November 12, 2008
Intro to Philosophy
Critical Analysis of Dualism, Monism, and Solipsism
In this report I will give my critical analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, and clarity of dualism, monism, and solipsism. According to dualists, a human being is both a physical body, and a non-physical mind. We can easily determine properties that are physical. Anything that takes up space can be considered a physical property. However, it is nearly impossible to determine exactly what non-physical properties are. Without knowing exactly what non-physical properties are, it is difficult to determine if both physical and non physical properties can work together. If we can not see the mind or soul in nature, can we be sure it exists? If the non-physical soul does exist, can it affect the physical body? Can a non-physical mind cause the physical body to move? For example, if I decide to go to a football game, and do so, then physical energy must increase in and around my body, since I got up and went to the football game. Where did this physical energy come from? Since we know that energy can be neither created nor destroyed, in order for physical energy to increase in any system, it has to be transferred from another physical system. Dualism suggests that the mind is not a physical system. If the mind is not a physical system, how does energy transfer from it? If energy is not transferred, then it must be created. Can the soul create new energy to move the body? Since energy cannot be created, this would be impossible to prove. Maybe thinking that our mind is different from our body is similar to Lois Lane thinking that Clark Kent is different than Superman. Is it possible for the mind to exist without the body? According to dualists, yes, it is possible. So if the mind can exist without the body, can any part of the physical body exist without the physical body? No matter what we do to the body, the energy will still exist in some form or another. This would make it...
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