In science, mind (TR:744) is a state of thought, memory, or process of thinking or information processing, conceptualized as being a product of the processes of the brain, working in coordination with the sense inputs and mechanical operational outputs.

In 1988, Richard Adams, in his chapter section: “Monism and Materialism”, of his The Eight Day, digressed in several paragraphs on the topic of the terms “mental”, “mentalistic”, and “mentalistic processes”, in the context of his view of energy applied to society, which he calls "monistic energetic materialism"; the gist of which is as follows: [3]

“Perhaps at this point it would be advisable to make some tangential comments about the use of the terms meaning and mental. Readers fixed in the assumption that all discussions of energy reject or ignore mental processes should be disabused of the notion. It will be evident (see especially Chapter 3) that ‘mentalistic processes’ have an energetic dimension that requires them to be included in any larger analysis. It must be emphasized, however, that it is their energetic dimension that makes this imperative, not the content of their mentalistic imagery. The present work, however, does not try to pursue an analysis of mental or psychological processes. Rather, it follows Simon's observation that "information processing psychology and neurophysiology constitute independent bodies of theory, as nineteenth century chemistry and physics constituted independent bodies of theory. At present, we have almost no knowledge of how to build a bridge from the one to the other, although most of us have no doubt that such a bridge will be constructed by future generations" (Simon 1979: xi).

For the present it is clear that we must deal with two different aspects of that area. One concerns biochemical and neurological processes. The other describes images, visions of the mind. Following the advice of Devons and Gluckman (1964), we deal with the mental processes in terms of such naive, simple collective terms as meaning and mental model. These will be nonreducible terms to which we resort when we refer to what goes on in people's heads and nervous systems. When we say that a perturbation leaves information on a nervous system, we can describe this process in terms of its physical, energetic components. When we want to refer to how a person conceives of it, we are forced to resort to notions such as "ideas," "values," etc. These last are what we will mean by meaning and mental models.

As strategic necessities, therefore, we must accept that we are playing a game with the kind of observations we have available to us, those of human perception and cognition, mental processes and mind. In short, we accept a dualism as a part of our methodology, reject it as theory. This means that we perforce have to use mentalistic concepts that are necessarily imprecise and unclear. They will not be used in propositions about social process (or anything else) unless it is evident that they refer to some discrete energetic process. For example, in saying that "an idea triggered" some action [see: trigger action], we will accept that an activity of the nervous system triggered some muscular action and that it was specifically associated with the presence of some mentalistic concepts for which we have some description, albeit imperfect. If there is no underlying energetic referent, we will simply exclude the mentalistic process from our concern.”


The following are noted quotes:

Mind [or consciousness] is a function of matter, when that matter has attained a certain degree of organization.”
Thomas Huxley (1871), “Mr. Darwin’s Critics”; paraphrase version cited by Lee Strobel [2]

“Could not mind, as well as mindless motion, have an underlying order.”
Isaac Asimov (1988), “Emperor Cleon to Hari Seldon”, Prelude to Foundation

See also
Mind-body problem
Mind-brain dualism

1. Asimov, Isaac. (1988). Prelude to Foundation (pg. 13). DoubleDay.
2. (a) Huxley, Thomas. (1871). “Mr. Darwin’s Critics” (Ѻ), Contemporary Review, Nov.
(b) Original: “Consciousness is a function of nervous matter, when that nervous matter has attained a certain degree of organization.”
(c) Strobel, Lee. (2004). The Case for a Creator: a Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence that Points Toward God (pg. 308). Zondervan, 2009.
3. Adams, Richard N. (1988). The Eighth Day: Social Evolution as the Self-Organization of Energy (pgs. 8-11). University of Texas Press.

Further reading
● Bynum, W.F. and Porter, Roy. (2005). Oxford Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (mind, 27+ quotes, pg. 683). Oxford University Press.

External links
Mind – Wikipedia.

TDics icon ns