Analyzing Individuation and Identity In Descartes´ Philosophical View of the Mind-Body Dualism

Analyzing Individuation and Identity In Descartes´ Philosophical View of the Mind-Body Dualism

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Every since Plato introduced the idea of dualism thousands of years ago meta-physicians have been faced with the mind-body problem. Even so Plato idea of dualism did not become a major issue of debate in the philosophical world until the seventeenth century when French philosopher Rene Descartes publicized his ideas concerning the mental and physical world. During this paper, I will analyze the issue of individuation and identity in Descartes’ philosophical view of the mind-body dualism. I will first start by explaining the structure of Cartesian dualism. I will also analyze the challenges of individuation and identity as they interact with Descartes. With a bit of luck, subsequently breaking down Descartes’ reasoning and later on offering my response, I can present wit a high degree of confidence that the problems of individuation and identity offer a hindrance to the Cartesians’ principle of mind-body dualism. I give a critical analysis of these two problems, I will first explain the basis of Descartes’ philosophical views.

Surprisingly dualism has become synonymous with Rene Descartes that often times it is many just referred to by many as Cartesian dualism, as if this was the decisive line of attack to the issue. The theory behind dualism is that the mind and the body, that mind and matter, are two distinct things. Descartes well-thought-out the difficulty of the location of the mind and came to the conclusions that the mind was a completely separate entity from the body. Descartes stated that he is a subject of conscious thought and experience and thus cannot be nothing more than spatially extended matter. The fundamental nature of the human being, or the mind, are unable to be material but are obliged to be no...


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...ment. As with individuation, Strawson along with his fellow anti-Cartesians can accurately distinguish in the same way that I'm able to accurately identified myself as the same person I was 5 years ago. Under the Descartes' philosophy one cannot identify the same mind over time, and therefore are unable to speak “coherently” (as Strawson put by) about mind.

Using Strawson’s examination as a guide to Descartes philosophy,i have tried to show how the two issues, of individuation and identity threaten to destroy Descartes’ philosophy of mind-body dualism.
I have been a firm believer of the anti-Cartesian argument that in order to join together one mind with one body Cartesians and anti-Cartesians are consider vital principles by Strawson, so one must think the mind as something dependent on someone, and not a separate entity altogether, as Descartes would argue.

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