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Hutten, E.H. (1961). An Interpretation of the Mind-Body Problem. Am. Imago, 18(3):269-277.

(1961). American Imago, 18(3):269-277

An Interpretation of the Mind-Body Problem

Ernest H. Hutten

Epistemological dualism is the view that man consists of two, completely separate and essentially different entities - mind and body - and that all human behaviour must be explained by the causal action between these entities. This model of man, that there exists a total split in his personality, is obviously the product of an ambivalent fantasy. No wonder, then, that the mind-body problem cannot be solved either by logical or by factual argument, that it has been a puzzle mystifying philosophers for some two thousand years. For fantasies are not overcome by logic, not even by facts - though both logical reasoning and factual knowledge help us in defeating a fantasy by confronting us with reality.

I want to illustrate the situation by discussing, briefly, the official, philosophical attempts at treating the mind-body problem. In particular, I want to look at the notions of substance and of cause which are crucial here. Both these notions are typical of metaphysics; they exemplify the kind of intellectual defence that philosophers are prone to indulge in.

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