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Download the complete PHILOSOPHY project topic and material (chapter 1-5) titled THE CARTESIAN DUALISM AND THE PROBLEM OF MIND AND BODY RELATIONSHIP BY RENE DESCARTES here on PROJECTS.ng. See below for the abstract, table of contents, list of figures, list of tables, list of appendices, list of abbreviations and chapter one. Click the DOWNLOAD NOW button to get the complete project work instantly.

 

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Download the complete PHILOSOPHY project topic and material (chapter 1-5) titled THE CARTESIAN DUALISM AND THE PROBLEM OF MIND AND BODY RELATIONSHIP BY RENE DESCARTES here on PROJECTS.ng. See below for the abstract, table of contents, list of figures, list of tables, list of appendices, list of abbreviations and chapter one. Click the DOWNLOAD NOW button to get the complete project work instantly.

 

PROJECT TOPIC AND MATERIAL ON THE CARTESIAN DUALISM AND THE PROBLEM OF MIND AND BODY RELATIONSHIP BY RENE DESCARTES

The Project File Details

  • Name: THE CARTESIAN DUALISM AND THE PROBLEM OF MIND AND BODY RELATIONSHIP BY RENE DESCARTES
  • Type: PDF and MS Word (DOC)
  • Size: [81 KB]
  • Length: [31] Pages

 

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this work is to philosophically analyze the Cartesian dualism and the problem of mind and body relationship according to Rene Descartes. The mind–body problem is a philosophical problem concerning the relationship between the human mind and body, although it can also concern animal minds, if any, and animal bodies. It is distinct from the question how mind and body can causally interact, since that question presupposes an interactionist account of mind-body relations. The problem was addressed by René Descartes in the 17th century, resulting in Cartesian dualism. Dualism maintains a rigid distinction between the realms of mind and matter. Descartes thus comes to is that he possesses mind, his thinking being, as distinct from his body, extended essence. This means that there are two aspects of man, corresponding to two substances: spiritual substance, (mind), which has thinking as its essence and material substance (body), with extension as its essence. Mind and body are therefore, two kinds of substance, each of which is distinctly different, and can exist independent of each other. In conclusion, hence, even though there have been many arguments in support and against the mind-body problem, at best, this study can only see the interaction of the two distinct substances as probable. The fact is that if the reductionist position of scientists is accepted, that means only the physical, corporeal things such as the brain, body, etc. exist. It also means that the so-called thinking activities, as observed by Descartes are solely carried out by the brain. As the scientists would hold, if the brain dies, the entire thought-system stops working; as a result, the brain therefore is the self.

CHAPTER ONE

1.0     INTRODUCTION

In Aristotle’s view, accordingly, the psyche or the soul in a wider sense constitutes the form of all living beings. On this view what makes human soul distinct from the soul of other living beings is that human soul encompasses not only the lower forms of soul, namely, the nutritive and the sensitive faculties, but also the rational or intellective faculty as well. The intellective soul has the power of rational activities, that is, man is a being who is capable of reflecting, reasoning and being involved in scientific thought. Man has the capacity of distinguishing between different kinds of things and also the understanding of the relationships of things to each other. Human soul, nonetheless, according to Aristotle, is inseparable from his body. Apart from the body, the human soul can have no existence. The body and the soul form one and the same substance whose “matter” is body and whose “form” is the soul. Thus, Aristotle sharply disagrees with Plato’s doctrine of the preexistence of the soul. While Plato takes the body as the prison of the soul and speaks of the immortality of the human soul, Aristotle considers the body and the soul as two aspects of the same single unity so that with the destruction of the body the soul also ceases to exist.

 

Although there is a kind of inconsistency in Aristotle’s explanation of the human soul when he remains uncertain whether some parts of the soul is separable from his body, the way he preserves the unity of “matter” and the “form” as the single inseparable substance, he avoids the complicated problem of the interaction between body and the soul. On this view all the rational activities if the human soul such s thinking, reasoning, and being involved in abstract contemplation can be accounted for by physical processes. This paves the way for many of Aristotle’s successors to develop a completely materialistic account of reality including the nature of human soul.

 

1.1    STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The mind-body problem is the problem of explaining how our mental states, events and processes—like beliefs, actions and thinking—are related to the physical states, events and processes in our bodies. A question of the form, ‘how is A related to B?’ does not by itself pose a philosophical problem. To pose such a problem, there has to be something about A and B which makes the relation between them seem problematic. Many features of mind and body have been cited as responsible for our sense of the problem.

 

According to Rene Descartes, the mind must be a non-bodily entity: a soul or mental substance. This thesis is called ‘substance dualism’ (or ‘Cartesian dualism’) because it says that there are two kinds of substance in the world, mental and physical or material. One reason for believing this is the belief that the soul, unlike the body, is immortal. Another reason for believing it is that we have free will, and this seems to require that the mind is a non-physical thing, since all physical things are subject to the laws of nature.

 

1.2    PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of this work is to philosophically analyze the Cartesian dualism and the problem of mind and body relationship according to Rene Descartes.

 

The mind–body problem is a philosophical problem concerning the relationship between the human mind and body, although it can also concern animal minds, if any, and animal bodies. It is distinct from the question how mind and body can causally interact, since that question presupposes an interactionist account of mind-body relations(Skirry Justin, 2016). This question arises when mind and body are considered as distinct, based on the premise that the mind and the body are fundamentally different in nature.

 

The problem was addressed by René Descartes in the 17th century, resulting in Cartesian dualism. Dualism maintains a rigid distinction between the realms of mind and matter. Descartes thus comes to is that he possesses mind, his thinking being, as distinct from his body, extended essence. This means that there are two aspects of man, corresponding to two substances: spiritual substance, (mind), which has thinking as its essence and material substance (body), with extension as its essence. Mind and body are therefore, two kinds of substance, each of which is distinctly different, and can exist independent of each other.

 

 

1.3    SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

The philosophically analysis on Cartesian dualism and the problem of mind and body relationship according to Rene Descartes help us to understand on how our mental states, events and processes—like beliefs, actions and thinking—are related to the physical states, events and processes in our bodies.

 

According to Rene Descartes, our minds as nonextended entities are indivisible; there is no way that we can divide our minds into different parts whereas our physical bodies as any other physical being are divisible. And the important consequence of this is that our minds are indestructible; bodies cab be destroyed, but the mind or the soul cannot be destroyed by physical forces because it is not a part of the physical universe.The important of this work is to philosophically analyze the Cartesian dualism and the problem of mind and body relationship according to Rene Descartes.

 

1.4    SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The scope of this work is such that it would elucidate on how our mental states, events and processes—like beliefs, actions and thinking—are related to the physical states, events and processes in our bodies.

 

According to Rene Decartes, there are two aspects of man, corresponding to two substances: spiritual substance, (mind), which has thinking as its essence and material substance (body), with extension as its essence. Mind and body are therefore, two kinds of substance, each of which is distinctly different, and can exist independent of each other. He admits that although, mind and body are two different and distinct substances, but they nevertheless interact. According to him, when for instance, I am hurt, I feel pain. As a result, the mind reacts to what happens to the body. The fact that what happens to the body also affects the mind and vice versa. Descartes said that the interaction takes place at the ‘pineal gland’ which is situated in the inner-most part of the brain. It is here, according to him, that the mind comes into contact with the body through the animal spirits ((Descartes, 1966:94).

 

1.5    METHODOLOGY

As would be expected of a research work of this nature, much of the information for this study shall be gathered from the primary sources such as book and other library materials. This work will be centred on a philosophical analysis on the Cartesian dualism and the problem of mind and body relationship according to Rene Descartes.

 

This work will be done by analyzing the concept of Cartesian dualism and Descartes’ argument

 

 

 

 

 

1.6     DEFINITION OF TERMS

DUALISM: This is a philosophical theory based on the idea of opposing concepts, especially the theory that human beings are made up of two independent constituents, the body and the mind or soul.

 

MIND–BODY PROBLEM: This is a philosophical problem concerning the relationship between the human mind and body.

 

ARGUMENT:  This is a reason put forward in support of or in opposition to a point of view.  It is also a debate or discussion about whether something is correct.

 

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