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Is This Thing We Call “The Mind” Nothing But Our Brain? (Name of Student) (Name of Institution) Is This Thing We Call “The Mind” Nothing But Our Brain? Introduction The fact that the activities that we normally categorize as mental, such as thinking, making decisions, wishing, imagining, and experiencing pains and pleasures, are activities that we directly engage in as we go about our everyday lives should make the nature of the mind obvious to us.
By being “in the head”, do we mean, for instance, that what we call the “mind” is actually just the brain and consequently that what we call “mental states” are nothing but the physical states of the brain? If this is the case, we should then in principle be able to tell a person’s thoughts simply by examining the physical states of his or her brain, but this is, if not utterly improbable, a possibility that in the immediate future is least likely to materialize. Or perhaps we mean that the mind is something other than the brain but in some special way is related to the brain, like that it is through the brain that the mind affects our behaviors. But what kind of entity is the mind, if at all it is an entity, if it is not the brain? There are two general kinds of existence under which any conception of how the mind exists can be classified; namely, physical existence and metaphysical existence. By “physical existence” we mean the kind of existence that lends itself to empirical observation and quantitative measurements while by “metaphysical existence,” we mean the kind of existence that does not. ...
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