Descartes and Dualism Essay -- Dualism Essays

substance dualism. My personal experiences as a religion student give me insight

The second argument is the Argument from clear and distinct perception, and is the part of The Meditations where Descartes attempts to prove that the mind is without doubt distinct from the body. After proposing that all people are thinking things and not physical things, Descartes goes on to argue that the mind is not only separate from the body, but can also live without it. The train of thought follows that if two things can exist apart from one another, then they must be two distinct and separate things. If it is possible to imagine that these two things could exist apart, then God must be able to bring it about. So if God can bring it about that these two things do exist apart, they must therefore be distinct from each other. If this is then applied to body and mind, then it is possible that the two are distinct, as they both exhibit properties that they do not share with the other (thought belongs to the self, and extension belongs to the body). If the mind is therefore distinct from the body, then it is possible to exist as a mind without the body.

result, the term Interactionism was used to explain the relation between the physical and mental. Descartes' theory of Substance Dualism was his best way of explaining human life and how our minds are able to interact with our bodies. Of course, not everyone is going to agree with Descartes theory. There are many objections one can make about Substance Dualism, but mainly there are three. First of all, some believe causal interaction between the body and mind is a physical phenomenon.…

The suggested new ways of conceiving of the rational universe, both physical and spiritual. Although some of his ideas were strongly opposed by contemporary religious thinkers, they were very influential in directing the course of the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century as well as the rationalism of the eighteenth-century French Enlightenment. Descartes' dualism was eventually eclipsed by the monistic systems of Benedictus de Spinoza, Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. However, as late-nineteenth-century philosophy turned away from grand systems and focused its attention on the thinking subject, Descartes' ideas elicited renewed interest among philosophers and scientists. For example, the influence of Cartesian rationalism can be discerned in such important modern schools of thought as phenomenology and structuralism. Cartesian thinking has affected researchers in a variety of fields, including psychology and linguistics, as evidenced by Noam Chomsky's strong emphasis on innate, mental, non-empirical factors operant in the process of language acquisition. So, the and the continue to be central to the Western intellectual tradition.

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Consider first the universal character of doubt — theneed “to demolish everything completely and start again rightfrom the foundations” (Med. 1, AT 7:17). The point is notmerely to apply doubt to all candidates for Knowledge,but to apply doubt collectively. Descartes offers thefollowing analogy:

Descartes Dualism Essay - 1488 Words - StudyMode

Evidently, Descartes holds that the universal andhyperbolic character of methodic doubt is helpful to itssuccess. Further appeal to the architectural analogy helps elucidatewhy. Incorporating these features enables the method to moreeffectively identify first principles. Making doubt universal andhyperbolic helps to distinguish genuine unshakability from the mereappearance of it.

Rene Descartes & Dualism Essay Sample - …

In short, the success of the cogito does not presupposeDescartes' mind-body dualism.

Ryle's thesis in The Concept of Mind isthat the official doctrine, as he calls Cartesian dualism, has centralprinciples that are unsound, and that "conflict with everything we knowabout minds when we are not speculating about them."The official doctrine, as Ryle lays it out, maintains that (1) everyperson has both a body and a mind, (2) that they are normally harnessedtogether, and that (3) after the death of the body the mind maycontinue to exist and function. Bodies are believed to exist in space,are subject to mechanical laws, and their states can be observedexternally. Minds are not in space, are not subject to mechanical laws,and their workings are inscrutable to other observers. A person thushas two collateral histories, what happens in and to his body, and whathappens in and to his mind. A person is supposed to have direct andincontrovertible cognizance of what is momentarily occupying theirmind. Thus, bodies and the physical world are external, and the mindbecomes internal. This metaphor of 'the inner and outer' gives rise tothe assumption that there are two kinds of existence. Physicalexistence has the necessary feature of being in space and time, and iscomposed of matter. Mental existence has the necessary feature of beingin time, but not in space, and is composed of consciousness. Mindbecomes a disembodied 'thing' or "the Ghost in the Machine."Ryle maintains that Descartes was confronted by conflicting motives. Asa scientist he could not help but endorse Galileo's mechanics, but as aman of God, he could not accept, like Hobbes, that human nature differsonly in degree from a clock work. Descartes, and others, thusstipulated that since mental words don't signify the occurrence ofphysical processes, they must signify the occurrence of non-physicalprocesses. But the grammar of mechanics was still used. We talk aboutthe mental, just like the physical, with words like 'thing,' 'stuff,''process,' ' change,' 'cause,' ' effect,' etc. But how are mindssupposed to affect bodies? Also, concepts, such as responsibility andchoice become inapplicable. Thus, Ryle describes the official doctrineas a category-mistake because it "represents the facts of mental lifeas if they belonged to one logical type or category, when they actuallybelong to another."

Rene Descartes & Dualism Essay Sample

I think, hence I am, was so certain and of such evidence, that no ground of doubt, however extravagant, could be alleged by the sceptics capable of shaking it, I concluded that I might, without scruple, accept it as the first principle of the philosophy of which I was in search.
(Rene Descartes)


Cartesian dualism backs up Rene Descartes mind-body problem in the second and sixth meditations

Rene started his empirical investigation through a process of doubting everything, including his own existence, in order to arrive at the indubitable truth. This led to his famous dictum/conclusion, “cogito ego sum” or in English, “I think therefore I am”. At least, despite his ideas that were so innovative about the physical, Descartes didn’t doubt that the conscious mind existed separately at a non-physical level. He is thus regarded as a dualist who thought of two realms that were separate though in constant interaction, the material and the mental (Robinson, 2003. pp. 85).

Rene Descartes: Cartesian Dualism Essay …

At the heart of Descartes' philosophical method was his refusal to accept the authority of previous philosophers, and even of the evidence of his own senses, and to trust only that which was clearly and distinctly seen to be beyond any doubt (a process often referred to as methodological skepticism or Cartesian doubt or hyperbolic doubt). Only then did he allow himself to reconstruct knowledge (piece by piece, such that at no stage was the possibility of doubt allowed to creep back in) in order to acquire a firm foundation for genuine knowledge and to dispel any .

with his Cartesian Dualism, Descartes managed to doubt even this law

Several years have now elapsed since I first became aware that I had accepted, even from my youth, many false opinions for true, and that consequently what I afterwards based on such principles was highly doubtful: and from that time I was convinced of the necessity of undertaking once in my life to rid myself of all the opinions I had adopted, and of commencing anew the work of building from the foundation, if I desired to establish a firm and abiding superstructure in the sciences.
(Rene Descartes).