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Intro to Philosophy - Essay Example

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Intro to Philosophy

the individual private conversations with ourselves that we conduct ‘in our heads.” People therefore talk about "making up my mind" "changing my mind" or of being "of two minds" about some matter about which a decision is required. This fits in with the idea that the mind is a very private and personal area to which no other person has access. The etymology of the word in English shows how there is some confusion as to what ‘mind’ actually means. In Old English it was ‘gemynd’, a word used to refer to memory and intention as well as thinking (, Harper 2012), even ‘having the mind aroused’. In Greek the word ‘memona’ referred to both yearning for something and also madness. In Latin, as in Old English, the word was linked to recall and memory. In English by the 14th century ‘to mind’ meant to remember. In French however the word is ‘esprit’ or spirit, and in German ‘geist’ i.e. ghost, both referring to an intangible something. The brain is obviously a physical object, it can be measured, observed, even weighed. With modern imaging techniques it is even possible to see it in action, chemically, neurologically and electronically. The mind however is much less tangible – something we all know exists yet cannot quite explain. It is a separate entity. Our body can be totally relaxed, even asleep, but the mind can be very active. The reverse can also be true - we are running along perhaps, pushing our body to its physical limits, while at the same time the mind is simply ticking over, thinking of almost nothing. The mind can be defined as that part of conscious beings which reasons, perceives, thinks, wills and judges. The Free Dictionary defines the mind as being :- The human consciousness that originates in the brain and is manifested especially in thought, perception, emotion, will, memory and imagination. It is also described in the same dictionary as :- The collective conscious and unconscious processes in a sentient organism that direct and influence mental and physical behavior. All cognitive being are born with amazing brains and minds, yet it is something about which humanity in general knows relatively very little. This essay will consider various views on the subject, looking at research, at opinions, secular ideas and religious texts. It is likely that man, from earliest time, has been aware that he is made up of more than physical things, more even than what he perceives through his senses - man is after all a dreamer and also capable of spiritual experiences. Probably the oldest known ideas about the mind come from Zoroaster who may have lived as long ago as 2000 B.C.E.(Parsa, undated), although estimates of his dates vary considerably. According to his biographer Zoroaster, a Persian philosopher and the founder of the Zoroastrian religion taught that :- By keeping the mind healthy and by making use of creative forces, individuals can find satisfaction and passion in what they do. In Buddhism the body is compared to a house and our mind to a guest staying there. According to this belief when a person dies their mind moves on into the next life or place , and the house, as houses do, stays behind to be taken care of. (Kadampa 2010). The same article also points out that, as the mind is formless, it is totally unrestricted by physical objects – which explains why it is possible to dream or to consider something without being in its ...Show more


What is the Mind ? Descartes said: "I think therefore I am"(1697). This can be seen as an indication of his perception of his own being. He was who he was because he had a mind. Despite the fact that all humans areaware of their very physical being, they would agree with him because they cannot imagine life without thought, without a mind…
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Intro to Philosophy essay example
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