Analysis Of Descartes Interpretation Of The Soul

Good Essays
There are numerous amounts of opinions or perspectives on certain subjects, of course making it a tough decision on whether or not an argument is considered credible. The power is within the readers to decide whether or not an argument is worth to be considered true. Particularly pertaining to the issue on what exactly should be considered to have a soul. There are countless numbers of interpretation, but two highly individuals claim to have different opinions on this issue. Therefore, I will present the two opposing views on the idea that certain substances are able to have a soul, for which I will then state the flaws that are within each view.
The scholastics interpretation of the soul is based on "the doctrine of body in terms of (primary)
…show more content…
Descartes states, “Natural things are not composed of matter alone, since if that were so, a human being, a stone and a lion, being made of the same matter, would all have the same essence and definition” (26). Descartes argues that humans are clearly and distinctively different from everything else. The difference is seen in Descartes definition of a soul. The distinct characteristic that sets apart the scholastics belief and Descartes belief is, a soul that must have the traits of a mind in order to be considered a substance worthy of a soul. The mind is capable of thought, in which can be modified into the mind being able to doubt, desire, and hold beliefs. These are core traits that allows the ability to categorizes objects to have a soul and objects that do not have a soul. An object must also have the desire to acquire continual knowledge, as it is depicted in Descartes Search for Truth. The curiosity that is within humans for knowledge sets the distinction for things that are known to have souls and non-souls. Furthermore, the distinction that is also made by Descartes about humans only having souls is the ability for humans to be considered a thinking thing and there is nothing else that is able to think as humans can. Descartes states, “a substance whose whole essence or nature is simply to think. The soul that makes what I am”. Descartes refers back to the concept that the soul is what makes him what he is. The idea that the his whole purpose in life is to think, and the ability to think is the key concept that he believes makes a soul. Since humans are the only thing that can think as Descartes believes, it is true that only human can be characterized as being a substance that is known to have a

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Mind Vs Body

    • 1529 Words
    • 7 Pages

    While those who believe that activities that are attributed to the mind, are just activities of the body are called materialist. Dualist believe that the Mind and the body are two separate entities. According to Rene Descartes, who was a dualist, “we can think of the self without a body, so it is not a body; we cannot think of the self without thinking, which is not a material act. So, the self must be a thinking, immaterial mind with a material body” (p. 79). This view is held by many traditionalist.…

    • 1529 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    “Cogito, ergo sum” or “I think, therefore I am” is a statement that defines Descartes’ views around the being self-aware and shining light around the fact that there is without a doubt a thinking, nonphysical entity that is the mind or consciousness. I believe that in this way he really highlights that it is not an organ like your brain that gives you knowledge, but rather your versatile mind that houses your soul and your…

    • 1109 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Investigating the Bundle View of the Self What are we? What kind of thing are human persons? An intuitive answer would be: we are whatever the subjects of our mental states are. To put it in an informal way, we are whatever that are thinking our thoughts. After all, René Descartes draws the famous conclusion that the only thing we can know for certain is that “I think, therefore I am.” Philosophers who agree with Descartes on that point have proposed various theories of personal ontology that aim to answer the question.…

    • 1595 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In other words, matter is the content or stuff, whereas form is the way in which this stuff is presented to us. Form of intuition allows us to receive content. Kant mentions that matter of intuition is a posteriori and that form of intuition is a priori, since it is something that already exists in our minds (A20/B34). Both matter and form of intuition are important to the ‘Transcendental Aesthetic’ because they help Kant to examine experience. The main purpose of this section in the book is to see what is needed in order to have an experience.…

    • 1032 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Aquinas Vs Kant

    • 2053 Words
    • 9 Pages

    A Juxtaposition of the Metaphysics of Aquinas and Kant Two key philosophers that one must examine in order to gain a better grasp of metaphysics are Saint Thomas Aquinas and Immanuel Kant. Through a thorough examination of both thinkers’ metaphysical philosophies, one can conclude that they differ in their beliefs regarding the origin and essence of beings and Being. In his examination of metaphysics, Saint Thomas Aquinas believes that in order to understand being and Being, one must start with God and His heaven, and use his God-given intellect to understand the phenomenal world. However, Kant believes the opposite in that he claims that in order to understand being and Being, one must begin with observing and analyzing the phenomenal world,…

    • 2053 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Metaphysics closes itself to the simple essential fact that the human being essentially occurs in his essence only where he is claimed by being. Only from that claim ‘has’ he found that wherein his essence dwells. Only from this dwelling does he ‘have’ language as the home that preserves the ecstatic for his essence. Such standing in the clearing of being I call the ek-sistence of human beings. This way of being is proper only to the human being.…

    • 479 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Kant proposes a distinction between the two in the extract (A50-52/B74-76) where he explores the ‘fundamental sources in the mind’; the first being ‘reception of representations’ and the second, ‘the faculty for cognizing an object by means of these representations’. The former of these is sensibility whilst the latter is spontaneity of concepts or understanding. Sensibility is intuition that connects the noumenal world to the phenomenal world through our senses. Therefore, sensibility must be empirical. However, ‘Intuitions can never be other than sensible’ (Kant, Watkins and Pluhar, 1999).…

    • 1178 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    A human person could be determined based on either the mind or the body. When researching, philosophers such as Descartes, Hinrichs, and Searle we are shown the true meaning of what it means to be a human person. Descartes theory is that the mind and body are two separate entities, the mind could be without the body. He believes the mind and body can interact with each other, even though one is a mental substance and the other is a physical substance. Descartes tries to prove that physical objects exist outside the mind, he attempts this by using the doubt method.…

    • 807 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Focusing on Question One of Aquinas’ Questions on the Soul, explain what it means to Aquinas for the soul to be both form and entity. Present Aquinas’ argumentation for the position, and briefly indicate whether you find the arguments convincing or not, and your reasons. From the very fact that Aquinas begins his Questions on the Soul with the question of whether the soul is both a form and entity, we are perhaps already introduced to the significance of this position for the defence of his specific notion of the human soul. Despite this, such a position does not appear an easy one to defend. Taken in its broadest sense, if the soul thought to be an entity, and hence a substantial and complete being in its own right, how may it possibly…

    • 2122 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In John Locke’s essay idea is considered to be an object in which he uses for anything that a person’s sees or in which a person may be thinking of. He talks about qualities of being in one’s body in which the mind perceives on its own. Therefore quality is also a power that produces some idea in one’s mind. When he talks about “they are ideas or perception in our minds; and as they are modifications of matter in the bodies that cause such perception s in us” (E.24) keeping in mind that ideas or perception are internal operations in our minds that are perceived and reflected by ourselves. Therefore “modifications of matter” lack internal changes and are motions that our body does allowing one to perceive the object.…

    • 813 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays