Essay on Descartes’ Arguments for the Real Distinction of Mind and Body

Essay on Descartes’ Arguments for the Real Distinction of Mind and Body

Length: 1168 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Descartes’ Arguments for the Real Distinction of Mind and Body

Descartes argues has three main arguments for minds and bodies being
two different distinct types of substance. These are known as
arguments for substance dualism and are as follows.

* The Argument from doubt : Descartes argues that while he could
pretend or think that he had no body and therefore did not exist
in any place, he could not think or pretend he had no mind, as
merely having a doubt that he had a mind proves that he does.

* The Argument from Clear and distinct understanding: Descartes
argues that if two things can be separated even if only by god
then they must be two different things. Descartes says that as he
can perceive minds and bodies clearly and distinctly from each
other they must be two separate things we just don't know how to
separate them.

* The Argument from simplicity: Descartes argues that bodies can be
divided into parts whereas minds cannot meaning that the two must
be different things.

For our minds to be separate from our bodies first of all we have to
exist otherwise there is nothing about which to argue and no stand
point to argue from. Also we must be able to believe that things of
which we think in this case minds and bodies exist and that if we
perceive something as correct it must be true. So it is important to
all of Descartes's arguments to establish not only that we exist but
also that we can be certain of what we claim to know. The cogito is
Descartes's claim “that I thinking therefore I exist” Descartes says
that as he can convince himself of something he must exist, as ev...


... middle of paper ...


...tance distinct from the body.

In conclusion i think that Descartes arguments approach an answer but
really it is only with a better definition of what a mind entails that
he could truelly prove bodies and minds are separate If we know bodies
are a physical thing that can be examined, separated and destroyed and
we knew for sure that minds are not a physical thing but can be broken
so therefore and along with the cogito must exist, then the mere fact
that the two things are made of a different substance ,i.e. matter and
something we are as of yet unable to explain, makes minds and bodies
two separate things.



References

Rene Descartes, The philosophical writings of Descartes, Vol 2, 1911
(Cambridge, Cambridge university press)

John Locke, An essay concerning human understanding, Book 2, Ch27,
(1689)

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Descartes and the Real Distinction Essay

- Descartes' formulation of what he calls the “Real Distinction” has proved foundational to our modern concepts of being and consciousness. His contention has irreversibly influenced the fields of psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, and others while cementing into the popular consciousness the notion of a definite dichotomy between the mind and the body. In this paper, I will flesh out what Descartes' meant by the term “real distinction,” discuss the arguments he uses in its' defense, and then argue myself that this distinction between mind and body (at least as Descartes frames it) goes much too far, and that it is a much more viable probability to believe that mind and body are actually i...   [tags: Philosophy]

Good Essays
1803 words (5.2 pages)

Analyzing Individuation and Identity In Descartes´ Philosophical View of the Mind-Body Dualism

- Every since Plato introduced the idea of dualism thousands of years ago meta-physicians have been faced with the mind-body problem. Even so Plato idea of dualism did not become a major issue of debate in the philosophical world until the seventeenth century when French philosopher Rene Descartes publicized his ideas concerning the mental and physical world. During this paper, I will analyze the issue of individuation and identity in Descartes’ philosophical view of the mind-body dualism. I will first start by explaining the structure of Cartesian dualism....   [tags: Rene Descartes, Plato, Cartesian dualism]

Good Essays
1098 words (3.1 pages)

Analysis Of Rene Descartes 's Meditations On First Philosophy Essay

- Rene Descartes was a French Philosopher who wrote the book, Meditations on First Philosophy. There are six meditations, the last one is named, The essence of material things, and the real distinction between mind and body, in the sixth meditation. In the previous meditations he already conjectured that he had a mind because he is a thing that thinks and to think is to have a mind and to think is to also exist. Descartes believes that physical things exist because they are pure mathematics, and he can see them clearly and distinctly....   [tags: Mind, Ontology, René Descartes, Consciousness]

Good Essays
1055 words (3 pages)

Arguments against Philosophical Skepticism Essay

- ‘Skepticism’ refers the theory that we do not possess any knowledge; skepticism denies any existence of justified belief. This paper discusses the varieties of philosophical skepticism and explains the various skeptical arguments and responses to philosophical skepticism, along with both Hume, and Descartes take on skepticism. This paper will also describe the various arguments against skepticism along with their justification. While the arguments for skepticism and its various forms seem valid and theoretically proven to be justified, my stance is against skepticism....   [tags: Hume, Descartes]

Good Essays
1952 words (5.6 pages)

Descartes’ Arguments for the Existence of Body as Distinct from the Mind and His Justifications to Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia

- Descartes Two years after Descartes published his meditations on first philosophy, Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia wrote with questions concerning the relationship between the immaterial soul and the corporeal body- specifically how anything immaterial could produce physical effects. She was neither the first nor the last to question this practical application of Descartes’ dualism, but her questions elicited the most comprehensive attempt to answer the question. In this paper I will examine Descartes’ arguments for the existence of body as distinct from the mind; outline Elisabeth’s objections and proposed solutions, and argue that Descartes’ responses to Elisabeth are inadequate to address...   [tags: Philosophy, Contradiction]

Good Essays
1481 words (4.2 pages)

Descartes Asks "Are You Your Brain or Your Mind?" Essay

- Is the brain the mind. Is the mind the brain. Are they two wholly distinct things. If so, are you your brain or your mind. These questions, among others, were critically analyzed in the writings of Descartes. My aim in this short paper is to threefold: (i) To provide a general overview of Descartes’ argument(s) for his substance dualism theory, in particular, I’ll focus on his Divisibility Argument (or DA: I’ll continue to use this abbreviation for the remainder of my paper); (ii) To demonstrate why one might object to Descartes’ DA—and thus, object to Cartesian substance dualism altogether; and (iii) To provide an alternative conception of the mind, a ‘physicalist’ conception of the mind,...   [tags: human, mental, functions]

Good Essays
740 words (2.1 pages)

Descartes 's Idea Of Certainty Essays

- 1. Page 70, first new paragraph. What conclusion does Descartes tentatively reach in this paragraph. What premises does he provide in support of this conclusion. Descartes says that he has the ability to think—that if he has the ability to think, then he must have other abilities that he 's unaware of as well. However, he really questions the idea of certainty and how an individual can really be certain of something. Since you really can 't be certain because it 's really up to your own interpretation and your own understanding, then it 's really up to you to decide what 's considered to be certain....   [tags: Perception, Sense, Mind, Cognition]

Good Essays
1634 words (4.7 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]

Good Essays
796 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Rene Descartes: Cartesian Dualism

- Descartian dualism is one of the most long lasting legacies of Rene Descartes’ philosophy. He argues that the mind and body operate as separate entities able to exist without one another. That is, the mind is a thinking, non-extended entity and the body is non-thinking and extended. His belief elicited a debate over the nature of the mind and body that has spanned centuries, a debate that is still vociferously argued today. In this essay, I will try and tackle Descartes claim and come to some conclusion as to whether Descartes is correct to say that the mind and body are distinct....   [tags: Cartesian Dualism, Mind-Body Problem]

Good Essays
1632 words (4.7 pages)

Essay on Descartes

- Foundation In Descartes Meditation VI Of the existence of material things, and of the real distinction between the real soul and body of man, he explains he reasoning for believing that the mind is better known than any body. Descartes states his reasoning through various assumptions that he has made in his search for knowledge. Descartes is a philosopher, who through thinking comes to these conclusions. In the reading of Descartes he interprets his understanding of how and why the mind is better known than the body....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
872 words (2.5 pages)