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materialism and all that

Ray Scanlon rscanlon at wsg.net
Wed Apr 7 07:57:23 EST 1999

Hermital wrote in message <370A4AFA.76B4 at livingston.net>...
>On Tue 4/6/99 13:02 -0400 Ray Scanlon wrote:
>> How is the soul (mind) related to the body (brain)? That is the central
>> question of materialism at the end of this century.
>Actually, it has been a central question since Descartes articulated the
>Mind/Body problem in the 17th century CE

In western philosophy precedence is usually given to Anaxagoras. In any
event the soul/body question is thoroughly explored in the Phaedo. The
substitution of mind for soul is a euphemism from the first half of the
nineteenth century.

Descartes went too far when he attempted to have the soul communicate with
the body through the pineal. (Any other nucleus would have been just as
bad.) The Princess Elizabeth pointed this out when she asked (in effect) how
the incorporeal soul could introduce energy into a closed system (the
universe). He had no ready answer.

Those interested in how the brain works might look at

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