Joe Gough, ‘The mind does not exist –
The terms ‘mind’ and ‘mental’ are messy, harmful and distracting. We should get rid of them’, https://aeon.co/essays/why-theres-no-such-thing-as-the-mind-and-nothing-is-mental, Aeon Media Group Ltd. (30 August 2021)
The no-mind thesis is entirely compatible with the idea that people are conscious, and that they think, feel, believe, desire and so on. What it’s not compatible with is the notion that being conscious, thinking, feeling, believing, desiring and so on are mental, part of the mind, or done by the mind.(…) It’s notable that Homeric Greek lacks terms that can be consistently translated as ‘mind’ and ‘body’. (…) The terms mind and mental are used in so many ways and have such a chequered history that they carry more baggage than meaning. (…) Many people are all too ready to believe that the problems of the ‘mentally ill’ are ‘all in their mind’. I’ve never heard anyone doubt that a heart problem can lead to problems outside the heart, but I’ve regularly had to explain to friends and family that ‘mental’ illnesses can have physiological effects outside ‘the mind’. (…) When people talk about ‘the mind’ and ‘the mental’ in psychiatry, my first thought is always ‘What exactly do they mean?’ (…) We should be suspicious of appeals to the mind and the mental in psychiatry. (…) The conclusion is that there is no such thing as a mind, and nothing is mental – even though you and I both think, feel, believe, desire and dream. Whenever you come across the terms ‘mind’ and ‘mental’ – especially when they bear a lot of argumentative weight – you should wonder what they actually mean, and ask yourself what equivocations are hiding below the surface.