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The Mind and Body Problem


There have been several arguments between the dualists and the Cartesians on the relationship and differences between the body and mind. The dualists state that mind and body are independent of each other but are regarded as different. Cartesians refer to the body and mind as substances found within human beings. The Cartesians state that the mind and body are different substances that differ in their physical and non-physical nature. Two schools of thought were put in place to distinguish between the relationship between the mind and body. The schools of thought are dualism and monism. This paper entails the relationships between the body and mind, the criterion for explaining the body and mind problem and the different views of philosophers in explaining the link between the body and mind.

Mind-body problem

Every human being has a mind and a body. The mind is usually separate from the body in every human being. The body is the physical part of an individual, while the mind is the non-physical part found in a human being. According to (Chambliss, 2018, p.5), the mind is a concept used to characterize feelings, thoughts, self-awareness, and subjective states that arise within the brain. Brain and mind are often used interchangeably. The main difference between the brain and mind is that the brain is considered physical while the mind is referred to be mental. The brain contains tangible nerve cells, while the mind is not tangible.

Furthermore, the brain is also composed of glial cells, neurons, and blood vessels. The mind and the body are interdependent; therefore, the mind cannot exist without the body and vice versa. The several states of mind include thoughts, body feelings, and emotions. Dualism is another term philosophers use to refer to the body and mind problem. Humans tend to have subjective experiences because these experiences are derived from brain and behavioural evidence (Chambliss, 2018, p.6). However, the solution to the mind and body problem is still controversial. The solution usually applied in solving mind and body problems is dualism. Dualism is a view that states that the feelings and experiences of an individual exist in the immaterial soul of the human brain. In a nutshell, dualism is said to have the ability to allow life after death.

For instance, when an individual dies, the brain and the body decay, but the soul continues to live in the body. However, dualists think that the brain and the mind are two different things, believing there is a causal relationship between these two (Kotchoubey, 2018, p.6). There have been several arguments on whether the mental state of an individual can be converted to brain states and whether the mental state is fundamental to human beings. I still accept that humans have subjective experiences by solving mind and body problems. Subjective experiences refer to the cognitive and emotional impacts of human experiences as opposed to objective experiences.

Mind and body criterion

The mind and the body have a criterion that enables people to understand the relationship between the body and mind. The body criteria state that body features characterize the personal identity, while the mind criterion states that real personal identities are infused in an individual’s mind. However, Kotchoubey (2018, p.4) states that memories do not define a person’s identity. Two primary strategies in philosophy are used in explaining the mind-body problem. The two strategies are mind-body dualism and mind-body materialism. The dualism view states that humans contain a conscious spirit and a nonconscious physical body. Mind-body materialism states that the conscious part of the human mind results from brain activity.

Acknowledging the connection of mind and body brings up a range of fresh therapy alternatives. Recent studies have studied how to selectively use pharmaceuticals and deep brain stimulation to boost the efficacy of psychotherapy: to expedite psychosocial interventions, enhance the overall impact of cognitive therapies, or prevent reconsolidation of anxiety memories (Thibaut, 2018, p.9). The stigma may hinder today’s ineffective treatment that dualism amplifies. As a field, mental health care is uniquely structured to compartmentalize therapeutic approaches.

Parallelism view

The major philosophical views used in elaborating the body and mind problem are parallelism and holistic views. Several philosophers elaborated on the parallelism view: Burt, Scout, and Ryle (Kreitler, 2018, p.3). Although this view is part of the dualism view, it mainly focuses on the dualism of Descartes. The parallelism view states that artifacts can be constructed to stimulate individual brain behaviour. These three philosophers further elaborate on their view of parallelism by comparing animals’ and humans’ minds. However, the parallelism view has been objected to by most philosophers because it does not denote the differences between the mind and the body.

They state that the two minds differ from one another in that the functioning of the two becomes different. The philosophers state that the human mind has three aspects: prediction, calculation, and imagination (Kreitler, 2018, p.4). The three aspects are referred to as abstract eddies patterns within the brain. The philosophers gave an example of the chimpanzee case, stating that the chimpanzee could not retain an image in their mind. Still, they are capable of reflecting that respective image. However, the chimpanzee is more or so clever in learning new tricks for getting food.

Holistic view

The holistic view mainly focuses on the approaches among observers and the effects of the human mind. The holistic view states that the mind is just an effluence of the brain. Philosophers further explain that the mind and the brain only differ in levels of complexity (Thibaut, 2018, p.6). Both the parallelism and the holistic view are all aspects of the significant dualism view. Furthermore, the holistic view posits that body and mind do not differ in an individual; instead, the description between the body and mind reveals a difference in an individual. Therefore human minds are unique. However, the human mind cannot be duplicated due to the different levels of complexity in an individual’s mind. According to philosophy, the holistic view is preferable and least objectionable.


To summarize, both the mind and the body correlate with each other. In other words, the mind and the body are interdependent, meaning that the body cannot function without the mind and vice versa. Yerkes explained three types of doctrines used to implement the solution for mind and body problems. The doctrines include psychology as part of physiology, metaphysics, and psychology as a science. The body can be measured, while the mind cannot be quantified. Therefore due to the close relationship between the mind and body, they are used interchangeably.


Chambliss, B. (2018). The mind-body problem. Wires Cognitive Science9(4).

Kotchoubey, B. (2018). Human Consciousness: Where Is It From and What Is It for. Frontiers In Psychology9.

Kreitler, S. (2018). The Mind-Body Problem: The Perspective of Psychology. Open Journal Of Philosophy08(01), 60-75.

Thibaut, F. (2018). The mind-body Cartesian dualism and psychiatry. Dialogues In Clinical Neuroscience20(1), 3-3.


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