If someone is mentally incapable of doing something, does that also mean they are physically incapable of doing it? My argument is that since the brain is a physical and material object, assuming that it alone is responsible for thought, and that its influence on the body is absolute, can't we assume that any shortcomings it has be described in terms of a physical incapacity?

closed as off-topic by Keelan, Swami Vishwananda, jeroenk, James Kingsbery, Five σ May 12 '15 at 12:28

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  • "its influence on the body is absolute" is too strong, as I read it. The brain does influence the body, and pretty strongly, but still your doctor can test your reflexes just by hitting you below the knee. Or, fun with electricity, so on. – Cheers and hth. - Alf May 11 '15 at 3:08
  • Regarding "psysical incapacity", some brain dysfunctions are of that kind. In particular those that are due to physical trauma. But even in such cases the brain has such tremendous flexibility & learning ability that it in time can some times / often work around the problem. Another problem with using this term for "any shortcoming", is that most problems are due just to psychological things, problems of the mind, which are states/configurations of the brain. That's akin to how software and data are states/configurations of a computer. E.g. you can't physically see an image in the electronics. – Cheers and hth. - Alf May 11 '15 at 3:12
  • @Cheersandhth.-Alf For the "its influence...is absolute" quote, remember that this question is about mental -> physical, so if I am mentally unable to move my leg, then I am physically unable to move it, at least without the aid of some external phenomena like electricity, etc. – James Watkins May 11 '15 at 4:05
  • In otherwords, "can a mental incapacity always be directly related to a physical incapacity?" And if not, in what situation is there a mental incapacity which does not have a physical counterpart? – James Watkins May 11 '15 at 4:10
  • Also, gaining an ability over time is akin to filling a balloon with air, which only explodes after a certain point defined by complex physical laws. – James Watkins May 11 '15 at 4:12

If someone is mentally incapable of doing something, does that also mean they are physically incapable of doing it?

Mental activities are not of the same kind as physical activities. In other words, everyone is physically incapable of activity that is mental, and mentally incapable of activity that is physical.

  • This is exactly the kind of answer I was looking for. Not sure why it was marked as off-topic. Sorry to everyone who was offended. – James Watkins May 12 '15 at 20:11

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