After the interview that I attended yesterday and which I ended with a lot of question marks, I decided to write about the mind. Albert Camus once said, “This world is unreasonable, that’s all we can say about it.” If it is not reasonable, why does everyone try to carry out their actions in accordance with reason? Well, on what basis did Albert Camus make such an inference?
Mind and Its Components
The concept we call mind is a concept that has different meanings in different languages. For example; In English, mind means the whole of mental activities, everything that belongs to the intelligence, while in French, mind (esprit), everything that belongs to the soul, related to the soul, sensory and intelligence, in German mind (Geist), soul, intelligence and thinking ability means. In Turkish (akıl), as in Spanish, mind (mente) is the power of understanding, comprehension and interpretation. When we look at these meanings, we cannot actually reach the definition of mind as a word. So there is a definition, yes, but it is not clear whether it is the definition of mind or intelligence. So, are mind and intelligence the same thing?
If we make an interpretation without looking at it in terms of the meaning of the word, simply, the mind is our ability to reveal all of our human activities. Intelligence needs fields. Active abilities in an area.
The meanings attributed to the concept of mind today and the meaning attributed by people in the past vary. In the early ages, Aristoteles considered the mind and body as two separate concepts. He thought our choices came from our wishes. However, this way of thinking changed when Descartes used the concept of intelligence in the modern age. The definition of mind has also changed.
With the changing and developing technology, the definition of intelligence has lost its importance and narrowed day by day. Today’s point of view on notions, our failure to make sense of it, and our society, which has regressed by using the bad aspects of technology, has emptied the notions and disconnected from their integrity.
Excuse me while I blow my mind by Alison L. S. Skaggs
Mind in Literature
With this rush of mind that Aristoteles started, it was begun to be thought that knowledge could not be reached without mind. He said that there is no need for experience and perception to reach the right information, and that it can be reached with logic and reasoning. In rationalism, knowledge is reached by reasoning from intuition.
According to Descartes, there are two types of mind; pure mind and practical mind. In the pure mind, there is no room for criticism, it is absolute and its existence is unknown. The most objective type. The practical mind is skeptical. It is all the information that is questioned in order to reach the pure mind.
Ibn-i Sina, unlike Aristoteles, described the human knowledge center as the heart (intuition). Although he associates thinking with the heart, he defended the idea that thinking should be based on experience, and decided that this is mental ability.
Over time, it has been concluded that knowledge can be reached by combining experiment and observation with experience, logic and reason.
According to Kant, not leaving an insult unanswered is one’s own will rather than a rule. If everyone with mind adopted this as a rule, there would be disagreement. However, in the laws of nature, the mind is theoretical and is shaped by the structure of objects. In order for mind to rule, one has only to have the mind. But the mind is practically concerned with one’s own desires. When we say don’t do to others what you don’t want to be done to yourself, we are talking about a rule. Actually, this is a request. From a logical point of view, it would be a practical law if qualified as the right behavior.
Charles Darwin spoke of evolution in his book “The Origin of Species” as a process that does not need a mind. He stated that it is a mechanical system that works continuously and that it is not specific to a person or living thing. Well, what about God? He answered his question by using the word “agnostic” for the first time.
In this case, the description of the mind exists even if it is different, but it differs from nature, evolution itself to human beings. I would like to say that when it comes to difference, the world is reasonable, but not for the human mind.
The Mind and Free Will Paradox
We talked about the evidence for the absence of free will in one of our previous articles. So where is the mind on that? Cause and effect relationships that make up a human, come from logic, morality, reasoning ability, thinking and making sense. We can think of it like a soccer ball and a football player in a soccer game. So, which one are we, football player or ball? We are both football players and balls. I know it’s confusing. But we can think that our mind is aware of things that we are not aware of. That’s why we don’t decide, instead our mind and the ratio of what we experience in our life and awareness of this ratio resolves this paradox. If I want to explain it more easily, Daniel Dennett, one of the thinkers of the philosophy of consciousness, explained consciousness with the concept of emergence (the inability to reduce the whole to its parts) with the trilogy of the actions of the mind, the awareness of these actions by the person, and the person’s self-change based on this awareness. I think we can reinforce it with an example, most fiction stories start with a community living by corrupt rules. A person who is aware of corruption joins this community and invites people to awareness and tries to collapse the system together with the society. After the collapsed rules, a new system has to be established. This society, which has gained awareness, establishes a new system in accordance with the situation. This is what Dennett wanted to say. Cause-effects and decisions, which have begun to be molded with the mind and drowned in contradictions, have no function at this point. Because the brain is now being reprogrammed with an aware mind.
As for the Albert Camus question; The first task of the mind is to distinguish right from wrong. Since there is no absolute right and absolute wrong, that is, right and wrong differ from person to person, even the definition itself consists of contradiction. As we become aware of ourselves and make the mistake of knowing ourselves, the mind also changes shape and drowns in contradictions. If we can’t talk about the accuracy or trueness of any information, even if it is scientific (true until it’s wrong), how can we identify the plausible ones? Therefore, our world is not actually rational for us.
Albert Camus, Sisyphus