What is the mind?

Ray Scanlon rscanlon at wsg.net
Wed Dec 2 10:18:27 EST 1998

Anders N Weinstein wrote in message
<741ulf$a6i$1 at usenet01.srv.cis.pitt.edu>...
>Chris Campbell <cdc at uvic.ca> wrote:
>>>> What is the mind?
>>>The mind is what the brain does.  Talking about the mind is just
>>>talking about the processes of the brain at a certain level.

Replace the euphemism "mind" with "soul". The present day usage of "mind"
arose in the first half of the nineteenth century among people who wished to
discuss soul but also wished to have themselves known as freethinkers. So
just say soul (mind, self, intelligence, whatever) and relegate the whole
discussion to religion.

>For similar reasons I would recommend that "the mind" should not even
>be taken to denote a *software* or process sort of thing. Not that
>there are no such things:  the control software executing inside a
>cruise missile is one, and similar sorts of processes may occur inside
>our brains. But "the mind" is not even that sort of thing, any more
>than a personality is. Much better to think of the mind in the way
>Aristotle did, as a collection of capacities that can be actualized in
>the flesh and bone of a human being.  This conception includes
>distinctively intellectual capacities like the power of thinking.

Nonsense. The brain does the thinking, the soul experiences the activity of
neurons and calls it thoughts. Philosophy is just watered down religion
without God.

Those interested in how the brain works might look at

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list