You don’t actually have a body

Descartes didn’t believe in the “body” but believed in the “mind.” So everything but the mind is all due to your brain. The whole thought process came about when he realized that the mind, “a thinking thing,” could exist apart from its extended body. With that knowledge, came the theory that the body is a substance whose essence is thought. Hence my title, “You don’t actually have a body” because Descartes believed that the two were separate entities.

Property dualism is the basic idea of the theories under this heading is that while there is no substance to be dealt with here beyond the physical brain, the brain has a special set of properties possessed by no other kind of physical object. These are the properties that are characteristic of conscious intelligence (Churchland, 10). Epiphenomenalism is the view that mental events are caused by physical events in the brain, but have no effects upon any physical events(Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). For example, behavior is caused by the contraction of muscles and impulses from neurons. Therefore, the mind has nothing to do with it and it’s purely physical. Interactionism is the idea that matter and the mind “have casual effects on the brain, and thereby, on behavior(Churchland, 12).” This theory raised some issues because if the mind is an immaterialist thing then there is no way that it can have an influence on matter. The last dualist category is the elemental-property dualist. “The elemental-property dualist subscribes to the notion that mental properties interact with the brain(” So, on this point they agree with the interactive property dualist. But unlike the interactive-property dualist, the elemental-property dualist rejects the idea that mental properties emerge from the brain. Instead, they believe that mental properties are fundamental properties, something akin to mass or energy.


I personally agree with the ideas of interactionism because I also refute the idea that the mind is immaterial. Although it has no physical traits, I think that if something has an influence on another thing, it should be considered as a materialistic thing. Scientifically, physical objects are those that can be affected by physical forces. To me, the mind definitely has an influence on things like behavior. There is no way that we aren’t using our minds to act the way we are. How could we all react differently to the same stimuluses’ if “we only are responding to behavior with matter?” If we didn’t use our minds, then we should all have the same behavioral responses in the same situations. Our mind is what changes it up because the mind does have an influence on matter.


Paul Churchland, believed that neuroscience needed to be intertwined with psychology when it came to philosophy. Henceforth, the American philosopher explains how folk psychology may be false.


1 thought on “You don’t actually have a body

  1. Overall, the conflicting theories on the debate between mind vs. brain and mind vs. body being physical substances confuses me. The mind may not have any physical properties, but it’s definitely a factor in decision making. When myself and others hear the word brain, their first response (I asked), was mind. Therefore, myself and other individuals originally attach the words together. I agree that the mind has an influence on behavior, but that is specifically one’s conscience.

Leave a Reply