René Descartes believed that the mind and body are separate; that the senses could not always be trusted, but that because we as humans are able to think about our existence, we possess some sort of entity separate than our fleshly body. I believe this separate entity to be a soul”an immaterial and
One may first look at the argument contained within Descartes’ book Meditations on First Philosophy. In the sixth meditation Descartes states “On the one hand I have a clear and distinct idea of myself, in so far as I am simply a thinking, non-extended thing and on the other hand I have a distinct idea of body, in so far as this is simply an extended, non-thinking thing. And accordingly, it is certain that I am really distinct from my body, and can
Descartes concludes from his first meditation that he is a thinking thing, and as long as he thinks, he exists. In the second meditation, Descartes attempts to define what the “thinking thing” that he concluded himself to be in the first meditation actually was. Descartes’ determines that he gains knowledge of the world, that is, knowledge that is separate from the mind, through the senses; and that the senses can deceive. This he outlines within the first meditation, and mentions on the second meditation. Furthermore, in the second meditation, Descartes refuses to define himself as a rational animal, instead going back and relying on labeling him mind as a thinking thing. In the fifth and sixth paragraphs of the second meditation, Descartes distinguishes the body from the soul. Descartes indicates that there is the presence of the body, and it seems to be in the physical world, but he also notes that his mind does not seem to exist in the same manner. Descartes also claims that the ability to perceive is a power of the soul, but inoperable without the body. Descartes then explores another object with physical substance, which is a piece of wax. The piece of wax is undeniably physical; it takes up space within the material world. The body falls into the category, just as any other physical object in the material world. The main point of Descartes’ second meditation is that any given person can know more about their mind than of the world surrounding them.
By the first premise Descartes refers to an activity that the body does not participate in. For instance, perception and walking are two activities which either directly requires the body (walking) or relies upon the body (perception). The activity of thinking can be done without a body. You can clearly and distinctly imagine yourself without a body, but you cannot imagine not thinking. Premise 2 indicates this distinction even more. Since the activity of thinking is separate from the body then this activity does not fall into doubt. Anything the body senses or is part of the body can be doubted because the mind’s eye would only perceive the image the body creates which has previously be shown to be dubious. A possible objection is that Descartes is pointing to another representation which the body has created. For instance, the body has created the image of thinking which the mind’s eye views. In addition, could we not be dreaming and thus deceived that we are thinking or could there be a demon deceiving
In the Meditations, Rene Descartes attempts to doubt everything that is possible to doubt. His uncertainty of things that existence ranges from God to himself. Then he goes on to start proving that things do exist by first proving that he exists. After he establishes himself he can go on to establish everything else in the world. Next he goes to prove that the mind is separate then the body. In order to do this he must first prove he has a mind, and then prove that bodily things exist. I do agree with Descartes that the mind is separate from the body. These are the arguments that I agree with Descartes.
Like many people today, Descartes believed that the mind and soul were separate. He believed that the mind’s purpose was only for “thinking” and “non-extended” things. While, the body is an extension; non-thinking. Descartes thought that the mind and body were different substances, thus they
Something very essential to know about Descartes is his idea of Cogito Ergo Sum; I think, therefore I am. He believes that he exists because he is thinking, making him a thinking thing. Descartes first premise states, "I have a clear and distinct idea of myself, in so far as I am simply a thinking, non-extended thing" (Descartes, 54). The first thing that we need to understand from this premise is what Descartes means by extended; to occupy space. So, since he believes that he is not an extended thing, it follows that he does not take up space. Given this, he looked inside himself and saw no parts within his mind, no space or boundaries that his mind contains. In addition, the mind provides a place for free will and faith, which are not parts but different ways of thinking. He rationalizes this by making the mind of a qualitative substance. By saying that only things that can be measured must be of a material substance and those things that cannot be measured are of a thought like substance. The relation between body and mind now seem to be more divided since he believes that his mind is not extended. In short, this premise states that the mind has no parts, making it indivisible.
Descartes discusses the existence of the human mind as a separate entity from the human body, including the a passage confirming his own existence as nothing but a thinking entity, in his writing Principles of Philosophy (I. 63-65). Following his rejection of all knowledge, in order to divide what was false from what could be proven, Descartes strives to prove the existence of his own mind, as a basis from which to prove the existence of the rest of the universe. I think his premise is flawed, Through the concept of doubt, he finds a contradiction (I am thinking about not
Since Descartes was able to think, he knew that he existed ultimately. With this in mind, Descartes reckoned that a person 's "self" illustrates their identity. Descartes states: “that he possesses a body intimately conjoined... and that he has a clear and distinct idea of himself, inasmuch...it is certain that this I [that is to say, my soul by which I am what I am], is entirely and absolutely distinct from my body, and can exist without it" (Descartes, Meditations On First Philosophy, pg.29). In fact, Descartes proposes that the body connects dually with the mind, which he believes the body is "divisible", and the mind as "indivisible", but he also informs the readers that he knows certainly who he is. Not only did Descartes deem this information as true, but he was adamant about the possibility of living without a soul. In particular, Descartes depicts a vivid picture of how the
Descartes’ Meditation 6 explains the distinction between the mind and body. He explains that he is confused as to why his mind is attached to a particular body to which he calls his own. He questions why pain or tickling happens in his own body but does not occur in any body outside of his own and why a tugging feeling in his stomach tells him that he is hungry and that he should eat. From this, he perceives that he is only a thinking thing. The idea of a body is merely extended and the mind is
Descartes has a very distinct thought when thinking about the mind, and how it relates to the body, or more specifically then brain. He seems to want to explain that the mind in itself is independent from the body. A body is merely a physical entity that could be proven to be true scientifically and also can be proven through the senses. Such things are not possible with the meta-physical mind because it is independent of the body. Building on his previous premises, Descartes finally proves whether material things exist or not and determines whether his mind and body are separate from each other or not. In Meditation Six, Descartes lays the foundation for dualism which has become one of the most important arguments in philosophy.
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.
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