Rene Descartes Mind Body Dualism

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There are many different theories and angles regarding the idea of mind-body dualism. Several well-known philosophers and psychologist have come up with their own ideas and interpretations, and people are continuing to do so, but Cartesian dualism (René Descartes’ theory) remains the most widely recognized. After Descartes time, the dualist approach was advanced and modified by Karl Popper and John Eccles, a neurophysiologist, in 1977. These two believed in a form of dualism called “interactionism.” Interactionism argues that “there are aspects of mental processes which cannot be accomplished by physical processes; for example, our ability to generate abstract ideas including mathematical ideas, scientific thoughts and literature” (Chung…show more content…
68). An example of a theory created by materialist philosophers is the mind-brain type identity theory. This theory claims that a specific mental state is identical to a type of neural event taking place. Therefore, dualism would be nonexistent. One common debate in favor of mind-body dualism is that we can access our minds instantly. We have “privileged access” to our minds (Chung & Hyland, 2012, p. 69). Whereas, we do not have direct access to our physical brains, as we can only find out the physiological processes indirectly. That being said, our minds and brains cannot be the same thing, therefore supporting dualistic beliefs. One of the biggest non-materialist debates has to do with consciousness. Consciousness can be thought of in different ways, such as being awake versus asleep, in a state of perceiving things, or simply active neuronal activity. Non-materialists often argue that there is another level of consciousness. This level is known as “phenomenal consciousness” or “qualia” (Chung & Hyland, 2012, p. 70). Qualia is a conscious experience in which the individual feels something that cannot be explained in physical terms. It is a sensation, feeling, or perception that is specific to the individual. These are just a few of the more popular takes
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