Brain or mind

So far so good with respect to the brain. But is brain the same as mind?

There has long been uncertainty about this. In the seventeenth century, René Descartes argued that the mind and body were completely separate, joining in the pineal gland. Against the background of this kind of dogmatic view, it was hardly surprising that, in the nineteenth century, Thomas Hewitt Key was able to puzzle: "What is mind? No matter. What is matter? No mind."

Most people would agree that, while brain and mind are often used interchangeably, they do not mean exactly the same. Isolated from its body, a brain is just that, not a mind. Yet, if we are asked where our mind is, most of us point to our head. Does mind describe the larger functions, while brain tends to be used to describe the neural circuitry? Are our emotions and values part of our mind? Where do our values and beliefs come in?

This sort of question does not have any simple answers. But it seems clear that "mind" is somehow a more inclusive term than "brain." For me, the simplest way of describing a mind is:

Brain + Personality = Mind

In this book we will be applying what we know about the brain, about emotions, about values, and about key elements of personality. I will use both brain and mind throughout the book, just as most of us would in our everyday conversations.

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave several of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness too much to do and not enough time; the pressure to produce and check off items on our to-do list by each day’s end seems to decide the direction and quality of our existence for us.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment