Many attempts in explaining the nature of the mind have already been made, even reaching the point wherein the very existence of the mind is argued for and against it. Generally, the nature of the mind can be further branched out, though not necessarily limited, into several areas. Part of these includes a rigorous analysis of the mental events and functions as well as the inquiry into the consciousness and the mental properties and the relative connection they may have with the physical body of individuals.
For the most part, it is widely held that there exists the mind. Quite on the contrary, there are several debates that purport to address the issue concerning the existence of the mind as to whether it is a separate entity from the body or if it is, indeed, a mere part of the physical being of man (Rosenthal). The theory of Dualism asserts that the mental phenomena that exist in the mind are non-corporeal or bear no physical or tangible existence.
Among the earliest discussions that focus on the philosophical groundings for dualist precepts are reflected in the writings of both Plato and Aristotle. These ancient philosophers have argued, though they hold varying ideas in certain assumptions, that the very intelligence of man or the manifestation of the faculty of the soul or of the mind cannot be directly expounded upon through the use of one’s corporeal being.
In more recent times, Rene Descartes argued for a more elaborate argument for the nature of the mind. That is, he argues that the mind is a non-physical entity that cannot be extended. Apart from this, Descartes also pioneered the idea that the mind is to be identified with self-awareness or, more specifically, the consciousness of one. Quite notable is his attempt at distinguishing the mind from the corporeal brain that we know of today in the physical sense (Alanen).