Rene Descartes Dualism

1486 Words 6 Pages
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