Mind-matter

Mind-matter duality in the world is the view that mind and matter are two different things with different natures. For example, matter can be weighed and measured, while mind has no extension or mass therefore cannot be weighed or measured. Mind and matter then are essencially different.

The problem with the mind-matter duality is that, if true, then there would coexist in the world two things with essentially different natures, one would be the nature of the material physical world and the other one the nature of mind. In a monist universe this is not possible. In a monist universe there is not a multiplicity, but only one Nature. And in a world with one Nature both mind and matter have to be natural phenomena with essencially the same nature.

So what is it then, is the nature of the physical world less substancial than what we think, or is the nature of mind more matterial? The answer is neither. The nature of matter cannot be reduced to the qualities of mass and extension. Matter is also dynamic by nature. Everything in the universe has a dynamic nature. And this is what matter shares in common with mind.  Mind has to be seen as a process: a dynamic process. Indeed thoughts and ideas don’t have any extension or mass as matter does, but this doesn’t make them less physical.

Mind is the subjective private experience from our brain’s activity. The brain in turn, is a physical organ. Unlike the mind, the brain is an objective element. It belongs to the public domain: we can observe it, scan it, weigh it, etc. Mind on the other hand, is subjective, private and we cannot reach it, but this doesn’t mean that is not physical. The brain, as a physical organ, has a physical nature. And like the nature of all physical things, it has a dynamic nature. Mind then, is the experience of a dynamic physical process. There is nothing non-physical about the mind. The nature of mind, like the nature of everything else, is dynamic and physical.

There could be an obstacle in associating mind with a physical nature, due to our preconceptions on what physical nature is. Physical nature is usually associated with a scientific description of the world, which is dominated by determinism; which is not real. Determinism comes from a causal view of the world. And causality is not a physical relation but a mental impression. The idea that the mind is confined to causal determination is wrong and doesn’t reflect its reality neither (see free-will and the unreality of causality).
The nature of mind is a reflection of the brain’s nature. And the brain, is a complex neurological system with a dynamic nature. So to understand the nature of mind, first we would have to understand the nature of complexity.


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