Mind-Body: A Pluralistic Interpretation of Mind-Body Interaction under the Guidelines of Time, Space, and Movement

Mind-Body: A Pluralistic Interpretation of Mind-Body Interaction under the Guidelines of Time, Space, and Movement

Mind-Body: A Pluralistic Interpretation of Mind-Body Interaction under the Guidelines of Time, Space, and Movement

Mind-Body: A Pluralistic Interpretation of Mind-Body Interaction under the Guidelines of Time, Space, and Movement

Synopsis

This innovative work takes a new approach to a fundamental dilemma of physiology, psychology, and philosophy: the subjectively perceived split between body and mind. Examining the subjective and objective aspects of movement and their relationship to our perception of mind-body separation, the author takes issue with conventional philosophical views on human duality and develops an integrative theory of interaction that suggests a basis for genuine mind-body harmony.

Excerpt

A pluralistic interpretation of the relationship between mind and body should encompass many sciences and humanistic disciplines. Neurophysiology plays a dominant role in this undertaking, but the psychological aspects of the problem must remain in the foreground. Humanism, in the specialized sense of naturalistic humanism, attempts to keep the divergent and contrasting elements together.

Philosophy evaluates the epistemological and ontological aspects of the relationship. We ought to be aware of the influence of theology on our thinking about mind-body, since we ought to differentiate between Self and Soul. Humanism and theology both see man as a being who is intent on grasping the values of truth, beauty, and ethics. This transcending aspect of human existence lies beyond the competence of neurophysiology.

I shall limit myself to touching upon the methods of theorizing and observation that underlie these disciplines and sciences, without going into consummate detail, since it is impossible for one person to master these disciplines in depth.

Theorizing about mind-body ought to proceed against insight into the nature of our human terrestrial existence. Suffering is one of its universal, dominant attributes, since death, which destroys mind-body holism, is a major fracture in human life. Therefore, an authentic theory of mind-body must deal with the exclusively human foreknowledge and dread of our inevitable future death.

There are several dead-end alleys in this labyrinthine problem. A powerful one, which we must confute, is René Descartes' dualism of res extensa versus res cogitans (extended things versus thinking things), which leads to the prevailing notion that body exists in space and that mentation exists in time. I propose that we broaden the contraposition time versus space, to difference between objective timespace versus subjective timespace. Furthermore, by placing the structure and function of the body in objective timespace and mentation in subjective timespace, we can build a common basis from which to harmonize the divergent constituents of body and of mind.

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