Ryan Smith

Philosophy 100/Prof. Sears

Chaminade University


                                        Module #4 the Mind-Body Problem

     Although I do not have module #4 in front of me, the subject that has interested me the most out of the four weeks we have been in philosophy 101 has been the Mind-Body Problem in which the philosopher Rene Descartes is responsible for. Basically, Descartes believes that the human body is the physical being of the non-physical mind. At first glance, upon reading this section of module number four, I was confused. Then I realized that this was not the first time I ever had thoughts such as the ones of a known philosopher Rene Descartes.  Is it possible that all humans are just the physical being of our own mind? Meaning that we are not the ones in charge of what we do or how we think, and that it is in actuality the other way around in the since that our minds actually control our body.

     When I think of the human mind the words, mysterious, powerful, beautiful, strong, wonderful, extraordinary, relentless, and extremely confusing come to mind, but the truth is anything your mind could think of is what is going to come out verbally! This in alone is confusing to me because I know that throughout the years I have accumulated enough of an vocabulary that when a rhetorical question is asked such as when you think of the mind what words can you use to describe your mind or brain, that should be the easiest question in the world because your brain is supposed to hold thousands of words, but when that rhetorical question is asked about when you think of the human mind what words come to mind, you can only come up with about two handfuls of words to describe your thoughts on your own mind. In that moment I feel in complete mercy of my own mind. That has to be ironic! The worst part about thinking of my mind or brain and how it functions is that I just cannot grasp how deep the minds controlling powers has over our body and how much of that power of the mind is influenced to the point that we as humans are not in control of the perception we as humans put off into the universe and to other mankind we come across?

     Descartes believed that “man too is a machine” The human body is a giant organ and without the brain or mind the body cannot live while the mind or brain on the other hand can live without the body, thus making the mind free and exempt from causal chains. Does this mean that the body has to be the breathing, feeling, smelling, tasting, and touching organ of skin that has to suffer from the thoughts of our own brains in certain situations? Or why must I be judged based on what my brain or mind allows the body to put out. How is it possible to know the capacity of your own brain? If I were to be in full control of my brain I would be able to choose not to be in the state of anger or depression. Instead, I would choose to always be happy, positive and self-encouraging thus eliminating the opportunity for crimes of passion or violence because you could not help the feeling of anger when some other entity chose to hurt your little sister or assault your mother. Why would the human body made of organs pretty much controlled by angry thoughts triggered from their own mind have to suffer in another man made facility that came from another living mind and to fruition? In the form of prison!

     The Mind-body problem is a problem I would love to explore and get to the bottom of because it is important to me in the since that I am a human organ and I have a mind that I am not sure of all the way in a world that does not give out to many second chances. If I could learn how to be more conscious of the mind and respect the way it functions more than maybe that could in exchange help put myself in better situations that I feel in more control over rather than just reacting to situations as they arise.

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