Arose from the
mind-body debate are the three metaphysical views: Monism, Dualism, and
Functionalism. Monism is supporting the view that everything in the universe
ultimately boils down to one mental or physical thing (Friedenber &
Silverman, 2016, p. 28). There are two forms of monism, the first one being
physicalism/materialism, which states that “there is only one kind of actual entities, namely, material or physical ones” (Griffin, 2008, p.48). In other words, the mind and the brain do not
interact with each other because “the
mind is the brain” (Friedenber
& Silverman, 2016, p. 29).
On the contrary, another form of monism, idealism, dictates that everything we
see is merely a result of our own imagination (Friedenber & Silverman, 2016,
p. 29). The next perspective is dualism, which emphasizes the significant
difference between mind and matter, which is further categorized into substance
dualism and property dualism (Friedenber & Silverman, 2016, p. 31-32).
Substance dualism claims that the body is composed of physical substances,
while the mind is a nonphysical thing that is independent of the physical body (Friedenber
& Silverman, 2016, p. 32). Thus, the real essence of me, or my “soul” is not related to my physical body. Property dualism is
another position of looking at dualism. It states that everything is composed
of one substance, but with different kinds of physical properties and/or mental
properties (Friedenber & Silverman, 2016, p. 33). Another position of
looking at the mind-body relationship is functionalism, which states that a mental
state “depends not on its internal
constitution, but solely on its function, or the role it plays, in the
cognitive system of which it is a part.” (Levin,
2013, para. 1). Then, mental states can result in any physical state that can
accomplish the function, whether or not the physical state is “biological” (Egnor, 2015, para. 5).
view of reality I believe in is dualism.
To reiterate, dualism states that the mind is separate from the body; it exists
beyond the body. I believe that the mind cannot be fully understood just by
purely studying the brain. For example, I could be thinking about something in
my mind. From observing me, the most a stranger might be able to conclude is
that I am thinking, possibly from observing my facial expression. However, they
would not be able to tell what I am thinking about. Thus, what I am thinking
about is not a physical state. So the mind is more than just physical states. Unless
phenomena such as telepathy is possible, which we have yet to falsify, that
only supports the argument that the non-physicality of the mind exists, and
that the mind and body are separate entities.