Thinking about mind and matter from biology

Acta Biotheoretica 32 (2) (1983)
In biology, man is an object of research; therefore the question might be asked whether inspirations can go from biological data to the reflections on the mind-matter relation in man. The social aspect of man, as treated by sociobiology, is left out of consideration. The knowledge that man is mind, or has a mind, is no result of biological research. It is a datum from philosophy. The biologist, however, is living in a culture which knows about the mental character of man, and this is incorporated in his investigations. He knows that mental activities are connected with processes in the central nervous system and that, especially in the brain, localizations of mental activities are found. As a result of the split-brain experiments with patients and animals, some have arrived at the conclusion that there is a double consciousness.An approach from biology can lead to statements of a philosophical character, as, for example, statements about the unity, or even identity, of mind and matter. The theories of identity meet with great interest in scientific circles, and the truth value of identity statements is investigated. The system theory is taken into consideration. On a philosophical level a revaluation of the concept of matter can lead to a different sort of identity theory.
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