A mind ( /ˈmaɪnd/) is the complex of cognitive faculties that enables consciousness, thinking, reasoning, perception, and judgement—a characteristic of human beings, but which also may apply to other life forms.

A long tradition of inquiries in philosophy, religion, psychology and cognitive science has sought to develop an understanding of what mind is and what are its distinguishing properties. The main questions regarding the nature of mind is its relation to the physical brain and nervous system – a question which is often framed as the Mind-body problem, which considers whether mind is somehow separate from physical existence (dualism and idealism), deriving from and reducible to physical phenomena such as neurological processes (physicalism), or whether the mind is identical with the brain or some activity of the brain. Another question concerns which types of being are capable of having minds, for example whether mind is exclusive to humans, possessed also by some or all animals, by all living things, or whether mind can also be a property of some types of man-made machines.

Whatever its relation to the physical body it is generally agreed that mind is that which enables a being to have subjective awareness and intentionality towards their environment, to perceive and respond to stimuli with some kind of agency, and to have a consciousness, including thinking and feeling.

Important philosophers of mind include Plato, Descartes, Leibniz, Kant, Martin Heidegger, John Searle, Daniel Dennett and many others. The description and definition is also a part of psychology where psychologists such as Siegmund Freud, William James have developed influential theories about the nature of the human mind. In the late 20th and early 21st century the field of cognitive science emerged and developed many varied approaches to the description of mind and its related phenomena. The possibility of non-human minds is also explored in the field of artificial intelligence, which works closely in relation with cybernetics and information theory to understand the ways in which human mental phenomena can be replicated by machines.

The concept of mind is understood in many different ways by many different cultural and religious traditions. Some see mind as a property exclusive to humans whereas others ascribe properties of mind to non-living entities (e.g. panpsychism and animism), to animals and to deities. Some of the earliest recorded speculations linked mind (sometimes described as identical with soul or spirit) to theories concerning both life after death, and cosmological and natural order, for example in the doctrines of Zoroaster, the Buddha, Plato, Aristotle, and other ancient Greek, Indian and, later, Islamic and medieval European philosophers.

Read more about Mind:  Attributes, Mental Faculties, Mental Content, Brain and Mind, Etymology, Philosophy of Mind, Evolutionary History of The Human Mind, Mortality of The Mind, Mental Health, Animal Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence, Religious Perspectives, Buddhism & Mind

Other articles related to "mind, minds":

Dance Therapy - Principles
... The theory of DMT is based upon the idea that “the body and mind are inseparable” ... These are Body and mind interact, so that a change in movement will affect total functioning Movement reflects personality The therapeutic relationship is mediated at least to some extent non-v ...
Mind Games
... Mind Games is John Lennon's fourth post-Beatles album, and was recorded and released in 1973 ... topical and somewhat abrasive Some Time in New York City, Mind Games was poorly received by music critics ...
Mind - Other Perspectives - Memetics
... is "hosted" in one or more individual minds, and which can reproduce itself from mind to mind ... in which case it could be considered a "virus of the mind" ...
The Extended Mind
... The Extended Mind is a book in the field of philosophy of mind edited by Richard Menary ...
The Extended Mind - The EMT
... The "extended mind thesis" (EMT) refers to an emerging concept that addresses the question as to the division point between the mind and the environment by promoting the view of ... EMT proposes that some objects in the external environment are utilized by the mind in such a way that the objects can be seen as extensions of the mind itself ... Specifically, the mind is seen to encompass every level of the cognitive process, which will often include the use of environmental aids ...

Famous quotes containing the word mind:

    Would you convey my compliments to the purist who reads your proofs and tell him or her that I write in a sort of broken-down patois which is something like the way a Swiss waiter talks, and that when I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will stay split, and when I interrupt the velvety smoothness of my more or less literate syntax with a few sudden words of bar- room vernacular, that is done with the eyes wide open and the mind relaxed but attentive.
    Raymond Chandler (1888–1959)

    Excellence or virtue is a settled disposition of the mind that determines our choice of actions and emotions and consists essentially in observing the mean relative to us ... a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
    Aristotle (384–323 B.C.)

    The darkest pit
    Of the profoundest hell, chaos, night,
    Nor aught of blinder vacancy scooped out
    By help of dreams can breed such fear and awe
    As fall upon us often when we look
    Into our minds, into the mind of man.
    William Wordsworth (1770–1850)