Descartes And The Mind And Body Essay

Descartes And The Mind And Body Essay

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Descartes states that the mind and body are two separate substances. I will argue against this claim for there are three reasons to not believe Descartes. The first reason is that we generally come to know things through our senses. Second, there is no empirical evidence to support other minds. Third, there is a close connection between the mind and the body.
Descartes theory of substance dualism states that there is a difference between the mind and the body; your mental state is not affected by your physical state. He thought that there was no reliable method to acquire certain knowledge, and the state of the mind does not equal the state of the world. This drove him to search for certain knowledge; if we can know anything for sure. In his First Meditation, Cartesian doubt is the first case Descartes used to explain how the mind and body are separate. The process of being skeptical towards how true a belief is, was brought on through the senses. Sensory experience is how we come to know things in the world around us. Descartes argued that our senses cannot be trusted because they sometimes deceive us. Since the senses are unreliable, this lead Descartes to question all things that he currently knew. To avoid being fooled by the Evil Demon that could be tricking his senses, Descartes used comprehensive doubt by “[considering himself] as having no hands, no eyes, no flesh, no blood, and no senses” (Descartes, 1641, p11). He cast away the thoughts of having a physical body, and with that his senses; if the mind and the body are two separate substances, then the demon can only deceive his physical properties. This connected Descartes to his Second Meditation where “the nature of the human mind […] is more easily known than the bod...


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... brain will not tell us anything about his colour perception because we are not Fred’s own conscious mind. We do not possess his qualia, therefore, we are unable to view his qualities of consciousness. This brings on the ‘What is it like to be argument’. Being someone other than yourself remains unknown to you because you can only know what that is like if you are that person. These arguments posed by Jackson tie into why I argue against Descartes. There is no empirical evidence to support other minds. The Cogito can only prove your own existence; you cannot prove someone else’s because you do not possess their qualities of consciousness. It is true that if you are a thinking thing, you exist, but you have no evidence to know whether or not someone else is also a thinking thing. That is the final reason as to why I disagree with Descartes’ case on Substance Dualism.

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Descartes And The Mind And Body Essay

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