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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Final Report David Whomble

David Whomble
The Mind, Brain, and everything else
Since the beginning of time people wondered about the thing that is in our head, the thing that makes us solve problems, the thing that made us who we are, the mind. When thinking about our mind, your mind or my mind transports us to a whole new world, a world where new ideas of philosophy are derived, new scientific discoveries are made, and a new understanding of "man" is achieved. A lot of the major philosophical idea are derived from the thought of mind and thinking about the mind of "man" such include: dualism, freewill, and morals, along with these important philosophical ideas comes some of the greatest philosophers of all time.

The mind, or brain, is thing that gives us our personality one witch is unique to every person in the world. The brain allows us to do many things and keeps us from doing many things; so many people thought that you are who you are because of your mind and brain. So just how could this blob of mass in our head do what it does and allows the world to be what it is today? The raw material of the brain is the nerve cell, called the neuron. When babies are born, they have almost all of the neurons they will ever have, more than 100 billion of them. Although research indicates some neurons are developed after birth and well into adulthood, the neurons babies have at birth are primarily what they have to work with as they develop into children, adolescents, and adults. These neuron are the base unit of all things we think of the signals given off by those neurons are responsible for every thought you have in your head, the signals are what made Hitler do what he did, the signals are what allowed every philosopher think the way he/she did. Newborns' brains allow babies to do many things, including breathe, eat, sleep, see, hear, smell, make noise, feel sensations, and recognize the people close to them. But the majority of brain growth and development takes place after birth, especially in the higher brain regions involved in regulating emotions, language, and abstract thought. So if your abstract thought is developed after your born then I believe we can influence the way you abstract think, by the way you’re raised, your parents, and the people you are around. So to understand the philosopher I think we need to first understand their background and see the way they think. For instance let’s
look at a philosophical idea of dualism[1] many famous philosophers and touched on this subject from Descartes’ to Leibniz both of these every important philosophers had different views on the subject because they had different lives and different countries all together.
Rene Descartes’ was born in France in the late 1500s, when he was born is mother died shortly after he was born, so him and his siblings where sent to live with his maternal grandmother. The Descartes clan was a bourgeois family composed of mostly doctors and some lawyers. Joachim Descartes fell into this latter category and spent most of his career as a member of the provincial parliament. Rene Descartes’ came from a family that was very smart and well established, this led his abstract thinking to be influenced in a very different way than someone of less economic status. Rene Descartes’ most famous work was called Meditations on First Philosophy (1641) and is this book he in the Sixth Meditation, Descartes calls the mind a thing that thinks and not an extended thing. He defines the body as an extended thing and not a thing that thinks. I how ever have a different philosophy of dualism, I think that your body and mind are one entity but also two separate things, I believe that your mind and your body work together as one machine and just like any machine you have parts to that machine that make it run, and without one of those part the machine will not run or break down. Every machine has a part that makes it distinct, for example, a computer has a keyboard, and a car has a steering wheel, those parts make it what it is. A keyboard on a car would not help you steer and a steering wheel on a keyboard won’t help you write a paper. Also every distinct part has differences than that of the same part on a different machine, not every steering wheel is the same and not every keyboard
types the same way. Just like the human mind is a distinct part of the human, also not all minds work the same way people think differently which gives rise to the vastly different ideas and religions and practices in the world today.
Gottfried Leibniz was a great philosopher who was most famous for his argument that he made. Leibniz was born into a pious Lutheran family near the end of the Thirty Years’ War, which had laid Germany in ruins. As a child, he was educated in the Nicolai School but was largely self-taught in the library of his father, who had died in 1652. At Easter time in 1661, he entered the University of Leipzig as a law student. While Leibniz in school had ran in to people that influenced him a lot, one of which was Rene Descartes’. Both of these great philosophers where raise on roughly the same path, both went to school for law. But they think completely different because they raised in different ways and there abstract thinking was influenced in a much different way.  Leibniz was one of the greatest thinkers of seventeenth and eighteenth centuries “He made deep and important contributions to the fields of metaphysics, epistemology, logic, philosophy of religion, as well as mathematics, physics, geology, jurisprudence, and history”[2] people that had conflicting views and often argued with Leibniz where amazed at what he had accomplished. Leibniz was not like most philosophers he didn’t do a single work that he is known for; instead he wrote letter and essays to be published in the journal. Leibniz has many views on a wide array of subjects and he continues to be one of the greatest thinkers of all time.  

Works cited
            Look, Brandon. "Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz." Stanford University. Stanford University, 22 Dec. 2007. Web. 3 Dec. 2014. <http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/leibniz/>.
            Warburton, Nigel. "Mind." Philosophy: The Basics. 5th ed. London: Routledge, 2013. 137-57. Print.
            Warburton, Nigel. A Little History of Philosophy. New Haven: Yale UP, 2011. Print.

[1] “The most basic form of dualism is substance dualism, which requires that mind and body be composed of two ontologically distinct substances. The term "substance" may be variously understood, but for our initial purposes we may subscribe to the account of a substance, associated with D. M. Armstrong, as what is logically capable of” independent existence.  According to the dualist, the mind (or the soul) is comprised of a non-physical substance, while the body is constituted of the physical substance known as matter.
[2] http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/leibniz/

1 comment:

  1. "I how ever have a different philosophy of dualism, I think that your body and mind are one entity but also two separate things" - that makes you a monist, not a dualist, unless by "things" you mean irreducible metaphysical substances; but your extended discussion makes clear that you don't mean that. Of course we can still refer to the bodily and mental ASPECTS of our experience, and it's convenient to do so. But the convenience doesn't warrant extravagant claims on behalf of mind, which most classic dualists are prone to.

    "Gottfried Leibniz was a great philosopher... Leibniz was one of the greatest thinkers of seventeenth and eighteenth centuries... Leibniz has many views on a wide array of subjects" - that's just uninformative padding, please omit such vacuous statements and instead include more discussion of his actual ideas regarding "mind, brain, and everything else."