Is the Mind Identical with the Brain?

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The mind/body problem has been troubling philosophers for centuries and in various ways remains unresolved. The common sense view seems is that there is distinction between mind and matter and so the mind cannot be identical with the brain. This is the view that was held by Rene Descartes (1596-1650). Descartes claims that the mind and body are made of different substances (a physical substance and a non-physical substance) and as a result of this they cannot be identical. The problem with this view however is in explaining the interaction between the two. If the mind is separate from the body how does it direct and affect the body? How can a non-physical substance interact with a physical one? In response to this essay question I will primarily be focusing on logical arguments that support the claim the mind and body are distinct and therefore the mind and brain cannot be identical. I will be approaching this from a Dualist point of view and I will be referring to Dualism and it’s supporting arguments, namely; the indivisibility argument and the conceivability argument which explain how, logically, alternatives to dualism are not feasible. These logical arguments offer a firm base to support Descartes’ theories but there is a problem with explaining the interaction between the mind and brain if they are not identical. However, the difficulty in understanding how an interaction can occur does not automatically lend itself to providing evidence that the mind and the body are identical. Descartes believes that the body is intrinsically the same as other material objects in the world. It is an extended thing: reg extensa and has physical properties: its size, its shape and the fact it takes up space out there in the world. Scientists tell us that the body is made up of smaller particles; atoms, molecules and so on. In contrast to this physical body the mind,
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