Cartesian Dualism, Substance Dualism And Property Dualism Essays

Cartesian Dualism, Substance Dualism And Property Dualism Essays

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The first three perspectives of philosophy of mind are of dualism. They are Cartesian dualism, substance dualism, and property dualism. Cartesian dualism is the view “That mind and body are completely independent of one another and interact causally,” (Vaughn 198). The major flaw of Cartesian dualism is that it is incompatible with science (Vaughn 206). It violates the causal closure of the physical, which affirms a physical cause for every physical effect and that nonphysical or mental causes are excessive (Vaughn 206-207). Substance dualism is the idea “That mind and body consist of two fundamentally different kinds of stuff, or substances,” (Vaughn 198). The major flaw of substance dualism is that it conflicts with the basic law of the conservation of mass-energy. In summary the flaw is that substance dualism creates spiritual energy that violates the law of conservation because the amount of energy in the universe is constant (Vaughn 207). Property dualism is the view “That mental properties are nonphysical properties arising from, but not reducible to, physical properties,” (Vaughn 224). Essentially, the major flaw with property dualism is similar to substance dualism, that is there is no way of creating nonphysical properties that interact with physical properties (Vaugh 220). All three of these perspectives best mesh with the epistemological view of skepticism, that is “The view that we lack knowledge in some fundamental way,” (Vaughn 317). This is because the three dualism perspectives view the mental and physical as distinct, and skepticism accounts for the lack of knowledge in some areas, like the mental in the three dualisms.
The next perspectives on the philosophy of mind come from materialism. Materialism is the “Doct...


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...00). The major flaw with this argument of mind is that it fails to account for the subjective, qualitative feel of consciousness (Vaughn 213). Overall these arguments state that “Functionalism must be false because it is possible to introduce appropriate functional organization into some system and yet, contrary to functionalist claims, no mental states are brought into existence,” (Vaughn 213-214). That is merely being in a functional state does not mean there is a qualitative mental state (Vaughn 214). Functionalism best meshes with the epistemological view of empiricism, that is “The view that our knowledge of the empirical world comes solely from sense experience,” (Vaughn 317). This is because functionalism treats the mind as a machine that turns physical inputs into physical outputs and empiricism is similar that knowledge comes from physical sense experiences.

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