A description of descartes argument for dualistic interactionism

According to substance dualism, our minds and our bodies are two distinct substances capable of existing apart. The argument for substance dualism relies heavily on all the work that Descartes has done up until this point. The argument rests on the claim that the essence of mind is thought while the essence of body is extension, and this duality of essences implies a duality of corresponding substances. The full argument can be broken down into seven steps:

A description of descartes argument for dualistic interactionism

A description of descartes argument for dualistic interactionism

References and Further Reading 1. Dualism The most basic form of dualism is substance dualism, which requires that mind and body be composed of two ontologically distinct substances. The term "substance" may be variously understood, but for our initial purposes we may subscribe to the account of a substance, associated with D.

Armstrong, as what is logically capable of independent existence. According to the dualist, the mind or the soul is comprised of a non-physical substance, while the body is constituted of the physical substance known as matter. According to most substance dualists, mind and body are capable of causally affecting each other.

This form of substance dualism is known as interactionism. Two other forms of substance dualism are occasionalism and parallelism. These theories are largely relics of history. The occasionalist holds that mind and body do not interact.

They may seem to when, for example, we hit our thumb with a hammer and a painful and distressing sensation occurs. Occassionalists, like Malebranche, assert that the sensation is not caused by the hammer and nerves, but instead by God.

God uses the occasion of environmental happenings to create appropriate experiences. According to the parallelist, our mental and physical histories are coordinated so that mental events appear to cause physical events and vice versa by virtue of their temporal conjunction, but mind and body no more interact than two clocks that are synchronized so that the one chimes when hands of the other point out the new hour.

Since this fantastic series of harmonies could not possibly be due to mere coincidence, a religious explanation is advanced.

God does not intervene continuously in creation, as the occasionalist holds, but builds into creation a pre-established harmony that largely eliminates the need for future interference.

Another form of dualism is property dualism. Property dualists claim that mental phenomena are non-physical properties of physical phenomena, but not properties of non-physical substances. Some forms of epiphenomenalism fall into this category. According to epiphenomenalism, bodily events or processes can generate mental events or processes, but mental phenomena do not cause bodily events or processes or, on some accounts, anything at all, including other mental states.

Still other dualists hold not that mind and body are distinct ontologically, but our mentalistic vocabulary cannot be reduced to a physicalistic vocabulary. In this sort of dualism, mind and body are conceptually distinct, though the phenomena referred to by mentalistic and physicalistic terminology are coextensive.

The following sections first discuss dualism as expounded by two of its primary defenders, Plato and Descartes. This is followed by additional arguments for and against dualism, with special emphasis on substance dualism, the historically most important and influential version of dualism.

Platonic Dualism in the Phaedo The primary source for Plato 's views on the metaphysical status of the soul is the Phaedo, set on the final day of Socrates' life before his self-administered execution. Plato through the mouth of Socrates, his dramatic persona likens the body to a prison in which the soul is confined.

While imprisoned, the mind is compelled to investigate the truth by means of the body and is incapable or severely hindered of acquiring knowledge of the highest, eternal, unchanging, and non-perceptible objects of knowledge, the Forms.

Forms are universals and represent the essences of sensible particulars. While encumbered by the body, the soul is forced to seek truth via the organs of perception, but this results in an inability to comprehend that which is most real.

We perceive equal things, but not Equality itself. We perceive beautiful things but not Beauty itself. To achieve knowledge or insight into the pure essences of things, the soul must itself become pure through the practice of philosophy or, as Plato has Socrates provocatively put it in the dialogue, through practicing dying while still alive.The argument for substance dualism relies heavily on all the work that Descartes has done up until this point.

The argument rests on the claim that the essence of mind is thought while the essence of body is extension, and this duality of essences implies a duality of corresponding substances.

René Descartes was born in La Haye en Touraine (now Descartes, Indre-et-Loire), France, on 31 March His mother, Jeanne Brochard, died soon after giving birth to him, and so he was not expected to survive.

Descartes' father, Joachim, was a member of the Parlement of Brittany at Rennes. René lived with his grandmother and with his great-uncle. Chinese Room Argument. The Chinese room argument is a thought experiment of John Searle (a) and associated () derivation.

It is one of the best known and widely credited counters to claims of artificial intelligence (AI)that is, to claims that computers do or at least can (someday might) think. According to Searle's original presentation, the argument is based on two key claims.

The mind–body problem is a philosophical problem concerning the relationship between thought and consciousness in the human mind and the brain as part of the physical body. It is distinct from the question of how mind and body function chemically and physiologically since that question presupposes an interactionist account of mind-body relations.

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Descartes’ arguments for distinguishing mind and body THE KNOWLEDGE ARGUMENT In this argument, Descartes doesn’t mean that God can miraculously create minds and bodies existing independently. He means that it is of the nature of minds and bodies to Descartes defended dualism not (in the first instance) on.

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 .

René Descartes - Wikipedia