For Years, Philosophers Have Debated The Mind-Body Problem,

1195 WordsFeb 11, 20175 Pages
For years, philosophers have debated the mind-body problem, the issue of what mental phenomena are and how they relate to the physical world. Philosopher Descartes believed in substance dualism, the belief that the mind and the body are two different things. In this essay, I will examine Descartes’ substance dualism theory. First, I will review Descartes’s theory and reasons that support it. Then, I will review objections with Descartes’s argument. After that, I will imagine how Descartes would respond to these objections. Finally, I will conclude with an overall assessment. Descartes’ substance dualism theory was formed in the seventeenth century when religion and science seemed to disapprove one another. Descartes eased the tension…show more content…
Descartes also supports his substance dualism theory with the divisibility argument: if two things are the same, they must have the same properties; if two things have different properties, they are not the same; if minds are not divisible into parts and bodies are divisible into parts, then minds and bodies do not have the same properties; therefore, the mind and body are distinct, and dualism is true. Since its introduction in the seventeenth century, the substance dualism theory has explained how the mind can be separate from the body through different supported arguments. Although Descartes’ substance dualism theory has arguments that support it, it also has arguments that disprove it. Philosophers have criticized Descartes’ conceivability argument because the mind existing without the body is doubtful. Philosopher Theodore Shick, Jr. states that if everyone had only a mind but not a body, we would only be able to think and feel; we would not be able to do any physical activities. We could possibly talk to one another with a special device, but we would find difficulty in determining who we are communicating with because we would not have any distinct physical features. Therefore, living without

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