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The Mind/Body Problem

There is a clear association between the conceived self-as-person and the idea of the field of experience, and this association has been the subject of much discussion in the Western world ever since Descartes brought it to the fore in the seventeenth century. This is the infamous “mind/body problem”, where the word “mind” is being used to refer to the instantiation of consciousness (field of experience) assumed to be associated with a particular “body” (i.e. a living person, in just the same way as the word was used when referencing the “problem of other minds”). The “problem” is that of providing an explanatory account of how mind and body relate to each other.

It should be clear by now that any claim that consciousness (or “mind” as the word is being used here) is amenable to scientific investigation would either be a claim based on a variant use of the word “consciousness” or else an error of judgement (possibly originating in our propensity to consider the objective world as the primary reality, the starting point for such an investigation, misleading us into putting the cart before the horse). Given that consciousness does not admit of analysis by those methods employed to investigate empirical phenomena, it would seem that all attempts to find a solution to the mind/body problem will entail metaphysical hypotheses rather than scientific hypotheses - i.e. hypotheses that cannot be eliminated on empirical grounds but only on grounds of logical inconsistency.

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