Mind and Body. Whose? Philosophy of Mind and the Systemic Approach

Lucia Ulivi Urbani

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroChapter


The debate in Philosophy of Mind though heated, is mostly limited to sterile and formal discussions. In order to overcome such a deadlock I suggest a new breakthrough exploring three paths: rethinking the status and liability of the fundamental assumptions of the discipline; updating the description of human being in view of recent discoveries in neurosciences; and introducing new comprehension instruments, specifically the concept of “system”. In this essay, I first critically consider the reductionist approach that most philosophers of mind accept without question - together with its derivatives such as materialism, scientism, physicalism, mechanicalism - and I ask: do we have reasons for accepting them? Should we revise them, or abandon them, and why? Secondly, a new picture of human biology comes into focus from leading neuroscientists: brain is plastic and is reshaped by individual experiences; body is a process whose stability is guaranteed by constraints; there is a strong interconnection among bodily activity, feelings and mind. Previous considerations drive us to look at mind and body not as separate entities, but as constituents of the same global entity, the human being. Finally, the concept of “system” is introduced to suggest a solution for the mind-brain problem: in systemic terms, mind is an emergent phenomenon, while brain is a sub-system with respect to the human being.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteThe Systemic Turn in Human and Natural Sciences. E Rock in the Pond
EditorLucia Urbani
Numero di pagine21
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2019

Serie di pubblicazioni



  • Filosofia Sistema Mente Corpo Umano
  • Philosophy System Mind Body Human


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