The Philosophical Beliefs Of Substance Dualism And Modern Materialism

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(675)Question 1: An Examination of the Philosophical Traditions of Substance Dualism and modern Materialism

The tradition of Substance Dualism was formulated by Rene Descartes to define the differing modes of the soul that function in the human mind. The dualistic aspect of this philosophy is based on the presence of a higher power, such as God, that provides the essence of the mind through the soul, yet the human body is separated from this process. Therefore, Descartes sought to divide the mind from the material body as a method of defining the limitations of the body in relation to the immortality of the soul as part of God’s creation. In this manner, Descartes sought to define the perfection of the “god mind” in the human soul, which allows the mind to perceive objects without subjective interference of personal bias: “Accordingly, it is true that when I think only of God (when I look upon myself as coming from God, Fr. ), and turn wholly to him, I discover [in myself] no cause of error or falsity (para.4). This is an important evaluation substance dualism because the human body defines the “substance” of materialism and the human soul is part of the metaphysical/spiritual perception of truth through God. These are the important aspects of the dualism of the mind and body that Descartes defines in the ideology of Substance Dualism. The complexity of modern Materialism defines a less theological/metaphysical exanimation of the body and mind, which expands upon
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