Descartes: Shedding Light on the Mind Body Relationship Essay

Descartes: Shedding Light on the Mind Body Relationship Essay

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Many philosophers have tried to explain the distinction between the mind and body. They have tried to explain how the body affects the mind and how the mind affects the body and if they can exist without one another. The reason was to enlighten people in the attempt to replace faith in religion reasoning with proof of scientific facts and reasoning. One philosopher who stood out and developed this movement to shed light on the mind and body relationship was a French philosopher by the name of Descartes. His work called Meditation was written in attempt to prove the mind and body as being two separate parts; and how they are independent to one another. This allowed him to uncover his only truth he could not deny which was "I think, therefore I am", (Descartes II) which he believes he can exist without a body. He established the only thing that can not be doubted is his existence, which must be distinct and separate from everything else including the body.
First he shows the difference between pure intellect or understanding and imagination. He uses the example “When I imagine a triangle I only conceive that is a figure comprehended by three lines”. (Descartes IV) This is saying we can only imagine or think of something that we can only understand. He supports this by using him trying to imagine a figure with a thousand sides in which he argues we can not do, if we do not know how an object looks. “These ideas must come from someplace; they must exist either in me or in something else, a certain active faculty of producing or bringing about these ideas." (Descartes IV) Therefore the action of the mind influences the actions of the body. Descartes also gives another example of being “Informed by parties whose arm or leg had been a...


... middle of paper ...


...on just because someone can’t imagine it or see it happening does not make it non existence in my mind.
In conclusion I appreciate Descartes challenging us to think outside the box on the relationship between the mind and body but he did not prove the mind and the body as being separated. When I think of the word separate I think of the word disassociated. It is clear the mind and the body are connected in some way in which they need each other to function. He did prove they were different on how they function. He showed the different roles each one plays in our existence in our everyday life, but in my opinion he did not prove them to be separated in a sense. In the mediations it just proves to me that the mind and the body need each other in order to work. Therefore if two things need each other to work they are not separate from each other they are connected.

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