In his Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes states “I have a clear and distinct idea of myself, in as far as I am only a thinking and unextended thing, and as, on the other hand, I possess a distinct idea of body, in as far as it is only an extended and unthinking thing”.  The concept that the mind is an intangible, thinking entity while the body is a tangible entity not capable of thought is known as Cartesian Dualism. The purpose of this essay is to examine how Descartes tries to prove that the mind or soul is, in its essential nature, entirely distinct from the
In this paper, I will examine the principal merits and challenges of René Descartes’ concept of dualism and then defend my preferred alternative among the options Paul M. Churchland discusses. After briefly defining Cartesian Dualism, I will show that its principal merits are that it is consistent with common sense and that it is able to explain phenomena that appear mental in nature. Next, I will show that its principal challenges are its failure to adequately explain how the mind and the body can causally interact, and its failure to respond to the observation that brain damage impairs the mind. Finally, I will explain why Functionalism is the best alternative to Cartesian Dualism.
There are conflicting views between philosophers of the modern era pertaining to the existence of God. Even further, many of these philosophers who share the opinion that God does in fact exist also have opposing views as to how that affects their world view. For example, Descartes’s narrator, in the fifth meditation comes to the conclusion, that God, an almighty benevolent being, is no deceiver, and holds all perfection. Within this system, the narrator attributes all things of the physical world to be material, although Descartes believes that some things are not of matter (i.e. soul or mind). Conversely, Berkeley, whom also is a believer of God’s existence, believes that there is no material world or sensible realm without mind. That through God, the sensible is excited within us and although he, like Descartes ' narrator, does not believe the Author of Our Creation deceives us. Thus even without matter, the regularities of our lives are no accident and have purpose. It is through analyzation of these two texts that I intend to find correlations and differences between Descartes ' and Berkeley 's epistemology in order to ascertain the difference in their world views of dualism (Descartes) and immaterialism (Berkeley), particularly pertaining to their belief in God.
During the sixteen hundreds, the French philosopher René Descartes laid the foundations for the beginnings of Cartesian Dualism. In contrast, the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes argued against dualism in favor of materialism. Recently, Cartesian Dualism, and dualism in general has fallen out of favor as materialism arose as a more plausible and explanatory theory regarding the interrelationships between body and mind. The translation Descartes’ writing in the Meditations is far more cryptic than Hobbes’ writing in the Leviathan. Making it far easier to see Hobbes’ claims. Hobbes provides a reasonable explanation against dualism in his objections to Descartes, and in his Leviathan, provides background upon his reasoning in
Reneì Descartes’ treatise on dualism, his Meditations on First Philosophy, is a seminal work in Western intellectual history, outlining his theory of the mind and its relation to the rest of the world. The main argument running through the Meditations leads from his universal methodic doubt through his famous cogito, to proofs of dualism, God, and the world. The Cartesian dualism is one of the most influential ideas to come out of the work; the style of the Meditations, however, is one of personal rumination, following what appears to be Descartes’ stream of consciousness , and it allows for mild tangential discussions. Hence alongside his more famous argument for dualism,
In his Meditations Rene Descartes aimed to reconstruct the whole of science by trying to prove the distinction between mind and matter. He gives an argument from doubt, and another from conceivability. I will give a brief summary of the foundations Descartes builds his thesis on, and then looking at his arguments and whether they are capable of persuading us that dualism is a logical stance to hold.
Descartian dualism is one of the most long lasting legacies of Rene Descartes’ philosophy. He argues that the mind and body operate as separate entities able to exist without one another. That is, the mind is a thinking, non-extended entity and the body is non-thinking and extended. His belief elicited a debate over the nature of the mind and body that has spanned centuries, a debate that is still vociferously argued today. In this essay, I will try and tackle Descartes claim and come to some conclusion as to whether Descartes is correct to say that the mind and body are distinct.
The relation between the mind and the body has been a topic of interest to many philosophers and continues to be even to this date. Among one of these philosophers was Rene Descartes whose contributions are worth looking over. In this paper, I shell outline the kind of Dualism of mind and body that Descartes endorsed, and assess the overall strength and weakness of the arguments that are the back bone for this ideology.
In Meditation Six entitled “Concerning the Existence of Material Things, and Real Distinction between the Mind and Body”, one important thing Descartes explores is the relationship between the mind and body. Descartes believes the mind and body are separated and they are two difference substances. He believes this to be clearly and distinctly true which is a Cartesian quality for true knowledge. I, on the other hand, disagree that the mind and body are separate and that the mind can exist without the body. First, I will present Descartes position on mind/body dualism and his proof for such ideas. Secondly, I will discuss why I think his argument is weak and offer my own ideas that dispute his reasoning while I keep in mind how he might
In order to build a different interpretation about the Cartesian dualism and the union of mind and body, I have established two categories. I call diachronic interpretations those that maintain that Descartes was first a dualist (i.e., in the Meditations), and later on developed his stance on the union of mind and body (i.e., in the Passions).
An important claim of this paper is that recognition of discontinuous processes is essential to gain a deep grasp on reality — that Descartes' first recognition is better and deeper than his ensuing answers. This implies that reductivism (notably, in the present context, about mind and brain) is a defective attitude. It also implies that Post Modernism which both tends to deny the existence of hierarchies and to defer serious treatments of differences is also defective. (What is
Building off his established idea of the Cogito, Descartes continues to formulate an idea of how the world operates. He arrives upon one of the most widely held metaphysical opinions, especially among a majority of the world’s religions, which is mind-body dualism. Mind-body dualism states that there are two types of entities in the world; those which have extension and measurable qualities such as the body and existing separately is the non physical mind.
This paper will attempt to explain Descartes’ first argument for the distinction that exists between mind and body. Dualism is a necessary aspect of Descartes’ metaphysics and epistemology. This distinction is important within the larger framework of Meditations on First Philosophy (1641) because after doubting everything (body, extension, senses, etc.), Descartes comes to the conclusion that because he doubts, he must be a thinking thing and therefore exist (p.43). This means that the mind must be separate and independent from the body. One can doubt that the body exists while leaving the mind intact. To doubt that the mind exists, however, is contradictory. For if the mind does not exist, how, or with what, is that doubt being accomplished.
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.
With the emergence of the scientific revolution in the 17th century, views of society and nature were transformed throughout Europe. There were great developments in mathematics, physics, astronomy, biology, and chemistry. The world and its views were changing, and with that change, came a new change in thought, a new change in philosophy. Apart from ancient Greek philosophy, which was centered on finding order in a vast variety of things by searching for a fundamental amalgamating principle, Descartes sought to establish order via some fundamental division. Descartes understands and expresses that what we know about our mind is more definite than what we know about the world outside our mind. Descartes’