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Descartes and Churchland on the Problem of Mind and Body
To make sense of what philosophers mean by the problem of body and mind, consider the following scenario. In class my teacher asks a question and I raise my hand to answer it. In this very simple action lies a vexing philosophical problem. How do mind and body interact? How does my mind tell my body what to do? How do I go from thinking, “I know the answer. I will raise my hand” to raising my hand? How does the idea I have of myself as a unit work when I realize there are gaps in my understanding of what it means for me to exist. As the song by the Smiths puts it, “Does the body rule the mind, or does the mind rule the body? I dunno.” The answer is not so simple once you probe deeper into the problem....
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