Cartesian Dualism vs Logical Behaviorism Essay

1483 Words 6 Pages
Are minds physical things, or are they nonmaterial? If your beliefs and desires are caused by physical events outside of yourself, how can it be true that you act the way you do of your own free will? Are people genuinely moved by the welfare of others, or is all behavior, in reality, selfish? (Sober 203). These are questions relevant to philosophy of the mind and discussed through a variety of arguments. Two of the most important arguments with this discussion are Cartesian dualism and logical behaviorism, both of which argue the philosophy of the mind in two completely different ways. Robert Lane, a professor at the University of West Georgia, define the two as follows: Cartesian dualism is the theory that the mind and body are two …show more content…
Leibniz’s Law supports dualism through three main arguments: the Indubitable Existence Argument, the Extension Argument, and the Divisibility Argument. Lane summarizes the three arguments as follows: Indubitable Existence
1) A person’s mind has the property of indubitable existence
2) A person’s body (including the brain) does not.
3) If a has some property and blacks that property, then a and b are not the same thing.

4) Thus, a person’s mind and body are not the same thing. Extension 1) My mind lacks the property of extension. 2) My body, including my brain, has the property of extension. 3) If a has some property and blacks that property, then a and b are not the same thing.
4) Thus, my mind is not the same things as my body.

Divisibility 1) My mind is not divisible. 2) My body (including my brain) is divisible. 3) If a has some property and blacks that property, then a and b are not the same thing.
4) Thus, my mind is not the same thing as my body. Within all three arguments to support dualism, the third premise (Leibniz’s Law) and conclusion are shared. By sharing the third premise, all three arguments have deductively valid forms, and the shared conclusion of the arguments ultimately supports Cartesian dualism. Descartes argues that the mind can exist without the body, or has the property of immortality (Sober 205), while the body can
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