Essay on Philosophy of Mind: Dualism and Neutral Monism

Essay on Philosophy of Mind: Dualism and Neutral Monism

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This essay will discuss the topic Philosophy of Mind (POM) which is split into four areas; Dualism, Materialism, Idealism and Neutral Monism. However, due to the depth of these four areas, only Dualism and Neutral Monism will be discussed more in-depth during this essay.
Philosophy of Mind studies the relationship between the Mind and the Body. Dualism is an area of POM which argues the view reality is made of Mental things and Material things, with early dualists such as Descartes and Plato supporting this area. Dualists emphasise the role of Mind and Body, but also make the distinction that both are separate things. Materialists, such as Democritus, states the world is a collection of ‘atoms’ (separable collections or singular atoms) that compose everything in existence. This view suggests that everyone is made up of these atoms in such a way; it gives us our own distinct image, as it also does to inanimate objects such as tables. Idealism is the belief which argues it is only mental events that exist, suggesting a person’s own perception is the only thing which exists within a person. The view Neutral Monism claims that only one substance exists, and it is neither physical nor mental (only aspects), but the only substance that exists is God, a view held by Spinoza.

Dualism holds the view the world is made up of two (dual) types of things in relation to the Mind-Body concept, Material and Mental, with Mental being linked to the Mind and Material being linked to the Body. It is viewed that the mind is able to act upon the body, and the body can act upon the mind. However, from a parellelist theoretical perspective, the mind nor the body can act upon each other at the same time, suggesting the two are synchronized but do not ...


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...d is very important to the modern psychologist as it shows how the mind is interlinked with Psychology. As presented above, it shows that sub-areas of Philosophy of Mind, such as Dualism and Neutral Monism, demonstrate strong links with modern psychological disciplines, such as Dualism linking with Biological psychology. Therefore, for the modern psychologist, it is vital they understand the Philosophy of Mind in terms that modern psychology still holds concepts that were being built upon the foundations of early psychology.



Works Cited

Gregory, R.L & Zangwill, O.L (1987) The Oxford companion to the mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 189-191.

James, W. (1904) “Does Consciousness Exist?” Essays in Radical Empiricism. Essay 1.

Priest, S. (1991) Theories of Mind. London: Penguin

Schacter, D. (2011) Psychology. Worth Publishers.

Spinoza, B. (1677) Ethics.


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