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Substance Dualism Analysis

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Most famously advocated by René Descartes, substance dualism is an intuitive doctrine holding that minds, which are essentially thinking and consist of mental substance, and bodies, which necessarily have extension and are made of material substance, are ontologically separate entities. As the mental and material have entirely different natures, a mind cannot be equivalent to a body and human beings, therefore, must be mixtures of the two substances. Despite lacking properties in common, minds and bodies are connected through the capacity of each to causally affect the other (Kim 34). However, regardless of how commonsensical and attractive this view may initially appear, Descartes and subsequent dualists have all contended with a multitude of complications surrounding mental causation.…show more content…
If conceiving of the mind as a substance independent of the physical substance of the body results in the mind being causally secluded, then the mind has no important explanatory role and there is no compelling reason to be a substance dualist (50). In this paper I will first describe a few strengths of dualism and explicate the “pairing problem” that is raised against it. Aferward, I will evaluate the impact of Kim's objection and argue, ultimately, that mental substance cannot feasibly be connected to material substance in the way necessary for causal interaction without appeal to location within
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