Dualism philosophy essay help

References and Further Reading 1. Various Concepts of Consciousness The concept of consciousness is notoriously ambiguous. It is important first to make several distinctions and to define related terms. We sometimes speak of an individual mental state, such as a pain or perception, as conscious.

Dualism philosophy essay help

What is a Real Distinction? Accordingly, a mode requires a substance to exist and not just the concurrence of God. Being sphere shaped is a mode of an extended substance. For example, a sphere requires an object extended in three dimensions in order to exist: But a substance can be understood to exist alone without requiring any other creature to exist.

For example, a stone can exist all by itself. That is, its existence is not dependent upon the existence of minds or other bodies; and, a stone can exist without being any particular size or shape. Whether or not they actually exist apart is another issue entirely.

Why a Real Distinction?

dualism philosophy essay help

A question one might ask is: For Descartes the payoff is twofold. This section investigates both of these motivating factors. Descartes goes on to explain how, because of this, these people will not pursue moral virtue without the prospect of an afterlife with rewards for virtue and punishments for vice.

Hence, irreligious people will be forced to believe in the prospect of an afterlife. He stops short of demonstrating that the soul is actually immortal.

Yet, even though the real distinction argument does not go this far, it does, according to Descartes, provide a sufficient foundation for religion, since the hope for an afterlife now has a rational basis and is no longer a mere article of faith.

Notwithstanding this convoluted array of positions, Descartes understood one thesis to stand at the heart of the entire tradition: For this reason, a brief look at how final causes were supposed to work is in order. Descartes understood all scholastics to maintain that everything was thought to have a final cause that is the ultimate end or goal for the sake of which the rest of the organism was organized.

For example, in the case of a bird, say, the swallow, the substantial form of swallowness was thought to organize matter for the sake of being a swallow species of substance. Accordingly, any dispositions a swallow might have, such as the disposition for making nests, would then also be explained by means of this ultimate goal of being a swallow; that is, swallows are disposed for making nests for the sake of being a swallow species of substance.

This explanatory scheme was also thought to work for plants and inanimate natural objects. But what makes it especially clear that my idea of gravity was taken largely from the idea I had of the mind is the fact that I thought that gravity carried bodies toward the centre of the earth as if it had some knowledge of the centre within itself AT VII On this pre-Newtonian account, a characteristic goal of all bodies was to reach its proper place, namely, the center of the earth.

dualism philosophy essay help

But, how can a stone know anything? Surely only minds can have knowledge. Yet, since stones are inanimate bodies without minds, it follows that they cannot know anything at all—let alone anything about the center of the earth.

Descartes continues on to make the following point: But later on I made the observations which led me to make a careful distinction between the idea of the mind and the ideas of body and corporeal motion; and I found that all those other ideas of.

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Here, Descartes is claiming that the concept of a substantial form as part of the entirely physical world stems from a confusion of the ideas of mind and body. This confusion led people to mistakenly ascribe mental properties like knowledge to entirely non-mental things like stones, plants, and, yes, even non-human animals.

The real distinction of mind and body can then also be used to alleviate this confusion and its resultant mistakes by showing that bodies exist and move as they do without mentality, and as such principles of mental causation such as goals, purposes that is, final causesand knowledge have no role to play in the explanation of physical phenomena.

So the real distinction of mind and body also serves the more scientifically oriented end of eliminating any element of mentality from the idea of body.

Dualism | philosophy | alphabetnyc.com

In this way, a clear understanding of the geometrical nature of bodies can be achieved and better explanations obtained. The Real Distinction Argument Descartes formulates this argument in many different ways, which has led many scholars to believe there are several different real distinction arguments.

However, it is more accurate to consider these formulations as different versions of one and the same argument. The fundamental premise of each is identical: I have a clear and distinct idea of the mind as a thinking, non-extended thing.

I have a clear and distinct idea of body as an extended, non-thinking thing. Therefore, the mind is really distinct from the body and can exist without it. At first glance it may seem that, without justification, Descartes is bluntly asserting that he conceives of mind and body as two completely different things, and that from his conception, he is inferring that he or any mind can exist without the body.

But this is no blunt, unjustified assertion.Descartes called his concept Dualism. The premise that the body is divisible is true because the body is a physical thing.

Mind–body dualism - Wikipedia

The body has weight, mass, and interacting parts just /5(9). - This essay will discuss the topic Philosophy of Mind (POM) which is split into four areas; Dualism, Materialism, Idealism and Neutral Monism.

However, due to the depth of these four areas, only Dualism and Neutral Monism will be discussed more in-depth during this essay. René Descartes: The Mind-Body Distinction. One of the deepest and most lasting legacies of Descartes’ philosophy is his thesis that mind and body are really distinct—a thesis now called "mind-body dualism." He reaches this conclusion by arguing that the nature of the mind (that is, a thinking, non-extended thing) is completely different from that of the body (that is, an extended, non.

Among modern philosophers, monism is generally more popular than dualism. However, dualism has been more popular historically, and the logical problems here are far from settled — it remains to be seen whether dualism can make a comeback.

Fideisms Judaism is the Semitic monotheistic fideist religion based on the Old Testament's ( BCE) rules for the worship of Yahweh by his chosen people, the children of Abraham's son Isaac (c BCE).. Zoroastrianism is the Persian monotheistic fideist religion founded by Zarathustra (cc BCE) and which teaches that good must be chosen over evil in order to achieve salvation.

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Descartes, Rene: Mind-Body Distinction | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy