Phi Assignment 2
According to the doctrine of dualism, the mind is a nonphysical substance. In this way, dualism asserts that the mind is quite different from the physical brain. Moreover, according to a particular brand of dualism referred to as interactionism, the nonphysical mind interacts with the physical body/brain. Thus, for example, when one is thinking about writing this essay, the interactionist holds that our thought processes are in some sense nonphysical in character while still being tied to the brain in necessary ways.
Physicalism, on the other hand, asserts just the opposite of dualism. According to physicalism, the mind is purely a physical substance. Said differently, the mind is the brain. Under this account of the mind-body problem, of which there are different types, all processes that we would typically refer to as mental in character (thinking, doubting, questioning, dreaming, consciousness, unconsciousness) are merely underlying brain processes in action, i.e., particular configurations of neurons firing in a manner that is governed by natural law.
Essay Question: Critically evaluate either the doctrine of interactionism or physicalism. In other words, which view gives a more plausible answer to the fundamental question raised by the mind- body problem? Note that one can examine physicalism as a whole or restrict the scope of your essay to a particular type of physicalism.
View the "Essay Writing Guide" attached to this folder. Write and submit a thoughtful, clear and succinct thesis writing assignment of 1200-1500 words, in direct response to the Module 2 assignment above. Draw directly upon our assigned textbook readings for this Module in carefully crafting your detailed response. In answering the essay question provided, carefully review, reflect upon, and attempt to integrate the textbook material covered in Chapter 2: Section 2.0-2.4. Please double-space your submission, include your name at the top of its first page, and be sure to cite all sources quoted or paraphrased from (even if it’s only our textbook). Please take careful note of the above formatting instructions.