Emerging Ideas

Changing Mind Changing Body

QUESTION: How do you think future explorations into the mind/body relationship should go, from both the art and sciences? And how do you see any future interactions between these disciplines taking place to further our understanding?

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QUESTION: How do you think future explorations into the mind/body relationship should go, from both the art and sciences? And how do you see any future interactions between these disciplines taking place to further our understanding?

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I see the mind/body research of the future finding that the body, our consciousness and health are all far more interconnected than is currently believed. I think the next step in this area of science should be the combining of chemistry, biology, physics, philosophy and religion to create one all encompassing view of life that doesn’t exclude God or Science, but instead begins to see that a broader view needs to be taken in order to address the problems we face as a humanity that science as it is cannot solve. Rebecca

 

The mind should not be thought of as a separate entity from the body. By the body I mean the brain. There are suggestions of dualism from Kant and Descatres; the body purely being an ‘idea’ constructed by the mind. There is no way to refute this as it is empirically impossible to do so. However, while this suggestion exists it still bears the same likelihood as there being a God. I cannot definitely disprove the existence of something ‘inherently absent from our senses’. This why I feel that the best way to investigate the mind is purely by looking at the physical explanations, as these are the only explanations we can understand.

Art, to me, is a subjective way to explore your own mind and body, allowing for more personal and intimate knowledge of yourself. It allows you to form opinions about yourself that defines you. Science looks at how your mind develops through fields such as neurology and psychology, but with a focus on the brain and its functions, which are the originator of your thought and actions and how they are effected by external factors.

In conclusion, future explorations into the mind/body relationships should only be carried out by science, as we can only just try to grasp the infinite complexity of the physical world to develop a credible understanding of our mind. There is too much we do not know or don’t understand in the real world to start speculating on notions of ‘idealistic dualism’. Tom

 

Descartes believed “our souls are of a nature entirely independent of the body and consequently it is not bound to die with it”. I agree with this; I believe the soul is linked to the mind, and that further investigation is needed into the preservation of the brain, which holds our true self, all our thoughts emotions and memories. By preserving our brain, we are preserving ourselves, which could then be placed into DNA clones of our previous material bodies. This allows us to survive deaths such as cancer or fatal accidents, which unfairly steal away our chances of living. Sarah

 

Maybe humans should be looked into like art, there is a view that if people look normal, they are deemed fine, with art you don’t just look at the flat piece of paper, we choose to find a story.With  society, humans are seen as people, we don’t look into the story behind their life. How can art convey that connection, yet we as people can’t. What if we communicated, not glance and make assumptions, maybe it would be better if we took time to actually find a person within that body; like art it’s a hidden story. Find it. Natasha

 

Science and more specifically within the study of the brain (neuroscience), latest research has shown the mind to be the projection or result of chemical reactions taking place in the brain. This creates the feelings and emotions we have and an idea of the self in a physical realm of atoms etc. On the other hand prehistoric ideas are more dualistic, ideologies in the likes of plato are usually concerned with mind and body relationship two seperate entities entirely connected maybe through the brain.

Freud who’s known for his development in psychology studied a load of patients one particular patient, Anna O. had a interesting case her illness like may others Freud treated came to him showing physical symptoms of various forms of hysteria. Using a technique of talking to patients under hypnosis, he was able to reveal to them traumas within the sub conscious usually from their childhood.

Meditation has also been shown to improve someone’s physical and mental being/health and meditation can even be in forms of arts such as weaving, drawing, music all relate to focusing the mind and attention. Maybe future developments in our understanding of science and arts should be interwoven more with each. In the field of medicine studies should encourage finding natural ways to heal the body and preventing illness. Ben

 

In today’s society many people rely on science and medicine to improve their physical appearance. Over recent years there has been an increase in the amount of people who sacrifice their bodies in the name of art. Whether it’s a small change, like a tattoo, to a significant change, like a gender reassignment. People alter the way they look to express their feelings and to please/attract others.

We have already seen many changes in society due to science and art becoming one. One of the big inventions was prosthetic limbs, which has greatly advanced people’s lives, as well as others. It’s becoming more popular for people with prosthetic limbs to express their disability in a way of art, such as models and athletes. Georgia, Beth, Emily and Natalie

 

Elements of our existence are represented by the behaviour of our brains, and carried out by our body. In many ways the mind and body are encrypted within one another, personally the argument of ‘the chicken or the egg’ seems relevant, as one is fundamental to the others existence. Alike the argument of the chicken or the egg, there is no definite answer for the dualism debate. We must therefore accept that our understanding now and in the future is inevitably limited due to this concept. As we are unable to define ourselves as humans, this leaves room for arts, philosophy and science to explore the unknown. Ameera

 

If we think about the term consciousness and its definition in specifics: “of being aware of an external object, or something within oneself”. I think if we can create a successful A.I. that can be shown that it has been made by us, is aware of that, and displays the same criteria for consciousness that we have then I think that that in itself shows there is a link between the mind and the body. Therefore, I feel future explorations into the mind-body relationship should be increasingly done through A.I.

If we think about the term consciousness and its definition in specifics: “of being aware of an external object, or something within oneself”. I think if we can create a successful A.I that can be shown that it has been made by us, is aware of that, and displays the same criteria for consciousness that we have then I think that that in itself shows there is a link between the mind and the body. Therefore, I feel future explorations into the mind-body relationship should be increasingly done through research into A.I. Ruby

 

Dualism is the theory that mind and matter are two separate entities. Descartes, “I think therefore I am”, concluded that because we think and experience we must exist as more than a matter extending into space. Similarly, Plato contends that the soul is distinct from the body and can maintain a separate existence from it. He believed the mind can become aware of eternal truths beyond the physical world and the body is a physical form which can touch and be touched. Materialists though, believe that an individual is a physical body; as Ryle said a “ghost in the machine”. Eleanor

 

When assessing the ideas of the mind and body there are many problems and questions that arise, for example whether they are connected and if so how? It is hard to address the question of how we can advance our knowledge as there are so many unanswerable questions on their connection although human kind have made advances in fields that could prove their connection throughout history. For example over the last 2 decades the study of effects of physical factors on the immune system has found prodigious links between mind and body, in particular how stress can effect white blood cells and diminish their response to infected cells. Even the parts of the mind that hold complex understandings show signs of the network between mind and body, it is shown through Benjamin Libet’s studies that a thought of an action, for example moving a finger, can occur in the brain before we even realize and only becomes conscious after it has happened. Katie

 

Our understanding of how our minds and bodies work together is limited. We understand, from a scientific point of view, the neurons and connections in the brain and throughout the body. From an art perspective, someone’s personality can be displayed through their work and their own perceptions. There is no biological explanation for an artist’s work displaying how he/she feels or how the world looks from their point of view.

The mirror neuron is part of the brain that is biologically noted and tested. This is an explanation for how a person or creature has the ability to copy another, but there is no explanation for how the person knows when to copy another or how each person’s mirror neurons work at different rates for different things.

We understand what happens in the body to make a human react the way they do, but there is yet no explanation for why the human reacted that way. For example, we know that a person can set off a match then wave it about, yet another person may blow it out. There are many possible reactions to only one situation, so what part of us decides how we react?

The state at which a person currently is dependent on what has happened throughout the day is, I believe, due to an energy that flows through our bodies, as the soul. This energy reacts to what happens around us, passing energy to the outside world when things around us go wrong. This passing of energy makes us have less and we fell low or sad. If everything around us is going well we don’t lose this energy, we may even gain energy. This makes us happy. Cathy

 

Scarring, injuries and disabilities should not be seen as something to hinder the person affected. It is sometimes said that god has placed these physical differences with the person because he feels that they are stronger than most and are more able cope with it. People that may appear ‘different’ should be hailed for the daily struggles they face, differentiation should be considered beautiful with the many variations of body types, abilities and physical attributes. ‘Disabled’ is a discriminative word and I feel that ‘differently abled’ is more applicable because we all have are limitations regardless of who we are. Emma

 

I think future explorations into the mind/body should involve people from all walks of life and cultures. To truly gain an understanding of how the mind and body interact the sample size must be large as the brain is one of the most complex objects in the universe.

With motivation the brain can push the body to the limits possible. Runners often call it ‘the wall’, a mental barrier which, once you push through, can achieve something you never believed you could do.

In the future, as technology improves taking over our lives, people may wonder what happened to ‘thinking’. Has out view of the world been blurred by pictures and Googling? If we don’t engage our mind with what we want to achieve, a common goal may be lost. Adrianna

 

I think that it is likely that the mind is completely separate from the body. A good argument for this is Kant’s concept of idealism. Kant says that everything in the world exists s an idea (including the body) and our perception of this is our mind making sense of these ideas. Descartes has also logically concluded that the mind and body must be separate – you can doubt the existence of anything except your mind as your mind must be real to doubt anything else. Future explorations should consider the ‘observer effect’ and the ‘law of attraction’ to gain a better understanding of the mind’s influence on other particles, including our own bodies. Casper

 

I think the fact that people who have had limbs amputated can sometimes still feel their limbs and feel to urge to scratch them etc. shows that the mind has control over the body. I think this should be explored to help the production of prosthetic limbs for amputeesRobbie

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