What is Mind: Definition and 295 Discussions

The mind is the set of faculties including cognitive aspects such as consciousness, imagination, perception, thinking, intelligence, judgement, language and memory, as well as noncognitive aspects such as emotion and instinct. Under the scientific physicalist interpretation, the mind is produced at least in part by the brain. The primary competitors to the physicalist interpretations of the mind are idealism, substance dualism, and types of property dualism, and by some lights eliminative materialism and anomalous monism. There is a lengthy tradition in philosophy, religion, psychology, and cognitive science about what constitutes a mind and what are its distinguishing properties.
One open question regarding the nature of the mind is the mind–body problem, which investigates the relation of the mind to the physical brain and nervous system. Older viewpoints included dualism and idealism, which considered the mind somehow non-physical. Modern views often center around physicalism and functionalism, which hold that the mind is roughly identical with the brain or reducible to physical phenomena such as neuronal activity though dualism and idealism continue to have many supporters. Another question concerns which types of beings are capable of having minds (New Scientist 8 September 2018 p10). For example, whether mind is exclusive to humans, possessed also by some or all animals, by all living things, whether it is a strictly definable characteristic at all, or whether mind can also be a property of some types of human-made machines.Whatever its nature, it is generally agreed that mind is that which enables a being to have subjective awareness and intentionality towards their environment, to perceive and respond to stimuli with some kind of agency, and to have consciousness, including thinking and feeling.The concept of mind is understood in many different ways by many different cultural and religious traditions. Some see mind as a property exclusive to humans whereas others ascribe properties of mind to non-living entities (e.g. panpsychism and animism), to animals and to deities. Some of the earliest recorded speculations linked mind (sometimes described as identical with soul or spirit) to theories concerning both life after death, and cosmological and natural order, for example in the doctrines of Zoroaster, the Buddha, Plato, Aristotle, and other ancient Greek, Indian and, later, Islamic and medieval European philosophers.
Important philosophers of mind include Plato, Patanjali, Descartes, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Searle, Dennett, Fodor, Nagel, Chalmers, and Putnam. Psychologists such as Freud and James, and computer scientists such as Turing developed influential theories about the nature of the mind. The possibility of nonbiological minds is explored in the field of artificial intelligence, which works closely in relation with cybernetics and information theory to understand the ways in which information processing by nonbiological machines is comparable or different to mental phenomena in the human mind.The mind is also portrayed as the stream of consciousness where sense impressions and mental phenomena are constantly changing.

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  1. Matthew_p

    B The One-Way Speed of Light: Speculation of a Tired Mind

    I perfectly understand that we cannot, as of our current methods, determine the one-way speed of light - I was, however, wondering if we could determine a relative speed using electrical transmission. the basis of which would be sending a laser light across a field into a sensor, starting a...
  2. R0dr1go

    B Multiverse and Fictional Ideas

    I'm a 16 year old who has wondered this question for a while. If the multiverse theory is correct, and I understand correctly, there would be infinite universes in which each universe would be different from another in some form. If this is the case, would that mean that places and worlds that...
  3. Number_21

    A mind excercise inside videogames

    Let's suppose that I am a small man into a video game, like a NPC into GTA. Let's suppose that I am into GTA XII, with a very very advanced AI governing me. I am a very passionate NPC and I want to understand more about the world that I see everytime that I steal a car and go to a mountain to...
  4. frost_zero

    Random Thoughts: A Journey Through the Mind

    The weird thoughts you have at random times
  5. Viishnu

    Searching for a book like Evolution of Physics or Physics for the Inquiring Mind

    How did you find PF?: QuorA Can you please suggest me a book similar in content to evolution of physics or physics for the inquiring mind perhaps a book with more detail and scope but maintaining the clarity of content shown in the previous listed books above please reply if you know
  6. Nick tringali

    Neil deGrasse Tyson said that your mind should be blown once a day

    Neil deGrasse Tyson said that your mind should be blown once a day. What are some things that has blown you mind in the realm of science that I can further look into and get my mind blown!
  7. S

    Engineering Ideas for an Engineering mind, fed up of Engineering?

    Hi all, I've been working as an engineer / engineering technician for 8 years now, and I have become somewhat disillusioned with it. I pursued this career course out of convenience, interest and aptitude; I was given a summer job making the floor-plans for an investment casting factory, and...
  8. CaptainAmerica17

    Would someone mind checking my proof? Intro Real Analysis

    Here is my solution. I used mathjax to type it up in Overleaf. I feel like it makes sense, but I also have a feeling I might have "jumped the gun" with my logic. If it is correct, I would appreciate feedback on how to improve it. Thanks!
  9. SEYED2001

    A How effective can QM be to understand the mind and/or consciousness?

    I am very interested in the philosophy and science of the mind, as well as consciousness in neuroscience. I am also very interested in QM. Now, I wonder how QM can be potentially connected to my two previous interests on the consciousness and mind. I would also appreciate any reference to...
  10. G

    Farmer with inquisitive mind

    MOD Note: Moved from Member intros to here hence no homework template. While its not homework it fits the spirit of homework. If ambient air is 10 deg C with relative humidity of 75%. And air exiting a grain bin is 18 deg C with relative humidity of 85% at a rate of 3000 cubic feet per second...
  11. S

    Weirdest/things that blew your mind when you learned them

    Hi, I figured I'd make a thread about this. What really blew your mind when you learned it or what continues to blow your mind when you think about it? I like learning really obscure mind blowing things so I figured I'd ask others about this to get some new ideas. For me it was things like...
  12. L

    I A random question comes to mind, about the infinitesimal area of rings

    I know the area of a thin ring of radius ##r## can be expressed as ##2\pi rdr##, however, I wonder if I use the usual way of calculating area of a ring, can I reach the same conclusion? I got this: $$4\pi(r+dr)^2-4\pi r^2=4\pi r^2+8\pi rdr+4\pi (dr)^2-4\pi r^2=8\pi rdr+4\pi (dr)^2$$And now I'm...
  13. P

    Mind boggling machine learning results from AlphaZero

    I have always been on the skeptical, but not dismissive, end of judgments about achievemnts and rate of progress in this field. However, the following (please read through carefully) just completely blows my mind: https://en.chessbase.com/post/the-future-is-here-alphazero-learns-chess A self...
  14. M

    Mind reading of Cup Yacht Designer Herreshoff by Topology

    Homework Statement There was the times 100 years ago, N.Herreshoff was designing giant J Boats, America s Cup boats by only carving a wood piece in few hours ,without drawing calculating anything and builders were measuring the wooden half model and building a multi million dollar yacht wins...
  15. N

    Medical The human mind and belief

    What is it in the human brain that causes a person to believe completely something that is fictional such as astral projection or that theyve talked to God so to speak. How can said person believe fully that they have experienced such a thing whilst knowing it is impossible. Basically I am...
  16. ISamson

    Medical Could the mind run on binary codes?

    Hello, I was wondering: Since the mind works on electrical signals, it must work on binary codes, because there is electrical signal or not. If so, is the only thing that distinguishes us from a computer the length of the "bit"? What do you think? Thanks.
  17. CynicusRex

    Schools A college degree for creating the ultimate problem solving mind

    I have frequently read and heard that mastering physics is the ultimate way to mold a problem-solving mind. Therefore, becoming a physics major is supposed to be the best way of doing so. I wonder to what degree that statement holds true. Is it true? Is it biased? Am I misinterpreting...
  18. H

    B Polyphonic singing = mind blown

    Might be more banter than discussion but this I thought interesting. Going to capture the spectra and post it. Didn't think was legit, but legit. Posted as a physics student motivator for teachers introducing overtones, harmonics etc. Why we hear no beat frequency??
  19. doktorwho

    Job Skills What does it take to work at Google Deep Mind?

    Hello everyone, I am a senior in high school and am very very interested in robots and artificial intelligence. In summer i will be going to an electrical engineering college and i want your advice as to what further steps should i make and what knowledge to accumulate over the 4 years at...
  20. M

    Programs Major change of mind about my Major....

    Hello friends. I'm an economics major who felt too unconfident in his math skills to enter physics. Two semesters into college, I realize that I know enough math for intro courses. So, to be honest, I'm considering returning to physics. However, I have taken (and will take) NO math or physics...
  21. A

    Mind cannot think without overeating

    Hi, I was wondering how you fellow scholars of science deal with this problem that I've been having as far as I can remember. Every time I study, I HAVE to eat at small constant time intervals, tasty, usually high calorie foods, otherwise my mind will not function properly, that is I can't...
  22. hsdrop

    B Measurements within our solar system with relativity in mind

    ok I know that anybody in the heavens will bend spacetime with the gravity it has. What I was wondering was how do we measure around them like from the Earth to mars. When Mars in now quit on the opposite side of the sun ( so we can see it at sunset). do we measure the parabolic curve in...
  23. T

    Mind upload doesn't make any sense....

    After reading about deep learning and neural networks: http://www.datasciencecentral.com/profiles/blogs/beyond-deep-learning-3rd-generation-neural-nets The biggest problem with mind upload is how to scan the existing brain before we upload it into neural network storage. But do we really need...
  24. Simon Peach

    I Double Slit Experiment: Magnification?

    Now I was just reading about the 'double slit' experiment. So photons or electrons, atoms or other sub-atomic particles pasting through a double slit exhibit superposition. Ok got that, I hope, now if there are two double silts behind the first then four behind those two second ones and so on...
  25. T

    I Mind Bending Double-Slit Diffraction Thought Experiment

    Hi, I studied undergrad pure maths now post grad philosophy, not quantum physics, but please consider the following experiment: Suppose you set up a double slits experiment with a photon detector attached to each slit, and the photon detector attached to a photon transmitter, so the photon can...
  26. Flakes

    Working on the rough draft of a novel, mind if I ask some....

    I'm working on a science fiction novel, so feel free to ignore reality if you bother to answer this. In my book (rough draft) I was using laser beams to transfer data. Essentially imagine a relay of nodes between the Earth and Mars. Each node contains at least one (and probably more) laser beam...
  27. DaveC426913

    Where in the mind is the seat of dreaming?

    I guess the core of this question comes down to the naive question is the subconscious below the unconscious? Let me 'splain by way of personal example. My dreams usually contain no real surprises. Like a script I've already read, I often seem to act in dreams as if I have a pretty good idea...
  28. V

    Master Mind - computer game programming in C#

    Homework Statement Create this website: In this game, there are four different coloured blocks (red, green, blue, and yellow). The computer hides three different coloured blocks from the user. The user then tries to guess the colours and the order of the blocks. After guessing the colour of...
  29. Z

    Programs Can't make up my mind (switched my major 10+ times in 2 year

    So I am a 2nd year community college student (will have to stay here an extra year), and I can't make up my mind on what I want to major in. Here's a list of everything I've switched my major to (1) Started off college doing computer science (2) Switched to premed chemistry (3) Decided not to...
  30. B

    Mechanical Engineering student about to lose his mind

    I am a second year student at Salt Lake Community College. About to finish my associates of science pre-engineering. I transfer to the University of Utah in the fall to start my junior year and I am kind of freeking out. I have worked my tail off. I work a full time job and take night classes...
  31. A

    How can you relax your mind?

    Easy, Close your eyes, and don't try thinking of anything, if something comes into your mind just let it go don't follow it or try of thinking it. Try to stay as long as you can. I think this is the best way to relax the mind from all these problems. What do you think?
  32. adfreeman

    Mind over matter reality or myth?

    Hi, I’m new to the forum and I would like to ask some questions. I’m not a physicist –for some reason that I’ll always regret I chose Business Studies- and my knowledge of physics is limited to high school, physics books and documentaries; which I must have watched them all by now. Anyway, for...
  33. A

    What do we know about the mind?

    We all talk about other matters, before that let's talk about ourselves.
  34. PhiowPhi

    Mind boggling attempt to apply Newton's 3rd law

    In classical mechanics, it's pretty straight forward for me to apply it(sometimes...), and really intuitive to picture it. However, when I kick it up a notch... to apply Newton's 3rd law in electrodynamics, my brain malfunctions... Simplest example I can think of, a conductor carrying a wire...
  35. newjerseyrunner

    Why does the mind tire during intense mental work?

    I've been doing math all day, and I've noticed in the past hour or so, my abilities have started being extremely limited. I had to ask for help here for a problem than at 9am probably wouldn't challenge me much. Why after several hours of intense work does intelligence temporarily drop so...
  36. Graeme M

    Evolution of the Human Mind: Understanding Brain Development Over Time

    I got to wondering about the development of the human brain, and the consequent development of human intelligence (and to an extent the mind). I googled the question and after reading several articles, was left not much the wiser in regard to the development of 'intelligence'. Part of my problem...
  37. B

    Designing with Thermal expansion in mind

    Hi, I am trying to design a tubular probe that's made of stainless steel (304), from what I've read it has a Thermal expansion coefficient of around 9.6 x10^-6 in/in/F give or take on the quality. I want to fill this tube halfway with an Epoxy, however from what I've read this epoxy has a...
  38. blue_leaf77

    Girlfriend asks going out while I'm busy with my mind

    Well well, I just realized that this page has a wonderful forum for sharing out member's ideas as well as doubts about love. Anyway I really appreciate whoever there proposed to make this forum. Just a doubt that I haven't actually experienced yet but I am sure it will cause me some trouble...
  39. R

    How do random thoughts come to our mind?

    How we are able to recollect things and how random thoughts are generated in our mind? Is there any specific reason? As I can't edit my thread title, as I realize the topic should have been How random thoughts come to our mind?
  40. P

    Medical What's the difference between mental and physical stress?

    I had a discussion with someone who studies psychology recently and she was referring to mental stress as of what I thought being called physical stress. Namely while she was talking about mental stress she mentioned stressors and hormones. So my problem: Stress = tension Physical =...
  41. TrueGormagon

    Can Humans Boost Their Strength with Iron-Infused Skeletons?

    Greetings. Well I do not have enough time to pose all of my questions and ideas I can get this thread started off. So let's get right into it. The teeth of a Beaver incorporate a comparatively high percentage of iron in their construction, making them very strong and orange hued. (Also made to...
  42. C

    Mind entering the universe

    So question: I heard that according to quantum physics, we cannot have a universe without mind entering into it. I am trying to figure out what this even means. Any suggestions? zahadat nima
  43. A

    Mind says Engineering, heart says Physics Don't know what to do

    To keep it short, I am an Engineering undergrad. As the days go by, I keep coming closer to accepting the fact that I enjoy - and am passionate about - physics more than I am about Engineering. I know it would probably be easier to get a job with an Engineering degree(assumption?), and that...
  44. gfd43tg

    Pain tolerance with mind vs body

    Hello I was thinking, in the world in general, there are many people who would actually prefer to do hard labor over mind stimulating work. Even in my own studying I often get pain in the head and frustration. It doesn't take (relatively) too much thinking to get me to get up and take a five...
  45. W

    Struggling with the Battle Between Mind and Life: A Personal Journey

    I'm 25. I can't speak english very well but i will try to explain my problem. When i started high school i met a very charismatic teacher that initiated me to philosophy. Before that time i didint' have any self-consciousness. I was spontaneous, stupid, but i was united to myself. And for the...
  46. basheer uddin

    Can You Solve the Mind Boggling Water Trick?

    can anyone explain this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ctaA2mERzI
  47. K

    My Mind going to blow Why Conservative field Path independ? by TMSxPh

    Searching for 'Conservative fields intuition' comes up with a thread pretty high up on the list with this question. Which was closed years ago. " Hi I'm now reading about Vector fields, everything is clear and intuitive for me as curl divergence ..ect , except one simple thing that I'm...
  48. C

    How to get someone off your mind

    How do you get someone off your mind, I mean I try not to think about this person but they still come up in my mind.
  49. M

    MHB Mind Mapping Collaborations

    Hello I've been doing a mind map of Abstract Algebra. A mind map is a visual representation of a subject, like algebra, organic chemistry, etc. , in a way that makes the subject structured in a more intuitive way, without losing the logical component. It's a map of the subject that make the...
  50. L

    Brainwave Beats by Collin from MAKE: EEG Music Creation

    Anyone heard of Collin from MAKE? He has a video entitled Brainwave Beats on Youtube. I'm pretty sure he used a device called an EEG to create music. How does an EEG (or a plain electrode for that matter) extract signals from the brain? Information within the brain is sent via electric...