A critique of the concept of dualism by renee descartes

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.

A critique of the concept of dualism by renee descartes

During his meditations, he was struck by the sharp contrast between the certainty of mathematics and the controversial nature of philosophy, and came to believe that the sciences could be made to yield results as certain as those of mathematics.

From until his ill-fated trip to Sweden in he remained for the most part in Holland, and it was during this period that he composed a series of works that set the agenda for all later students of mind and body.

The first of these works, De homine [1] was completed in Holland abouton the eve of the condemnation of Galileo.

Mind–body dualism | philosophy | initiativeblog.com

When Descartes' friend and frequent correspondent, Marin Mersenne, wrote to him of Galileo's fate at the hands of the Inquisition, Descartes immediately suppressed his own treatise.

As a result, the world's first extended essay on physiological psychology was published only well after its author's death. In this work, Descartes proposed a mechanism [see figure 2] for automatic reaction in response to external events. According to his proposal, external motions affect the peripheral ends of the nerve fibrils, which in turn displace the central ends.

René Descartes - Wikipedia

As the central ends are displaced, the pattern of interfibrillar space is rearranged and the flow of animal spirits is thereby directed into the appropriate nerves.

It was Descartes' articulation of this mechanism for automatic, differentiated reaction that led to his generally being credited with the founding of reflex theory.

In Descartes' conception, the rational soul, an entity distinct from the body and making contact with the body at the pineal gland, might or might not become aware of the differential outflow of animal spirits brought about through the rearrangement of the interfibrillar spaces.

When such awareness did occur, however, the result was conscious sensation -- body affecting mind. In turn, in voluntary action, the soul might itself initiate a differential outflow of animal spirits. Mind, in other words, could also affect body.

Les passions [see figure 3] is Descartes' most important contribution to psychology proper. As is well known, Descartes chose the pineal gland because it appeared to him to be the only organ in the brain that was not bilaterally duplicated and because he believed, erroneously, that it was uniquely human.

An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers.

In February ofreturning in the bitter cold from a session with Queen Christina, who insisted on receiving her instruction at 5 a. Within a week, the man who had given direction to much of later philosophy was dead.

A critique of the concept of dualism by renee descartes

By focusing on the problem of true and certain knowledge, Descartes had made epistemology, the question of the relationship between mind and world, the starting point of philosophy. By localizing the soul's contact with body in the pineal gland, Descartes had raised the question of the relationship of mind to the brain and nervous system.

Yet at the same time, by drawing a radical ontological distinction between body as extended and mind as pure thought, Descartes, in search of certitude, had paradoxically created intellectual chaos.Renee Descartes defines the dualism of the body and the mind as part of dualism between abstraction and material forms.

The mind is part of the soul and it relies heavily on the brain as a type of conduit in the formation of thought. In other words, this paper will point out several inconsistencies in Rene Descartes’ deductive process starting from its roots up to the conclusions he arrived at.

In the Rene Descartes’ Meditations of First Philosophy, he expounded the epistemological problems surrounding the scholastic tradition. A Critique of Descartes’ Mind-Body Dualism Akomolafe Akinola Mohammed Abstract: In this enterprise, I shall present Descartes’ theory of ‘methodic doubt,’ moving systematically as he (Descartes) himself would suppose we do, from the establishment .

This part of Descartes’s dualistic theory, known as interactionism, raises one of the chief problems faced by Descartes: the question how this causal interaction is possible.

This problem gave rise to other varieties of dualism, such as occasionalism and some forms of parallelism that do not require direct causal interaction. Substance dualism is a type of dualism most famously defended by René Descartes, which states that there are two kinds of foundation: mental and body.

This philosophy states that the mental can exist outside of the body, and the body cannot think. Dualism contrasts with monism, which is the theory that there is only one fundamental kind, category of thing or principle; and, rather less commonly, with pluralism, which is .

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