Rene Descartes Dualism

Good Essays
Attacking the Status Quo Descartes’ Dualism and Material Realism
Since Rene Descartes alienated reality into two separate realms, of mind and matter, many philosophers have endeavored to rationalize the capacity of human consciousness within Cartesian dualism. Science, or more precisely quantum physics, have introduced persuasive reasons to be skeptical of a dualistic philosophy as being conceivable. In order for the realms of mind and matter to interact, physics claims that an exchange of energy is necessary, yet we know that energy of the material world remains constant, as the law of conservation of energy claims. Therefore, if the one reality is material in nature, consciousness cannot exist, except as epiphenomenon (secondary)
…show more content…
Descartes’ metaphysical dualism; the notion that the universe is composed of both mind and body, which intermingle without a mediator, is as much a part of our intellectual heritage that those not trained in philosophy consider to be common sense. Mind and body dualism has become the very fabric of viewing ourselves in the universe, all the while prohibiting man from truly discovering the very essence of our nature. In doing so, dualisms have prohibited man from progressing in the conceptualization of our own conscious awareness of ourselves. Cartesian dualism divided the world into two detached domains, the world of the objective sphere of matter, which the realm of science dominates and the world of the subjective sphere of the mind, which religion has reign supreme for hundreds of years. This divide has led to our understanding objects in this world appearing to be independent in nature …show more content…
This position is termed material realism because objects are assumed real and independent of subject, such as ourselves, or how we observe and interact with them. However, the notion that all things are made of matter is an unverified postulation, for it is not justified by irrefutable evidence. Rather, when quantum physics confronts us with a situation that seems paradoxical from the perspective of material realism, we are incline to ignore the possibility that the paradoxes may result from our unproven assumptions. We tend to forget that a long held assumption does not thereby become fact, simply because it corresponds our modern worldview. For example, “Physicist today suspects that something is wrong with material realism but are afraid to rock the boat that has served them so well for so long. They do not realize that their boat is drifting and needs new navigation under a new worldview” (Goswami, 1993). There must be an alternative to the philosophy of scientific/material realism, where both the spirituality and intuitive scientific nature of man can live in harmony? The integration of the sciences and that of the religious teachings of mystics must be able to find some common ground in determining our ultimate reality. For both

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Rather, Berkeley argues that all physical things are like ideas (Dialogue 1: slide 18). It is due to this similarity that we can have a sensible relationship with physical things. If material objects were composed of something that we could not access with our minds, then we would not be able to grasp the object’s essence in any way, due our reliance on our minds and ideas to interpret what we perceive in the world. It does not suffice for Berkeley to think that the physical objects cause us to have ideas of them that represent the actual physical objects, because he does not think that ideas and physical objects can be in relationship with each other if they are different (Dialogue 1: Slide 4). If matter were something that was distinct from ideas, we would not have access to it because according to Berkeley, “all that we know or conceive are our own ideas” (44).…

    • 770 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Theories Of Dualism

    • 1826 Words
    • 8 Pages

    However, other emergentists, such as Thomas Henry Huxley, refused this idea and argued that even though the physical events in the brain trigger mental events, mental events do not have the ability or capacity to impact any kind of physical events, including behaviors (1874). This form of emergentism is called epiphenomenalism. More interestingly, Baruch Spinoza proposed a related dualist theory, which is known as double aspectism. According to Spinoza, the mind and body are similar to two sides of the same coin that they are different but inseparable from each other. He believed that physical events happening to the material body can be experienced as emotions and thoughts, and mental events also impact the material body.…

    • 1826 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    HUME’S SKEPTICISM ABOUT OUR ABILITY TO HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORLD AROUND US AND HIS THEORIES ON CASUALITY AND THE ‘PRINCIPLE OF INDUCTION '. DAVID HUME (1711-1776) is considered as one of the more notable philosophers’ representative of the empiricism. In its critical to the concept of causality, Hume denied it saying that this principle had an existence objective. He supports the idea that cause and effect are factors that not are united by ties needed; if not, these have an arbitrary union. By custom or by psychological habits; although it will never be a product of chance; Nothing ensures that logic or experimentally that a cause.…

    • 827 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Introduction The concept of a spooky action at a distance, which describe the how an object could be affected, moved, or changed without being physically affected by another object, has raised different arguments throughout history. Some believe that action at a distance would describe all the uncertainties of quantum physics and would help us understand the unknowns of quantum mechanics. There have been varies experiments that support the claims of action at a distance and those who disagree and look to disprove this concept. One of the experiments that disproves the argument is the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen experiment in short known as the EPR experiment. The correlation in this experiment mainly suggest that there are no influences between…

    • 1672 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Logic dictates that an infinite regress of causes is impossible, and that things can not cause themselves to exist. It is only logical to assume someone with extraordinary abilities including omnipotence, omnipotent, and omnipresent, could have caused the universe to exist. This ultimately leads to the belief in God’s existence. Although the argument follows a cohesive logical order, however, the conclusion which assumes God created the universe, is faulty. The argument that God brought about the universe is somewhat unconvincing and contradictory.…

    • 1350 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Hard determinism states determinism is incompatible with freedom. If given the opportunity to rewind time and make a different choice, humans could not choose differently, because choice does not exist. Utilizing physics, Sider states determinists could study the patterns of past behavior of the particles and forces upon them, and could, theoretically, calculate the future. Such calculation does not exist yet, but conceptually it could. Sider’s argument is an over-simplification.…

    • 1850 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Berkley's Argument Essay

    • 1061 Words
    • 5 Pages

    (Kant 224) Humans simply cannot fathom any object outside the realm of space and time. Because of the incapability for one to think of the idea of matter not existing, it seems that going through life questioning the difference is impractical. One’s true reality is the reality in which they believe and what they see. Why is it necessary to bring our perceptions to a point of one’s experiences to feel as if they are insignificant? While Berkley’s idealist argument seems like a valid and viable solution to solve the question of the existence of matter, there are some downfalls that can create a life full of continuous and vague questioning.…

    • 1061 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The problem of other minds and the mind body problem. Dualism has traditionally struggled to account for how an immaterial substance can interact with a material one. Behaviorism on the other hand is a physicalist theory and implicit in it is the idea that the mind arises out of the material physical world. What dualism fails to account for, Behaviorism solves simply by ascribing to a view of the purely material. The other is the problem of other minds- the objection to Dualism based on the undesired conclusion that if all we can be sure of is our own bodies, we can never know for certain that others even really exist.…

    • 1262 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In order to understand the positions held by each thinker, we must first decipher what the terms, soul and immortality mean to both Plato and Hume respectively. For Plato, the soul is an unextended, incomposite and immaterial substance which functions as a bridge between the metaphysical world of forms and the material world we live in. He finds the soul to be definitionally distinct from the body, because it is the immaterial aspect of a human being, whereas the body is the material aspect. Hume, on the other hand, opposes this dualism and argues that the soul and body are the same thing. The term immortality is used the same way by both philosophers to depict, an eternal continuity of consciousness after physical death.…

    • 1519 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Whereas, libertarian is opposite to hard determinism and called indeterminism. Libertarians resolve the conflict between free will and determinism by rejecting determinism. For libertarians, science is great to the extent it goes, however it will never succeed in totally predicting human behaviour (121-122). Libertarians says that we have souls, non-physical sources of consciousness, which makes choices that are not controlled by laws of nature. According to libertarian past occasions have no immediate effect on current good choice making.…

    • 1162 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays