Descartes Mind and Body

1480 WordsMar 31, 20156 Pages
Descartes’ Mind Body Dualism Rene Descartes’ main purpose is to attempt to prove that the mind that is the soul or the thinking thing is distinct and is separate from the body. This thinking thing was the core of himself, which doubts, believes, reasons, feels and thinks. Descartes considers the body to be an extended unthinking thing; therefore it is possible that one may exist without the other. This view is known as mind-body dualism. He believes that what he is thinking in his mind is what God created and instilled in him. Descartes outlines many arguments to support and prove his claims of his discoveries. He states that because he can think, his mind exists. This is known as the Cogito, which is the first existential principal of…show more content…
It does not rule out other possibilities, such as waking up to find oneself to be not a human but a different form of life. Therefore the statement of the body is too broad to specifically identify as being in human form. Also, it should be noted that the Cogito only works for the thought. It cannot be used in a sense that, I can walk or sleep therefore I exist since I can doubt these actions carried out by the body. The reason why a person cannot doubt itself is because the doubt is in a form of a thought in ones mind, not an action of our body. Descartes discusses that physical objects are more known distinctly through the mind than through the body and explains his reason further in the Wax Argument. The Wax Argument describes how Descartes wanted to show that we come to know things using the intellectual parts of our brain rather than through our senses. Basically, Descartes is trying to prove that we know the mind truly better than anything else, like our bodies and the world outside of the mind. This argument begins by describing the process of change by which solid wax melts until it has changed its phase of matter to form a liquid puddle. Descartes describes the wax uses his senses as he says, “Its color, shape, and size are manifest. It is hard and cold; it is easy to touch. If you wrap it with your knuckle it will emit a sound. In short, everything is present in that it appears
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