The Mind-Body Problem

M. Rowlands

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


What has become known in philosophy as the 'mind-body problem' is, in fact, best regarded as a collection of related problems. The 'item' problem is the problem of understanding the nature of mental items. The category of mental items, in turn, breaks down into two basic sorts: mental 'types' or kinds of mental state, and mental 'tokens' - concrete, dated, nonrepeatable instances of those kinds. Accordingly, the mind-body problem comprises two distinct item problems. The 'essence' problem is that of understanding the nature of the defining features of the mental - and traditionally these have been understood as 'consciousness' and 'intentionality'. Accordingly, the mind-body problem also comprises two distinct essence problems. This article examines these mind-body problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Consciousness
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9780123738738
StatePublished - 2009


  • Consciousness
  • Dualism
  • Functionalism
  • Identity theory
  • Intentionality
  • Supervenience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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