Cartesian Dualism

Last Updated: 27 Jan 2021
Pages: 3 Views: 367

In Cartesian Dualism, Descartes tries to prove that the mind or soul is distinct and separate from the body, having no thoughts like the thinking and knowing mind/soul. The first argument in Cartesian Dualism is the argument of doubt. This argument has to do with doubting that he is a thinking thing there must be something there that is true to that therefore there is no physical body because that thought is possible. He claims the mind and body is two separate things claiming this logic: I am certain that I am a thinking thing. I am not certain that I am a physical thing. Therefore, I am not a physical thing.

I would not agree with him on this part of the argument, given the premise it is a good way to show that the body does not think for itself, but that does not lead it to a complete separation of the mind and the body. A lot of the physical sense and consumption that attributes to the thoughts of the mind or soul comes from the body. It cannot be written off as a separate and unrelated to the mind/soul just by imagining it does not exist because it cannot match the logic by thinking for itself. Another argument is from clear and distinct perception by proposing that all people are thinking things and not physical things.

Overall this argument claims that if two things can exist apart from one another, then they must be two distinct and separate things, now saying that the mind is not only separate from the body, but can also live without it. If the mind is therefore distinct from the body, then it is possible to exist as a mind without the body. I logically don’t agree just because we can distinctly perceive the mind and body as two different things, how does that mean that they actually are, and how will the body continue to exist without the body as a carrying agent.

Order custom essay Cartesian Dualism with free plagiarism report

feat icon 450+ experts on 30 subjects feat icon Starting from 3 hours delivery
Get Essay Help

The soul would not be a soul without the body, because it will not perceive the world the same without the body. The third argument is for simplicity with the idea that everything extended is divisible into parts. The body is extended and also divisible into parts such as the arms, legs, and so on. Here, Descartes did not believe that the mind was divisible into parts, even though we know different parts of the mind are responsible for different cognitive processes. Descartes believed believed that these differently labeled parts all have the same driving force behind them.

So the logic goes if the mind cannot be divisible into parts, and all extended things can be divisible into parts, then the mind cannot be an extended thing. Which then makes the mind is of different material from the body which must be also separate and distinct from the body. Given the premise I can agree with this argument for Cartesian Dualism because it is more broken down and relatable than others having details and not many vague accounts having to be accepted to get to a solid conclusion.

When I put each argument in context of flesh vs soul giving the body no real significance taking away any neuronal or psychological dependence that shape the mind/soul then the first two arguments are more easily taken but still misunderstandable from different point of views. Given most premises of these arguments I cannot whole fully agree with Descartes because logically it does not make sense to me given the different understanding and initial perception towards the human body and its natural role.

Cite this Page

Cartesian Dualism. (2017, Jan 16). Retrieved from

Don't let plagiarism ruin your grade

Run a free check or have your essay done for you

plagiarism ruin image

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Save time and let our verified experts help you.

Hire writer