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The core concepts in the Mind-Body problem consist of dualism and monist.

The other core concept in the Mind-Body problem is monist. Monism only believes in one entity which is either the mind or body itself. There are two types of monist positions which are the idealism and physicalism and also known as materialism.


Idealism is not all philosophical positions on the mind-body problem are dualistic. The opposing view is monism. A monist who ought to believe there is no physical world but only the mental events exists is called an idealist from the ideas that populate the mental world. This has not been a very popular position in the history of philosophy, having been introduced mainly by the British philosopher Bishop Berkeley. In the idealism itself, they are only believed that the mind exists. The mind or thought is so real indeed and not the body or the physical state.

Idealism supposes in short that mind is all that exists, and the whole world is so composed. However there are numerous nuanced varieties of idealism, some brought forward to avoid the difficulties of other versions. The extreme version that all is mind is usually called subjective idealism or phenomenalism, whilst objective idealists propose that thought is the highest degree of reality. On the other hand another branch of idealism, that of pansychism, consider that all objects of experience have minds; even more extremely, epistemological idealists claim that minds are aware of or perceive only their own ideas, not external objects. (Dr. John G. Taylor, 2008)


Whereas in the Physicalism which is another position in materialism, they urge that the body only exists but not the mind. They demonstrate the mind is somehow a manifestation of the body. The mind is either totally eliminated or reduced to the body or physical state. In another word, Physicalism proposes that all of the Universe is composed of physical objects, and that even mind itself is created by some extremely subtle (and as yet unknown) mechanism of action between suitable physical components, most likely (according to modern ideas) situated in the brain. As for the other approaches to the mind-body problem expounded briefly above, there are numerous different varieties of physicalism: supervenience (where a given local distribution of matter cannot give rise to two different global patterns that are assumed to be instances of mind; this is to be regarded as a minimal form of physicalism), token and type (where the former assumes that for every particular event it can be identified with a purely physical event, the latter that every property is identical to a physical property), reductive and non-reductive physicalism (where the former involves a variety of assumptions on the manner in which statements of mental experiences are true if and only if some corresponding physical statements are true, whilst the latter is of the form of supervenience, for example, making no such strong assumptions), a priori versus a posteriori (where the claim of physicalism that all states of the world, including mental ones, can be derived from physical states, is given a priori or independently of experience, or alternately is a posteriori, so based on facts), and physicalism versus emergentism (where in the latter there is new knowledge emerging as mental states, such as described by psychology. For example, from underlying physical activity, there are more generally the mental is proposed to arise through an emergent process from underlying physical activity in matter). (Dr. John G. Taylor, 2008)

Functionalism Functionalism began in the 1960s in the philosophy of mind. Funtionalism believe that the mind is some kind of function. The function is referred to as some sort of algorithms, information processing, software program, formula and causal relation. The formal definition that we can mention about function is causal relation. Funtionalism is a type of mental state that is defined by a causal role. This causal role has three components which involved causal relations between the state and inputs from the environment, causal relations between the state and behavioral outputs and causal relations between the state and other mental states. (Putnam, 1960) We can interpret or understand about causal relation in short is that it has three components which causally related to the inputs, outputs and other mental states. Basically, the idea is that what if a state appears to be in a pain state and it is not a particular physical state involved. For example, when we are in pain which encountered as the mental state, it is actually the firing of cfibres plays a certain causal role in us. But it is quite different physical state might play the same role as experience the pain in another creature, let say like a Martian. The Martian is in a pain state which plays the same role in her as well as in other creature of her type. In us and the Martian, the same role we are being played by different realizers. In principle, causal roles might be realized by non-physical states of an immaterial system but the main attention is given more onto the physical state. According to Putnams hypothesis is that mental states are functional states. For example, a functional state that specified in a machine table of a Turing Machine. A Turing machine is abstractly defined for each state of the machine and each permissible input, an output and a state

of the machine. However, based on Lewiss version provides, a Turing Machine is in only one state at a given time. So, a state of a Turing Machine is not analogous to a mental state such as being in pain. A machine state would have to be parallel to a persons total mental set at a given time. (Putnam, 1967) However, there are number of objection towards functionalism. One of them is the knowledge of argument. An Australian philosopher Frank Jackson had a version different from Nagels thought experiment about bats which is also included in one of the objection of functionalism. This time it involved a human brain instead of bats. It is about Mary who is a neuroscientist that has been raised in black and white room. In that particular room, she is very good in every computational stuffs and knows how and what is it to describe the pattern of a human brain waves activity when that person seeing the colour of red. Mary has never seen or experienced the colour of red before as the rest of us did as she never steps out from the black and white room. She does not know how is it feels like to have a sensation of red. However, Mary leaves the black and white room and saw a red rose at the garden. At this instance, she learned something new about the red colour and she acquired the new knowledge on red colour in the mind on top of the physical and functional knowledge. Now she herself can experience the red colour after all this while she is just studying it by looking at the pattern of human brain waves. From this example, we cannot say that the mind is function.

Reductivism What we can understand about reductive which come from the word reduce is that they reduced the mind to the brain or physical properties or physical processes sufficient to define mental processes. They do not totally eliminate the mind like the eliminative does. If mind is reduced to the brain, the question is what is actually the mind is. The mind is the instance of brain. They do not rely or believe that the mind exists. For example, pain is just the C firing fibre. But, non reductive says that mind is equal to the brain which indeed to strong to state. In other words, we can either say that mind is supervening of the brain or the mind depends on the brain. So far, there are two paradigm examples of a reductionist to explain further about the mind which are the behaviorism and the identity theory. Anomalous Monism What is Anomalous Monism which is one of materialist theory in the Mind-Body Problem? Anomalous Monism is about a theory of the relationship between mental events and physical events which has developed by Donald Davidson. Davidson says that every causally interacting mental events are the same as the events of the physical events (monism). But, he also claims that there are no strict laws on the basis to predict and explain in general of mental events called propositional attitudes. Therefore, the mental properties cannot be reduced to physical properties. (Standard encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2005)

Reference Page Taylor, G. J. (2008). Mind-body problem. Retrieved March 23, 2009, from

Crane, T. (1998). Dualism, monism, physicalism. Retrieved March 23, 2009, from,%20monism,% 20physicalism.pdf. Standard encyclopedia of Philosophy.(2005). Retrieved March, 25, 2009, from