Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mind-body dualism

How mind and body are distinct but intertwined. 

See for reviews and articles about all kinds of theories.

Preliminary articles concerning mind-body dualism:

Discrete Degrees Within and Between Nature and Mind
Examining the role of dispositions  (potentials and propensities) in both physics and psychology reveals that they are commonly derivative dispositions, so called because they derive from other dispositions. Furthermore, when they act, they produce further propensities. Together, therefore, they appear to form discrete degrees within a structure of multiple generative levels. It is then constructively hypothesized that minds and physical nature are themselves discrete degrees within some more universal structure. This gives rise to an effective dualism of mind and nature, but one according to which they are still constantly related by causal connections. I suggest a few of the unified principles of operation of this more complicated but universal structure.
A new account of the role of mind in nature is based on several principles taken to be universal, some of which exist already in today’s science.
Swedenborg used Descartes as a symbol of his desired resolution of the mind-body problem in favour of ‘spiritual influx’, but we see that Descartes’ position was substantially different in a number of ways. We consider a number of modern objections and puzzles about dualism, and how Descartes and Swedenborg each might respond.
A suggestion is made how the mind and brain might fit together intimately while still maintaining distinct identities. The connection is based on the correspondence of similar functions in both the mind and the quantum-mechanical brain.
It is particularly valuable to discuss questions concerning quantum physics and spirituality together, in order to see the connection between them. There is an urgent reason for discussing this link, because there are people who want to identify these things, giving a monism rather than (at least) a dualism. There is a widespread feeling that somehow that they are connected, but some ‘new age’ people want to say that quantum physics tells us about spirituality. We have read in Swedenborg that any such connection could  not be quite so simple, so we need to understand in more detail what is going on.

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