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Free «Descartes’s Mind-Body Problem» Essay Sample

Being both a mathematician and an intelligent philosopher, René Descartes sought to offer a better explanation in distinguishing the mind and body. According to René though closely united, the human mind and body are quite distinct in their assimilation and interpretation of information (Kim 87). He postulated that the mind could comprehend facts and reality much more than the senses did though in different dimensions. Therefore, he opposed former ideologies which did give preeminence to the acquisition of information through the senses as he stated limitation of sensual information.

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By means of meditations, René established the reality perception of objects based on intellectual activity of the mind which he did consider independent from the senses. His argument of the role of the human mind in awakening the conscience to the environment including individual’s own body regarded as unique led to his conclusion of the human being constitution (Watkins 98). However, could this reasoning be substantiated separating the body from the mind and senses?

Moreover how could the mind and the body which are quite distinct in their nature and modes of communication be in perfect unison as each gets impacted from another? These were the basics of René’s argument.

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Though treated as different entities, the mind and the body have been proven to be in perfect unison to an inseparable degree. Having failed to prove the immortality of the mind in its existence leaves much to be questioned. Rene’s approach remains to be a theoretical approach never to be proven at all. This was proven by limitation posed by organization principle which determined the ultimate destination of a particular substance referred to as the “substantial form” of an object. However this ideology was constrained by the inability of some objects to have knowledge of their ultimate end. Therefore it weakened René’s idea as portrayed in his argument to demonstrate the inseparableness of mind and body.

The mind and body problem looks at the link between the mind and the brain. This looks critically into how the brain relates to the conscious mind. This has triggered many scholars to try and find out what the real situation is. There have been differences in opinions regarding the issue. Descartes was among the first scholars to investigate the mind – brain coordination. He came with many ideas concerning the issue that has provoked other philosophers to conduct other researchers concerning the mind body communication (Kim 88). A variety of approaches have been used in discussing this issue. Some are dualistic while others are monolithic. Those using a dualistic approach have maintained that a distinction thus exists between the mind and the brain. The monistic people propose that the human being exists as a unit. Thus; humans are in a matter that consists of the mind, matter and the rest of the body functioning together as a unit. Descartes believed in dualistic mechanism. The dualistic approach is based on substance dualism. It postulates that the mind is distinct by itself not like physics explains it. Monism holds the notion that the matter of the human body is organized in a unique way. This is the whole unit that functions together as a unit

 
 
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Descartes dual concepts of the mind and the body had led to the development of themes that need to be considered by other scholars. He focused on two major issues. The first one is that the body and mind are separated. The second major issue is how the whole body integrates to ensure that it functions efficiently. These aspects disagree with one another. The mind and the brain can never be separated and still function together in integration. This is a great challenge that needs other philosophers to scrutinize. Descartes does not see why the argument is considered very important (Young 45). He states that despite the fact that something is separated by Gods power does not mean that a distinction exists between the two parts. In addition, he argues that this is strategy that prevents man from interfering with the set up. If they were together, it would have been easy for man to interfere with either. This would lead to malfunctioning of the entire system. To further explain his work, he says that anyone who postulates that the hand is separated from the rest of the body would be denying nature.

Descartes says that it is possible to isolate the mind and body. But if this happens, rejoining them together to find the original unit may be impossible. To mean, we can not get a human with blood and full of life. This is aspect should be investigated further. The way a person is combined to form a single compound is artificial according to him (Young 77). Scientists have differed with Rene Descartes concerning this issue. Many scientists strongly believe that the brain controls all the activities of the body. Isolating each of the components of the body would lead to disruption in the whole system. This aspect should be researched with other philosophers so that the exact truth is established. In order to do this, it would be good to understand how the body functions as a unit. Besides, to mend something requires that we protect the entire human beings (Watkins 45). Whichever way we perceive the body and mind are separated, it is unrealistic. This is because the two can not be separated and they still work together.

   

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