Descartes, Leibniz, And Spinoza Essay

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If these great thinkers (Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz) were to discuss instead the soul’s connection to the body, what might each say (both on his own behalf and in response to the other)? Would they find any places where they might agree? If not, why not? (These are, after all, smart guys!)

     Though this sort of meeting would strike me as a debate with as furiously disparate and uncompromising ideals as one would find in a meeting of Andrew Weil, Jerry Falwell, and David Duke, I expect that the philosophers would find some surprisingly common ground. Descartes, the Christian outcast, Spinoza, the Jewish outcast, and Leibniz, the creative mathematician all acknowledge that what we know better than
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Although Descartes’ claims of the body’s necessary existence follows from the cogito – if the mind exists, then it must exist in contrast to other, external things - I presume that both Spinoza and Leibniz would take the opportunity to point out that Descartes presupposes the existence of the god that necessarily created his body and mind before speculating on whether or not his body and mind exist. Nice claim, bad explanation.
     Spinoza’s staunch, pantheistic monist view of the world establishes that the mind and body are not separate entities in themselves, but only two of an infinite amount of attributes of the same and only substance in existence – God. One can relate this reasoning to two attributes of a red-hot poker – red and hot. Does this entail that red and hot are always dependent on a poker and that they are in essence the same thing? Although this is not a likely conclusion, Spinoza raises the important question of how far we can analytically separate parts of a world that are always interacting with each other. Try getting a metal poker to glow red without heating it, or heating a poker without eventually having it glow red. This is improbable, albeit possible in theory. The mind and body may be two separately identifiable things, but one will more than likely find the two cooperating with each other as attributes of the natural world.
     Such cooperation
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