The mind-body relationship in psychotherapy: grounded cognition as an explanatory framework
According to Descartes, these realms are forever separate such that the mind and body cannot influence one another. The mind works. Most of the previous accounts of the relationship between mind and body had psychologists generally agree that consciousness (the mind) is the function of. Relationship between Human Body and Mind | Psychology. Article Shared by. After reading this article you will learn about the relationship between human.
Thomas had already made against Platonic interactionism in metaphysical and theological terms. As a matter of fact, while criticizing Platonic dualism, Thomas Aquinas affirmed that if the spiritual soul is in a causal relationship with the body through the influence on the action of the corporeal spirits, then the principle of the substantial unity of the person is lost, and it becomes difficult to explain the individuality of the soul, which according to Plato can reincarnate in different bodies, a hypothesis which is considered absurd by Christian theology cf.
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Thomas Aquinas, Summa TheologiaeI, q. The most fundamental contribution that John Eccles made was the attempt to provide a new solution to the physical-mathematical problem of the violation of the conservation principles that emerges in all interactionist approaches; like many other modern authors, he was convinced that the only way to support the right ethical and religious reasons for the existence of a spiritual soul was to adhere to a dualist-interactionist metaphysical vision of a Platonic-Cartesian type cf.
Eccles and Popper, ; Eccles and Robinson, Eccles believed to have found such a solution through the reference to the principles of quantum mechanicsnecessarily involved in the chemical-electrical mechanism of synapse communication. In fact, according to the principle of indetermination, we could think of an extra-physical action exerted by the mind on the synapses of the various cortical neuronal populations, without the violation of any principle of energy conservation.
There are two main objections that can be moved towards this solution, one of a biological type, and the other, more substantial, of a physical type, they both having immediate metaphysical implications. Generally speaking, most biologists agree in saying that the characteristic physical level where the vital phenomena emerge in their irreducible specificity is that of the macroscopic scale, where the organization and possibly the self-organization of complex molecular structures proteins occur, which are stable out of the thermodynamic equilibrium.
They are "dissipative structures" that self-organize and continually exchange matter-energy with the external environment, internally and externally to the body cf. Prigogine, From Being to Becoming. Stengers, Order Out of Chaos. Man's new Dialogue with NatureLondon ; I. An Introduction, New York Yet, here we are faced with an important metaphysical consequence. If we accept that the biological and - in our case-the neurophysiological level is that of the microscopic quantum scale, given that such a level and its related uncertainty are universal for all the material structures of organic and non-organic nature, why then not brush up again the Gnostic and Neo-Platonic theories of the anima mundi type?
Then, why would not all matter be animated? His objection is that it is unfounded to endorse the suspension of the causal physical determinism on the account of the quantum uncertainty. The quantum phenomena only show uncertainty when faced with the problem of "reduction of wave function" and to the problem of the amplified "reading" of quantum event, on a macroscopic scale, in terms of the mathematical formalism of classical mechanics that is, in terms of the functions that define one-dimensional trajectories; cf.
On the other hand, the description of quantum phenomena in the microscopic terms of the appropriate mathematical formalism of the wave function is supported by experimental measures which agree with the theoretical predictions, and show no uncertainty at all, despite the temporary state of quantum electrodynamics which provides such predictions cf.
Therefore, it is not at the quantum level that we can hope to solve the scientific groundlessness found by modern authors in the dualist interactionist explanation. Theories of a Monistic View Theories of a monistic view are "metaphysically reductionist," and they still are even at present time, when they are forced to be "epistemologically non-reductionist" by logical evidence see aboveI.
These are metaphysically reductionist since they reduce one of the two terms to the "product" of a function or many functions of the other. The history of philosophy of the second millennium brings to us two distinct types of monistic theories, spiritualist and materialist.
This philosophy of nature considers the material particle in terms of an "non-extensive singularity," hence immaterial, of a "monad," in such a way that each physical body results as an aggregate of immaterial monads, all which are in the end "internal" representations of the Absolute Monad. This theory, that was judged by Hegel as a "metaphysical novel," for us it is merely of academic interest. Here we shall dedicate more attention to the theories of materialist nature.
The materialistic monism consists in the reduction of human psychical life to the product of the neurophysiological functions of the body, considered a sort of "secretion" of the neurons. As main representatives of this anthropological teaching we can consider all the major empiricist philosophers of the Modern Age, from Hume to the contemporary positivists and neo-positivists.
In the 20th century, this way of proceeding is presented in different versions. A first version is that of the "theories of identity," already presented in Section I and which we do not need to recall again.
A second version is represented by the "emergentist theories. The term "emergence" is to be understood at a level of organization of matter that, maintaining the validity of the laws at the lower level, needs for its scientific characterisation the formulation of new laws.
For example, it is evident that the laws of thermodynamics apply to all chemical systems, however it is not possible to simply derive from the laws of thermodynamics all of the chemical properties of the molecular compounds, although it is clear that in both cases the referent is always the same aggregate of molecules.
With the same type of reasoning the theory attempts to explain the emergence of the psychological facts and their laws as the emergence of a new, higher level of organization of the same physical substratum. Here, we are not far from a theory of identity: The limits of the identity theories already discussed, are the same as those of the emergentist theories.
A third version of materialistic monism is represented by the "behaviorist theories. Watsonand considered each reference to the 18th century psychology of conscience as non-scientific, in particular that of phenomenological nature.
Then the behaviorist theory acquired philosophic dignity in the 's, thanks to a fundamental work by Gilbert RyleThe Concept of Mind The leading idea of this theory is the non-objectivable character of the conscious "self", intended as the "presence to my self" what I am able to render as an object to myself is only "me," however always relatively to its past states or acts and its systematic elusivity, like the present temporal moment, the "now," the nunc.
From that it derives its criticism to the "Cartesian self", intended in an objectivistic way as a "spiritual thing," and the proposal of a "dispositional behaviourism" as the characteristic object of a really scientific psychology.
In other words, because of the systematic elusivity of the temporal moment, what is objectivable of behaviour is not the physiological event as such for ex.
This approach has resulted particularly prolific in scientific terms because it created on a theoretical scale a link between the old type of behaviourism belonging to the associationistic psychology of Pavlov and Watson and the computational approach typical of functionalism, and this because the notion of a "disposition to act" correspond immediately to the matrix calculus of statistical mechanics applied to the study of the cerebral dynamics.
In fact, a status that shows disposition to act can find its immediate operational equivalent in a matrix of transition probabilities, which is, in statistical mechanics, a classic algebraic instrument of calculus. Such a matrix of n 8 n elements, for each time tkdefines for each element the probability of transition from one to any other of its possible states for ex. On a formal scale the "neural networks" are nothing more than very evolved, and sometimes very complex, versions of this basic idea.
At the beginning of the 's Hilary Putnam born inwith his famous work Minds and Machineslaunched the research program of "functionalism," having the intention to solve the mind-body problem in terms of the software-hardware relationship of a computer. Such an approach, which is today completely repudiated by its initiator, had the intention to re-propose on a new basis the classical rationalist theory of the mind. Putnam did so in the light of the notion of "cognitive unconscious" taken from the psychology of intelligence elaborated by the Swiss psychologist Jean Piagetwho identified the intelligence with the development of logical-formal operational schemes and their unconscious use by the subject cf.
Piaget, Logic and Psychology, ; J. Putnam's second pillar was the development of a theory of computability starting from the mathematical interpretation of formal logic and the notion of propositional function operated by Gottlob Fregewhich had experienced two futher steps.
Therefore, the UTM constitutes the logical scheme of a modern multi-programmable calculator. The link with the field of behaviourism was derived by a further demonstration obtained by W.
Pitt inthat guaranteed the equivalence between the algebraic matrix calculation of a simply interconnected network of neurons and the calculations which were executable by a TM. From here followed, in the 's, the development of the two main features of functionalism, that ultimately led to the so-called "strong version" of the research programme of Artificial Intelligence AI: It appears therefore totally insufficient in accounting for the intentionality and the intensional logic referring to the "contents" cf.
For this reason, in the functionalist approach of "strong" AI, it is necessary to rely on an "oracle", according to the expression coined by Turing himself, a figure of unquestionable universal intelligence that is able to produce its responses of truth and coherence without conceding any possible control on its action. Hofstadter comes to this conclusion and ascribes in a neo-Spinozian way the metalogic function of "universal intelligence," of "oracle," to the non-computable determinism of the matter as a whole, matter of which also the brain of a single individual is part of, a determinism that appears "inviolable" towards the necessarily partial self-referentiality of the cerebral computations of a single brain.
In such a way, functionalism reveals its "double monist" nature for a theory of mind-body relationship. It is monist not only because it denies the "immaterial" dimension of intelligence, but also, and above all, because it denies the existence of "individual" intelligences which produce thoughts and are capable to act freely. That is, it denies the metaphysical foundations of the notion of person.
From a metaphysical point of view, functionalism appears as a re-proposal of the rationalist theories of the mind that deny to the single individual the capacity to think "with his or her own head," as was proposed already in the Middle Ages by the theories of the Arabian rationalist aristotelism of Avicenna and Averroes, in the Modern Age by the theories of Spinoza and Hegel, and in the contemporary ages by the doctrine of Husserl and his meta-individual "phenomenologic Self.
On the other hand the approach of the cognitive sciences to the study of the mind and of the mind-body relationship can also be interpreted according to a "dual" type of metaphysical scheme, provided a renunciation of its original functionalist character.
However, before examining the dual theories, it is necessary to make a brief consideration about the intrinsic limitations of the functionalist approach, or theory of the "strong" AI, that leads its authors to the "oracle solution" and brings them to the above mentioned twofold monist outcome. It is clear that in the functionalist approach each human mind corresponds to a UTM, given the capacity the human mind has for a universal thought.
Now, the incapacity of a UTM "to have the knowledge of not knowing" depends upon the famous theorem of limitation which is intrinsic to the Universal Turing Machine computations. This machine has the capacity to simulate the calculations of all the single TM, in such a way to confer universality to their computations, but has the limitation of not being able to decide when its calculations have reached a satisfactory outcome and have to stop consequently.
In particular, the UTM cannot find a decisive computational procedure, through which "to assert" in its arithmetic meta-language that a certain datum expressed in its arithmetic language is "false.
Human intelligence is capable of correcting itself, of progress and development, unlike animal intelligence, precisely because of its ability to notice its own errors. Basti and Perrone,pp. From a point of view that takes into account the history of logic, to overcome the mentioned limits of the formal calculus would mean, at the same time, overcoming the limits of the axiomatic method itself, as if it were the "only" method in modern logic, and to recover the richness of the pre-modern analytical method, characteristic of Platonic, Aristotelian and Scholastic logic: In a word, to perform these operations would mean to render scientific dignity to the "logic of discovery" against the modern absolutism of the "logic of proof" and of its axiomatic method cf.
Dual Theories of interpreting the Mind-Body Relationship When speaking of "dual" theories we mean all those theories of the mind-body relationship that: In such way the mind-body relationship is interpreted according to the Aristotelian "hylemorphic" metaphysical scheme of the form-matter relationship Gr.
According to the version given by Scholastic anthropology, the spiritual soul is the form of matter, and "form" and "matter", substantially united, constitute the living human body, the only personal substance of a human being and of that "unique" human being, capable of vital vegetative operations metabolism, growth, reproductionand of sensory-motor and intellectual functions for a review on the principles of the Aristotelian-Thomistic biology, cf.
With respect to the monist and dualist theories, the "dual" theories have three main characteristics: These characteristics especially the third are strongly present in the medieval thought of Thomas Aquinas, who made the choice to re-evaluate the Aristotelian hylemorphic approach in anthropology -not without operating a profound revision of its metaphysical basis. He noticed that, besides an intrinsic superior coherence, such an approach could grant a great consistency with the principles of Christian anthropology, more than that shown by the Platonic dualist approach, especially for what concerned the person, its irreducible individuality and its intrinsic psychophysical unity.
Many contemporary authors who operate today in the field of cognitive sciences intend to refer to a dual-type, and not to a monist-type metaphysical paradigm, even though only a few of them, in the recent past, were clearly aware that such metaphysical paradigm was not compatible with the functionalist approach of the cognitive sciences cf. The localization of the Mind. The mind or, in the Scholastic, Greek-Platonic terminology, the "soul" is indeed a non-material "thing," as Descartes would have liked, however it is not a "substance" that is complete in its being in the way it is stated by the dualist theories.
It is the formal principle of unity of a stratified whole of material parts today we would say: It is rather a non-material or "formal" component of a substance made of material parts that experience constant modification. Where the notion of "form" is understood according to the Aristotelian philosophy of nature, as a constantly adapting plastic whole of relationships of disposition of dynamic material parts, continually modifying and interacting among themselves and with the external world.
An example of it, is given, at the cellular level, by the metabolic physical-chemical activity of the cell itself. In this context the "mind," according to the dual theories, has a unique location with respect to the body, which the mind itself organizes.
Instead of being located "in the body" and at the most "in the head", as in all of the dualist theories Plato assigned its location to the attachment point of the neural cord with the cerebellum, Descartes in the "pineal gland" epiphysisEccles in the synapses of the populations of neurons in the cerebral cortexand in the ancient and modern monist theories, an illustrative solution that M.
Schlick defined "principle of introjection", the dual theories rather affirm that "it is the mind that contains the body. In a book which is strongly and justly critical towards the functionalist approach to the cognitive sciences, Penrose expresses himself on the matter: It is not all unreasonable to suppose that the persistence of the 'self' might have more to do with the preservation of patterns than of actual material particles" Penrose,pp.
Here is instead what was stated on the same argument by Donald M. MacKayone of the founders of the non-functionalistic approach to the cognitive sciences, to whom, amongst other things, we must acknowledge the definition of "dual theories" applied to this particular type of theories of the mind: Mental activity would be meaningfully locatable in principle in specific flow-structures of the information-diagram; but this meant that the relevant flow-lines would in general extend beyond the confines of any one component structure, and during conscious action might even run out-and-back through the environment.
Mentality, as a system-property, could be rendered invisible or destroyed by attempts to localize its action to any subsystem of the total information-flow pattern in which it was currently embodied" MacKay,p.
More recently, the same idea that the mind is embodied within the informational flow schemes, internal and external to the body, received support from A.
It stands as the new post-functionalist paradigm in the cognitive sciences, one that tries to unite different elements, albeit not without some confusion. Regarding the localization of the mind or of the "rational soul" of the human being with respect to its body, in the Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas held a position that was very similar to that of the modern supporters of the dual theory.
He said precisely that non-material entities, such as the soul, can be localized with respect to the matter that they control and organize, not through a relationship of contact between the external surfaces of a body "that contains" and those of one that is "contained," as it takes place between material entities. Non-material entities, rather, must be localized through "the extension of the capacity to control and organize Lat. For Aquinas the attempt to localize the soul and its action in specific parts of the brain, such as that brought forward at his times by the interactionism of the Platonists, is totally wrong and misleading cf.
Summa TheologiaeI, q. Resorting to this same principle, he justified the omnipresence of God in the universe, for His actual capacity to govern everything and not just a body as in the case of the human soul in each one of us. A second characteristic of the dual metaphysical theory of the mind, immediately linked to the original localization of the mind with respect to the body in the theory itself, is that it appears connected to an "intentional" theory of knowledge, as much as the other two types of theories are, at least in modern times, dependent upon an exclusively "representational" theory representationism of knowledge.
How the history of modern philosophy teaches us, the emergence of a representational theory of knowledge is nothing more than the epistemological counterpart of the progressive establishment of the absolutization of the axiomatic method in modern mathematics and logic, that identifies in the theory of demonstration and proof the only object of logic as science and as organon of the mathematical and natural sciences.
So much the questioning about the truth and the foundation of axioms is well far beyond the interest and the capacity of the axiomatic method, how much, in a similar way, does the questioning about the "thinking thought" the intellectus for the thinkers of the medieval period that formulates ideas and produces logical symbols in a truthful relationship with the object, with respect to the representational theory of knowledge.
A questioning, that on the thinking thought, which limits itself just to the analysis of the "thought which is thought," the thought that manipulates symbols which are already constituted according to logical and formal rules the ratio in medieval terms. This got to a point in the 19th century when a project was conceived to reduce epistemology and logic to a unique "universal algebra" of thought, reduced to a pure syntactic formalism occupied with the manipulation of graphical "signs", no longer without a symbolic semantic value.
The building of a TM is probably the higher expression of the formalist approach to logic and epistemology, but for this very reason it indicates, at the same time, the beginning of an unstoppable decline. It is certainly not due to mere chance that the principle of intentionality came to acquire an ever greater relevance in the contemporary epistemological and logical-foundational debate, as it became increasingly evident that there was on the one hand a failure in the formalist approach to the foundations of logics and mathematics, and, on the other, the insufficiency of the functionalist interpretation in the cognitive sciences.
In the 13th century, when Thomas Aquinas had to face these problems as a philosopher and a theologian, he was in a very similar situation to ours.
In a particular way, in the last part of his life, Aquinas, in Paris, had to face up to that "lay" interpretation of the Latin Averroism of Siger of Brabant ca. As an answer to these theories Aquinas proposed his own interpretation of the Aristotelian rational soul as form of the body. In so doing, he wished to obtain two main results: Dual Theory of the Mind and Spirituality of the Soul 1.
As far as the first problem is concerned, that is how to ensure the immateriality of the intellectual faculties, the solution proposed by Aquinas is similar to that which is proposed today by the functionalist theory. The latter, in order to justify why the human being has the capacity of rational thought, particularly the "creative" capacities, hypothesize the existence, "outside" of the system, of a "closure" of the hierarchy of partially self-referential controls that characterizes the living body.
The function of the agent intellect is precisely that of producing a "universal" logical thinking in real time abstraction"correcting its own errors"; a function that cannot be performed by Turing's oracle or by Hofstadter's universal intelligence, but can be always executed by the intentional intelligence of the individual human being: Thomas Aquinas interprets the active component of human intelligence "agent" intellect as a capacity to constantly re-define the context of the problem "possible" intellect in order to adapt it to the single present datum adaequatio intellectus ad rem.
In this way, the passive component of the intellect - its capacity to comprehend in a conscious way, because it is controlled by its active counterpart- can be considered as a tabula rasaaccording to a famous Aristotelian expression.
However, the passive intellect is not a tabula rasa absolute absence of any data in itself, but rather in respect to each new datum that the neurophysiological and cerebral activity presents to the intellect. Aquinas' position differs from what was pursued by the myths of absolute innatism, as meant by John Locke or by the modern Empiricists up to Popperdeceiving Aristotle and the Scholastics. In fact, rather than speaking of a tabula rasa, we should speak of a tabula which is constantly swept rasata.
Due to its capacity to generalize abstraction with respect to all conditioned and singular datum, human knowledge can be applied to, or focus on an infinity of similar cases, becoming in such a way an "a priori" of the mind. When it results inadequate for a new set of data "knowing of not knowing"the procedure of adaptation can repeat itself indefinitely.
Such a closure is nothing but a self-consciousness of non-organic nature, hence not materially conditioned by the past, what the Ancients used to call intellectushaving the capacity to act immediately on itself distinction between the "agent" and the "possible" components of the intellectand therefore capable of intelligere se intelligere to know that it is knowing. This way of solving the problem of the relationship between the spiritual and the material component of the human psyche has two main consequences.
It is a sort of closure on itself of the informational flux, a "black hole", a "singularity" on the informational space that closes on itself.
Moreover, it can be partially or totally prevented by the wrong functioning of some of its material sub-structures which control our cerebral activity and that are informed by it, thus creating the illusion, accepted to be the truth by some thinkers, that these cerebral structures would be the "subjects" of human rational operations.
A text by St. In De Anima, I, lec. Here, he distinguishes between sensory cognitive operations, which have the body as both an object and a means of the operation itself, and which can therefore be only partially self-referential, and intellectual cognitive operations, which have the body only as an object, and which can therefore be completely self-referential intellectus intelligit se intelligere.
We just need the "exchange of information" without any violation of the physical principle of energy conservation, as we would say today.
Within the context of the ancient physiology of the "corporeal spirits", all of this is explicitly stated by Aquinas of the "pneumatic" non-electric principle of the transmission through a distance of the nervous impulse, before the discoveries of the Italian physiologist Galvani. In order to be able to talk today in similar terms, the only physical condition we need is that the physical system we are dealing with, that is, the brain, possess a sufficient level of complexity and a sufficient dynamical instability, derived from its nature which is strongly and irreducibly non-linear unpredictability on the medium-long range behaviour, as occurs in chaotic systems.
This immediately implies that energetic and informational fluxes cannot be superimposed to each other in such systems, unlike what happens in the stochastic systems studied by statistical mechanics and linear thermodynamics. In fact, what characterizes chaotic dynamics that dissipates all living systems are "dissipative systems" and "feed" upon free energy subtracted from the environment is that there is a generation of information within them, that proceeds from the microstate to the macrostate, exactly in the opposite direction, from the macrostate to the microstate, through which the system dissipates energy.
The system behaves in an unpredictable way with respect to what we knew about it from the initial conditions Although each individual quasi-periodical trajectory within the space of the states of the system is predictable step by step, it is a characteristic of the system to "jump" in a way that is absolutely unpredictable from one trajectory to another.
The unpredictability of the macrostate is therefore generated from the microstate of the trajectories of particles that compose the system. In a classic thermodynamic system, the two energetic and informational fluxes proceed instead in the same direction from the macrostate to the microstate, meaning that as soon as the system is described in terms of its microstate, its behaviour becomes perfectly predictable cf.
On the one hand, being of spiritual nature, it can be considered capable of autonomous subsistence and must be therefore in some way a "substance," as it was intended by the Platonic dualist.
On the other hand, according to the principles of Christian anthropology regarding the person, it must be considered a component, and therefore "part" of a unique psychophysical substance, that is the person. At this point it is clear that if we do not want to fall into contradiction, the soul must be considered as "substance", but in a way different from what is intended for the person in its completeness.
Thomas solves the question by referring to the general Aristotelian doctrine on the category of "substance", as discussed by the Stagirite in Book V of the Categories. According to this doctrine, "substance" can be intended in three main ways. In the first way, as a being that is defined and complete in its nature and that exists as an individual "first" substance: In the second way, the substance can be intended as a defined and complete being that exists only in the individuals, understood as "parts of them" "second" substance: An analogy for the notion of substance as intended in this second sense can be found in logic, in the notion of property that defines an "ordinary class" of elements, a class that does not belong to itself because it is determined by a non "autologic" predicate, that does not apply to itself.
In such a way "humanity", intended as a property that defines all human beings and only human beings, "is not itself a human being," as Aristotle would say. In fact, as Russell discovered, if we consider the notion of "total class of all the ordinary classes," the class of all the classes that do not belong to themselves, whenever we ask ourselves if such a class does or does not belong to itself, we soon find an antinomy.
Finally, there is a third way of speaking of substance. A substance can be considered as a being that is defined, but non complete in its nature, and that exists in the individuals as "part of them", a part that, however, determines the totality to which it belongs "third" substance or "substantial form". An analogy to the notion of substance as intended in this third meaning can be found again in logic, in the notion of property that determines a "non-ordinary class" of elements, a class that belongs to itself because it is determined by an autologic predicate, that can be applied to itself.
For example, "polysyllabic," intended as a property that determines all the polysyllabic words, is itself a polysyllabic word, and therefore belongs to the class that it defines. Regarding this matter Aristotle used the physical, indeed biological, example of the "feet," that although being part of the totality of an animal individual, nonetheless they are a part that can define the totality to which they belong.
In fact, an animal can be defined as "biped" or "quadruped. The soul is the form of a first, individual substance, that is the person, thus it is part of that, which is however specified by this part. Person means in fact "individual substance of a rational nature," according to the classic definition given by Boethius. The problem of the survival of the rational soul after death still remains unsolved.
According to the previous proof, the soul has its own operations that it "must" execute independently from the organs of the body. Thus, as Aquinas states, if it has the capability to act by itself per sethen it must also have the capability to be by itself cf. Quaestio De Anima, a. However, it does not have the being by itself as a "first" substance, but rather as a "third" substance, as a part of that totality that is specified by it.
In other terms, in order to continue with the Aristotelian example of the hand and the body, and of how the hand cannot survive if separated from the body, with which the former constantly exchanges matter and energy for its vital operations of metabolic nature, analogously the mind, in order to perform its cognitive operations, needs to continually exchange information with the body, and through it with the rest of the world. In other words, a living organism can be defined as such if it is able to exert its characteristic vital operations.
Nowadays, it is possible to put an explanted organ in a compatible chemical environment and maintain it for a short time in order to allow it to carry out its main metabolic operations up until the moment when it is transplanted in a new organism. The characteristic vital operations of the human mind are not, however, of chemical-metabolic type, but rather of the "informational" type.
Therefore, how Thomas Aquinas already stated, the human mind can continue to carry out its vital operations hence to "live" after death provided that it receives from a source other than the body the pieces of information species on which to operate.
The question posed by the philosopher Thomas, doctor humanitatis, was answered by the theologian Thomas, doctor angelicus. The human soul can continue to survive temporarily in the after life, provided that it receives "through illumination" by God, as the angels, the "information" that can enable it to carry out its characteristic vital functions which are of the cognitive type.
The souls of the dead can continue to see the world and be in communion with us "through God," just as the angels which do not have a body This until the moment when each soul will be "transplanted" in a matter similar to the present one that the soul will reorganize as the body of a defined individual, that is to fully carry out once again its function of substantial form or "third substance" of a complete human person, "first substance", in agreement with the biblical dogma of the final resurrection of the bodies cf.
Apart from theology, much more nowadays than in the Middle Ages, the "dual" approach to the mind-body relationship offers to metaphysics and anthropology new ways to indicate unexpected solutions to the eternal problem of the survival of the mind after death.
Causal relations countenanced by contemporary physics can take several forms, not all of which are of the push—pull variety. Freemansuggests that explaining mind—body interaction in terms of "circular causation" is more relevant than linear causation.
Many suggest that neuroscience will ultimately explain consciousness: Abstract information processing models are no longer accepted as satisfactory accounts of the human mind.
Interest has shifted to interactions between the material human body and its surroundings and to the way in which such interactions shape the mind. Proponents of this approach have expressed the hope that it will ultimately dissolve the Cartesian divide between the immaterial mind and the material existence of human beings Damasio, ; Gallagher, A topic that seems particularly promising for providing a bridge across the mind—body cleavage is the study of bodily actions, which are neither reflexive reactions to external stimuli nor indications of mental states, which have only arbitrary relationships to the motor features of the action e.
The shape, timing, and effects of such actions are inseparable from their meaning. One might say that they are loaded with mental content, which cannot be appreciated other than by studying their material features. Imitation, communicative gesturing, and tool use are examples of these kinds of actions.
Neural correlates of consciousness The neuronal correlates of consciousness constitute the smallest set of neural events and structures sufficient for a given conscious percept or explicit memory. This case involves synchronized action potentials in neocortical pyramidal neurons. Neurobiology and Neurophilosophy A science of consciousness must explain the exact relationship between subjective conscious mental states and brain states formed by electrochemical interactions in the body, the so-called hard problem of consciousness.
Neurophilosophy is the interdisciplinary study of neuroscience and philosophy of mind. In this pursuit, neurophilosophers, such as Patricia Churchland  Paul Churchland  and Daniel Dennett  have focused primarily on the body rather than the mind. In this context, neuronal correlates may be viewed as causing consciousness, where consciousness can be thought of as an undefined property that depends upon this complexadaptive, and highly interconnected biological system.
The massive parallelism of neural networks allows redundant populations of neurons to mediate the same or similar percepts. Nonetheless, it is assumed that every subjective state will have associated neural correlates, which can be manipulated to artificially inhibit or induce the subject's experience of that conscious state. The growing ability of neuroscientists to manipulate neurons using methods from molecular biology in combination with optical tools  was achieved by the development of behavioral and organic models that are amenable to large-scale genomic analysis and manipulation.
Non-human analysis such as this, in combination with imaging of the human brain, have contributed to a robust and increasingly predictive theoretical framework. Arousal and content[ edit ] Midline structures in the brainstem and thalamus necessary to regulate the level of brain arousal.
Small, bilateral lesions in many of these nuclei cause a global loss of consciousness.