Authors
Marcoen J. T. F. Cabbolet
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Abstract
Although there are several monistic and dualistic approaches to the mind-body problem on the basis of classical or quantum mechanics, thus far no consensus exists about a solution. Recently, the Elementary Process Theory (EPT) has been developed: this corresponds with a fundamentally new disciplinary matrix for the study of physical reality. The purpose of the present research was to investigate the mind-body problem within this newly developed disciplinary matrix. The main finding is that the idea of a duality of body and mind has to be rejected as an incomplete representation of reality: in the universe of the EPT, man hás to be a trinity of body, spirit and soul, where ‘body’, ‘spirit’ and ‘soul’ are names for distinct physical things. The mind is then a mere idea that arises from (self-)experience, but without onto-logical connotation. In addition a mechanism for mental causation, which implies a principle of choice, is rigorously formulated. The main conclusion is that a fundamentally new physicalist approach to the mind-body problem, according to which man has a free will, has been formulated strictly within the language of the EPT. Further physical research is then required to describe how the interaction between body, spirit and soul is to be understood in terms of fundamental interactions. In addition, further philosophical-theological research has to establish whether the presently discussed trinity and the trinities of body, spirit and soul mentioned in the Bible and the Vedic texts are one and the same thing.
Keywords mind-body problem  free will  mental causation  non-deterministic, non-probabilistic universe
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