The Argument of Dualism

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Arguments of Dualism

Dualism is the theory that mind and matter are two distinct things. The main argument for dualism is that facts about the objective external world of particles and fields of force, as revealed by modern physical science, are not facts about how things appear from any particular point of view, whereas facts about subjective experience are precisely about how things are from the point of view of individual conscious subjects. They have to be described in the first person as well as in the third person.

. There are two kinds of dualism. One is Substance dualism which holds that the mind or soul is a separate, non-physical entity, but there is also property dualism, according to which there is no soul distinct from the body, but only one thing, the person, that has two irreducibly different types of properties, mental and physical. Substance dualism leaves room for the possibility that the soul might be able to exist apart from the body, either before birth or after death; property dualism does not. A substance dualism is something with "an independent existence". It can exist on its own. This holds that each distinct non-physical entity mind composed a different kind of substance to material objects. Substance dualist believed only spiritual substances can have mental properties. It is “soul” along with certain memory and psychological continuities that constitutes the survival of the person. Physical properties of property dualism are properties like having a certain weight, conducting electricity and mental properties are properties like believing that 1+1=2, being in love, feeling pain, and etc. Property dualism allows for the compatibility of mental and physical causation, since the cause of an action might under one aspect is describable as a physical event in the brain and under another aspect as a desire, emotion, or thought; substance dualism usually requires causal interaction between the soul and the body. Dualistic theories at least acknowledge the serious difficulty of locating consciousness in a modern scientific conception of the physical world, but they really give metaphysical expression to the problem rather than solving it.

. Its most famous defender is Descartes, who argues that as a subject of conscious thought and experience, he cannot consist simply of spatially extended matter. His essential nature must be non-m...

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...what other kind of entity could have subjective states and a point of view, either.

The science’s success story that physical world is causally closed raises another argument against Descartes’ substance dualism. Physical causally closed can be interpreted as my arm reaching for apple is because I am hungry, I am hungry because used up all my energy, and used my energy to do things. So basically it is saying that every physical causes physical actions. This is contradict with Descartes’ belief because he explicit the physical matters and he thought that the mind, which was outside of physical world affects our brain to affect our behavior.

The desire to avoid dualism has been the driving motive behind much contemporary work on the mind-body problem. Gilbert Ryle made fun of it as the theory of 'the ghost in the machine', and various forms of behaviorism and materialism are designed to show that a place can be found for thoughts, sensations, feelings, and other mental phenomena in a purely physical world. But these theories have trouble accounting for consciousness and its subjective qualia. As the science develops and we discover facts, dualism does not seems likely to be true.

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