The mind-body problem or soul-body problem, as old as philosophy itself, has two main lines of resolution:
- Dualism: Soul and body different but in some form of contact (Descartes)
- Monism: Division between soul and body is not accepted = negation of Dualism.
The concept of simulation opens to a “third standpoint” of the form:
- body image = the cerebral representation of all body sensation organized in the parietal cortex
as described in WebMD Medical Dictionary.
Soul as body image or simulation of body connects to the functioning of a robot equipped with a soul in the form of computational model of the physical body of the robot in the computer controlling the robot:
- a simulation of the physical robot = the soul of the robot
- an special app in the smartphone of Romo = the soul of Romo.
Such a robot would have a memory and would be able to plan ahead in time by making a computational simulation of the effects of certain actions to see if they would give a desired result. The body image could be used e.g. to test ahead if attack or fleeing would be advisable, or if a certain argument in a debate would be convincing.
The unity of the body would be reflected in unity of the soul. There is only one body, but many possible simulations of the body (your good self and your bad self) and at any given time only one of the simulations is allowed at the top position in control of the body.
In order for the body-soul system to function well it is necessary that the simulation of the body is reasonably accurate: if the simulation overestimates (mania) or underestimates (depression) the body, then the system breaks down. Simulation accuracy therefore of prime concern. This connects to the biocognitive approach to psychiatry of e.g. Jock McLaren.
With the soul as simulation of body, all our sensations ultimately result originate from bodily sensations, but since simulation can live its own life the soul can generate new sensations, e.g. a sense of well-being from a simulation with yourself as the winner of the game.
Further, dreams may be viewed as simulations by the soul where the connection to the body is cut-off, more specifically with the controlling frontal lobes shut off according to e.g. Marl Solms.