Brain or Mind

If you are a strict materialist, the use of the word “mind” for the results of physiological brain functioning may seem wrong, but Mental Construction argues there’s a useful distinction between brain and mind. (Follow the link to see the many steps and components which lead to the conclusion).

The brain receives raw data from external reality. The mind constructs an internal worldview which is not as detailed as the external world.

Let’s use “brain” for the physical substance in your head and “mind” for the non-physical contents of your thoughts. However don’t suspect I’m a dualist, asserting brain and mind exist in separate realms. A path can be laid from the physical to the mental, although we can’t ignore that along it the Almost Gate of the neural threshold blocks them from twin identity.

Brain surface with surface areas linked to function


Two Minds Communicating. Can we know what is another perrson's mind?

Two Minds


It is essential to consider the complex path from external physical reality and internal reality. We build, from what we observe and what we know, a worldview upon which we make decisions, act, and form plans.

Our apprehension of sense data is not a causal process. The same external situation can affect you differently next year than it does today. How? If your internal worldview changes, then the same external situation is understood differently.

Memories are also constructed rather than recalled from static detail. Memories meld our current worldview with our memory fragments. Another reason to say mind. Memories exist in the mind, not in the brain.

It is useful to get the words right to lead the discussion down a fruitful path. To that end, the internal perception of reality will often be labeled as “mental” rather than “brain function.” This emphasizes the imprecise relationship between external reality and internal reality which is an essential element of everyone’s distinct view of reality.

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