Cartesian Dualism And Transhumanism : Theories Within Their Time Contexts
1510 Words7 Pages
Cartesian dualism and transhumanism are both controversial theories within their time contexts. Leahey (2004) describes Descartes dualism as the separation of the body and the soul. The soul is immaterial and is the location for thought, consciousness, and the Cartesian Theatre, and controls the actions of the material body. Transhumanism theorises that technology will enhance and supersede human evolution (Elkins 2011,) as technology will become an extension of ourselves, or already is. I will explore the arguments for the strengths and weaknesses of these theories, and explore their contribution to modern psychology.
Cartesian dualism is based on the concept that the mind and the body are separate entities, and that the mind – the…show more content… But the basis for psychology is predominantly objective and mimic natural sciences. Descartes attempted to keep his methods purely scientific, which has only strengthened the argument that purely quantitative, empirical methods are the best way to discover information. This is damaging to psychology and other social sciences, as some things are better understood and represented with other methods. Psychology is still stuck within this dogma, something that can be traced back to Descartes’ dualism.
Another issue Cartesian dualism faces in the mind-body problem. This is how the soul and the body are integrated, and considers how they affect one another. Descartes’ solution is that the body and the mind is separate. Idealists’ solution is that there is only mind, explaining the body as only being an extension of the mind. However as technology has advanced and neuroscience developed, processes such as emotions, memory and perceptions have all been shown to have a neurological basis, refuting the dualism theory of consciousness. PET, MRI, EEG and MEG are all ways of measuring electric and magnetic neural activity, gradually allowing the pathways and areas of the brain to be understood (Taylor 2013.) The mind is no longer such a mystery. A physical reductive approach could be taken to this mind-body problem, where our consciousness is purely generated from matter, and there is no “mind” in the way