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MindBody Problems

I n classical philosophy, there is only one MindBody Prob- lem, that is important enough to be capitalized, but in the world of artificial beings there are several.The philosophical version is an old metaphysical issue, easy to state and hard to resolve: What is the nature of the mind, and how does its apparent insubstan- tiality relate to the materiality of the body? We know they are con- nected, because each of us continually experiences their interaction within our own private consciousness. Formulate in your mind the intention to pick up a glass of wine, and your hand carries out the action even as you think it; kick a wall in frustration, and your mind registers the sensation of pain. But how does the immaterial mind cause your hand to move as you desire? Why does it turn a neural signal from your foot into the feeling it hurts? Indeed, what is it in you that wishes to drink that wine, and directs your body to act accordingly?

For a long time this problem of consciousness was the province only of philosophers. Because of its internal, subjective nature, con- sciousness has seemed a difficult subject for scientific study, although some efforts were made in the nineteenth century.Writing in 1890, William James, a founder of modern psychology, concluded that con-

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