DUALISM VERSUS PHYSICALISM 2
The debate on whether the intelligence or conscious form, mind, in people is a physical
phenomenon or one that is immaterial is found in various fields of study. The debate pertains to
both meta-physics and psychology. The most common of positions concerning the issue are
dualism and physicalism. This paper will explain both the concepts of dualism and physicalism.
Dualism on its part holds that the soul or mind is made up of an immaterial substance. According
to dualists, this immaterial substance cannot be located in space and time, and indeed transcends
space and time. This view holds that the purpose of brain is only to act as an antenna that connects
the body of a person to the immaterial mind (Pratt, 2017). The implication of this is that destruction
of the body or the brain does not lead to destruction of the mind.
On the contrary, the physicalists oppose the view that the mind is an immaterial substance
and instead advance the concept that the mind is a physical phenomenon. In this sense, the mind
is composed of physical objects which are the cells of the brain or neurons, which are then made
up of atoms at the smallest level. This view holds that the mind and the brain are synonymous with
the mind being a product of the connections between neurons (Pratt, 2017). The implication of this
view is that destruction of the body and/or the brain leads to destruction of the mind as well. In
this essay, I am going to show that dualism is a more flawed view than physicalism, but this does
not mean physicalism is error-free. As my arguments will show, this view comes from both
psychology and philosophy.
If the soul or mind were immaterial, where is it located? It cannot be in the universe because
all things in the universe are governed by physical law and are bound by space and time. The
argument by dualists that the mind is like gravity is only logical but impossible scientifically. This
argument would then call for complicated arguments. In addition, if such substances exist, how do