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What is a Mind?

The mind is the collection of mental faculties. The phrase is often confused with the phenomena. Thought, imagination, memory, will, and sensation are examples. They control perception, pain, belief, desire, intention, and emotion. Some mental phenomena have been classified overlappingly. They are classified as sensory, propositional, intentional, conscious, or occurrent. Minds were historically thought of as substances, but nowadays they are seen as traits or capacities of humans and higher animals. Mind or mentality has been defined in various ways. The subject’s privileged epistemic access to these states is defined. Consciousness-based methods privilege the conscious mind and recognise unconscious mental events as part of the mind only if they are properly related to it. The mental’s power to refer to objects and reflect the world is built on intentionality. Whether an entity has a mind relies on how it responds to external stimuli, whereas functionalism defines mental states based on their causal roles. The choice of one’s definition heavily influences important questions in the study of mind, such as whether other entities outside humans have minds. Body, matter, or physicality are generally contrasted with mind. As a result, the mind-body dilemma arises. Traditional views on the mind include dualism and idealism. The mind is roughly identical to the brain or reducible to physical processes such as neural activity, yet dualism and idealism still have many proponents. Another question is what kinds of beings can have thoughts (New Scientist 8 September 2018 p10). For example, whether mind is exclusive to humans, shared by all animals, all living things, or a quality of some human-made technology. As a result, different cultural and religious traditions often answer these concerns differently. Others ascribe mind to non-living phenomena (e.g. panpsychism and animism), animals, and deities. Many ancient Greek, Indian, and later Islamic and mediaeval European philosophers related mind (often characterised as same with soul or spirit) to notions about life after death, cosmology, and natural order. Psychologists like Freud and James and computer scientists like Turing produced influential mentality ideas. Artificial intelligence (AI) researches the idea of nonbiological minds by comparing and contrasting information processing by nonbiological machines to mental processes in humans. The mind is sometimes depicted as a stream of consciousness, continually shifting sense experiences and mental processes.