Most travellers who are even cursorily familiar with modern philosophy, the ID movement or teleology in general will be acquainted with the so called “mind-body problem”.
Descartes was the first to identify the problem in the modern sense. It is clear that when the notion of matter being comprised of colourful, odorous, tasty, etc. particles is abandoned (as it was at the birth of modernism) these properties would have to be redefined from objective external qualities to subjective experiences in the mind of the beholder. However, once redefined these qualities may no longer be material; hence the rise of dualism (and arguably the birth of the “mind-body problem”).
The Ship of Theseus:
““The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their place, insomuch that this ship became a standing example among the philosophers, for the logical question of things that grow; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same.”
Scientists have put forth a hypothesis stating that the material the neurons in our brain are made from is replaced regularly over the course of a human lifespan. Consequently, as with the Ship of Theseus, if the essential components of our brain are (completely or not) replaced with new material, are we the same “self”? This question is interesting because the overwhelming majority of people report experiencing a continuous sense of self throughout their lifetime.
So what possible answers are there? I have listed a few that have been proffered:
- At the heart of the mind-body problem is a faulty view of matter (i.e. the problem is the relic of a false modern philosophy)?
- The experience of continuous self is a delusion or trick or the mind, similar to the apparent appearance of design in nature (i.e. materialistic monism)?
- There is an Aristotelian formal cause which retains the “self” even as the material cause changes?
- Or are mind and matter two ontologically separate categories, with neither mind nor matter reducible to each other in any way (i.e. dualism)?
And most importantly: which answer is the most “ID friendly”?