Essay on How did Descartes Explain the Relationship between Mind and Body?

Essay on How did Descartes Explain the Relationship between Mind and Body?

Length: 1105 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


Across the years, many scientists and philosophers believed that a human being is made up by mind and body (Radner, 1971). Some of them believed that the mind-soul is something different from the body and each of them works by themselves without any interaction between them (Radner, 1971). The other point of view said that body and mind works together as a unity and mutually influences each other and the result is the human being. This view had been held by great figures like the Greek philosopher Aristotle and Aquinas (Radner, 1971). Who argued that there should be a connection between mind-soul and body, because only in this way sensation and voluntary movement which needs both mind and body to operate can be explained (Radner, 1971). Contrary, philosophers like Plato and Augustine held the view that mind-soul and body are two completely different entities. They argue that soul is an independent entity which can work by itself without any help from the body and thus it is not part of it (Radner, 1971). One of those people who dealt with this issue was Rene Descartes a rationalist, nativist and dualist who tried to find the connection between soul and body through his work in 1649 with the title ‘Treatise on the Passions of the Soul’ (Fancher, & Rutherford, 2012).
Rene Descartes (1596-1650) a philosopher and mathematician was one of the biggest and greatest figures in the nativism empiricism period (Wertheimer, 2000). He served his country in the thirty years war in which he saw many things that helps him with his future treatises (Wertheimer, 2000). One day he dreamed that his destiny was to reorganize the knowledge, so, he started to materialize his dream (Wertheimer, 2000). He tried to find out all the things that he wil...


... middle of paper ...


... to find the place which two images and the two impressions reunite and transferred to the soul as one (Fancher, & Rutherford, 2012). His observation led him to the only structure of the brain which was not divided in two parts the Pineal gland (Radner, 1971; Wertheimer, 2000; Fancher, & Rutherford, 2012). The pineal gland was located in between of the two symmetrical halves of the brain, so, he was determined that this structure of the brain was the control centre (Wertheimer, 2000; Fancher, & Rutherford, 2012). Furthermore, in his treatise about the passions of the soul he explained how the two images of the eyes end up to pineal gland the control centre (Radner, 1971; Wertheimer, 2000; Fancher, & Rutherford, 2012). He claimed that when a human saw an object light rays comes out and the image of the object refracted and enters in the retinas of the two eyes.



Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Descartes ' Theory Of The Mind And Body

- The foundation of Descartes’ theory of the mind and body rests upon his famous notion: ‘I think therefore I am’. As a prime advocate of modern philosophy, Descartes was both a rationalist and a substance dualist. He proposed the mind and body dualism theory in an attempt to explain everything physical. For Descartes, in order for material things to exist, the mind and body have to be separate entities. This essay will explore Descartes’ account on the relationship between the mind and body, through his accounts in his series, Meditations and go onto analyse Descartes’ arguments for the separation of the mind and body as two clear and distinct entities....   [tags: Mind, Philosophy of mind, Dualism, Thought]

Strong Essays
1398 words (4 pages)

Essay about Descartes ' Theory Of Mind And Body

- ... Descartes uses dreams in order to solidify this question as to whether or not the things we see, touch, smell, taste and hear are actually there. The majority of beliefs one holds about the world are purely derived from the senses. Descartes uses the example of him sitting by the fire, wearing a winter dressing-gown, and holding a piece of paper in his hands to demonstrate this. At a glance these statements seem to be factual, but as soon as one includes dreams in the equation, they no longer hold such value....   [tags: Mind, Ontology, Perception, Metaphysics]

Strong Essays
1227 words (3.5 pages)

Descartes: Relationship Between Mind and Body Essay

- 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....   [tags: Existence of Material Things, Analysis]

Strong Essays
935 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about Solving The Mind Body Problem

- Solving the Mind-Body Problem in Metaphysics The philosophical debate of the true connection between the body and the mind has been a continuous battle that has waged on through the present day. Some argue that they are one in the same, and others insist that they are separate entities. Throughout history, each side reveals their evidence based on a combination of science, belief, and intuition. The relationship between mind and body is mysterious, but can be described with the Cartesian dualism theory, first proposed by philosopher Rene Descartes, and further fortified by the property dualism theory....   [tags: Mind, Philosophy of mind, Soul, René Descartes]

Strong Essays
1473 words (4.2 pages)

Descartes: Shedding Light on the Mind Body Relationship Essay

- 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....   [tags: Philosophy]

Strong Essays
934 words (2.7 pages)

The Mind Body Interaction : How Mind And Matter Essay

- Since ancient times, philosophers have debated on the relationship between how mind and matter relates, and interact, if at all. One such view became known as dualism, where the mind and body (matter) are two distinct, non-identical entities. Under dualism, lies interactionism, or mind-body interaction; a type of dualism where the physical world causally affects the mental world and vice versa. A strong supporter of dualism was Descartes who believed that physical and mental phenomenon only affects what goes into the brain, but opponents heavily criticized such view claiming it is not humanly conceivable and inconsistent with known laws of science....   [tags: Mind, Philosophy of mind, Psychology, Metaphysics]

Strong Essays
1241 words (3.5 pages)

Essay about Descartes ' Argument On Substance Dualism

- ... 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....   [tags: Philosophy of mind, Mind, Consciousness, Argument]

Strong Essays
785 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on Descartes ' Most Popular Theory

- One of Descartes’ most popular theory. is the distinction between mind and body. This is known as substance dualism. Substance dualism is a human being consists of two kinds of things that interact. Using this theory of substance dualism, we can explain why some people can experience excruciating pains and urges like the phantom limb syndrome. The article, The Itch, by Atul Gawande follows a woman who has a constant itching feeling in her scalp. Her life started out normal but after a few unfortunate events she now has “the itch”....   [tags: Mind, Perception, Cognition, Thought]

Strong Essays
796 words (2.3 pages)

Identity Theory Vs. Dualism : The Nature Of The Mind Essay

- ... I propose that we should favor the simplicity of the identity theory, since we can test our understanding of what it means for mental states to be the same as physical. Although we might not fully understand the linear relationship between what we call mental states to its physical-state-equivalent, it does not follow that they are not the same. Descartes’ use of Leibniz’s law Descartes’ arguments for dualism rely on Leibniz’s law, which says that if ‘a’ and ‘b’ are identical, then they must have all the same properties (Sober, 206)....   [tags: Mind, Philosophy of mind, Ontology, Metaphysics]

Strong Essays
1117 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Descartes 's Meditations On First Philosophy

- In his Meditations on First Philosophy, René Descartes seeks to prove that corporeal objects exist. This argument is put forth based on the principles and supposed facts he has built up throughout the Meditations. In order to fully understand his argument for the existence of corporeal things, one must trace his earlier arguments for effects and their causes, the existence of God, the nature of God, and his ability to never make mistakes. Descartes sought to establish some truths in the world that would never be proven false through his Meditations....   [tags: Ontology, Existence, Mind, God]

Strong Essays
800 words (2.3 pages)