Basic Orientation
Book1: R-E Living & "Homo Rationalis"
Book2: Humanianity
Book3: Mind-Body Problem
Preface
Introduction
Causation and Explanation
Physical and Mental Worlds
Modeling
Subjective Experience
Subjective Model
Objective Model: Linguistics
Objective Model: Agreement
Objective Model: Rationality
Objective Model: Measurement
(More)
Book4: (Future Possible Development)
Child Rearing Issues
Philosophico-Religious Issues
Psycho-Socio-Cultural Issues
The Twelve Articles
Relevant Autobiography
 
"HOMO RATIONALIS" AND HUMANIANITY
 
HELPING TO PROMOTE OUR THIRD EXPONENTIAL CHANGE
 

INTRODUCTION



Throughout much of Western philosophical thought there has been an overt and/or underlying set of problems that have produced polarities of thinking, such as idealism vs. realism, but never to my knowledge any satisfactory conclusion. These problems have long been called the "mind-body problem" and the "free will vs. determinism problem," or referred to in some similar manner. They are actually problems associated with some of our species' most difficult issues (involving major decision-making). I wish to solve these problems, and believe I have. See if you think I have.


The "mind-body problem" has to do with what the connection is between the two, including the issue as to how it can be that one may influence the other, especially when the physical sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, etc.), that have made great strides in understanding how the body (including the brain) works, use formulas that contain no variables having to do with the mind. And the "free will vs. determinism problem" has to do with how, if everything in the universe occurs according to causal laws, we are able to make decisions, when what we do was already bound to occur anyway.


I wish, however, to be somewhat more specific about the nature of these problems before giving you my solutions. And it will be crucial that, in order to have adequate understanding, we will need to use words with specific, agreed-upon meanings for the purpose of this discussion. (There is much misunderstanding related simply to individuals using the same words with different meanings.)


By "world" we will mean everything that exists, consisting of entities and their tendencies to interact. "Entity" will mean anything to which we can or could assign a name, or noun, such entities often being referred to as "things." The concept of "entity" will be discussed in greater detail later in this presentation.


(By "imaginary world" we can mean everything that exists only in imagination, referred to as "imaginary entities" or "imaginary things," and contrasted with what is often called the "real world." And we will recognize that there will be at times disagreement as to whether a certain particular entity is in the "world" (or "real world") or in the "imaginary world," that is, "exists" or "does not exist." Thus, we can say that some entities "exist" and some do not. This issue will become clearer as the presentation proceeds.)


Almost everyone agrees that the world (real world) exists, and that it contains entities we can sense, including stars, planets, gravity, light, dirt, water, air, plants, and animals, including humans, and also entities we can't sense, including molecules, atoms, electromagnetic force fields, electrons, neutrinos, quarks, gluons, etc. These entities are generally considered part of the "physical world," studied by the physical sciences.


But almost everyone also agrees that the world contains minds (especially, or maybe only, of humans), which in turn contain sensations, perceptions, concepts, thoughts, feelings, wishes, memories, fantasies, motivations, drives, aspirations, ideals, intentions, decisions, etc. These entities are generally considered part of the "mental world," studied by the psychological and social sciences. Three terms related to (but not necessarily identical with) "mind" are "consciousness" (or "conscious awareness"), "soul," and "spirit." All three are associated with some controversy, which I believe this presentation may resolve.


So the world, that which exists, is considered to be made up of "physical" entities and "mental" entities. We generally consider that there is a certain amount of interaction among some of these entities, in that some seem to influence others, such that we have developed the concept of "causation." Almost everyone considers that physical entities have causative influences on each other (heat causes chemical reactions to occur faster), and that mental entities also have causative influences on each other (certain thoughts or perceptions cause fear or anger), but the problem I am addressing has to do with whether physical and mental entities have any causative interaction with each other. Can something in the mind cause something in the physical world to happen, and/or vice versa, and, if so, how?


And there are additional aspects to the problem, having to do with the origins of the physical and mental world. From within science, the idea has arisen, with much evidence supporting it, that the physical world that we see around us came into being about 13.8 billion years ago, perhaps in something like a "big bang," and it has been operating since then according to a set of rules, or "natural laws." Somewhere along the line, however, this "lifeless" physical universe began to develop within it additional entities, opaque, invisible "minds," at least some of which have been attached in an unclear manner to entities within the physical world, these minds seeming to have some additional effect on the physical entities that goes beyond the rules according to which the physical entities had been interacting with each other. There have been other scenarios imagined, also, such as that the physical entities and the minds came into existence at about the same time. How, when, and why these minds came into existence has been a question that has never been answered to the satisfaction of everyone, or even the majority of people.


Of course, other scenarios have been imagined also. But again, no scenario has been imagined that seems believable by almost everyone, despite the fact that probably almost everyone, from ancient times until the present, has given it some thought.


So all of these issues are what this presentation is about. I hope to provide answers that anyone, who gives adequate consideration to the presentation, can accept. However, I know from what I went through in writing this that reading it superficially, so as to get a "general impression," will not accomplish any sense of confidence in what is written or feeling of good understanding of it. It will probably have to be read more than once, with some rereading of paragraphs during any one reading. Understanding of these issues will involve the development of new networks of enhanced neuronal connections in the brain, such development always being a gradual process that is accomplished through substantial repetition. That is what had to happen for me.