The Mind-Body Problem

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 260
  • Published : May 30, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Rene Descartes Mind-Body Problem
"Cogito ergo sum", otherwise known as "I think, therefore I am", is a well-known quote of Rene Descartes, and is the basis of his theory of problem of the separation between the mind and the body. I strongly believe in his view and theory of the separation between the mind and body, and his concept of dualism.

Descartes had a technique of doubting everything which he believed to exist, and that established a new philosophy. He believed that the only thing he could truly believe to exist was his own mind. He believed in an independent soul inhabiting in a mechanically operated body. The reality of the body needed no proof, but the reality of the soul did. Since he doubted everything, he said that we could not doubt the existence of our self, because there must be a self that exists to do the doubting. Descartes was concerned about how the nonmaterial soul could interact with the matter of our body. He resolved the problem of the incompatibility of the two entities by naming this problem "dualism". Dualism is an ancient concept and is deeply rooted in Greek thought. They said that a person's soul was of an entirely different essence than the body. They also said that those dual entities had no interaction with one another. They saw them as foreign to one another; the body was the prison house of the soul.

In the problem of dualism, Descartes discussed that the body could be divided up, such as removing a hand or a leg, but the soul was indivisible. The soul occupied the whole body, and the removal of any part of the physical body did not reduce any part of the soul. He claims the body was procreated, and the soul was created. Even though the two realities of the soul were of a completely different character, they could react with each other. He finds that reaction as a mystery. The interdependence of the mind and body was what Descartes considered a human being. The mind and body formed a unit. Descartes said that the body,...
tracking img