Monday, December 27, 2004

The mind is the term most commonly used to describe the higher functions of the human brain, particularly those of which humans are subjectively conscious, such as personality, thought, reason, memory, intelligence and emotion. Although other species of animals share some of these mental capacities, the term is usually used only in relation to humans. It is also used in relation to postulated supernatural beings to which human-like qualities are ascribed, as in the expression "the mind of God."
There are many theories of what the mind is and how it works, dating back to Plato, Aristotle and other Ancient Greek philosophers. Pre-scientific theories, which were rooted in theology, concentrated on the relationship between the mind and the soul, the supposed supernatural or divine essence of the human person. Modern theories, based on a scientific understanding of the brain, see the mind as a phenomenon of psychology, and the term is often used more or less synonymously with consciousness.
The question of which human attributes make up the mind is also much debated. Some argue that only the "higher" intellectual functions constitute mind: particularly reason and memory. in this view the emotions - love, hate, fear, joy - are more "primitive" or subjective in nature and should be seen as different in nature or origin to the mind. Others argue that the rational and the emotional sides of the human person cannot be separated, that they are of the same nature and origin, and that they should all be considered as part of the individual mind.

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