Philosophy of Mind

Essay by mental_unmadeUniversity, Bachelor's May 2005

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Can I doubt that my mind exists? It seems absurd to imagine, but I take the mental journey nowhere nonetheless. Descartes used one of his premises for mind body dualism that he "cannot doubt" his mind exists. Of course, this conclusion does depend on the retort of a few essential questions. What is a mind? I believe the one main component that characterizes a mind is the concept of thought. A mind is an entity, material or immaterial, that produces thought. So then the concept of thought undergoes the scrutiny and interrogation. What exactly can be classified as thinking? Does the computer think when I punch in the "z" key on the keyboard? In almost an instant the computer processes the information and displays the letter "z" on the screen. We classify the computer as a machine, but how complex does the electrical matrix have to become in order to transcend the mechanical world and enter the thinking world? Is the human brain where that line is drawn? The human mind does have the capability to cogitate about it's origins and, obviously, itself.

However, my computer could also have this same ability, and other human mind abilities, with enough aide from the material world.

On the other hand, could the human mind still possibly be a computer because it lacks the full mental awareness of the immaterial mind? Choices that the human mind makes are also programmed and predictable when you give it the right stimuli. Just as with my computer when I hit the letter "z." I can predict that when I do this a letter "z" will appear on my monitor. The same goes for human brains. Suppose the stimuli is an experience like sitting through a philosophy class. If you knew enough about the individual's brain, you...