Psychic as a special property of highly organized matter
In philosophy, two basic ideas about the psyche compete.
1. In an idealistic worldview, the psyche is part of the world mind (logos, soul, spirit) that engenders the visible and not visible to us world. Here the psyche, more precisely the soul, is a special entity, primary and eternal in nature, capable of entering certain bodies and leaving them. This understanding of the psyche cuts off many questions: for example, there are no questions about the need for the psyche, the mechanisms of its development, etc. But there are questions about the causes and mechanisms of the connection of the psyche (soul) with certain objects, the interaction of the psyche and material bodies or processes (psychophysical problem).
2. In the materialistic world view the psyche is understood as one of the properties of material objects that appears at a certain stage in the development of matter, when some bodies (we know only about a part of living beings) acquire the ability to create knowledge about the world and regulate their behavior on their basis.
Psychic as the subject's discovery of the subject's zero activity
As often happens in the presence of two opposing opinions (extreme points of view), attempts are made to reconcile them through the recognition of both opinions as correct. So, let's say, there was a dualistic position of R. Descartes about two independent principles in the world: soul and matter, and their interaction. These theoretical representations gave rise to an understanding of the material and the ideal. For many years, the criteria formulated by R. Descartes were good criteria for the separation of matter and mental phenomena (material and ideal). In his view, material objects have a shape, weight, can be measured, take their place in space, consist of matter. This for a long time determined the understanding of matter as a material body, substance. The phenomena of consciousness (psyche) are incorporeal, i.е. are immaterial, have no mass, form and size, do not occupy space in space and are spatially immeasurable. Hence the understanding of the ideality of the psyche as a non-material entity, which generates the problem of the influence of the non-material on the substance of the brain.The unresolved issue of the relationship between brain processes and the phenomena of consciousness gave rise to two popular and largely everyday variants of the answer about the nature of the soul (psyche):
1) the soul is immaterial, i.e. is ideal;
2) the soul (psyche) is material and represents either a special configuration of physiological processes for each image, or constellation of nerve cells excited in connection with the reflection of a given object, or a material process of an unknown nature.
These disputes continue today, despite the fact that such a materialist as VI Lenin, as early as the beginning of the 20th century, formulated a new understanding of matter as the ultimate philosophical category. He wrote: "The only" property "of matter, the recognition of which is associated with philosophical materialism, is the property of being an objective reality existing outside our consciousness." In this context, the question of materiality or ideality is not a matter of the nature of matter and the psyche, it is not a question of what matter and mentality consist of, but only the question of the primacy and secondary nature of origin. What is primary - the matter that generates the psyche, or the mind (psyche, soul) that generates the material world? Beyond solving this problem, use the concepts material and ideal is incorrect. In the materialistic worldview, the ideality of the psyche means that:
1) the psyche is generated by matter;
2) mental images are not a particular world, but knowledge of a real world that exists objectively regardless of our consciousness.
In the future, we will proceed from this position.
Next, we will consider three approaches to understanding the nature of the psyche in pre-Marxist materialistic philosophy.
The first approach is connected with a misunderstanding (inaccurate translation from French). Psychic is understood as a special substance, allocated by the brain: the brain emits the psyche, just as the liver secretes bile. Reduction of the psyche to a certain substance comes from antiquity. Democritus understood the soul as special atoms of the body, and the formation of the image of the object was associated with the radiation of this object by atoms falling into the human eye.
The second approach is related to the understanding of the psyche as a byproduct of brain work. An analogue of relations is the shadow of a person. It is always when there is light, but it does not affect anything and does not exist for itself without the object and light. So the psyche - it occurs when the brain works, but does not have any function. Such a view is still encountered today: a number of physiologists, while not denying the existence of psychic phenomena, assert that behavior is entirely determined by the work of the brain, and all the laws of psychic phenomena are explained by the peculiarities of neurophysiological processes. The creators of computers, in turn, argue that the brain works as a large complex computer, it solves all problems, but the person in this case, there are states that he calls the psyche.
The third approach is the most radical. A number of researchers in general deny the presence of the psyche, considering it some illusion that arises in a person when perceiving the work of the brain. Psychic should be understood as the gravity of the body, behind which the interaction of the object with the earth's gravity and the strength of the human muscles are hidden.
At the beginning of the XX century. Marxist philosophy offered an understanding of the psyche as a special property of highly organized matter. Let's try to decipher this formula and ask ourselves the following questions.
• What is special about this property?
• What follows from the recognition of the psyche as a property of matter?
• What is a highly organized matter?
The peculiarity of this property lies in the fact that the psyche opens other objects to the one object (living being), which are in the field of action of the first, which can be objectively recorded by the fact that the living being has in its behavior the presence of various bodies in the field of its action. The discovery of the external world is based on the subjective experience of the living entity of external influences and the formation, with his help, of images of objects of the external world and images of the situation, i.e. spatial subject field of the action of a living being. In other words, we can say - the peculiarity of the property is that it provides some living beings with the opportunity to receive "knowledge" about the external world in the form of subjective images that open the subject to the external world. This allows the wearer of the psyche to build his behavior not according to the laws of physical interaction (and it remains) and not according to the laws of biological reflection in the form of adequate response responses, but according to the laws of choosing the desired behavior on the basis of knowledge of the features of the situation and its changes in solving behavioral problems.
I would like to specially emphasize that the main thing in mental reflection is the possibility of discovering a world that exists independently of a living being, which has the capacity for mental reflection, i.e. ability to form knowledge about the world, and not just take into account some characteristics of objects (for example, spatial). Psychic as a subjective image of the objective world is always knowledge about the world (complete, adequate or partial, ie incomplete, and conditional).
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