Essay about Descartes ' Argument On Substance Dualism

Essay about Descartes ' Argument On Substance Dualism

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This paper will be discussing René Descartes’ argument on substance dualism, and more specifically the argument of separation of the mind and the body. Descartes proposes the argument of substance dualism in defense of the view that there are two types of substances: the mental substance and the physical substance. Therefore, substance dualism also states that the mind is a mental substance which is separate from the body, despite both having a connection to each other. This view is in contrast to the more popular physicalist view, which states that all entities in the world are solely physical.
In this essay, I will argue that Descartes’ argument that attempts to call into question the physical is unsound. The reasoning behind Descartes’ argument lies in his sixth meditation, which states that (a) The mind is understood to be indivisible, (b) The body is understood to be divisible, so therefore, (c) The mind must be different from the body (Descartes 52-57). I will be arguing for this view of the separation of body and mind, and in conclusion, I will provide a counter-argument to Descartes’ proposal.
This argument, which argues for the belief that substance dualism is in fact true, is called the mind-body separation argument. This argument revolves around the following train of thought: (a) Due to the assumption that the mind is an immaterial thing simply by the nature of the mind, we can safely assume that the mind is an indivisible thing, (b) Due to the assumption about the physical nature of the body, we can safely assume that the body is a divisible thing, and therefore, (c) the mind and the body must be separate entities. Descartes fails to explain in detail his logical explanations to prove (a) and (b) to be true, because o...


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...e, it is possible that the mind and the body can interact with each other. Another counter-argument is a very simple one: it is inherently incorrect to question the nature of how the mind and the body are connected, because it is a given event that will always take place, given that a mind and body exists to be joined together. This argument is also given by Descartes in his response to Princess Elizabeth’s argument concerning the mind-body problem. Both of these points suffice as a counterpoint to the criticism of this mind-body problem.
This essay has established the argument of substance dualism that Descartes employs, namely the divisibility argument of the mind and the body. Despite critiques of this arguments that call into question the nature of mind-body correlation, there is still a sound argument for the stance that the mind is truly separate from the body.

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