An analysis of dualism between socrates and descartes

Dualism stanford

Take the example of a particular table. From this I knew that I was a substance the whole essence or nature of which was merely to think, and which, in order to exist, needed no place and depended on no material things. Imagine the case where we are not sure whether it would have been Jones' body—and, hence, Jones—that would have been created by the slightly modified sperm and the same egg. It is suggested that he will then learn something he did not know before, which can be expressed as what it is like to hear, or the qualitative or phenomenal nature of sound. Averill, E. This involves abandoning the second of Hume's principles. If, for example, I feel a headache, there must be some change not only in my mental state, but also in my body presumably, in my brain. For obviously if the physical world is only his finite mind's dream object, neither it nor any of its parts can exist independently of that dreaming. It would be strange to think that Jones is wrong to think that there is a matter of fact about this. This argument is sometimes countered by arguing that free will is actually compatible with materialism or that even if the dualistic account of the will is correct, it is irrelevant because no volition on the part of a non-physical substance could alter the course of nature anyway. If minds are not differentiated by their contents and have no spatial positions to distinguish them, there remains no basis for individuating their identities. Nor can we explain it by turning to body by itself. The soul, on the other hand, is invisible. Phaedo 87b-e.

The idea presumably is that the soul informs certain materials which in its presence grow and organise themselves into the requisite body. After all, a Cartesian rationalist might insist, if God exists we surely wouldn't say that He couldn't do miracles just because that would violate the first law of thermodynamics, would we?

descartes dualism

For example, if causal power was flowing in and out of the physical system, energy would not be conserved, and the conservation of energy is a fundamental scientific law.

I may be able to tell that you are in pain by your behaviour, but only you can feel it directly. And this proof is not performatively given in the practice, but is derived from independent truths which the practice uncovers as suitable starting points.

Problems with dualism

It is worth relating the appeal to possibility in this argument to that involved in the more modest, anti-physicalist, zombie argument. So, a strong sense of free will is compatible with dualism but incompatible with materialism. The classical emphasis originates in Plato's Phaedo. This is why, in the Phaedo, about-to-die Socrates tries to comfort his friends by telling them that if death is the separation of soul from body, the philosopher should be glad to die, since the philosopher has lived his present life gladly practising for death by losing himself to intellectual activity. Since freedom in just this sense is required for moral appraisal, the dualist can also argue that materialism, but not dualism, is incompatible with ethics. The progression of thought can be seen as follows. Hence, if dualism is true, we cannot know that other people have minds at all. Moreover, behaviorist opponents argue that if dualism is true, moral appraisal is meaningless since it is impossible to determine another person's volitions if they are intrinsically private and otherworldly. The latter assumes a correlation, if not an identity, between nervous and mental states or events.

It is difficult to see why it does not. He believed this to be evident from the fact that he could imagine his mind existing without the need for a body.

Opposite of dualism

Hence interactionism violates physical closure after all. References and Further Reading Aristotle, Categories. Descartes believes that he exists because he thinks, therefore any human do does not think is as good as termed dead. Socrates first cites the profit at Delphi for why he behaves in ways that lead to him being under scrutiny of the law. The physicalist can point, for example, to successful reductions in other areas of science. What is true of mental states is held to be true of the mind that has the states as well. Socrates argues that the soul must exist prior to birth because we can recollect things that could not have been learned in this life. It is helpful in considering this question to employ a distinction like Berkeley's between ideas and notions. His bundle theory is a theory about the nature of the unity of the mind. In this respect, the finite mind is as passive and inert as matter is traditionally supposed to be.

The Argument From Indivisibility Descartes' primary metaphysical justification of the distinction of mind and body is the Argument from Indivisibility.

This is true of the species and the individual human. However, many philosophers found it implausible to claim such things as the following; the pain that I have when you hit me, the visual sensations I have when I see the ferocious lion bearing down on me or the conscious sense of understanding I have when I hear your argument—all have nothing directly to do with the way I respond.

In this subsection, and in section 4. These two modes of being alive are linked in such a way that, rather than deeming them analogous, one might, more primitively perhaps, fail to distinguish them, and thus conflate what thinks with what animates the body.

II, Ch.

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Plato & Descartes