Mind-Body Dichotomy

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Objectivism rejects the mind-body dichotomy, holding that the mind and body are aspects (sets of attributes) of the conscious organism as a single, integral entity. Though this doctrine may sound like a stance in the philosophy of mind — a doctrine concerning the relationship between consciousness (mind) and brain (body) — it is not. Rather, it amounts chiefly to the assertions that (a) conscious organisms have both mental attributes and physical attributes, and (b) both kinds of attributes may participate in determining the causal powers of the conscious organism. Whether attributes of either kind, or their causal powers, can be reductively explained is a question for what Ayn Rand called "the special sciences" rather than philosophy. Objectivism rejects both Marxian materialism and Christian spiritualism (Marxists hold that the material factors have metaphysical priority over consciousness; Christian spiritualists hold that reality is fundamentally spiritual, a view declared heretical by Catholic and Orthodox doctrines.) Objectivism rejects both views: both physical attributes and mental attributes of conscious entities have identifiable (that is, measurable) values. Because existence is identity, both exist, and neither is more real than the other. Though this doctrine may entail the rejection of eliminativism, Objectivism does not include any specific ontological or scientific explanation of the relationship between mind and body in the philosophy of mind. (Harry Binswanger, a prominent Objectivist philosopher, argues in his lecture course, "The Metaphysics of Consciousness," in favor of substance dualism. He rejects not only eliminativism and materialism, but even the property dualism of David Chalmers and the emergentism of John Searle. Binswanger's view is controversial in Objectivist circles. Other Objectivists who have written on philosophy of mind, notably Eyal Mozes and Diana Hsieh, favor Emergentism.[3])

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