Mind and Body Are Two Separate Structures for Ibn Sina

Mind and Body Are Two Separate Structures for Ibn Sina

June 27, 2021 Off By Felso

Aristotle argued that the bodies and minds of living things are not two different things, but one unit, and that the mind is a “form” of the human body.

Aristotle thought that after the body dies, nothing remains and nothing can live after the body.

However, unlike Aristotle, Avicenna, by thinking of the body and mind as separate, made his name written among the “dualists” in the history of philosophy. According to him, the soul and the body are two separate substances. Looking for evidence for the divided nature of mind and body, Sina conducted a thought experiment known as the “Flying Man”.

In the Flying Man experiment, it was questioned what we can know when we are completely stripped of our senses and can no longer rely on them for information. Suppose we re-existed in the universe with all our intelligence and knowledge. We are blindfolded and floating in the air. Our legs are apart, so our body does not touch any hard objects. And none of our senses are working. In this state, we are still conscious of our existence; but the self in this consciousness, which self is it? This self cannot exist in any part of our body; because we do not know the existence of parts of our body. This self as we know it has no length, breadth, or depth. It has no extension or physicality. And if we can imagine, say, a hand, we cannot think that it will belong to this self that we know exists.

From this point of view, it can be said that the human body is separate from the self. And thus Sinai explains the existence of the mind as distinct and separate from the body.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook