Are the Brain and Mind the Same? - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Term paper
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1407 Words
Date:  2022-06-04


It is a common belief that the mind and brain are the same and even doctors and others professionals also embrace this idea. In fact, a majority of individuals will usually use the word brain and mind interchangeably when they are referring to the same things. The brain is the physical aspect of the human body, and it is found inside the head. The mind is more of a psychic organic or something invisible and is connected to the soul of the humans. All humans are said to be dual because they can have the physical body and the psychic form. The exciting part is the physic body contained inside the physical body, and the two coexist together. According to research, the physic part of the body, which is the mind has a significant influence on the brain. Psychologists believe that the mind drives the cognitive part of humans. Therefore, it can be argued that the human mind is responsible for effects such as fear, feelings, intelligence and others. What most people do not realize is that the physic and the physical bodies work in a unity relationship. Just like Rene Descartes believes, there is divine intelligence, which oversees the functioning of the brain and mind together in a harmonious way.

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Monism and dualism are two of the dominant school of thoughts that are concerned with the topic "mind-body" interaction. According to some of the dualists like Rene Descartes, the mind exists on its own because it is an independent substance (Mason 5). The school of monism maintains the position that the body and mind are separate substances. There has been an extensive debate going on about this topic and different experts in various fields have different views on this subject matters. For instance, physicalists and idealists differ because the latter group believes that the mind is all that exists and everything else is imagination or illusion, which are created by the mind (Mason 3).

Many explanations seek to clarify the relationship between the mind and the brain. Many people have divided opinion on this matter of self and the body. The different fields such as psychology, philosophy, and theology have also been interested in explaining the issues regarding the brain and mind to understand the relationship between the self and body better. This debate has evolved over the time in different areas. For instance, in psychology, in the past years, there have been different views about the mind and body or the mind and brain.

Sigmund Freud focused on the work of the mind, especially the unconscious mind. B.F Skinner has studied the aspect of these two elements by looking at the physical elements, especially by measuring the aspects of behavior (Mason 5). In the present times, philosophers and psychologists have embraced the ideas discussed by monists arguing that the concept of mind is useful. Jon Mills, who is also a renowned psychologist explains that the mind is a crucial concept that has to be considered and one cannot ignore it because by doing so, it will reduce humans into objects that are controlled by the outside forces. He rejects the argument that mind and brain are same.

There is an argument by Professor Paul Tang, which emphasize that "all mental processes are simply the experience of the brain activity" (Mason 3-4). However, John Mills and other researchers have a different view because they assume that consciousness and brain exist separately and believes that all mental activities occur because of the physical structures in our surrounding. These two different views are impressive, and they form a basis for our argument when trying to find answers on whether the brain and the mind are the same.

According to Paul Montgomery Churchland is popularly known for his interest to study the field of neurophilosophy, especially the mind. He is a supporter of the eliminative materialism, which believes that beliefs, feeling, and desires are very crucial elements that can help humans to understand the humans (Mason 5-4). The professor argues that perhaps in the future, there will be significant developments in the field of neuroscience, which will help humans to understand cognition deeply.

According to Rene Descartes, there is something in humans that makes them different from other creatures because people can reason, learn complex concepts, and do mathematics among other things. According to Descartes, the humans have something superior, which he referred as mental substance. He believes that the psychological content is one of the elements that help humans to think. He also believes that there is a divine substance such as God that make humans think and do complicated things compared to other existing creatures. Descartes therefore, feels that the mind has a spontaneous interaction with the brain (Mason 8).

The reductive materialism, which is also known as the identity theory holds the view that the all functions of the minds represents the physical state of mind. The example of pain is provided to support this idea thoroughly. If an individual is injured, he or she will feel pain. According to the philosophers, the pain, in this case, is the mental state while the injury is the environmental effects on the body. What happens is that injury causes distress to the brain, which appears as a signal in the form of pain.

According to Paul Churchland, the brain and mind are connected or are the same thing. He argues that the eliminative materials view can be supported using modern technology and by studying cases of brain damage and so on. When an individual experiences brain damage, it becomes hard to identify colors, loss of speech and other problems. Churchland also believes that the mind is the origin of all humans' thoughts and it is also the seat of the soul. He further says that all cognitive functions can only be best understood by looking at the brain. He argues that the brain is the engine that controls the cognitive functions, which therefore means that the brain and mind are parallel systems.

Besides, the physical part of the brain is divided into different sections, all of which perform unique roles to ensure that the brain oversees all the tasks to its full potential. The four brain parts include (a) the brain stem, (b) diencephalons (the thalamus and hypothalamus), (c) cerebrum, and (d) cerebellum. The cerebrum is one part of the brain where thoughts are believed to be generated, and it is the section which allows people to read, think, solve issues, and speak among other crucial roles. All creative ideas that humans have are stored in this section of the brain. On the other hand, biologists can argue that the physic functions such as precognition, recalling about our past life and others are all essential components of the brain. But what happens when people become enlightened? Individuals begin to see things differently. Some people will reach their full potential while others will not. When individuals are educated, they start to become greater because the mind has taken control. It is such a point you will see positive energy and people will have more control over their lives and what they can achieve. The use of our brains combined with the power of our minds allows humans to shine in whatever they do. People who use their brains combined with the power of their minds are considered strong leaders, excellent tutors, great counselors and others. Generally, Churchland idea of the consciousness tends to support that the mind and brain are elements that work together (Mason 6,7).


In conclusion, the idea that the mind cannot function without the brain is an argument that is based on physical aspects of the body rather than the mental processes. Churchland supports that the brain and mind are the same, while Jon Mills rejects this argument. The mind is as powerful as the brain, and this is the truth of the matter because humans have the psychic body, which is responsible for a wide range of functions such as emotive, aesthetic, and spiritual among others. On the other hand, the brain represents the physical body, which Descartes and Churchland refer as materialism. The main idea is that the brain and mind are not the same; however, they both work harmoniously, and none can work without the other. The two complement one another to function adequately and efficiently.

Works Cited

Mason. Issue 1: Mind and Brain: Are the mind and brain the same? New York: McGraw-Hill Company, 2005. Print.

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