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The Mind-Body Relation: Ancient Western Views. Democritus (fl. 450 BCE ). Lucretius (94-55 BCE ). Materialism: all things (including minds/souls & mental events) are bodies in motion. Dualism : the soul is an immortal life force distinct from the body; its search for truth is moral desire.

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the mind body relation ancient western views
The Mind-Body Relation: Ancient Western Views

Democritus (fl. 450BCE)

Lucretius (94-55 BCE)

  • Materialism: all things (including minds/souls & mental events) are bodies in motion
  • Dualism: the soul is an immortal life force distinct from the body; its search for truth is moral desire

Plato (427-347 BCE)

  • Aristotle: the soul is the form of a body: the life of plants, the sensation/motion of animals, the mind of human beings

(384-322 BCE)

the hindu self
The Hindu Self
  • The experienced part of person (the conscious self and body) differs from the all-pervading divine Self, which is not known or reasoned to
  • Sankara: The phenomenal world (including selves) does not exist

(788-820)

  • Ramanuja: The phenomenal self is a modification of the inner self (God/Brahman)

(1077-1157)

mind body dualism
Mind-Body Dualism

(1596-1650)

(1637-78)

  • René Descartes: human beings are composed of a material body and an immaterial mind that are distinct but linked through the pineal gland
    • Problem: Interaction. Proposed solutions:
  • Anne Conway: bodies are not really different from souls; both express different degrees of how reality is organized and expressed
other proposed solutions to mind body dualism
Other Proposed Solutions to Mind-Body Dualism

(1646-1716)

(1632-77)

  • Baruch Spinoza: mind and body are simply different ways in which God is expressed (dual aspect monism)
  • G. W. Leibniz: mental and physical events happen independently of one another but are harmonized by God (parallelism)