' is a functioning human body, where does the mind go when the body has been knocked unconscious?

So is 'mind' a conscious functioning human body?


ew that's a good question and how is it some declared to be unconscious or brain dead come back declaring they were aware.



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 09:56 AM
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reply to post by NiNjABackflip
 


Can it be that the brain is a conductor for the mind/senses in the physical body? Just wondering..



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 09:56 AM
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reply to post by NiNjABackflip
 


Maybe we cant put the finger right on the mind, the spirit, but there is something in there a processing center from which information in processed to form words and motivate to action. That's why we are subject to the endless barrage of control images and words. They know its in there and how it can be controlled. There is no conundrum there.



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 11:20 AM
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reply to post by NiNjABackflip
 



The body ceases to function properly.

Which parts of the body cease to function properly when consciousness is absent? Which parts of the body are malfunctioning in sleep?


Working parts.

Which parts?


Human beings function.

Do we then conclude that your definition of a 'human being' is a functioning human body?


Perhaps better questions need to be posed.

We shall see. I am not hostile to your thesis, but your exposition leaves much to be desired.



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 12:13 PM
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reply to post by NiNjABackflip
 


The mind and Spirit cannot be found by looking for them because they are invisible and immaterial. What is the mind but an extension of consciousness? What is consciousness but what cannot be seen? It can be known but not seen because it is the one that is always seeing. Life and thoughts are what prove a Spirit and mind exist, it just takes a bit of introspection to find them.

Science will never be able to comprehend the mind or Spirit because science deals with what can be seen and studied, you cannot see or study the thing that is seeing and studying.

What I say isn't religious, it is spiritual. There is a huge difference between the two, religion is the antithesis of spirituality.



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 12:45 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 





Which parts of the body cease to function properly when consciousness is absent? Which parts of the body are malfunctioning in sleep?


By cease to function I mean function is impeded or quits all together. For instance, when one "loses consciousness" due to a blow to the head, the blow disrupts function. He doesn't lose anything other than the functions required to be conscious.


Which parts?


The ones that are required to function properly.


Do we then conclude that your definition of a 'human being' is a functioning human body?


If we can find anything else that composes or makes-up the human being, we can add it to the definition. Any examples?



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 12:48 PM
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reply to post by 3NL1GHT3N3D1
 





The mind and Spirit cannot be found by looking for them because they are invisible and immaterial. What is the mind but an extension of consciousness? What is consciousness but what cannot be seen? It can be known but not seen because it is the one that is always seeing. Life and thoughts are what prove a Spirit and mind exist, it just takes a bit of introspection to find them.

Science will never be able to comprehend the mind or Spirit because science deals with what can be seen and studied, you cannot see or study the thing that is seeing and studying.

What I say isn't religious, it is spiritual. There is a huge difference between the two, religion is the antithesis of spirituality.


So they can be imagined only? I can not argue with that. Anything can be imagined.



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 01:10 PM
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reply to post by NiNjABackflip
 


The ability to imagine is another proof that a Spirit and mind exist. No mind, no imagination. What other proof is needed? A mind and Spirit most definitely do exist, the fact we can reason and contemplate their existence is all the proof one needs.



posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 01:18 PM
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reply to post by 3NL1GHT3N3D1
 





The ability to imagine is another proof that a Spirit and mind exist. No mind, no imagination. What other proof is needed? A mind and Spirit most definitely do exist, the fact we can reason and contemplate their existence is all the proof one needs.


The ability to imagine is proof that we have the ability to imagine. Beyond that is fiction.

The mind and spirit do exist in the sense that they are words and ideas. What else about them do you have to contemplate?





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