The Problem Of Dualism : Descartes Essay

The Problem Of Dualism : Descartes Essay

Length: 1303 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Liang Zhou
Student No.200314592
Philosophy 100
Due date: 3/30/2015
The problem of dualism
Descartes proposed that the mind which represents thinking, and the body which represents mechanism are totally distinct-a thesis is called mind-body dualism. He believes the nature of thinking substance which cannot not be extended is completely different from the body which can be extended, and therefore it is possible for one to exist without the other. Some examples can prove that the mind could exist without body such as persistent vegetative state, zombie and some nature physiological response. However, mind-body distinction is a controversial problem today as people may say: normally, the movement of our bodies are controlled by our minds such as writing exams and so on. Therefore, the mind and the body do have interaction in our daily life. Gilbert Ryle argues that Descartes makes a category-mistake by thinking that there is something called mind over and above a person 's behavioral dispositions. He believes that the mind is not an object that is made of an immaterial substance, but a collective of predicate for observable behavior and unobservable disposition. Ryle 's argument of mind is more reasonable by the fact that the mind is not a place to contain mental things such as images and memories. Thus, mind and body are totally different things. Descartes ' concept is wrong because he conjoins mind and body as if they are the same thing. The conception of mind is a part of person 's body that thinks and acts in a socially acceptable way.
Descartes believes that the mind is independent upon the body. It implies that the mind and body are separated in space. The zombie is a classic example to discuss how dualism works in this case. ...

... middle of paper ...

...on 's have mental states like ours. Minds do not belong to the category of thing as minds are not things.
Ryle mentions that "the phrase 'there occurs mental processes ' does not mean the same sort of thing as 'there occur physical processes ', and, therefore, that it makes no sense to conjoin or disjoin the two."(Ryle, page 12). The premise of the official doctrine that the bodily movement is caused by physic and that the bodily movement is caused by mental cannot be conjoined logically as Descartes do. Although the premises are true, the conclusion is false. Thus, Descartes argument is wrong.
In conclusion, Ryle refutes Descartes ' mind-body dualism through showing Descartes ' misuse of vocabulary, which conjoin two different categories together category-mistake by thinking that there is something called mind over and above a person 's behavioral dispositions.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

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]

Strong Essays
1632 words (4.7 pages)

Heidegger's Reading of Descartes' Dualism Essay

- Heidegger's Reading of Descartes' Dualism ABSTRACT: The problem of traditional epistemology is the relation of subject to external world. The distinction between subject and object makes possible the distinction between the knower and what is known. Starting with Descartes, the subject is a thinking thing that is not extended, and the object is an extended thing which does not think. Heidegger rejects this distinction between subject and object by arguing that there is no subject distinct from the external world of things because Dasein is essentially Being-in-the-world....   [tags: Dualism Essays]

Strong Essays
4349 words (12.4 pages)

The Mind-Body Problem Essay

- With the number of brain injury cases observed and the continuous advances in neuroscience, this has proven to be strong evidence in supporting materialism. By defining what Cartesian dualists and materialists mean by the ‘brain’, ‘mind’, ‘body’ and ‘soul’, an argument on behalf of Cartesians dualists will be reached, that responds to evidence concerning brain injuries with the claims that the brain is only ‘an instrument of the soul’. This will lead to the conclusion that there is stronger contemporary support for materialism due to neuroscience and that the Cartesian dualism argument as it is, may be wrong....   [tags: Cartesian Dualism, Rene Descartes]

Strong Essays
1213 words (3.5 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]

Strong Essays
1098 words (3.1 pages)

The Concept of Dualism Essay examples

- I believe that the popular or "ghost in the machine" form of substance dualism best solves the mind body problem. My views in this area have been influenced by my twelve years of Catholic education. The soul, or mind, depending on your level of belief, was a complete and separate entity and was the center of a human being. The body was an ambulatory device that the soul directed. The idea that the mind is a separate entity and that it is independent of the physical body is the central point of substance dualism....   [tags: Dualism Essays]

Strong Essays
1005 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Descartes ' Argument On Substance Dualism

- This paper will be discussing René Descartes’ argument on substance dualism, and more specifically the argument of separation of the mind and the body. Descartes proposes the argument of substance dualism in defense of the view that there are two types of substances: the mental substance and the physical substance. Therefore, substance dualism also states that the mind is a mental substance which is separate from the body, despite both having a connection to each other. This view is in contrast to the more popular physicalist view, which states that all entities in the world are solely physical....   [tags: Philosophy of mind, Mind, Consciousness, Argument]

Strong Essays
785 words (2.2 pages)

Descartes and Dualism Essay

- Descartes and Dualism "I think therefore I am," the well known quote of Rene Descartes, is the basis of his theory known as dualism. The intermingling of mind and body or res extensa (extended substance) and res cogitans (thinking substance) displays Descartes' ideas of a "genuine human being" (Cottingham 7). Known as the father of modern philosophy, Descartes realized that one could not analyze a problem simply on the common sense level, but that one must "probe to the micro-level" (Cottingham 4)....   [tags: Dualism Essays]

Strong Essays
612 words (1.7 pages)

Cartesian Dualism and the Union of Mind and Body Essay

- Cartesian Dualism and the Union of Mind and Body ABSTRACT: Cartesian dualism and the union of mind and body are often understood as conceptions that contradict each other. Diachronic interpretations maintain that Descartes was first a dualist (in the Meditations) and later on developed his stance on the union of mind and body (Passions). Some authors find here a problem without solution. Nevertheless, in the last two decades, some interpretations have been developed intending to give a positive solution to the difficult relation between Cartesian dualism and the union of mind and body....   [tags: Dualism Essays]

Strong Essays
3105 words (8.9 pages)

Descartes' Theory of Substance Dualism Essays

- Descartes' Theory of Substance Dualism Throughout the history of man, philosophers have tried to come up with an explanation of where our minds, or consciousness, came from and how we are able to have a nonphysical characteristic of ourselves. Does our physical brain automatically give us nonphysical characteristics like feelings, thoughts, and desires or is there something else there, the mind, that interacts with our bodies and makes us feel, think, and desire. Also, is the mind the only nonphysical entity in our universe or do other entities exist such as ghosts or souls....   [tags: Dualism Essays]

Strong Essays
795 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Dualism

- Descartes argues in favor of dualism, the mind is completely independent of the body and vice versa. We have a sense this kind of dualism exists when we say, “I am a mind with a body.” Descartes argues that the self exists in consciousness and that the body is simply a machine the mind controls. Further, dualists support their argument by comparing essences of both the mind and body; the mind is indivisible and free and the body is infinitely divisible and is determined by the laws of the physical universe....   [tags: Philosophy]

Strong Essays
841 words (2.4 pages)