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Descartes Divisibility

Topics: Mind, Soul, Philosophy of mind, René Descartes, Psychology / Pages: 5 (1053 words) / Published: Apr 2nd, 2013
Descartes Divisibility Rene Descartes believes that the mind and body is different things and that the body is dividable but the mind is not dividable. I’m not sure what I believe, but I think I believe at least for now that the mind and body is two different things. I will explore why Descartes thinks you can divide a body and why he thinks a mind is not dividable. As well as what Descartes response should be to Armstrong’s criticism. Was Descartes right or not? I think this is all up to the interpretation of Descartes Divisibility. There is a number of ways this may be interpreted. I see why Descartes thinks a body is dividable because he believes that the body had mass. So if I lose any mass such as an arm or a leg, I would still have a body. It may not be a whole body with two arms, two legs and so on. Descartes believe that even though I would lose an arm or leg nothing is taken away from the mind. Which I believe he is right. I have seen what individuals can do without say an arm, or no legs. Just because I lose a part of my body doesn’t make me less of a person. There’s still ways to achieve goals or dreams with the right mind set. The mind is able to send signals to the body to help the body achieve certain challenges throughout life. The mind can make a person do amazing things but the person has to believe it is possible in order to achieve goals or dreams. So I don’t think the mind and the brain is the same but they need each other in other to work. Descartes believes the mind is not dividable. He believes that the mind has no mass. I would have to agree the mind does not have any mass and is just housed in our body. It does the thinking for our body and is still somewhat of a mystery. The mind which I believe to be our soul uses the body as a home. As a young child I’m taught that the soul lives on even when my body is no more. I believe the mind is a gift from God and controls the body for as long as my mind continues to inhibit my body before leaving the body and going to what I believe is heaven. So Armstrong believes there is a mind body problem because he thinks one cannot exist without the other, so the mind and the body need each other in order to be and for the body. He believes that the mind has conscious and unconscious. That the soul is always thinking but that when asleep or unconscious the mind does not keep those thoughts. I believe that when asleep the mind continues to think or dream and I think some do retain what they dream but not all. I had lots of dreams in my younger years but as I have matured I don’t dreams often, at least not any that I can recall the next day after sleeping.
I’m not sure I completely understand either Descartes’s or Armstrong’s views. It is very interesting. I do believe we all have a soul that can exist without the body and goes to another place once it’s time on earth is done. Armstrong’s criticism of Descartes’ “divisibility argument” has some valid points. For instance is the mind and body equal or subclass of the other? I believe that the mind and body are not equal but that the body cannot survive without the mind. Is the mind housed in the body or is the body a belonging to a specific mind? I do think that a mind is put in a certain body for a certain amount of time and once that time is up, the mind goes to another place. Is the mind able to be taken from a body and put in another body and work? I don’t believe that the mind can be taken from one body and put in another body and work the same. Who would get the body that the mind goes into? Would the owner of the mind’s family get the whole body or would the body’s family get the whole body? I believe that would be confusing for all the families involved. I really don’t think that would work. What happens to a body that is born with two heads? Is there two souls and two minds? What would happen if one head dies? I would assume they would both die but here is an instance that Descartes and Armstrong would find impossible to define. So I’m not sure what I should believe. I do think the mind and the body is separate. I think the mind (soul) goes on to heaven and the body just housed the mind. So the body cannot survive without the mind but the mind can survive without the body. It is weird how the mind controls the body. How it can manipulate the body to do so many different things. Learn a new language or trade. How the mind can make the body compensate for the loss of an arm, leg, speech or eye sight. The mind and body complement each other but the mind does not die. I don’t think the mind can be put into another body and continue on. At this point I believe the mind is housed in the brain and works with the brain and putting the brain in another person body I don’t think the mind would follow. The mind has no mass so how can it be transferred to other bodies without any mass. I don’t think that is possible and don’t know that it that will ever be possible, but I guess we never know what is possible. There’s is minds out there that have brilliant ideas and could one day find a way for minds to be transferred to other bodies.

Work Cited

Armstrong, D.M. (1999). The Mind-Body Problem: An Opinionated Introduction.
Boulder: Westview Press.

Descartes, Rene, (1640/1991). Selections. In Rosenthal, D. (ed.), The Nature of Mind,
(pp.21-37) New York: Oxford University Press.
For advice about how to cite other

Cited: Armstrong, D.M. (1999). The Mind-Body Problem: An Opinionated Introduction. Boulder: Westview Press. Descartes, Rene, (1640/1991). Selections. In Rosenthal, D. (ed.), The Nature of Mind, (pp.21-37) New York: Oxford University Press. For advice about how to cite other

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