On the Structure and Operation of Mind

6 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2018

Date Written: September 9, 2018


Dualism was first proposed by Descartes circa 1650. It never gained support due it could not be proved. There being two main intellectual problems, first the body-mind problem, that is the operational link between the mind and brain. Second, the problem of reductionism in science, if the understanding of mind is not reducible to the neurological operation of the brain, then how does it work, and what are the implications for reductionism in science.

Both problems are resolved within this intellectual position. This paper presents further detail on how the conscious awareness of mind applies our attention mechanism to intervene and alter the potential energy barriers to the flow of energy down some specific neural pathway and enable the flow when if left to its own devices, the energy would not have flowed into that path.

Second, the paper shows how knowledge is not continuous and exists in domains. Each domain determined by a coherent variable, namely a variable that is not able to be resolved into simpler variables without loss of the descriptive qualities the coherent variable provides. The consequence is that some domains of knowledge are the mechanisms of others, with the conceptually higher domain irreducible to the mechanism without loss of the understanding offered by the coherent variable defining the higher domain.

Keywords: mind, body-mind link, scientific reductionism, dualism

JEL Classification: A12, A13, A14

Suggested Citation

Little, Graham, On the Structure and Operation of Mind (September 9, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3246655 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3246655

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