Arguments Against Dualism

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Arguments Against Dualism


The debate as to the true nature of human beings, the existence of free will and the validity of science is centered on two philosophical theories; dualism and materialism. Under dualism, the proponents believe that there are two kinds of matter that make up human beings which is the physical presence and the non-physical mind or soul . Materialism on the one hand proposes that man and matter is one and the same thing and there cannot be in existence any other non-physical entity therefore . Materialism is one of the major theories that greatly oppose dualism.

Arguments against Dualism

Before we proceed to critique dualism, it is imperative we first understand the arguments that dualists put forward in regards to the exact nature of their theory. Descartes was one of the major proponents of this theory. Dualists generally believe that things exist in or are composed of two different things or entities. Descartes believed that in regards to human beings that two attributes existed; the physical part that talks, walks and exists, the physical body that can be seen and proven to exist empirically and the mind or soul which is an entity that cannot be seen but is believed to exist . This is the part that is autonomous to the physical body. Descartes then went further to illustrate that human beings or matter go on with their own business and follow their own laws until the mind/soul intervenes which interferes with the physical nature of humans. He therefore believed that the mind and body of human beings were therefore two distinct elements.

Hobbes on the hand tried to rationalize philosophy using dualism. He proposed that in order to understand societies one needed to understand wh...

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...le at the time but is later shown to be false. Why is Descartes’ reason so infallible that his reasoning can be taken as absolute truth?

The criticisms involved in both dualism and materialism as some of them exist cannot be relied on as whole truths. Reliance would only emerge where philosophers combine the aspects of each of the theories while leaving out their shortcomings. For instance it would be productive for the dualists to be empirical with their assertions instead of merely stating their beliefs without any evidential backing. As for the materialists, they should focus on not merely critiquing by supporting their criticisms with hard evidence. The best method would be scientific approach where theorists would emphasis on acquiring concepts and acquiring evidence to support the same. This would rule out the like-hood of questioning the truth of a matter
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