Descartes: Relationship Between Mind and Body

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In Meditation Six entitled “Concerning the Existence of Material Things, and Real Distinction between the Mind and Body”, one important thing Descartes explores is the relationship between the mind and body. Descartes believes the mind and body are separated and they are two difference substances. He believes this to be clearly and distinctly true which is a Cartesian quality for true knowledge. I, on the other hand, disagree that the mind and body are separate and that the mind can exist without the body. First, I will present Descartes position on mind/body dualism and his proof for such ideas. Secondly, I will discuss why I think his argument is weak and offer my own ideas that dispute his reasoning while I keep in mind how he might dispute my argument.
Descartes argues that the mind and body can be thought of as separate substances. Descartes writes “I have a body that is very closely joined to me, nevertheless, because … I have a clear and distinct idea of myself, insofar as I am merely a thinking thing and not an extended thing and because … I have a distinct idea of a body, insofar as it is merely an extended thing and not a thinking thing, it is certain that I am really distinct from my body and can exist without it” ( Descartes 50). With this quote, Descartes is saying that the mind and body are separate because he has two distinct ideas of the body and the mind and the body is not a thinking thing as he is but an extended substance. Another point to Descartes argument is that the mind and body are different due to one being indivisible and the other being divisible. Descartes writes “a body, by its very nature, is always divisible. On the other hand, the mind is utterly indivisible” (53). Here is saying that there are ...

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...ning of mind is something that cannot be divisible but that is hard to see because I have already proved that by my understanding of the mind it has parts. It is also hard to think of a mind or soul that does not have such things as memory and personality therefore I believe Descartes argument is false.
In short, I summarized Descartes position of the relationship of the mind and body. After that I discussed two objections to his argument which were related to the mind existing without the body and that the mind is not divisible while I discussed how Descartes might respond to these arguments. These arguments adequately show that Descartes argument for mind/body dualism is false.

Works Cited

Descartes. "Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy." Readings in Modern Philosophy. Ed. Roger Ariew and Eric Watkins. Vol. I. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2000. 22-55. Print.
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