A complete analysis of the concept of mind cannot possibly be explored here.
To do so would require research into the source of mind,
the various theories of mind,
its concomitant concepts: "objects" in the mind, consciousness,
subconsciousness, ideas, acts of mind, content of the mind; the existence of other minds, the mind/body problem, mind as strictly "mental," universals as mental or external to the mind or inseparately related, mind as the only "thing" that exists, and so on.
Our position relating to mind and matter is dualistic only insofar as it relates to the extent to which language affects the "content" of the mind.
This, however, must not be construed to be a final and absolute philosophic position concerning the nature of mind and matter.
Ours is a considerably more simple pursuit relative to distinguishing between language that presumably refers to things that can be verified, directly or indirectly, to exist "outside" the mind as opposed to language that cannot be verified, i.e., about personal experience, ideas, concepts, sensations, and the like the nature of which, also, we will not be examining.
It seems obvious, given the presumption of an existing physical world, that
matter can exist without mind.
And, according to available evidence, mind cannot exist without matter.
Mind is basically a function of, i.e., dependent on, matter:
No matter/energy, no brain.
No brain, no mind.
Mind is not a substance in the sense of possessing length, width, and depth.
It is a quality, a necessary permeative disposition of a functioning brain.
If the human brain is not functioning, then the human mind does not "exist."
Mind emerges, analogously, from "gray" matter as do the qualities of water emerge from the elements that do not themselves possess those qualities that form it.
Mind emerges from different kinds, quantities, and relationships of matter.
Hence, different kinds of minds emerge.
Without the ubiquitous and permeative interacting of quarks, subatomic particles, etc., with their disposition to interact, none of the familiar objects in our world would emerge; nor would their functions.
All matter attracts or repels.
Different kinds and quantities of matter give rise to different substances and their functions.
Eyes see (They do not hear.). Ears hear (They do not see.).
Noses smell. Brains mind (i.e., think).
Seeing, hearing, smelling, minding are not substances.
They are functions of different kinds and
quantities of physical substances.
No substance, no function.
As an aside: and from the point of view of analytical thought, the question arises: How can an incorporeal (not matter/energy) god (i.e., he has no brain), know anything, not
alone see without eyes, hear without ears, etc.?
EMERGENCE OF THE SPECTRUM OF MINDS
SPECTRUM OF MINDS
According to available evidence, particularly in biological studies, in the absence of inanimate substances, life and mind could not have evolved.
We must, therefore, when uttering the word "exist" recognize that the existence of a brain (matter) does not necessitate the existence of a human mind.
Our concern, here, is with the source and nature of mind in general.
Conwy (not Conway) Lloyd Morgan spoke of the sensitivity (the interaction) of matter to matter as the causal agent for the emergence of mind in the universe.
Evidence shows clearly that the human mind (many, different in kind and in mental ability) is only one of countless other minds on earth.
Recognizing their existence should give us some insight into how minds came to "exist" and what are their nature.
We begin with the spectrum of inanimate matter evolving into different forms of life out of which our spectrum of minds appears.
Such a spectrum is necessarily but a simple depiction, non all-inclusive, and merely indicative.
SPECTRUM OF MATTER, LIFE, AND MINDS
String(?), sub-quark, quark, subatomic particle,
molecule, crystal, giant (reproductive) molecule (i.e., DNA and RNA), paramecium,
amoeba, zygote, embryo,
insect, snail, fish, pin worm, garden worm,
mouse, snake, bird,
dinosaur, rat, cat, dog, "missing link,"
pre-teen, young adult, adult, mentally
challenged, normal person, genius, etc.
No exact evolutionary order or exhaustive inclusion is implied--obviously.
Requires that one be willing to weigh evidence and make judgments accordingly.
Being willing to listen to someone offer claims, opinions, convictions, or thoughts in the belief that "anything is possible" must never be taken to be
It is NOT the case that anything,
(interpreting 'anything' in the conventional sense of application to all
inclusiveness.), i.e., any claim, is possibly true--except, of course, in
Examples are too numerous to cite.
However, one alone is sufficient to prove that the claim, "Anything is
possible," is clearly false:
At this moment, I can reach up and physically touch the moon with my index finger."
Nor is anything probable unless it is first possible.
The term 'possible' implies "subject to the
'physical laws' of the universe."
Shows an unwillingness to consider any evidence offered.
Shows a naiveté
that is willing to consider giving credence to any conceivable claim, idea, etc., even when no evidence is possible to support it. Such a mindset has been conditioned by the social acceptance that "ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE"
-- some time in the future.
SEE FILE 21: PERENNIAL QUESTIONS
© 1997 by Pasqual S. Schievella