Arguments Against Dualism

Topics: Mind, Ontology, Philosophy of mind Pages: 2 (636 words) Published: October 12, 2010
"Strengths And Weaknesses Of Dualism."
Dualism focuses on dramatic difference between mind and the body. The argument against this theory is that mind is private and only the person of his own mind has access to it. Others can only observe behavior and take a guess about the content of the mind. Weakness of dualism lays in the lack of rational understanding about interaction between brain and mind. One can explain the interaction between mind and brain if they believe in supernatural dimensions that are responsible for that. Another argument is based upon what happens when the brain is damaged. When damage to brain occurs due to physical event, drug abuse, or pathological diseases our mental abilities are compromised. If the theory was true and our mind was separate from the body, then the physical trauma to the brain would not affect our mental abilities. This is a strong argument unless someone believes that this was God’s choice to limit his or her mental function. "Dualism." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

One of the criticisms of dualism is difficulty of giving an account of the unity of the mind. Mental states are characterized by two main properties. The first one is subjectivity that is known as privileged access, and the second one is intentionality. Physical objects and their properties are sometimes observable and sometimes not, but any physical object is equally available for everyone to see. We can all observe the physical things but mental states are only available to the person of his own mental state and no one else. This creates defect in dualism, which is “problem of other minds.” Since no one can share experiences of other mind they can only tell about it.    Turner, W. (1911). Monism. In The Catholic Encyclopedia

Monism is a philosophical term which is opposed to Dualism. Unlike dualism, which distinguishes between body and soul, matter and spirit, object and subject, matter and force, Monism disagrees with such a distinction, and...

Bibliography: Arthur O. Lovejoy. 1930. “The Revolt Against Dualism”
"Dualism." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2007): 1. Web. 20 Sep 2010. <>
"Monism." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2007): 1. Web. 28 Sep 2010.
"Strengths And Weaknesses Of Dualism." (2002): 1
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