Sample Essay

Descartes establishes a polar opposite between the mental and physical state. At a language level, the mind properties are logical negations of the physical properties. So, accordingly they should belong to the same logical types, given that the expressions used for the mental events are always opposite to the expressions used to describe material events. This is a category mistake as the descriptions for the mental events can be the same for the material events. Therefore, mind and matter cannot be polar opposites (Ryle, 1992).

Logical behaviorists hold that being in a mental state, such as being happy is the same as being in a physical state. In other words, since all that we can know about another person’s state of mind is through their behavior, there is nothing else (Carnap, 2002).

Logical behaviorists believe that any statement about the internal or private world of individuals may be translated into a statement about publicly observable actions. For instance, if I say, ‘I am angry’, this may be translated into a description of my physical state – increased heart rate, red face, etc. If none of these things were present – the behaviorist would argue – then the person is not really angry. Obviously, emotions are not always shown by extravagant signs, but even quieter forms of emotional or mental state must be translatable into some form of physical condition (Carnap, 2002).

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