Mind and Minding: Some Eastern and Western Views

  • A. C. Paranjpe


The purpose of this paper is to point out some converging trends in the conceptualization of the mind and the body in the East and the West. It is hoped that a broad common conceptual framework may be constructed on the basis of such converging trends so that it will be possible to meaningfully integrate the insights and techniques of traditional Eastern systems such as Yoga with modern Western approaches to psychosomatics. We begin this crosscultural enterprise with the identification of a common element of several Eastern and Western views of the mind, namely the idea that the mind is a set of processes or activities rather than a substance, or a set of static entities, such as ideas. The “act psychology” of Brentano, functionalism of William James, and symbolic interactionism of G. H. Mead are among the many well-known Western viewpoints which consider mind a set of processes. Instead of following the line of arguments of such relatively older viewpoints, we may view mental processes as a highly complex form of self regulatory functions as suggested by systems theory and cybernetics. The reason to follow this particular approach is that, as will be pointed out later, such a conceptualization is consistant with concepts and techniques of Yoga, an ancient system which has been influential throughout the East.


Psychosomatic Medicine Indian Philosophy Downward Causation Steam Engine Western Approach 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. C. Paranjpe
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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