Mental Illness Is Brain Illness

Huffington Post:

You voted, and this December, we are talking nerdy about the science of mental health. In last week’s video introduction, I stated that “we now know that the mind does not exist somewhere outside of the brain. Consciousness is a function of neurobiology, and mental illness cannot be separated from biochemistry.” This appears to be a point of contention for many readers.

Before we can engage in a meaningful conversation about the science of mental health, we must ensure that we’re operating with similar definitions of its associated terms.

The Mind-Brain Problem

When it comes to conversations about the human mind, arguments like the one between pittelli andBellanova are neither new nor unexpected. Indeed, they are manifestations of a debate between dualists and monists, which dates back to the 17th century.

Dualism is a view that was popularized by the philosopher Renee Descartes. He claimed that the mind (soul or spirit) and the brain (or the body) are two separate entities, and although they may interact, they exist independently. This view further posits that the brain is a material entity, and because of this, it warrants scientific investigation. The mind, however, is an immaterial entity. In this view, since science is the study of the natural world, and the mind is a supernatural entity, it exists outside of the purview of scientific inquiry.

Read the whole story: Huffington Post

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