A: Philosophy of the Mind is a discipline within Philosophy that seeks to understand what exactly the mind is. Philosophy of the Mind seeks to deal with problems that are associated with the fact (or some would say the appearance) that we have a mind.
There are basically two different views on what the mind is. These basic views are called 1.) mind-body-dualism and 2.) mind-body-materialism. When I say that these are the two basic views, I mean that they are fundamentally two basic views. Within view 1.) and 2.) there are differing views on how everything works out, but basically all of the views fall within category 1.) and 2.) There have been some monistic (views that state mind and body are neither material nor non-materical) views. But these views either reduce to 1.) or 2.), or they just dont make sense (at least as far as I can tell).
Anyhow the big question is this: Can our mind and those things that are thought to go along with it (thought, subjective-perception, qualitative feelings) be explained holistically in physical or materialistic categories. Now Christians will typically say no and that we have a soul. The materialist will say that all of our mental activity can be explained in physical or materialistic ways.
Below I have provided an arguement against mind body materialism. There are certainly other arguments, but I just read this particular argument and I find it pretty forceful. I have written a kind of rough sketch of the argument. The argument is taken from a paper written by philosopher Joseph Levine called "Materialism and Qualia: The Explanatory Gap." Joseph if you read this and I did not do a good job of representing your argument then I (Stephen) take responsibility.
Problems for The Mind Body Materialist
Consider 3 statements
1.) Pain is the firing of C-fibers
2.) Heat is the motion of molecules
3.) To be in pain is to be in state F
A.) The Mind Body Materialist (MBM) must argue that 1.) & 3.) are intelligible.
B.) If MBM is true then 1.), 2.) & 3.) will be true necessarily and cannot possibly be false.
C.)Is it easily granted that 2.) is true and understandable given
2` The phenomenon we experience through the sensations of warmth, heat & cold are the motion of molecules.
D.)It is epistemologically possible that someone be the state F or C-fibers firing and not be in the state of pain.
E.) It is at least epistemologically possible because we do not have the explanatory gap in 1.) & 3.) like we do with 2.) given the fact of 2`.
Thus we have a mind body problem for materialist. How is it that we have a subjective qualitative feel (or at least to some the appearance)? We don’t have an explanatory fill in (like 2`).
While this does not prove MBM false metaphysically, it does still provide us with a sufficient reason to doubt MBM to be true.