Premium Essay

Cartesian Dualism Theory

Submitted By
Words 687
Pages 3
4.1. The first Philosopher who tried to answer this problem and solve them was Rene Descartes. Based from Principia Philosophiae (2.002). He proposed the Cartesian Dualism theory. He said that human Consciousness lies within an immaterial and material domain.

4.1.1. res cogitans (the realm of thought). Descartes is famously known for his words “I think therefore I am”.

4.1.2. res extensa (the realm of extension). This is known as the domain of physical or material things. 4.2. Although the proposal of Descartes has been widely accepted by many philosophers. There are some who do not agree and they are known as the monist. They believe that a variety of existing things can be explained in terms of a single reality or substance.

4.2.1. Physicallism
…show more content…
Many Philosophers believe that experience is the very essence of Consciousness. That it is something that happens from the inside and not visible to anyone. But if this is true then how can an individual define that other individuals to be conscious but rocks and trees are not. Philosophy called this problem the “Problem of other Minds”.

5.1. Based from Robert Kirk. Some Philosophers believe in a Philosophical zombie. These are living things or creature that is physically indistinguishable from other human beings but can feel and act like human beings but lack Consciousness. The thought of how can someone identify other living things conscious and others just not are further studied by scientists and philosophers alike using artificial intelligence.

5.2. According to Alec Hyslop, we perceive other people to be conscious just like us because they resemble us in appearance and behavior: we reason that if they look like us and act like us, they must be like us in other ways, including having experiences of the sort that we do.

5.3. On the other hand based from Stevan Harnad’s book "Why and how we are not zombies". Philosophers who do not believe in the possibility of zombies generally believe that consciousness is reflected through behavior and the ability of other individuals to speak about their past

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Cartestian Dualism vs. the Identity Theory

...Cartesian Dualism vs. the Identity Theory Dualism is a view that attempts to explain the relationship between mind and matter. Aristotle and Plato have tackled their version on dualism. Cartesian means “pertaining to the thought of Descartes” according to Edward Feser, “Philosophy of Mind.” Cartesian Dualism originates from Rene Descartes whose version of dualism is well known and an accepted explanation of the mind and body being vastly different. Let’s go deeper in the thoughts of Descarte’s and the support to the validity of his view on dualism. According to Professor Edward Feser’s book “Philosophy of Mind” Descarte’s “dualism claims that there is a difference between the mind and the body. Basically the mind is different from the body. We need a body to sustain life, whereas Descarte’s view is that the mind is an immaterial object. The mind allows a person to think, hope, believe and even doubt. These exist only in the mind and not a physical object. They are not physical, but the body is. Cartesian dualism clearly separates the conscious (mind) as a separate non-material form. Now let’s look deeper into the physical aspects of the body and the physical aspect of the mind. Descarte’s view depicts the body and the mind as extremely different. The body is a materialistic object; it has height, width, has movement and takes up physical space. The body itself is full of chemicals, water, tissue, organs and a skeletal frame that makes the body a physical object. These...

Words: 1232 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Cartesian Dualism: the Mind/Body Problem as the Foundation for Modern Philosophy

...Mind; there is flora and there is fauna; there are things that we can modify and things that humans have no control over. One of the many ways to differentiate and classify everything and anything in the surrounding environment and, probably, one of the most universal ways, is to classify things as being either material or immaterial. It seems fairly easy to distinguish between the two. If we cannot touch, feel or see something, then it becomes the notion of the immaterial world. The rest belongs to the material things, which we can own, trade, purchase, possess, lose or give away. When Rene Descartes, one of the founders of the modern-day western philosophical science, laid the groundwork for his epistemological perspective called Cartesian Dualism, he was coming exactly from the same universal idea. The thoughts and hypotheses that Descartes tried so hard, throughout his lifetime’s work, to develop into axioms and prove to be fundamentally true, surprisingly remain highly debatable and are still largely in question. Philosophy is very much about the question of certainty. To a great extent, from the epistemological perspective, knowledge is certainty (Harris, 2009). Just as the case is with Plato, whose quest for certainty has driven his metaphysics to take it, as a prerequisite, that if something is known, then it cannot change (Frank et al., 2011), Descartes too attempted to deduce the formula that would be true for all cases. However, while for Plato, it was the Form......

Words: 1704 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Descertes Discussion descartes  DESCARTES (1596-1650) AND THE CARTESIAN DOGMA OF A MECHANICAL UNIVERSE theme:  Descartes is usually regarded as the founder of modern philosophy. His belief in the certainty of knowledge or 'truth' - the 'Cartesian belief' -  was the basis for his method of analytic reasoning - the 'Cartesian method' - which he claimed was a function of the 'soul' - 'Cartesian doctrine'. He viewed the universe as a machine designed by divine reason or 'God' - the 'Cartesian dogma'. Descartes' perception of 'human nature'... The "essence of human nature lies in thought, and all the things we conceive clearly and distinctly are true". In this way Descartes demonstrated the value of error and proved his doctrine - the 'Cartesian doctrine' - that human reason was a valid means of searching for certain knowledge or 'truth'. "Most ancient civilizations knew what we have forgotten: that knowledge is a fearful thing. To know the name of something is to hold power over it. In ancient myths and legends, eating from the tree of knowledge meant banishment from one garden or another. In the modern world, this Janus-like quality of knowledge has been forgotten. Descartes, for example, reached the conclusion that 'the more I sought to inform myself, the more I realized how ignorant I was.' Instead of taking this as a proper conclusion of a good education, Descartes thought ignorance was a solvable problem and set forth to find certain truth through a process of radical skepticism."......

Words: 3190 - Pages: 13

Premium Essay

Pros And Cons Of Cartesian Dualism

...The correspondence between philosopher René Descartes and the Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia from 1643 to 1649 give incredible insight not only into the person of René Descartes but the intricacies of his philosophical views, particularly as a critical review of his substance dualism. The core tenants of Cartesian dualism are (in brief) that; 1) There exists only two distinct types of substance; material substances (of the body and the physical realm – that is extended spatially) and immaterial substances (that make up the mind, rationality and the soul.) 2) In relation to the body – Descartes is a mechanist; such that the body operates like a machine, according to internal laws, reactivity to external stimuli. The soul or mind is capable of diverting these automated principles; such that we see the distinction between human reason and action, and the behaviour of animals....

Words: 1075 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

'We Are Basically Physical Beings.' to What Extent Do You Agree?

...Judeo-Christian ideas on the soul. The main argument I'm using to examine us being 'basically physical beings' is dualism and the connection between the mind, body and the soul. One of the first recorded forms of dualism was platonic dualism. Plato (429-347 BCE) believed that the body was physical and is rooted in the four dimensions of space and time which is subject to change, he called this the 'sarx'. But a 'being' also had another part, a soul, which existed in the world of forms and was made up of three distinct elements; reason, emotion and appetite. These three instincts in Plato’s view are what animates us. This therefore makes us not just physical beings. Plato though, saw the soul as pure or 'simple' and therefore the body was inferior something which trapped the soul until death. Plato appears to believe that the soul will be reborn in a new body after that. Aristotle (384-322 BCE) at the time also agreed that we had a 'soul'. But he believed that the body and soul were inseparable, this is the earlier monist ideas. Due to the soul and body not being able to separate this mean that the idea did not allow the soul to survive death. Aristotle did rethink this at times wondering if we did have non-physical elements to us, but it's not likely since he believed people couldn't live after death in any sense. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274 CE) was one of the first to integrate dualism into Christianity. Aquinas mainly followed Aristotle's view and believed that the......

Words: 1123 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

The Enlightenment

...enlightenment also promoted criticism, which meant everything had to be questioned to find the truth. The last of the philosophical assumptions is cosmopolitanism, the ideology that all human beings belong to a single community. All these assumptions contributed to the enlightenment, in a way that will change how the seventeenth century lived on a daily basis. John Locke’s essay on human understanding was the starting point of the enlightenment. He stated that all humans are born with their mind at a blank page, with knowledge and identity only developing with experience. He believed that there were no legitimate government under the rights of the Kings theory. The Kings theory was that God chose the rulers and if the ruler was being challenged, you are challenging God. Locke did not agree with this so he wrote his own theory stating that the power to be a governor should be granted by the people...

Words: 675 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Mind and Body

...Descartes: Well young man, let me explain a few things that will support my premise in a substantial way that may indeed change your position. First of all, the mind can exist without the present of the body. You see John; the existence of my body is dubitable whereas my mind is not. Therefore my mind does not consist of the same properties of my body. This is a clear distinction that my mind is separate from my body. John: Mr. Descartes, we can agree to disagree with some matters of the mind and body. I am troubled that many people think that they have a mind or soul and a body. I am also concerned that some people think they have all three. (Searle, 2004). Western Philosophers are often portraying some type of dualism and people have accepted this theory for many years. Descartes: And rightfully so Mr....

Words: 826 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Dualism In The Matrix

...In these scenes, dualism is clearly presented. Thus, calls into question on whether or not the mind and the body can exist without one another. Two philosophers, Arthur Schopenhauer and René Descartes came up with individual theories on the mind and body dualism. Arthur Schopenhauer saw the world as will and representation. He believed that we experience everything in the universe by its external aspects rather than their internal nature. The only thing we know internally is our own bodies, thus showing a connection between the mind-body dualism. Since he had a pessimistic worldview, he thought the world was full of illusions. This view relates to The Matrix because Morpheus describes to Neo that the world as we see it, is actually a dream world compared...

Words: 599 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Describe and Assess Dualism as a Theory of the Relation of Mind and Body.

...assess dualism as a theory of the relation of mind and body. Human beings are material objects. However, unlike other material objects (e.g. non-living things) humans have the ability to form judgements and reason their existence. Meaning to say that, human beings have 'minds'. In general, humans are characterised as having both a mind and body.  By definition, mind is referred to the mental processes, thought and consciousness whereas body is referred to the physical aspects of the brain-neurons and how the brain is structured. This is known as dualism.  In the philosophy of mind, dualism is the theory that the mental (mind) and the physical (body) are both real or exist, but both of them are different kinds of thing. The theory of mind-body dualism is presented by Rene Descartes (1596-1650), who holds that both mind and body are substances, in which the body is a material substance as it is extended in space whereas the mind is an unextended in space, and so called spiritual substance. According to Descartes, he believed that mind and body actually can interact through the pineal gland in the brain. In Descartes’s first principle of philosophy, “I think, therefore I am”, makes mind more certain than matter. It also showed that the mind which is a thinking thing can exist apart from its extended body. Hence, Descartes said that the mind is a substance that is different from the body (a substance whose essence is thought). This became known as “Substance Dualism”......

Words: 1196 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay


...The distinction between our body, our minds and how they interact has long been a question discussed between philosophers of the mind. In this essay I shall begin by setting out the differences in beliefs about the location and form that the mind takes, focusing on the ways in which dualists define the mind and the body. Then I will explain the ways in which substance dualists, those who argue that there is a dualism of substances of the mind and body, have attempted to explain the apparent interaction between the mind and body, whilst setting up objects to the theories. I will conclude that Cartesian dualism is the most plausible theory of mind, as it is the most conceivable and argues the mind-body interaction that seems to exist, actually does. I will define a mind by defining those things that have minds as contain a mind are capable of self-directed motion and which have mental states - cognitive, conative and affective states- such as beliefs and desires and sensations. Therefore something that has these qualities has a mind in which mental states are contained. Dualists argue that the mind is not physical and does not have physical mental states, such as brain states, but rather that it is a non-physical entity, entirely separate from the body, and sharing no properties of physical matter such as mass or location. They also maintain "there is something about consciousness that eludes the explanatory apparatus of physical science " and therefore needs further...

Words: 253 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Comparing Descartes And Elisabeth Of Bohemia

...Elisabeth of Bohemia was an intellectual figure during the same period as Descartes. The two would consistently write to each other concerning philosophical issues between the years 1643 and 1649. Elisabeth of Bohemia was more Aristotelian, meaning that actions between the body and mind are “accepted as true and in harmony with one another, provided they are interpreted properly” (Correspondence, 22). As a political activist, she believes that the study of philosophy is too abstract to be considered political. Unlike Descartes, Elisabeth believes that the Cartesian mind carries various physical elements. She thinks that the mind causing a physical body to interact is unrealistic. It is a two-way street. The mind can affect the body, just as the body can affect the mind. To her, something that is immaterial cannot make something material move. Descartes’ idea is that the mind holds no physical aspects, Elisabeth of Bohemia falls in between. She believes that there are some material components to the mind. She does not understand how a nonphysical thing can cause the movement or interaction of a physical thing. In a letter, she...

Words: 562 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Rene Descartes: Mediations on First Philosophy

...statement I think, therefore I am include, Descartes doubtfulness of all things he once believed to be true (which he says has been false lies to have been told to him all of his life) (A. w. Bailey, First Philosphy, Second Edition 26-28), secondly his three proofs for his skepticism mentioned in the first piece of evidence listed previously (Descartes asking if he is dreaming or if he is really awake, his painters argument of how dream like/ images arise from real things, and an evil like demon trying to trick Rene Descartes into thinking that he is not actually in existence), thirdly the wax argument (aka the change of shape and how its perceived through the mind), and finally the distinction of the mind and the body (the famous concept of dualism) where Descartes realizes that he thinks and therefore it must mean that he does in fact exist. The first piece...

Words: 1853 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Compare and Contrast

...Comparison and Contrast Descartes ' Theory of Knowledge Rene Descartes is one of the most renowned rationalists of the modern age who asserts that knowledge can be obtained by means of reason. He claims that in the acquisition of knowledge one should be able to distinguish what is true and what is false. This leads to his opposition against the idea of experience as a source of knowledge As Descartes claims it, one should not rely on experience as a source of knowledge for the reason that experience is deceptive as how a person's sensory organs can bring deception with the way he or she perceives things (i.e. the bending of the pencil when submerged in water). Descartes furthers states that because of this fallibility of experience one cannot really arrive at true knowledge by merely being dependent on what he or she perceives through experience. As a result of Descartes treatment of experience, he suggests that to attain genuine and true knowledge, one should defer his or her judgment on things that are represented to him or her by experience unless such are presently proven to be unquestionable. Descartes is a perplexity in many ways. Although he has a refreshing distaste for the voodoo logic of his day steeped as it was in the questionable science of the scholastic movement, when provoked he was equally capable of skewing his own thinking when confronted with the entrenched doctrine of the church. His philosophy and logic, called Cartesian was important because he......

Words: 1088 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Against Dualisms: a Response to Henry Sullivan*

...Cervantes Society of America FORUM Against Dualisms: A Response to Henry Sullivan* HOWARD MANCING n a recent essay entitled “Don Quixote de la Mancha: Analyzable or Unanalyzable?” published in this journal, Henry W. Sullivan makes the case for the psychoanalysis of literary characters. While there is much to ponder in Sullivan's essay, there are two points, both involving dualisms, that I would like to discuss. In the first case, Sullivan argues insightfully and convincingly against an absolute distinction between how we know and think about fictional characters and how we know and think about real people. In the second case, however, Sullivan insists on an absolute (Cartesian) mind-body dualism as a cornerstone of psychoanalytic theory. I would like to repeat and extend Sullivan's argument in the first case, but refute it and deny its validity in the second. First dualism: Fact/Fiction Sullivan cites as representative of a certain widely-shared approach Maud Ellmann's insistence that there is an important distinction between a “human being made of flesh and character made of words” (5), a distinction that allows us to make one kind statement about the former but not the latter. Ellmann is not alone in making the real-life/fictional distinction a fundamental matter of ontology. We are all familiar with arguments like hers, having heard * For a response to this response, see “Don Quixote & the ‘Third Term’ as Solvent of Binary Dualisms: A Response to Howard......

Words: 7711 - Pages: 31

Premium Essay

Mind and Body

...There is a major debate in philosophy called the mind and body debate. This is the debate about what gives us our personal identity as to whether it is our minds, our bodies or whether it is both. A number of philosophers have commented on the mind and body debate. These are dualists, monists and materialists all of which have theories explaining what gives us our personal identity. Dualists believe that the mind and body are separate, monists believe that the mind and body are one but can be separated and materialism is the view that there is no such thing as a mind or a soul and that when we die we die. Philosophers such as Plato and Descartes are dualists. In this dualist argument, Plato presents four arguments for the immortality of the soul which are cyclical – everything comes into existence from its opposite which sets up the cycle of birth and death, recollection- Plato believed that the knowledge we acquire is not learnt but remembered or recollected. Plato believed that the soul existed in a realm of forms before coming into the body, where it acquires this knowledge. As evidence of this he cites the slave boy who has no education but can grasp complex mathematical concepts just like the film ‘Good will hunting’, Affinity – Plato believed that the body has an affinity with the earth and that the soul has the affinity with the eternal real of forms. Because the soul is composite, at death it is dispersed at death and so it returns to the real of form to which it......

Words: 1844 - Pages: 8